DesignPro’s 20th Anniversary: A Journey of Innovation and Growth in Precision Engineering

DesignPro’s 20th Anniversary: A Journey of Innovation and Growth in Precision Engineering

The story of DesignPro Automation is a story of ambition, resilience and dare we say it, a touch of luck. As we mark our 20th anniversary and reflect on the last two decades, it’s clear that our longevity is a testament to our adaptability, innovation, and unwavering dedication.

From our humble beginnings as a start-up in 2004 to becoming Ireland’s largest Irish-owned machine builder, DesignPro’s unwavering commitment to quality and innovation has cemented our position as a leader in precision and automation engineering.

Join us as we delve into the timeline of our company’s growth and evolution, celebrating the milestones that shaped its remarkable trajectory.

DesignPro Company Journey 2004-2005

2004-2005: Laying the Foundation

DesignPro Automation was officially registered as a business on January 16, 2004. Founded by Paul Collins, it issued its first quote for the design and manufacture of Assembly Jigs for Molex, Shannon. This marked the inception of a journey filled with engineering prowess and commitment to quality.

May 2005 witnessed the hiring of Patrick Downes, DesignPro’s first employee, a significant step towards expanding its operational capacity. Patrick graduated from IT Sligo in 2004 after being awarded the ‘National Apprentice Toolmaker of the Year Award’. With a strong background in toolmaking and 3D CAD design he was an ideal fit for the company, so much so that he has remained an integral part of the DesignPro team to this date and now holds the role of Business Development and Innovation Manager.

DesignPro Company Journey 2005-2012

2005-2010: Expansion and Establishment

As operations expanded, DesignPro outgrew its home office and moved to a purchased facility in Abbeyfeale in July 2005, providing a dedicated 5,000 sqft of space for innovation and production. By 2008, the company had secured its largest contract to date: designing and manufacturing a fully automated production machine for medical device products. This project propelled its growth trajectory, which saw a doubling of turnover in this period and laid the groundwork for future endeavours.

In 2010, we relocated to a larger 14,000 sqft facility in Newcastle West, accommodating our expanding team and increasing demand for our services. The company’s commitment to quality was affirmed in 2011 when we received the ISO9001 quality certification, bolstering our reputation as a reliable partner in precision engineering.

With an expanding customer portfolio including names like Filtertek, BorgWarner, and Astellas, we solidified our position as a trusted player across various industries. It was this strategic diversification that solidified our financial positioning and saw us emerge from the 2010 downturn on an upward trend.

DesignPro Company Journey 2013-2018

2013-2018: Recognition and Expansion

DesignPro’s excellence garnered national acclaim in 2013 when we were named the overall winner of the National Enterprise Awards, a first for Limerick and a testament to our innovative approach and business acumen. The following years saw the company continue diversifying its industry sectors, serving clients in automotive, medical devices, and industrial sectors, including Valeo, Cook Medical, and Element Six.

In 2015, we made a significant move to our 45,000 sqft Rathkeale facility, becoming the largest machine builder in Ireland, a testament to our sustained growth and operational excellence. The company’s achievements were further recognised with awards such as Best SME at the Limerick Chamber Awards and successful participation in prestigious events like the European Business Awards and the Deloitte Fast 50.

DesignPro Company Journey 2019-2024

2019-2022: Innovation and Recognition

Our commitment to innovation remained unwavering with the launch of a dedicated Robotics division in 2018, aligning with the evolving needs of the industry. The appointment of Redmond McDonnell as CEO in 2019 marked a new chapter in the company’s leadership, bringing fresh insights and strategies to drive growth.

In 2020, DesignPro implemented a dedicated ERP system, streamlining operations and enhancing efficiency to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving market landscape. We continued to receive accolades, including the Industry Research Partner award at the National Manufacturing Awards in 2019, reaffirming our position as a leader in engineering excellence.

DesignPro staff celebrate 20 years in business

2024: Celebrating 20 Years of Innovation

As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, we reflect on a journey marked by innovation, resilience, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. From humble beginnings to becoming a powerhouse in precision engineering, our story is a testament to our founder’s vision, the team’s dedication, and the trust of our valued clients.

As we look to the future, DesignPro remains poised to lead the way in shaping the next era of engineering excellence in the MedTech sector.