Mims Davies Welcomes Lifeboats from Across Britain to Independent Lifeboats Reception in Parliament

The Member of Parliament for Eastleigh, Mims Davies, welcomed Independent Lifeboats including Hamble Lifeboat, from across the country to a first Independent Lifeboats event in the Attlee Suite in the House of Commons on Wednesday 16th October. This event was a real breakthrough in learning and sharing and raising awareness of their incredible lifesaving and community work.

Hampshire and the Isle of Wight were well represented with six Lifeboats attending from our local area including Hamble Lifeboat, including the Solent Sea-Rescue Organisation(SSRO), a charitable organisation who work to assist Independent Lifeboats in the preservation of life and prevention of injury at sea on the foreshore of the Solent and on the beaches of the counties of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Other Lifeboat teams attending were from as far afield as South West Wales, Norfolk, Lancashire, and Yorkshire.

Commenting, Eastleigh MP, Mims Davies said:

“I was really pleased to welcome so many brilliant Independent Lifeboats from across the country to Parliament on Wednesday. This event started as a promise I made to Hamble Lifeboat to help them be better understood for the huge daily work they all do and to give them a chance to meet and network with their colleagues from all parts of the UK and I am grateful to our kind sponsors, as well as the RNLI, for their vital support in helping make this event happen. I know that there were many constructive conversations taking place throughout the event focusing on the best ways to make sure all our coastline and waterways are safe for everyone who wants to make the most of them.

 “This reception was a great opportunity for independent lifeboats to share ideas, network and relax after a long hot summer of work and enjoy Afternoon Tea courtesy of our generous sponsors: SC Group, SCISYS and Bosch Rexroth. It was also brilliant to be joined by our excellent Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani MP, who made time to show her appreciation to the sector and all they do in so many communities.”

Commenting, Maritime Minister, Nusrat Ghani MP said:

“I am proud of the long tradition of independent lifeboat charities we have in the UK. Our search and rescue volunteers show unrivalled bravery and dedication every single day – standing ready to respond and often risking their lives to save others.

 “That is why we continue to support them to carry out this work, including through our Rescue Boat Grant Fund, which enables the purchase of vital equipment to keep communities safe.”

Commenting Marie, a Crew Member from Hamble Lifeboat, said:

 “We (The representatives from Hamble Lifeboat) were delighted with the opportunity that Eastleigh MP Mims Davies provided to meet and interact with other Independent lifeboats from across the UK.  The reception provided an opportunity to engage on a variety of common issues faced by independent lifeboats and to raise much needed awareness amongst the many members of parliament that attended – this included highlighting the continuing importance of the Department for Transport grants and the Rescue Boat Grant Fund, for which Hamble are extremely grateful recipients.  We hope to be able to make this an annual event, and engage with the wider emergency services, Coastguard and RNLI with whom we work on a daily basis.  Our thanks go to the sponsors and organisers of this years’ event.”

Commenting Lizzie Jones, Operations Director at SC Group, said:

“We were thrilled to be able to sponsor an event for the Independent Lifeboat Stations and see some of their hard work being recognised by Parliament, I was humbled by their stories of saving lives on a volunteer basis whilst being self-funded.  The Independent Lifeboat Stations are a credit to the UK and we would be delighted to be able work with them in the future.”

Commenting Paul Bowden, Director of Sales and Operations at Bosch Rexroth, said:

“It was great talking to the Rescue Crews [on Wednesday] and hearing the fantastic work that they do day in and day out. At Bosch Rexroth we are proud to work supporting this sector in the UK, providing state of the art equipment. It was also great to support and help make the day a great occasion for these teams.”

Supacat contribution to first Boxer CRV for Australian Army

Supacat was delighted today to be represented at the ceremony handing over the first Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle to the Commonwealth at Gallipoli Barracks.

Supacat has been involved with Rheinmetall on the LAND 400 program since 2015.  To date the contribution has largely been on engineering, trials, prototyping and testing, but as the program has moved into the production element, Supacat has commenced design and build activities.

The first Boxer CRV is fitted with external racks designed by Supacat specifically to cater for the Australian Army’s requirements.  The racks were designed by the Supacat engineering team in Port Melbourne and have been delivered from Supacat’s assembly facility in Western Sydney.

In delivering these first parts, Supacat drew on the  expertise developed through its delivery of its HMT programs in Australia and New Zealand in partnership with Australian SME’s under the Supacat Team Asia Pacific banner.  These first deliveries exercised the skills of a number of Australian SMEs including Able Industries, Hoffmann Engineering and C.E. Bartlett.  Supacat’s involvement in the program clearly illustrates the benefits of the enduring capability developed as a result of Defence Industry policy.

Michael Halloran, Managing Director, Supacat, said “It’s an exciting day for all of the members of the Rheinmetall LAND400 team.  This is just the start of a long production run, and as MILVEHCOE opens in 2020 and the full production capability evolves on Australian soil, we look forward to growing our part in the program.”  Mr Halloran added, “We are also very excited to be entering the RMA stage of LAND400 Phase 3 and supporting the Rheinmetall team through that process.”

Blackhill Engineering achieves ISO 45001

Blackhill Engineering, the heavy engineering division of SC Group, has recently been certified to the newly published management systems of occupational health and safety, ISO 45001. The standard is significant for the increasingly large contracts Blackhill has been securing from major companies in the nuclear and construction industries.

“It was a real achievement for the business and has helped keep our people and facilities in a safe environment. The certification of our systems has formalised the hard work and diligence of all our people in the business and helps continue the culture of safety and responsibility we aim for”, said Dan Baker, Business Development Manager, Blackhill Engineering.

Blackhill has also introduced a rigorous programme of continuous improvement throughout the business and the next target is certification on the company’s Environmental Management System, ISO14001, which is planned to be audited for certification later in 2019.

Since becoming part of SC Group five years ago Blackhill has benefitted from significant investment in facilities, people and processes. It has expanded its markets into nuclear new build and decommissioning, civil engineering & construction, space & telecommunications, marine & offshore, oil & gas, renewables and automotive from its origins in quarrying and mineral processing.

Blackhill Engineering is exhibiting on stand F155 at the Southern Manufacturing show in Farnborough, UK from 5-7 February 2019.

Blackhill Engineering adds specialist non-ferrous production facilities

Blackhill Engineering, the heavy engineering division of SC Group, has announced at Southern Manufacturing the addition of non-ferrous production facilities at its Exeter based site.

These expand Blackhill’s capability in fabrication and machining for specialist markets and represent the first stage in the development of a high grade stainless steel facility. This forms part of a new facility investment plan totalling 35,000sqft to complement the existing 28,000sqft facility.

Since becoming part of SC Group five years ago Blackhill has benefitted from significant investment in facilities, people and processes. It has expanded its markets into nuclear new build and decommissioning, civil engineering & construction, space & telecommunications, marine & offshore, oil & gas, renewables and automotive from its origins in quarrying and mineral processing.

Blackhill Engineering is exhibiting on stand F155 at the Southern Manufacturing show in Farnborough, UK from 5-7 February 2019.

Supacat hosts off road drive day for Motorsport Endeavour

Injured soldiers take back control at the wheel of a Jackal

Some 60 injured soldiers and their partners, coping with both physical injuries and mental health issues, had the chance to take the controls of the world’s most acclaimed special forces vehicles at an event on 24 January organised by Motorsport Endeavour and Help for Heroes and hosted by Supacat at its off road test track in Devon’s Blackdown Hills.

The British military vehicle maker provided a range of its high mobility vehicles, including the 4×4 `Jackal` and 6×6 ‘Coyote’ which are part of the British Army’s core fleet. The vehicles were fitted with adapted controls for the day and the Supacat drivers were there to guide them around the track.

Motorsport Endeavour is unique in supporting the psychological recovery of service personnel and veterans through nationwide motorsports events. To date, Motorsport Endeavour has put together over 250 events with in excess of 5,000 servicemen and women experiencing high-octane, adrenaline-rushing motorsport events. Many have made life-long friendships and gained much-needed confidence and life skills, built trust and comradeship, and thus gained a more fulfilling life with positive self-esteem and resilience.

Twenty eight veterans and their loved ones from Help for Heroes’ Plymouth Recovery Centre also took part in the day. Veteran Neil Edwards, who served 21 years in the Royal Corps Signals and was medically discharged in 2017, said it was an amazing day, ‘It’s just a great opportunity to get back in the vehicles you used to work on during operations like in Oman and Afghanistan. It’s just a good all-round muddy adventure. To come to an event like this you do feel appreciated again. Makes you feel worthwhile again.’

Motorsport Endeavour was founded by Graham Raphael, who himself suffered paralysing injuries in 1977. He comments, “By definition service personnel have guts and they gain from many different aspects of these events, which help diffuse their problems. For someone who has lost his sight or a limb, giving them the controls of a vehicle makes them realise life isn’t over. The public may no longer see the coffins passing through Royal Wootton Bassett but the mental and physical challenges continue for them and their families. The carers are `The Forgotten Few` as they are often overlooked, hence we involve them in all our events”.

Nigel Platt, a former Royal Marine and Supacat driver who organised the event, said, “Our aim is to put a big smile on their faces. It gets many of them out of hospitals doing something they never thought they’d be able to do again, and taking back control, which boosts their confidence”.

Supacat has hosted numerous Drive Days for Motorsport Endeavour as part of its commitment to supporting the armed forces community. Last year it was awarded the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Silver Award for its support to the armed forces community.

Mims Davies MP visits Hamble marine engineer Proteum

Mims Davies, MP for Eastleigh, visited Hamble based marine engineer Proteum on Friday 18 January, to learn more about the company and share insights on the challenges and opportunities presented by Brexit. The company is part of UK engineering services firm, SC Group, and serves a worldwide customer base.

Mims Davies was welcomed by Nick Ames, CEO of SC Group, Shaun Mitchell, Group Finance Director of SC Group, Jeremy Paul, General Manager of Proteum and Robert Talbot Rice, a Non-Executive Director, as well as the Proteum Team. In a tour of the facility she saw the wide range of commercial marine diesel engines, including the OXE Diesel, the world’s first high performance diesel outboard, for which Proteum acts as distributor and supports with high quality technical services.

Eastleigh MP, Mims Davies said:

“It was great to visit the Proteum UK team in Hamble on Friday & chat about their specialist local jobs, supporting STEM subjects & the need for more women engineers.

“We also had some really productive conversations about the issues, opportunities & challenges around Brexit. As I’ve said many times before, it’s always great to hear from local businesses about what matters to them locally and nationally, with the majority of Proteum’s Hamble workforce living locally.

“I’ve spoken to the Business Secretary since returning to Westminster to raise some of the areas discussed with the Proteum Team, and will continue to support them and other businesses as Eastleigh’s MP.”

Nick Ames, CEO of SC Group said,

“We were pleased that Mims Davies was able to meet with us at Proteum and hear her views and observations on the implications of Brexit on businesses such as ours. It was a valuable opportunity for us to brief her on the impact Brexit has had on Proteum’s business so far and our concerns for the future”.

Maj Gen (Retd) Robert Talbot Rice appointed non-Executive Director of SC Group

Major General (Retd) Robert Talbot Rice CBE has been appointed a non-Executive Director of SC Group, the UK headquartered engineering services company. The Group includes a number of international businesses including Supacat, SC Innovation, Proteum and Blackhill Engineering, whose products and services are used in sectors including defence, marine, energy and infrastructure.

Prior to retirement from a full career in the British Army, Major General Talbot Rice was the UK MoD Director Land Equipment, responsible for acquisition and support for much of the MoD’s land equipment. Before that he was UK MoD Head of Armoured Vehicles, in which role he was promoted to Major General in 2014.

Commissioned into the Welsh Guards in 1983, his operational service includes four tours in Northern Ireland; command of the British Battlegroup in Bosnia; and tours on the staff in Kosovo (in Headquarters KFOR) and Iraq (in General Petraeus’s headquarters as the chief liaison officer to the Iraqi Ministry of Defence).

He is a Chartered Director, and a Fellow of both the Institute of Directors and of the Institution of Engineering and Technology; and is a graduate of the Said Business School/Cabinet Office Major Projects Leadership Academy.

On his appointment to SC Group, Robert said: “I am very pleased indeed to be joining the SC Group Board, and much look forward to working with the other Board members to steer this successful and well regarded company through the years ahead”.

Nick Ames, Chief Executive of SC Group, said, “We are delighted to welcome Robert to the board. His wisdom and experience from leading from the top of the British Army, combined with his astute management skills in delivering complex procurement programmes, will be invaluable assets to the whole Group”.

Blackhill Engineering’s Andrew Burrows wins Apprentice of the Year at Made in the South West Awards

Andrew Burrows, an apprentice with Exeter based heavy engineering specialist, Blackhill Engineering, has won Apprentice of the Year at the Made in the South West Awards. The prestigious event hosted by South West Insider Media showcases and celebrates excellence in the diverse manufacturing industries across the region.

David Clensy, Editor of South West Business Insider magazine, said: “The judges were extremely impressed by Andrew Burrows. The apprentice fabricator welder is spoken of very highly by his team, being described as an “all-round outstanding apprentice”. They noted that he flew through his weld coding test first time which means the company can give him any task and they say he’s proven that no task is beyond him. Congratulations to Andrew – it’s great to have the opportunity to celebrate the hard work of one of the region’s young apprentices in this year’s Made in the South West awards.”

As one of the winners of this year’s awards Andrew will automatically go through to the grand final Made in the UK Awards where the best of British manufacturing will be celebrated.

Blackhill Engineering is part of SC Group, and handles large and complex fabrication and machining projects for customers across multiple sectors including marine, automotive, defence, oil & gas, renewables and nuclear. Its delivery of a 650 tonne steel fabrication contract for the jetty at Hinkley Point C (HPC), which Andrew also worked on, earned Blackhill Engineering two EDF Energy Hinkley Point C Excellence Awards for the Supply Chain – Best Local/Regional Business and Best Manufacturing Equipment Supplier.

Lizzie Jones, Director of SC Group, who attended the Awards, said: “We are thrilled for Andrew, it’s a fantastic achievement. The company recognises that the future of the business depends on the next generation progressing so we invest in apprenticeships. We look forward to supporting Andrew throughout his development to achieve his goal of qualifying as an engineer”.

Beta Marine enhances marine generator range with Baudouin engines supplied by Proteum

Beta Marine has enhanced its marine generator product range with the addition of Moteurs Baudouin engines to expand its offering to a global customer base.   Gloucester UK based Beta Marine, which has over 30 years’ experience producing and marketing marine diesel propulsion engines and generating sets, has selected Proteum as its engine supplier. Marine Services company Proteum, is the UK & Ireland distributor for Moteurs Baudouin and a range of other marine diesel engines.

Proteum received its first order from Beta Marine in July for eight Baudouin 4W105S OEM auxiliary engines which have been delivered to a key export customer for four new build vessels. Beta Marine is offering Baudouin powered marine generating sets in varying kVA that are heat exchanger cooled as standard with keel and radiator cooling available as an alternative.

“Baudouin’s engines are renowned for their reliability and low operational and through life costs and adding them to our marine generator range has already allowed us to meet a specific need from a customer. We have built a good relationship with Proteum who can support us both in terms of supply and with high quality technical services”, said Radus Lungu, Sales Manager, Beta Marine.

Chris Lambert, Business Development Manager, Proteum, said, “Being selected by Beta Marine is a significant endorsement for both Proteum and Baudouin engines. Beta Marine’s reputation and global network open up new market opportunities for Baudouin’s marine generator sets”.

Moteurs Baudouin has produced engines since 1918 serving the marine and industrial markets. Its products are distinguished by their genuine marine design, offering quality, adaptability and reliability. The production facility in Cassis, France, has Bureau Veritas ISO 9001 certification and their marine products have type approvals from most major marine classifications societies. They have developed advanced emissions technology and can offer IMO III and EPA IV compliance on some of their larger models.


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