New factory milestone for engineering firm employing 180 people in Spilsby

An engineering firm established over 90 years ago is celebrating finally being able to have its workforce under one roof

Tong workforce outside the new factory in Spilsby.
Tong workforce outside the new factory in Spilsby.

It has been a three-year, two-phase project to build a purpose-built manufacturing facility on the edge of Tong Engineering s hometown of Spilsby.

Now a two-day opening event has been held to mark the milestone of he vegetable equipment manufacturer, which employs 180 people

“Since we commenced works on our first-phase building at the end of 2019, we have been working towards the day where all departments of the business can operate from one site,” explains Edward Tong,

Tong Grand Opening Event ready to welcome visitors

Managing Director at Tong Engineering. “It has been a pleasure to finally open our factory doors to showcase our new manufacturing facilities, as well as demonstrate the part that every employee and each department at Tong Engineering plays in manufacturing our wide range of custom-built handling equipment.”

“During the build project we have been fortunate to achieve the sale of and smooth transition from our heritage site in the town, which we occupied for almost 90 years, and we are delighted that we now have the facilities and space to maximise our manufacturing capability,” says Edward.

Amongst the investments inside the factory is new shot-blast, paint spraying and powder coating facilities.

The shot blast unit ensures materials are properly prepared prior to the high-quality paint process which uses either powder or a two-part primer and paint, for a long-lasting finish as standard.

Edward Tong (L) and Charles Tong (R) officially open the new 90,000ft2 factory

Standing at 11 metres high, all three buildings within the new facility are fitted with over-head lifting cranes, making equipment movements much easier as well as bringing huge benefits in the final assembly

of large equipment and turnkey handling lines.

As well as a high-speed fibre laser-cutter which precisely cuts large quantities of mild and stainless steel,

Tong’s metal-preparation departments house press brakes, CNC saws and lathes, all of which are used to manufacture equipment parts and components which are subsequently assembled and welded within the mild and stainless fabrication departments.

Finally, alongside some traditional stores racking and shelving, the Tong stores department houses two 9m tall storage towers, which store over 20 tons of spare parts and components in each tower.

At the touch of a button any tray within the storage tower can be called upon for easy picking of parts before it is returned to its shelved location.

Of the new facility, Charles Tong, Chairman at Tong Engineering, says “I am very proud that we have been able to complete this landmark achievement during my time in the business.

"It has been our goal for many years to operate from a purpose-built site, and very importantly in our hometown which thrives on

the business that local employment brings.

"Our new facility now fully occupies the seven-acre site, and we are very pleased with the efficiencies that have been created with all aspects of the business now under one roof.”

“We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to visit our new factory during our Grand Opening event,” adds Edward.

“We will of course be very happy to welcome more visitors over the coming months as we continue to demonstrate the manufacturing processes behind Tong equipment.”

ABOUT TONGUE ENGINEERING

With an annual turnover of over £19 million, and engineering roots dating back to 1930, Tong Engineering has over 90 years of experience in manufacturing advanced and efficient vegetable handling equipment, from single machines to complete, custom-built handling solutions.

It exports world-class equipment to more than 50 countries worldwide, offering a vegetable handling solution for a wide range of crops and vegetables, from potatoes, onions and carrots, to parsnips, brussel sprouts, swedes and more.

Tong’s beginnings were of a more modest scale when it began trading as an ironmonger, with the shop originally run by Edmund Jackson Tong.

During the 1930s, Edmund’s son Ken saw an opportunity to diversify into making simple equipment for local farmers. He started his new business in a former candle making factory in Spilsby with equipment such as sack barrows and pig pens. The business flourished and became independent from the shop, which still trades as E J Tong and Sons and is run by another branch of the family.

Fast forward to the 21st century and Charles Tong’s son Edward joined the company in 2003, resulting in the fourth generation of the Tong family bringing yet another surge of new ideas to the family business.

As well as the development of the company’s vegetable washing, polishing and processing equipment, the company also extended its product range further with the addition of heavy duty recycling equipment suitable for sorting and recycling a wide variety of waste materials. In 2015, after 27 years at the helm of the company, Charles Tong took the role of company Chairman as he handed over the reigns to his son Edward, who became Managing Director, and the company changed its Tong Peal branding back to Tong.

Tong continues to adapt and grow today, and now manufactures industry leading handling solutions that are in operation across the globe. As the company pursues its ongoing expansion plans, Tong is pleased to have commenced works on a new two-phase state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in its hometown of Spilsby, with the first phase build now in full operation, and plans for second phase completion by Autumn 2021. The new facility boasts advanced manufacturing systems and increased production capacity, ensuring Tong is well placed to produce the highest quality handling equipment and meet worldwide industry demands as they continue to progress.

For more information on Tong&’ latest range of handling equipment visit www.tongengineering.com.