Cutting edge in a materials world

Posted on 6 Apr 2010 by The Manufacturer

Sheffield and South Yorkshire are steeped in manufacturing history. While for many the area may resonate with steel and cutlery production, today, with the work of residents of the Advanced Manufacturing Park and many modernised companies, the region is also a rising international star in composite materials development, advanced welding techniques, young start-up companies and civil nuclear research. Will Stirling reports.


I am delighted as Master Cutler to have been asked to write this foreword to the feature on Sheffield and South Yorkshire.

The Cutlers Company in Hallamshire has, since 1624, been promoting, representing and ensuring the highest standard of manufacturing in the Sheffield and South Yorkshire region.

Many of my illustrious predecessors were the founding fathers of the industrial revolution in the region with names such as Firth, Vickers, Hadfield, Brown and Osborn. As Master Cutlers, they shaped the industries we have today which still contain the skills, capacity and creativity that marks out South Yorkshire as one of the country’s premier manufacturing regions.

The cutlery industry may be only a shadow of its former glory, but the steel, engineering and general materials and manufacturing industries that remain are looking forward to the upturn in demand and new opportunities that have recently come to the region.

The recession has taken its toll on the regions industries, but to a lesser extent than some parts of the country. Many companies were already lean and using the latest technology, having suffered significantly in previous recessions at the hands of successive Governments, who valued manufacturing well down the economic food chain.

The recent announcements from the Government relating to the establishment of a Nuclear Research Centre in the region and a financial package for Sheffield Forgemasters International to purchase one of the largest presses in the world not only guarantees the future of the region’s skilled workforce jobs and its global reputation for materials and manufacturing quality, but places Sheffield and South Yorkshire at the heart of the country’s manufacturing revival.

The Cutlers Company is looking forward to supporting the manufacturing industries of this great region for another 385 years and ensuring that the name Sheffield and its ‘Made in Sheffield’ mark continues to be valued and identified as a measure of quality and innovation throughout the world.

James H Newman, Master Cutler

South Yorkshire has manufacturing in its bones. From traditional heavy engineering companies like Sheffield Forgemasters and DavyMarkham, to research-based organisations like the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing, and young companies trailblazing new technologies like water saving washing systems for the laundry industry, the Sheffield/Rotherham/Barnsley region is a melting pot of manufacturing innovation and success.

There has always been manufacturing in Sheffield – Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales refers to the city’s knife makers in the 14th century, and by the 1600s it had become the leading UK centre for cutlery manufacture (see foreword). Sheffield’s heavy steel industry prospered through much of the 20th century until the collapse of the steelworks and mining industries in the 1980s when the Thatcher government cut subsidies to British Steel and reined-in the unions. Steel production survived and during the 1980s and 1990s through close ties to local universities, Sheffield expanded its expertise in materials science and metallurgy. “The area never had a big OEM base, so instead it focused on developing high value steels and materials for application in different sectors including aerospace, automotive and civil engineering,” says Simon Spode, marketing manager for the AMP Technology Centre near Rotherham.

Manufacturing companies make up 12.5% of the Sheffield economy, most of which are members of the Sheffield Chambers of Commerce. Built on the Yorkshire and Humber region’s expertise in metals, alloy and materials production, manufacturing evolution has happened in a wave of transitions as different market sectors were tapped. In one of the latest waves around 1999, with the establishment of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), South Yorkshire began to establish itself as a centre for composite materials development and, later, nuclear research. The AMRC opened in 2004 and in 2006 it was joined at the Advanced Manufacturing Park near Rotherham by The Welding Institute (TWI), Castings Technology International and Rolls-Royce, and since then by several smaller, upwardly mobile companies in advanced engineering and design fields. While the AMP became established, other local companies became leaner – and in some cases were rebuilt – so that today Sheffield represents an exciting mix of the old and new, where the old has modernised.

This special feature on the region introduces some of the chief protagonists and emerging companies who are consolidating South Yorkshire’s place as a manufacturing stronghold of the UK, and in some fields, the world.

Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing
A concept founded by Prof Keith Ridgway and experienced aerospace industry businessman Adrian Allen, the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), partnered with Boeing and the University of Sheffield, is a research facility for advanced manufacturing techniques. Allen and Ridgway persuaded Boeing to provide the seed and development capital, and Boeing has committed to providing the AMRC with £1m a year for 10 years. More funding comes from Tier 1 and Tier 2 sponsors.

Advanced Manufacturing Centre with Boeing
The Advanced Manufacturing Centre with Boeing

One objective of the AMRC is to make savings in the costs of production. Traditionally in the aerospace industry, the cost of component manufacture had been 50:50, operations and material costs. But recently material costs have shot up and the ratio now is closer to 80:20, making it harder to reduce costs on operational measures. So the AMRC has invested in additive manufacturing to reduce the waste inherent with machining components.

For traditional machining methods, the fly-to-buy ratio — the proportion of the material used in production which actually ends up in the finished component — is typically just 10-15%. Additive manufacturing methods can achieve a fly-to-buy ratio of up to 85%, significantly reducing material costs.

Much of the AMRC’s additive R&D is focused on proving the metallurgical and structural properties of components, to give aerospace companies the confidence that they will deliver the same performance as traditionally-produced parts.

The AMRC is involved in 145 projects, 45 of which have been completed, and over 30% of its staff have a PhD level qualification. Last month a report commissioned by business secretary Lord Mandelson highlighted the AMRC as the model for a new generation of industry-focused research centres, able to deliver job targets in the Government’s New Industry, New Jobs strategy.

Advanced Manufacturing Park
The Advanced Manufacturing Park occupies an imposing location overlooking the moors around Sheffield and Rotherham. The 100-acre site was announced in 2000 and opened with the AMRC, which also occupies the site, in 2004. It is home to Boeing and Rolls-Royce via the AMRC, Castings Technology International, Dormer Tools, Bromley Technologies, TWI (The Welding Institute)’s Yorkshire Technology Centre and a host of smaller companies involved in research, development and manufacture such as Fripp Design and Xeros. The park exemplifies good, working synergy between the private sector, academic institutions and some government and RDA (Yorkshire Forward) funding.

“This is the only dedicated manufacturing park in the UK,” says Joe Anwyl, AMP’s head of business development. “There are big science parks throughout the UK that have a manufacturing component, but this is the only devoted manufacturing park. We have a unique proposition here, with the latest R&D facilities, university collaboration and strong ties to local manufacturers who benefit from and contribute to our knowledge base in materials science and manufacturing processes.” In the lobby of the AMP main building, a glass cabinet shows off a beautifully designed, jet black skeleton sled. It is a fine exemplar of the AMP, a marriage of aerospace industry design and engineering expertise and entrepeunerialsm.

Founded in 1994 by professional skeleton bob athlete Kristan Bromley, Bromley Technologies has carved out a niche as a specialist in the design, engineering and development of winter sports equipment – skeleton and bob sleds. Kristan leveraged his aerospace engineering background and success in skeleton bib racing (he is the most successful British competitor and holds the 2010 World and European titles) to start the company and its subsidiary Bromley AET, which offers multi-sports performance improvement consultancy, and Formula ICE, along with a sponsor-funded venture to improve skeleton and bobsleigh technologies and ‘bring to life’ science, engineering and technology to young people. Bromley Technologies partners with several companies at the AMP, including Fripp Design, and manufactures its products in its on-site workshops.

Kristian Bromley rides a skeleton
Kristian Bromley rides a skeleton

“The AMP is the ‘Kensington address’ for our business, as only businesses that are at the forefront of their field can locate to the AMP,” says Mike Maddock, chief operating officer at Bromley. “This has given us a great opportunity to set up technology partnerships with the businesses on the park so we can share our expertise and technology to push the boundaries of performance.”

Dormer Tools began life as a small family business in Sheffield in 1913. Now part of the Sandvik Group, Dormer is one of the world’s biggest and most influential manufacturers of rotary cutting tools with operations in more than 40 countries, employing over 1,300 people.

The company’s AMP facility has a pioneering training room, a research and development facility and an export service to support emerging and developing markets. Andrew Reynolds, global product manager for drilling tools, says: “A primary focus for Dormer is the aerospace industry, where demand for innovation and productivity improvements is extremely high. One area of interest is the machining of new, advanced materials such as composites, which look set to become the predominant material used in aircraft manufacture over the next decade.” Dormer collaborates with local and UK universities, the AMRC and local companies including DavyMarkham to test and develop tools for different applications such as cutting and wear efficiency and heat removal efficiency.

Dormer Tools' David Goulbourne works on a tool design
Dormer Tools’ David Goulbourne and colleagues work on a tool design

Like AMRC, Castings Technology International (Cti) provides R&D, mainly to improve the integrity and performance of cast components, and has recently introduced more services like becoming a supply chain intermediary in the global procurement of castings, and the design and manufacture of short lead time prototypes. Last year it reduced the design and development time for a marine propulsion prototype by 75%.

As a member-based organisation, the AMP is a sensible base for Cti – a large cluster of its members are within earshot, including Firth Rixson, Sheffield Forgemasters and Doncasters FVC, with another cluster in Birmingham and more members worldwide.

Cti works closely with welding specialist TWI, participating in the partly-Yorkshire Forward funded Technology Transfer Project with the National Metals Technology Centre (Namrec). Cti serves as a valueadded matchmaker to cast metal manufacturers, placing smaller companies into big procurement supply chains that they might otherwise miss.

TWI is another member-based organisation with a base at the AMP. The welding technology specialist branched out from its Cambridge-headquarters in the 1990s to Middlesborough, Rotherham and South Wales – areas with manufacturing bases that needed technical support in tough times. TWI provides expert advice and data about all forms of welding and has helped many local firms increase fabrication productivity, such as cutting tool improvements at Rotabroach. This work has saved many local jobs, says Mark Roughsedge TWI’s sector manager. TWI has developed a worldwide reputation for friction stir welding, a solid phase welding technique it invented which avoids conventional arc welding electrodes. TWI uses the largest friction stir welding machine in the world, weighing 15 tonnes, which it commissioned using funding from Yorkshire Forward.

“Hitachi Trains is importing the techniques we’ve perfected for making railway carriage shells for its Javelin train – these carriages rely completely on friction stir welding,” says Roughsedge. Hitachi plans to assemble its Javelin fast trains in the UK, but the carriages will be welded together in Japan for finishing in the UK – even though the technology originates in Sheffield. In an intriguing twist, Sheffield/Rotherham was shortlisted as a location for the new train factory, but this looks less likely as time passes. TWI is also involved in additive manufacturing techniques, and makes parts for a range of applications using the Selective Laser Melting process.

Now and then, an everyday application for science and technology hits you between the eyes. Xeros is commercialising such a Eureka moment, developing a water-saving washing machine using a cleaning system based on polymer bead friction. Originally based in Leeds, Xeros has moved lock, stock and barrel to the AMP, mainly for the bigger facilities and a good deal, says CEO Bill Westwater. The company has a working prototype.

“The cleaning is proven, the bead removal is pretty much proven. The next challenge is to build a machine that complies with commercial laundry industry requirements.” Xeros was spun off from the research of Professor Stephen Burkinshaw, Professor of Textile Chemistry at Leeds University. The IP Group commercialised the research and provided seed capital for Xeros, with further funding in 2009 where it raised £1m privately and £250,000 from Yorkshire Forward. Xeros expects to launch a retail version of the washing machine by the end of 2011. “We would love it to be manufactured in the UK, but it’s too early to say,” says Westwater.

Xeros beads
Xeros’ beads – the friction-based system will substantially reduce water consumption in washing applications

Yorkshire Forward and business support
The Regional Development Agency for Yorkshire and Humberside, Yorkshire Forward, is understandably heavily involved in manufacturing.

It was a key player in the establishment of the AMP and has helped several local manufacturing companies with targeted support in the last decade.

For example, in 2004 Yorkshire Forward gave Sheffield Forgemasters £2m to support its management buyout — without the MBO the 200-yr old company would have shut down, says CEO Graham Honeyman.

Since then “we’ve signed our second research and development project with them which supports us financially, because they’ve seen how important our R&D is in winning overseas business”, he says.

The RDA is organised by business sector, one of these is Advanced Engineering Materials (AEM), which incorporates the production and processing of metals and materials used in high-technology engineering applications. AEM has several pillars, like the Surface Engineering Group and Technology Transfer Programme (TTP), which have supported many local companies, for example a TTP collaboration between TWI, Castings Technologies Intl and Namrec that increased casting technology efficiencies.

Yorkshire Forward helped set up The Manufacturing Taskforce, a group of industry leaders and support groups who in September 2009 published a ‘Blue Print for Manufacturing’ in the region. Chaired by Richard Wright, CEO of local company Intertius and former president of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, the Taskforce has identified the main sources of support to regional manufacturers, in areas like financial assistance and mentoring, and offers guidance in accessing this. “We have been working with the region’s manufacturers over the past few months to not only alert them to the opportunities and support available to them but to communicate what we can do in real terms to help deliver this,” says Wright, who identifies advanced engineering and materials and chemical industries among the key sectors in Yorkshire and Humber to help rebalance the regional, and national, economy.

Made in Sheffield
Made in Sheffield is a recognised brand administered by a committee of Sheffieldbased businessmen and support agencies.

To be awarded the Mark, applicants must comply with several rigorous criteria, which include having a Sheffield postcode and show a commitment to producing, not just finishing, products of high quality. For centuries, a Sheffield origin has commanded certain kudos with buyers of goods like knives and cutlery worldwide. Made in Sheffield was formed to capitalise on this name, to encourage better manufacturing standards and to benefit from a compliant international market. Chaired by Charles Turner of local industrial knives and blades manufacturer Durham Duplex, Made in Sheffield has a 16-strong committee and a growing membership which has recently expanded from traditional cutlery and steel companies to include companies in the food and drink, composite materials and other sectors.

“Sheffield is unique as the only city with a globally recognised brand for quality manufactured products,” says Turner. “The Made in Sheffield Mark is the 21st century manifestation of this 400-year history and has a selection of license holders, from the large such as Sheffield Forgemasters and Swann Morton, through to the more specialist like Platts and Nisbet Surgical instruments and Simpkins Sweets. Our 150th license holder is the global steel company Firth Rixson.” Membership is not merely a tick box exercise on a form, applicants have to earn the award and companies are assessed on site by committee members.

“Sheffield companies are doing things for the next economy, like winning nuclear contracts, the offshore wind work here, the AMP – these companies are seeing benefits of the Made in Sheffield brand, and if you visit trade shows people do recognise it,” says Iain Smith at the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, also on the committee.

Heavy engineering and steel industry

Sheffield Forgemasters International
The story of Sheffield Forgemasters International (SFIL) is a heart-warming tale of survival against the odds, turnaround and extraordinary export success.

The secret? Hard work, the conviction and application of key people to make the right product in a tough international market, and the support of a sympathetic workforce and financiers. In 2004, chief executive Graham Honeyman with a team including Peter Birtles and ex-Corus CEO Tony Pedder, and with financial support from Yorkshire Forward, led a management buyout of Forgemasters from its US parent company Atchison. From a woeful accounting position where the business was losing £750,000 a month to one where in 2009 SFIL’s revenues were £120m, and it employees 30 apprentice a year, Honeyman and team turned a dying company redolent of some of Sheffield’s most inefficient industries, into a world class competitor. It focused on high value, specialist product that was difficult and expensive to make, in Honeyman’s view the only way for UK companies to compete in global advanced engineering markets.

“You must supply things in the United Kingdom that other people find it difficult to make, or with a superior technology,” he says.

Sheffield Foregemasters' large ingot mould
Sheffield Foregemasters’ large ingot mould. Since an MBO in 2004, the company has been transformed into a world class, export-driven business.

This strategy has paid off in spades. In recent months SFIL has won global contracts in new sectors such as hydroelectric power for a Brazilian company and oil and gas rig components, and it provides Russian steel giant Severstal with 70% of its steel cold rolls. And it is well positioned to provide components for the UK’s new nuclear industry, which was heavily endorsed in March when the Government awarded it with a £80m grant to finance a new, 15,000 tonne press to make it only the second company in the world capable of making the biggest forgings required for specific components of nuclear reactors. Read more on SFIL’s turnaround story at:

Davy Markham
Created from the merger of local firm Davy Engineering and Markham of Chesterfield in 1997, heavy engineering company DavyMarkham is also very much part of the South Yorkshire manufacturing success story.

It too underwent an MBO, in 2006, led by managing director Kevin Parkin and financed by private equity firm Endless. Like SFIL, this was a business saving exercise. Early in the previous decade, it had industrial relations problems and suffered many operational inefficiencies which were thwarting its progress in winning international contracts. Now the £21m turnover company, which fabricates very heavy components for specialist applications like mine hoists, tunnel borers and moving bridges, is engaged with several promanufacturing bodies like Made in Sheffield, has a self-devised, selffunded apprenticeship scheme and a schools outreach programme.

In late February DavyMarkham was bought by engineering procurement and construction firm Hindustan Dorr Oliver (HDO), giving the Indian company access to the heavy engineering sector.

HDO says it intends to invest strategically in new plant and equipment at the Darnall factory, and expand its sales and marketing operations.

In March, DavyMarkham became the first tier two partner for the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre at the AMP, gaining a strong position in the supply chain for nuclear energy build.

Firth Rixson
Firth Rixson is another of Sheffield’s sons in the cast and forged metals and heavy engineering sector.

With three UK sites, two in South Yorkshire and one in Derbyshire, and operations in the US, it is a big group that provides castings and forgings to sectors including aerospace, energy, automotive and defence. Tough times and consolidation in the steel industry forced Firth Rixson to undergo an in-depth change management programme which involved a lean manufacturing overhaul.

“Everything we do has a lean aspect,” general manager Brian McKenzie told TM in 2009.

“The investments we are making to improve flow, enhance capability and to streamline our process will result in a more responsive organisation. Three or four years ago we were four different businesses competing against each other. Now, we are a verticallyintegrated metals solution provider.” On March 30 Firth Rixson became the 150th member of the Made in Sheffield brand.

The Gripple group

Gripple is synonymous with enterprise, innovation and Sheffield. The company makes wire joiners, tensioners, suspensions systems and other ostensibly simple kit to join and fasten wire and metal materials.

It was founded by garrulous Yorkshireman Hugh Facey, whose enthusiasm for Gripple and the spirit of invention and entrepreneurialism is infectious. “The best ideas are the simple ones, because it’s not easy to find another solution,” he says, in reference to the main product, the Gripple wire joiner, which has helped the company to win a series of awards including the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, MX Awards and TM’s The Manufacturer of the Year award in 2006. “And you must defend your IP to the bloody hilt,” he adds, referring to the legal battles Gripple has fought and won over patents to its deceptively simple product designs.

Mr Facey developed prototypes for a wire joiner device between 1986 and 1992 while running his first company, Estate Wire. In this period he secured £4,000 in funding from the DTi, a substantial leg-up in those days. His journey posed questions about the internal architecture of the Gripple, and joining the housing in the most secure way, which introduced him to an Italian microwelder company in Dusseldorf and investment in a £16,000 machine.

It was a short-lived victory as soon after he was introduced to injection die-casting and the whole game changed. A trip to Australia left the wire joining market rather non-plussed, until Gripple was introduced to viticulture. Now, after several failed variants, viticulture is one of Gripple’s biggest markets. Facey is convinced products must be trialled on customers, and that perfection only comes from field testing. “Real innovation is about doing things, and getting some things wrong,” he says. Whatever his formula, it works – the company has annual revenues over £25m and sales increased 20% in the two years to 2009.

Facey believes ardently that people are your best asset and he is a big supporter of employee ownership, and a member of the Employee Membership Association. Gripple set up an employee share purchase scheme in 1994 which most employees take part in. A £1,000 investment in 1994 would be worth £20,000 today. It’s what keeps staff focused on the work, he says. “I can’t recommend it highly enough.” Gripple has just launched the C-Clip, a fastening product for mech and electrical services that is faster and produces less CO2 in manufacture than traditional solutions.

Gripple founder Hugh Facey shows Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg around the factory
Gripple founder Hugh Facey shows Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg around the factory

Gripple’s sister company, Loadhog, is an awardwinning reusable packaging manufacturer established by Hugh Facey and Gripple employees in 2004.

It operates from a purpose-built 15,000ft2 factory on the River Don and makes several exciting products for packaging and transportation; the Loadhog Lid, the Smartstak, the Pally and the Pally & Lid System. The Lid functions as a lid for standard palleted loads, using in-house designed and made hooked straps with a tensioning and release mechanism built into the lid itself to secure the lid to pallet. The product improves load stability and reduces labour time to secure goods, while also reducing waste shrink wrap and nylon banding used in securing pallets. The Pally & Lid System works in a similar way. Smartstak, the most popular product, is a simple but ingenious device, a stackable tray designed to stop glass products from becoming dislodged during transit, a common problem in shipping bottled goods that have a tendency to move and drop out the side of their stacked layers. The edge of Smartstak is crimped in a clever way to catch bottle rims and keep the product away from the edge.

Last year was the first year Loadhog made profit. “The company has had a fairly hard start to life, although oddly our most successful year was the 2009 recession,” says general manager Ed Stubbs. “We’re optimists by nature. We started with just the Lid which we thought would be a world-beater, but it has not been as successful as we’d hoped. Gripple’s success was founded on one amazing core product, our business is more about selling systems and solutions and adding technology to the core product. Our success now is coming from diversifying and being able to offer more than one item for one job.” Since the Lid was launched, Loadhog has launched a new product every year. It works with companies like Honda, Tesco and Royal Mail. “One of the advantages with working with these big companies is the opportunity for innovation and new products – there are many problems to solve,” Stubbs adds. This market is driven by retailers and OEMs search for savings in their supply chain. “Our Pallys and Lids don’t need miles of shrink wrap.

Companies are looking more at their suppliers to gain these savings than solely their own operations.”

No feature on South Yorkshire manufacturing would be complete without mentioning AESSEAL.

Established in 1983, the manufacturer of mechanical seals and support systems used in commercial applications like oil and gas and process manufacturing, is a well-known success story. Entering and prospering in an international market dominated by a few big global players was only possible, says managing director Chris Rea, because AESSEAL focused on customer service as the one possible competitive advantage, and the company bases its whole business model on this pillar. It offers, for example, 48-hour delivery of standard products or it will be provided free of charge, and a guarantee to mechanically seal customer plants at a 25% discount to the incumbent supplier — both offers are part of a seal management programme, another market differentiator. This strategy, training programmes for every department and well-crafted business policies including quality, training and business ethics policies, have rewarded AESSEAL with a clutch of awards which includes four Queen’s Awards for Innovation, Sustainable Development and International Trade.

Rea, a colourful Irishman and well-known personality in the Yorkshire business community, is proud of the company’s achievements over 25 years of fierce competition from bigger competitors.

AESSEAL has engaged in a partnership with Siemens PLM Software to help distribute £24m worth of software into primary and secondary schools and some universities, so young people can get a handson taste of ‘clean’ engineering from an early age. “We’re creating a generation of people who’ve won prizes with Siemen’s software under the tutillage of some of our people who’ve done it in their own time,” he says. “This is their future customer base – they’d like these students to take the software home and use it but they can’t afford the fee.

I say let them have it for free and you – and the engineering industry – will be repaid when they reach 21 with far better understanding of engineering principles with some pupils having been exposed to it since primary school.” The software partnership is part of AESSEAL’s corporate and social responsibility programme.

Ones to watch – other South Yorkshire gems

Perhaps the UK’s leading provider of specialist employment services for disabled people and those experiencing complex barriers to work, Remploy’s factory network manufactures products in a range of business sectors, including school and utility furniture (Sheffield), automotive components and chemical, biological and nuclear protection suits for police and military.

In 1992, British Steel Stainless merged with the Swedish firm Avesta to form Avesta Sheffield, and in 2001 merged with Outokumpu, making it the third largest stainless steel producing company in the world at the time.

As a producer of stainless steel and associated technologies, Outokumpu manufactures a range of grades by varying the levels of chromium, nickel, molybdenum and other elements such as titanium and niobium that are added to its stainless steel.

Kostal UK
The Kostal Group was founded in Germany in 1912. The group is a mechatronic specialist, manufacturing advanced technological products for the automotive industry.

Since its establishment, the Kostal Group has increased its turnover year on year — an achievement it attributes to keen customer focus.

Moreover, strong communication and understanding between the Group and its customer base has allowed Kostal to re-orientate when shifts in markets have occurred, thus absorbing the impact of globalisation.

Kostal is the 100th organisation to receive the ‘Made in Sheffield’ Mark, available to organisations in the region demonstrating exemplary dedication to quality and the advancement of industry standards.

Bestobell Valves
A global company in the design and manufacture of cryogenic valves and fluid control equipment, Bestobell Valves is housed in a purpose built, 30,000 sq ft facility at President Park, Sheffield — a location chosen in order to exploit the region’s highly skilled labour base.

Part of The Flow Group, Bestobell designs and manufactures valves, fire fighting and automatic dust control equipment, filters, strainers and instrument systems for hazardous areas and hostile environments. Complying with the highest industry standards Bestobell is recognised the world over for its commitment to quality and service.

The companies featured in this article are not an exhaustive list of manufacturers in Sheffield and S. Yorkshire. They were selected from companies TM staff visited in 2009 and Jan 2010 and where we believed there was a story to tell, rather than any specific criteria based on size or manufacturing sector.