In 2010 Fortress Technology’s European office took a leap of faith and moved from its 3,000 sq ft premises into a 10,500 sq ft factory in order to manufacture a range of Phantom metal detectors, which the business had previously been importing from its parent company in Toronto.

The volume of sales made it a viable option and there was a strong sales and technical team already established at Fortress, with a number of years’ industry experience prior to Fortress being established in Europe in 1999. Furthermore, many initiatives for metal detection originate in the UK (performance standards and codes of practice have very often been retailer driven).

While overseas manufacturing offers low labour costs Fortress believed they would not be sustained and product quality would be difficult to control, particularly as Fortress offers many bespoke customer solutions. Whereas the UK has a strong and respected reputation for manufacturing quality and excellence.

Now Fortress Technology (Europe) is proud to be supplying its 1000th detector to Sparc Systems Ltd, the same customer that took delivery of the very first unit to leave the Fortress Banbury manufacturing site in January 2011.

Sparc Systems Ltd has been integrating the Phantom, and most recently Stealth, metal detectors into its range of high-performance checkweighing systems for a number of years now. Local manufacture has provided both companies with the additional benefit of customising products to satisfy customer requirements.

Sarah Ketchin, Managing Director of the European office, stated: “It has been an incredible achievement and full credit goes to the whole team at Banbury, who have been incredibly focused and committed to the business.

“We are all proud to be supplying a Made in Britain product. It’s sometimes difficult to believe that the company has gone so far in such a short space of time. The next challenge is to see how much more of the product range we can manufacture locally, as we still need to import some of our product range in order to satisfy demand.”

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