A heavy engineering specialist, Blackhill built the steel pile caps and bridge beams for the construction of the temporary jetty, which will extend 500m into the Bristol Channel at Bridgwater Bay and will allow sea transportation of construction materials to the Hinkley Point C site. To deliver the contract Blackhill was also able to draw on Engineering Design and Project Management Support from sister SC Group business, SC Innovation.
The awards were presented by Stuart Crooks, Managing Director, Hinkley Point C, EDF Energy at a ceremony on 17 November at Bridgwater’s McMillan Theatre. Reflecting the team effort, the two awards were accepted by Dan Baker, Business Development Manager, Mike Simcox, Works Manager from Blackhill Engineering, and SC Innovation’s Sector Lead on Special Projects, Stuart Ship, together with SC Group Chief Executive, Nick Ames.
Nick Ames, Chief Executive of SC Group said: “We are thrilled that Blackhill’s performance has been recognised by our customer with these awards and we are very proud to be part of the team of south west firms helping to deliver this vital UK infrastructure project”.
Image: (from left to right) Dan Baker, Stuart Ship, Mike Simcox, Nick Ames.
SC Group directors, Lizzie Jones and Nick Ames, represented the SC Group, the holding company for Blackhill Engineering, at a reception hosted by HM The Queen at Buckingham Palace on 11 July honouring the winners of the 2017 Queen’s Enterprise Awards, the UK’s most prestigious business awards. The innovative design and engineering company, which provides products and services globally, including specialist off-road wheeled and tracked vehicles, was awarded the Queen’s Award for International Trade for Outstanding Short Term Growth.
Nick Ames, Chief Executive of SC Group, said, “It was proud day for SC Group. My abiding memory will be the immaculate nature of the event from the organisation, to the staff, to the buildings and the performance of the Royal Family. A truly inspiring event!”
Over the last three years the overseas earnings of Supacat, the military division of SC Group, grew from £2.5m to over £32m buoyed by a large Australian contract for its Special Forces HMT Extenda vehicle. The vehicle is operated by the world’s elite Special Forces and is part of Supacat’s family of military high mobility and protected vehicles, which includes the acclaimed `Jackal` and `Coyote` operated by the UK Armed Forces.
The Queen’s Award will be formally presented to SC Group by the Lord Lieutenant of Devon on 18 September at the company’s headquarters in Dunkeswell, Devon.
The National Award for Defence and Aerospace was awarded to the company deemed by the judges to have made the most exciting impact on exports from the South West, either in terms of international presence, export growth, or exports as a proportion of sales.
The Medium-sized Company of the Year award was awarded based on our success in international markets. Specifically, the judges were looking for businesses that have continued to innovate, faced down challenges, and developed opportunities that have delivered sustainable growth to the business.
Nick Ames, Chief Executive of SC Group said “we are delighted to be in receipt of yet more awards, these ones coming straight after our recent Queen’s Award for Export. At SC Group, we’re all very proud of what we do on a global scale but also how we achieve that whilst headquartered in the South West of the UK”. Nick added: “Engineering capability in the South West is growing and we’re glad to be a part of that particularly with major projects such as Hinkley Point C nearby. Many thanks to all who have supported us in winning these awards.”
The contract marks a further breakthrough into the nuclear sector for Blackhill, the Exeter based heavy engineering company, which specialises in machining large fabrications and complex assemblies, and boasts a unique 60 tonne lifting capability in the South West of England. It is part of SC Group, the Devon headquartered engineering services business, which is actively targeting the nuclear and energy sectors as part of its long term growth and diversification strategy.
“Magnox is a prestigious new customer for Blackhill which is ideally placed in terms of its heavy engineering capacity and local geography to provide the South West’s fabrication services required by the nuclear sector”, said Nick Ames, Chief Executive of SC Group
The judges were impressed by SC Group’s success in winning a £75m plus contract for its military vehicle business, Supacat, from the Australian Government and more recent wins for Norway and New Zealand. SC Group has also developed new business streams, such as its SC Innovation business, in different market sectors including marine and energy. The privately owned family business employs over 200 people.
SC Group Operations Director, Lizzie Jones, who accepted the award, said, “We are delighted to receive this award which rewards the whole company’s hard work and success producing world beating products”.
The order, from an undisclosed customer, has a total value of £1.2 Million and will see Blackhill fabricating components throughout 2017. Workshop preparations are well under way including significant investment in new weld booths, extraction systems and welding plant. Each booth has been kitted out with all the equipment required to manufacture the complex assemblies, including bespoke specialist jig frames.
Paul Fishwick, General Manager of Blackhill Engineering said: “This order is significant for Blackhill Engineering and it has allowed us to invest further and create jobs. We’re delighted to be placing Blackhill in a higher volume and more production biased position that will open up wider opportunities for us in the future”.
Nick Ames, Chief Executive of SC Group said: “I’m particularly pleased to see Blackhill making this key step towards higher volume, production fabrication. Having recently been granted Fit for Nuclear status and with the recent announcements regarding Hinkley Point, I see Blackhill as being ideally placed, both in terms of capability and geography, to provide the South West based fabrication services required by elements of that major project’s supply chain”.
Work experience is acknowledged as a real benefit not only to the students, but also to the manufacturing industry. Raising awareness and engaging students at an early age provides engineering insight and also increases options for future career opportunities.
Sadly, very few students will ever have the opportunity to see or experience a large fabrication workshop with heavy manufacturing equipment. At Blackhill Engineering, the students are initially encouraged to look around the workshops, talk to the staff and ask questions that will help them to decide if engineering is the career path for them. We are pleased to report back that most return to the office with a big grin and cannot wait to get started.
All the team at Blackhill Engineering would like to pass on a huge well done and many thanks to Erin Fisher and Alfred Downs for your time, and also for the positive influence you have had on our business in such a short time.
The 7½ meter dish is the first of two destined for a secret location. The photograph shows the satellite dish in mid-assembly ready for the top dish plates to be attached.
Paul Fishwick, General Manager of Blackhill Engineering said “We are incredibly proud not only to be involved in such an exciting project but also that that the item is designed and manufactured in Devon, and wherever possible supported by local engineering and manufacturing companies.”
Goodridge Ltd, a world-leading manufacturing company based in Devon, recently tasked Blackhill Engineering to vertically mount a sports car on a wall.
The super lightweight sports car will be the main centrepiece display of their new Reception area.
Paul Fishwick, General Manager of Blackill Engineering said “We at Blackhill Engineering were really pleased with the end result of this project, and successfully manufactured a six-metre tubular frame in order to support the sports car vertically on the wall.”
Please click on the photograph below for a larger image.
Blackhill Engineering is pleased to announce that their new Lagun CM4 multi-mill is fully commissioned and carrying out a variety of production work. The mill has a cutting envelope of X-4,000mm Y – 1,500mm Z – 1,200mm and able to cope with work pieces up to 16,500kg.
The company has also recently installed and commissioned an XYZ Proturn 355 lathe to support larger machining and fabrication works. This additional capability helps to improve both turnaround times and control of materials by enabling smaller lathe work to be carried out in-house.