LONDON – A year after wood brick makers first opened a brick factory in Londonderry, England, the company has changed again.
The new brick factory was built on the same site where a brick oven once stood, but it has transformed into something completely different, said Matt Fagan, the chief executive of Wood Brick Factory Londons owner Wood Brick.
“This brick factory is the first brick factory I’ve seen in Britain to have a fully modern production line and a fully automated system,” he said.
Wood Brick’s brick ovens are powered by automated machinery and automated systems can work 24 hours a day.
The brick oven is also connected to the internet, so it can be remotely controlled.
The factory is still under construction, and Fagan said they are only now beginning to understand the potential of automation.
“We have a lot of data on what we’ve done, but we don’t have the data to build the robots, and so we’re going to be building those robots on a very limited number of units and maybe a few hundred,” he added.
“But we’ve been building a lot more than that.”
Fagan said the company was building its first brick oven in the US in 2017, and said it will expand its production in the UK and elsewhere in the world.
“I’m very happy to see the first British brick oven being built in the United States,” he told BBC News.
“There are quite a few brick oven factories in the country and they’re very good, they’re quite well run, and I think the new brick oven will be very much a product of the British brick industry and the British technology base.”
Fagans brick factory on the Isle of Wight was built in 1857.
In 2017, the factory was upgraded and renamed to Wood Brick London, after a visit by a group of Irish artists.
Fagan told BBC Radio 5 live that there is a lot happening in Londo and the industry is growing.
“The number of bricks we make in Londa are now in excess of 30,000 and we’ve seen a big change in the brick industry in Longford,” he explained.
“The next generation of bricks are being made in England, and we’re really excited to see that in the future.”