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A new rapid prototyping machine at CMP uses state of the art additive manufacturing technology to print model parts in just minutes. A new precision grinder at Rotary Power allows for parts to be finished to the most accurate dimensions possible. All this new machinery is tied together by a top of the range CAD system, allowing for what Group Product and Engineering Director, Richard Dodd, calls "value added engineering and innovation" across all the British Engines companies.
A £2 million investment in a state of the art floor borer will allow BEL Valves to manufacture components of up to 40 tonnes.
British Engines is well known for efficiency. Crucial is the existence of in-house design, testing and production facilities. Even better, when it comes to exporting goods, one of our companies is a specialist packing provider.
Today, it remains in the same family, and our headquarters are in the same quayside location. Building on Newcastle’s rich industrial heritage, British Engines has been guided by a mission to create value through technical superiority, building up an enviable suite of quality engineered products for which it is internationally renowned. It has been an organic growth process, underpinned by a clear commitment to meeting and exceeding the requirements of the customer, whether in delivery, reliability or support.
After harnessing the energy of the global engineering revolution triggered by World War I, the interwar years saw British Engines supply a stream of innovative products for the aircraft industry. Post war, an expanded British Engines was in engineering overdrive. Since 1959 CMP had been establishing itself as a world leading developer and manufacturer of cable glands. BEL Valves was engaged in pioneering valve development and, by 1962, was manufacturing high-pressure valves and fittings in specialist steel alloys for the petro-chemical industry. Rotary Power, meanwhile, was busy developing radical axial piston pumps.
With the first crops of British Engines apprentices coming on stream throughout the 1970s and 80s we continued to grow and diversify. BEL Valves took advantage of a global oil boom, expanding its product range for both onshore and offshore – and later subsea - applications. CMP became a key supplier to the telecommunications, pharmaceutical and transportation industries and Rotary Power provided engineering solutions in the construction, recycling and marine industries.
Latterly, Stephenson Gobin and Stadium Packing Services have joined the British Engines fold, bringing expertise in fire-safety devices and export packing and storage services. Today the British Engines brand carries considerable weight - both in global engineering terms and within the North East’s employment and training sectors. With a focus on excellence in engineering, and people development, British Engines both keeps pace with change, and brings about change itself, to push boundaries and - as we have done since 1922 - to engineer a future.
BEL Valves’ Director of Product Development is Chris Williamson. Chris and his team have developed parts specifically designed to survive in hazardous locations with minimal leakage. This is good for the environment - as the risk of harmful chemicals leaking from pipelines is reduced - and means BEL Valves parts contribute to the successful delivery of up to ten per cent of the United Kingdom’s gas. So, our designers and engineers at British Engines play a key role in keeping us warm through winter and powering the country on a daily basis.
Some British Engines products have a more tangible impact on our day to day security and comfort than others. Stephenson Gobin’s award winning range of wireless, failsafe fire-door holders allow for internal fire doors to be kept open legally and can be reapplied or moved with minimal fuss. Installed in places such as Windsor Castle and Cambridge University, their impact is much more than just practical, though. In the health care sector they increase freedom of movement for wheelchairs and in care homes patients can now keep bedroom doors open without compromising personal safety - helping to reduce any potential feelings of loneliness or isolation.
Phil Wood, Sales Manager in our CMP division, started his apprenticeship in 1984 and has been with us ever since. He says the scheme didn't stop at the technical skills he needed to succeed in his job, but also taught the people skills that have enabled him develop personally as well as professionally. This is important to British Engines.
Although a global business employing over 1100 people worldwide, British Engines is committed to manufacturing in the UK and to maintaining the North East's rich industrial heritage. As part of her apprenticeship and ongoing professional development, Faye Henry pays regular visits to local schools, giving presentations about working in the world of engineering. She is part of a special British Engines team which focuses on inspiring and attracting local workers, and educating young people about the engineering opportunities we offer right on their doorstep.