Mike Dickinson | AR Controls

AR Controls are pleased to announce their first attendance at the North East Automotive Alliance Expo this year.

Returning for its fourth consecutive year on 27 September 2018 at the new Beacon of Light, Sunderland,  the North East Automotive Expo is the region’s only event solely focused on the automotive sector.

The North East Automotive Alliance Expo plays a key role in increasing the profile of the North East automotive sector and showcasing the regions significant and growing automotive capability. It also provides companies with a platform to connect, do business and learn about the support available to them.

The success of the Expo over the previous three years demonstrates the importance of the North East automotive sector and has paved way to attract more senior figures and industry representatives from outside of the region.



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After several months of preparation behind the scenes at their workshop, AR Controls have successfully completed a significant amount of work again on time during the Automotive summer shutdown period.

All our client’s projects had a limited amount of time to be completed within and it was imperative that everything went to schedule without any delays.

22 team members worked at 3 client’s sites over a 2-week period, split into 3 teams, working 8 hour shifts to meet these tight deadlines, working at Nissan’s Trim & Chassis, Press Shop, Bumper plastics and Paint Shop facilities. In addition, other team members worked at Unipres Sunderland and Gestamp Tallent at Newton Aycliffe.

Projects included:

  • 2 Heenan drive to SEW conveyor system upgrades (Nissan)
  • IMM Molding machine upgrade (Nissan)
  • Hydraulic control system and safety upgrade (Nissan)
  • Press control system upgrade in partnership with HELM Instruments (Nissan)
  • EC Paintshop Online Spot Repair system installing Control, Data & Machine Safety all utilizing Mitsubishi’s new iQR PLC system, CC Link IE remote I/O and Machine Safety I/O (Nissan)
  • 3 Drop lifter projects in paint shop – Mitsubishi PLC Q series, iQR Series, L Series, A840 inverter upgrade, CC  Link IE Network, ProfiNet Network, Sick S300 safety laser scanners, Sick Fusion intelligent safety light curtains and Sick Flexisoft configurable safety relay system plus Fortress Interlock Systems (Nissan)
  • Several obsolete Omron PLC upgrades from CV series to CJ series (Nissan)
  • On site conveyor modifications on behalf of NKC (Nissan)
  • Full Mitsubishi Q series PLC upgrade on a 1200 tonne press at Unipres, Sunderland
  • Industrial software support for Yaskawa at Gestamp Tallent Newton Aycliffe

After completion of all this work, there was a faultless start up at recommencement of production, much to the satisfaction of all the engineering teams at Nissan, Unipres and Gestamp Tallent.

Nissan plant, Sunderland:

Nissan Website

Unipres plant, Sunderland:

Unipres Website

Gestamp Tallent Plant, Newton Aycliffe:

Gestamp Website

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AR Controls are proud to announce that they have become members of County Durham Engineering & Manufacturing Network (CDEMN).

County Durham Engineering & Manufacturing Network is the organisation tasked with supporting the continued growth of the area’s engineering and manufacturing industries.

County Durham is home to over 1,000 companies in these key sectors, from large multi-national brands and home grown firms to SMEs and micro businesses, who collectively contribute millions of pounds to the North East economy and employ in excess of 30,000 people.

We look forward to the interactions and support which Ben Gilhespy and his team can offer us over the coming year ahead and we are exhibiting at the EMCON Engineering & Manufacturing show on 18th October at the Excel Centre Newton Aycliffe.

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Due to continuous growth and ever-increasing demand we have a vacancy for a qualified electrician with Industrial – commercial installation experience. This is a newly created position to complement the existing Installation team.

Previous experience working within the automotive sector would be a distinct advantage but not essential. The candidate will need to be computer literate and have strong communication skills at all levels. A positive, proactive and collaborative team approach is also required. Occasionally there may be additional engineering activities to perform, however the emphasis of the position will be on electrical Installation.


Omron Solution Partner

AR Controls are pleased to announce that they have been appointed as an official Omron Solution Partner. We will carry out and manage a range of services on behalf of or in conjunction Omron. This will include mechanical design, electrical panel design and layout, machine programming, integration to third party equipment, testing and commissioning. In conjunction with the Omron sales force we will deliver faster implementation of new Omron products and technologies to the market place, covering the following ranges of Omron equipment:

 PLC/ HMI/ networking
 Sysmac (NJ)
 Motion and drives (inverter and servo)
 PC applications (SCADA, VB, databases)
 Sensing and vision systems
 Industrial Machine Safety

Robot systems and solutions

We very much look forward to working closely with the team at Omron, future projects and joint successes.


Chris Droese


Chris Droese joined AR Controls in January 2018 to further his career in a wider range of Automation Applications, solutions and equipment.

Chris Droese attained a Master’s degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering in 2011 at Bristol University. That year he joined the Graduate Engineer Scheme at Nissan Manufacturing UK at Sunderland and worked within the IFA (Integrated Factory Automation) department in Bodyshop for 2 years and then on to Trim and Chassis IFA for 4 years.
Chris brings a wealth of experience to AR Controls. During his time at Nissan he became proficient at using the Omron CX-One programming software, configuring and programming PLC’s, HMI’s, Motion Control and Networks.
In addition, Chris was responsible for the design, build, programming, installation and commissioning of a range of in-house designed AGV’s, associated systems and conveyors for a large line side part delivery system.
He also has a wealth of knowledge using the Sick range of Machine Safety products and software such as Flexisoft. S300 safety laser scanner and is experienced in the CE Marking of equipment.
We wish Chris the very best of success in his new career at AR Controls!

Head over to Chris’ LinkedIn profile by clicking here.

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