Global Fire Equipment unveils new manufacturing facility

Share this content


Leading European-based fire safety system manufacturer, Global Fire Equipment (GFE), has announced the opening of its new manufacturing facility in the Algarve region of Portugal, representing an investment of €7.5 million by GSS Group, creating a new home for two of the group’s companies – GFE and CREATECH Emergency Lighting.

The 7,500-sq m facility is more than twice the size of GFE’s previous plant, and the land purchased spans 16,000-sq m meaning there is plenty of scope for further expansion should this be required as the company works towards its future growth targets.

GFE has seen sustained growth over the last 10 years including double digit growth during the COVID-19 pandemic. CREATECH Emergency Lighting has also achieved grown and will need the increased manufacturing capacity to help deliver its international sales ambitions. GSS Group said it sees a significant market advantage of integrating both its fire safety and emergency lighting divisions under one roof, with space to expand in the coming years.

Initially the new facility will operate a single 8-hour shift pattern, but GFE could triple production capacity if it wishes as there is the option to add two further 8-hour shifts thus allowing the facility to operate 24/7.  

A number of dedicated manufacturing zones are incorporated into the new facility, including on-site injection moulding and PCB manufacture. The new assembly lines have been designed to maximise efficiency in the manufacturing process and, with the additional space, GFE has been able to increase stock storage and dispatch areas by 400% compared to its previous plant. Other areas include product testing, general assembly and management, sales and administration.

Building a sustainable and energy-efficient manufacturing facility was one of GFE’s key pre-requisites for the new plant. The Algarve is one of the sunniest places in Europe which allows GFE to maximise on-site solar energy generation. Having installed a large number of solar carports, GFE’s on-site solar energy generation has jumped an impressive 600% compared to the former plant which means that almost 90% of the facility’s energy needs will be supplied by solar power.

All manufacturing and office support are scheduled to be in place by the end of January 2023, with the remaining services moving in by the end of February. The new facility is located within 3km of the former site so all employees will retain their positions and GFE will continue to have good access to the labour market within the Algarve. 

Paul Pope, GFE’s Global Business Development Manager, commented: “Our new manufacturing facility reflects the vast amount of work and investment every member of the GFE team has put into the company over the past few years. Our drive to deliver high quality, affordable fire safety systems is at the forefront of our operations and is clearly evident in the design of this facility. We are also delighted that we have been able to invest in energy efficiencies which will undoubtedly make our business more sustainable.”

Joao Paulo, GFE’s Founder and Managing Director, adds: “Today marks a pivotal moment in our company’s history. Building on our years of manufacturing experience and technical developments, this facility will ensure that we not only continue supporting our existing customers with industry-leading products and technical support, but also that we will be able to expand further into new markets around the world.

“We have always been focused on ways to improve efficiencies in our manufacturing process and have been able to develop sophisticated automated production lines in our new facility to increase our manufacturing capacity. Whilst these productions lines will carry forward GFE’s drive for automation, we will also be looking to expand our team to ensure we continue to meet the high quality and standards our customers know they can rely on.”

Read IFSJ’s exclusive article with GFE in the latest edition.

Receive the latest breaking news straight to your inbox