Announcements | AR Controls

16/10/2019by Nat Bell

We are excited to announce the arrival of our new Project Engineer, Tom Croft.


Welcome to the team Tom Croft


Tom began his journey studying a BTEC Extended Diploma Level 3 in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Sunderland College in 2016. He then attained Siemens Programming Level 1 at Siemens in 2018 and then carried on completing HNC: Electronic and Electrical Engineering at Tyne Metropolitan College earlier this year. Whilst studying Tom also gained valuable experience within the industry as an Electrical Engineer at Formica from 2016. This gave Tom useful skills such as maintaining, installing and improving industrial machines and equipment.
Tom has a deep understanding of PLC programming and various programming languages. He has a detailed approach to programming, reading and understanding electrical process and control drawings which he can translate into various programming languages.
Tom will be a significant asset to our team, and we wish him the best of luck with his career at AR Controls.

Welcome to the team, Tom!


19/09/2019by Nat Bell
We are pleased to announce the arrival of our new CNC Plasma Cutter.
The CNC Plasma Cutter helps us provide a greater service to our customers as it promises high speed precision cutting. Accuracy is also improved with its fully enclosed cutting head and heavy-duty gantry end castings, which provide a precise and stable platform for fast cutting.
A wide variety of materials can be cut using the Plasma Cutter as the pneumatically driven soft touch plate sensor can locate the plate surface, even on very thin materials. The engraving tool allows marking and cutting to be done in one quick operation.
CNC Plasma Cutter at AR ControlsCNC Plasma Cutter at AR Controls

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15/08/2019by Nat Bell

 AR Controls are expanding! Read Muckle’s fantastic article about whats going on here at AR Controls below!

  Andrew Ramsey and Giles McCourt

Sunderland automation and robotics firm expands to meet rising demand from car manufacturing sector

A successful Sunderland tech business which works with some of the world’s leading car manufacturers is expanding following growth fuelled by the region’s automotive sector. Established six years ago, fast-growing AR Controls currently employs 37 people and utilises its innovative robotics and technology to supply services to the likes of Nissan and Jaguar Land Rover. The new premises will allow the business to expand on current services and help increase headcount to around 45-50 staff in the next 12-18 months. The fast turnaround, technology-driven firm delivers significant productivity and quality improvements to its customers’ processes, while also driving down costs and reducing risk. AR Controls has now expanded into a new 12,000 sq ft unit on Sunderland’s Sunrise Enterprise Park, following an extended period of sustained growth. The automation business has agreed a lease on the new premises and plans to fully acquire the property inside 18 months, adding to its existing estate which includes its 18,000 sq ft headquarters, also at Sunrise Enterprise Park, and a further base in North Hylton. The company was assisted in its negotiations by commercial property lawyers at leading north east law firm for businesses Muckle LLP. Andrew Ramsey, managing director of AR Controls, said: “Despite many negative projections about the UK’s automotive manufacturing sector, the growth our business has seen over the last two years is incredibly positive and I’m tremendously excited about the future. “We work with some of the world’s leading automation suppliers in sensing, position control, visual inspection, machine safety, audio-indent, robotics, drives and programmable logic control, and we employ a safety first, design and development philosophy. “Our sustained growth has given us added confidence to continue building and developing the business and I’m delighted to have completed the lease with the option to buy these new premises, which will help us to continue our trajectory of expansion. “The practical legal advice we received from Muckle also made a major difference in successfully negotiating this deal and it is encouraging to know we have a law firm on our doorstep that is sophisticated enough to support our objectives and ambition.” Giles McCourt, associate in Muckle LLP’s Real Estate team, added: “AR Controls is a highly innovative business and their creativity, confidence and commitment to the region has been rewarded by increased demand for its market leading services and we’re excited to support Andrew and the team as the business continues to grow. “As a commercial lawyer, who lives in Sunderland and works for a law firm that is passionate about the region’s businesses and its economy, it’s fantastic to see such a dynamic North East company making its mark in the automotive manufacturing tech sector.”

To find out more about AR Controls, please visit

To find out more about Muckle LLP and its Real Estate work, visit

08/05/2019by Nat Bell

Here at AR Controls, we are pleased to announce the arrival of our brand new Perforex Machining Centre from Rittal Automation Services! The Perforex Machining Centre BC 1007 HS allows us to produce panels and enclosures both safely and quickly, providing a faster, greater service to our customers.  Producing speeds of up to 1.5 metres per minute! Accuracy is also greatly improved using the unique diaphragm clamping system which fixes the enclosure perfectly into place. From steel to plastic, aluminium and copper, the Perforex Machining Centre can drill, mill, cut and tap threads into all machinable materials. Forty different tools can be fitted into the machine allowing us to create panels and enclosures to suit any needs. These tools are retrieved automatically by the machine which reduces the risk of accidents happening on our site. The vibrations running through this machine are decreased which means there is less room for errors to occur and accuracy is greatly improved. The machine also has the necessary space for machining complete enclosures with ease including those with different slanting positions. At AR Controls, recycling our waste is extremely important to us. The waste materials from the Perforex machine is easy and safe to remove, which can then be recycled on site to help us do our bit in saving our planet.


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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If you would like to know more about AR Controls head over to our website!

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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If you would like to know more about what we do at AR Controls, head over to our website!

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.



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Sunrise Enterprise Park
Ferryboat Lane

0845 338 1902