9/7/17 35 New Jobs Coming to Danville-Pittsylvania County

Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission


Unison Ltd. To Establish Manufacturing Operation

Richmond, VA – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Unison Ltd will establish its first U.S. based manufacturing operation at Cane Creek Centre Industrial Center. The project will create 35 new jobs as well as $5.2 million in capital investment. The Tobacco Commission approved a $330,000 Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund grant to help bring the project to Danville-Pittsylvania County. The Tobacco Commission has also invested over $4.9 million to develop Cane Creek Centre Industrial Park which is jointly owned by the City of Danville and Pittsylvania County.

Tobacco Commission member, Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore said, “When an international company chooses Virginia as the location of its first U.S. manufacturing operation, it demonstrates the strengths of our infrastructure, education system, skilled labor pool and competiveness on a global scale. With more than 240,000 Virginians working in the manufacturing industry, Unison will benefit from a pipeline of talent as the company expands its footprint. Southern Virginia has made tremendous investments in resources to build its manufacturing workforce, and it’s exciting to see those efforts rewarded by attracting this great project.”

“It is a great day in Southern Virginia as we welcome Unison Ltd to our community,” stated Tobacco Commission member, Delegate Danny Marshall. “It is exciting to be chosen as their first manufacturing location in Virginia and in the United States. The Tobacco Commission is pleased to present a check in support of Unison and the 35 new jobs they are bringing to our region. We believe this is a win-win for Unison and for our workforce. We wish them great success.”

Tobacco Commission member, Senator Bill Stanley added, “I am pleased that Unison chose Danville-Pittsylvania for their first U.S. manufacturing facility. This goes to show that Southside Virginia has the workforce, infrastructure and facilities to compete worldwide for top quality businesses. This is great news for the region and I am pleased that the Tobacco Commission chose to invest in this project.”

Unison was established in 1973 to design and build computerized control systems for industry. Unison designed the first computer controls for several well-known Tube Bending machine manufacturers in the late 70’s and early 80’s. In 1989 Unison felt that customers’ needs were not being listened to and expanded to design and develop a full range of tube bending machines. In 1993/4 Unison completed a feasibility research study into the possibility of removing the ‘Black Art’ of tube bending, by designing a fully automated set up tube bending machine. This method of control was revolutionary and enabled all positions and forces necessary to bend a tube to be stored and recalled by computer. This method of control was patented in both the UK and Germany. In 1995 Unison developed the first three ‘all-electric’ tube bending machines 20mm, 40mm and 65mm tube capacity. The very first machine went into service in 1996 and is still in production. Since the first machines were developed Unison has increased the range to cover tubes 4mm to 180mm diameter with the ‘all-electric’ technology capable of running machines of over 220mm. The use of the servo technology to control all moving parts has enabled Unison to build machines for customers with virtually unlimited control features completely unavailable to machines using hydraulics to move the tooling or the part being made.

Joint Managing Director of Unison, Julian Kidger said, “We are thrilled to be announcing this expansion with a community that understands our vision of education and industry working in partnership. The business environment Virginia is creating around advanced manufacturing was a key driver in our choice of location. Real investment in attracting the right sort of business to the area is supported by an equal drive and investment in education. This is key to the long-term success of any business. The professional and financial support available through the Tobacco Commission, the Commonwealth Opportunity Fund and the local municipalities further enhanced an already compelling case.”

“The City of Danville is delighted to welcome Unison Ltd. to Southern Virginia,” said Danville Mayor John Gilstrap. “This region has an affinity for advanced manufacturing and has built an extraordinary workforce training capability that will support Unison’s growth in the U.S. market. We believe that Unison will add tremendous value to this rapidly growing regional economy and will help diversify the region’s industry base. It’s very encouraging to know that international companies, like Unison, have confidence that they can be globally competitive operating in Danville Pittsylvania County.”

Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors Chairman, Robert “Bob” Warren added, “By Unison Ltd. locating its U.S. manufacturing facility in Ringgold, it’s evidence that Pittsylvania County and Danville’s joint efforts in creating a precision machining workforce pipeline is paying dividends and is very attractive to high-quality advanced manufacturers. The Board warmly thanks Unison Ltd. for choosing Danville-Pittsylvania County, and is committed to maintaining a positive business environment that will promote future success for the Company in the Dan River Region.”

Attracting businesses like Unison Ltd. to Southern and Southwest Virginia is part of the Tobacco Commission’s strategy to develop a diverse economy in the areas we serve. Long term investments in the region, like Cane Creek Centre Industrial Park, allow localities to continue to compete for businesses, like Unison Ltd., worldwide.


Contact: Jordan Butler
Telephone: 804-786-7692
Cell: 757-692-0878
Email: jbutler@revitalizeva.org
Website: www.revitalizeva.org