In an era characterised by concern around the impact of industrial automation on the UK job market, Burton-based load bank manufacturer Crestchic is celebrating the achievements of one of their longest serving engineers.

With 30 years at Crestchic under his belt, Johnny Woodward’s long service has seen him produce an impressive 2000 load banks – accounting for around 9% of the company’s total production since manufacturing began in 1983.

Today, Crestchic is one of the world’s leading specialist manufacturers of load banks. Since the company’s inception over 35 years ago, the business has grown from a UK-based, two-person assembly line, to being part of a London AIM listed PLC (Northbridge Industrial Services Plc), with operations in France, Germany, USA, UAE, Singapore & China.

Johnny explains, “When I started at Crestchic as a 17 year-old, I had no idea that my role would see me travel the world. I’ve been lucky enough to visit South Korea to work with Crestchic’s large shipbuilding customers, to the USA numerous times to visit Hawthorne Power Systems in California and also to Dubai and across Europe. The business has grown hugely and I’m really proud to have been a part of it.”

It’s not just the business that has grown during that time. Johnny has also progressed through the company. Initially a mechanical fitter, Johnny worked in the wiring team, before taking on the role of test engineer, field engineer and then a section team leader. During that time, Johnny has also been part of many product innovations, including the development of containerised and medium voltage machines.

Johnny continues, “Load banks are used in the testing of power supplies in loads of different applications – without them, lots of businesses run the risk of power failure. Knowing that I’ve played even a small part in preventing power failures – especially in places like hospitals that could be life and death situations – makes my role feel worthwhile.”

Chris Caldwell, Managing Director at Crestchic commented, “With UK manufacturing suffering from a skills shortage and an ever-increasing focus on the role of technology, we are really proud to keep people at the heart of our production processes. People like Johnny have the knowledge and expertise to ensure that we use technology and people-power to deliver industry-leading, specialist products. We’re excited to celebrate Johnny’s 30 years with the business and 2000 load bank milestone.”