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
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Under the new service partnership Proteum becomes an official dealer of ZF transmissions. It has built a strong reputation for providing high quality marine engineering services, spanning repair, spares and development, which will be available to ZF’s marine customers.
Proteum provides marine diesel engine supply and support services to a worldwide customer base that includes all related products and services. Proteum is a UK & EIRE distributor and dealer for Marine Diesel, Baudouin, OXE Diesel Outboard, BUKH, ZF Gearboxes and Konrad stern drives.
Paul Dean, Business Marine Manager for Marine at ZF Services UK, commented: “Developing our supplier network is vital to ensure we continue providing a high quality service that meets the needs of our customers, so we’re delighted to be working with Proteum to help achieve this. We look forward to working with Proteum and developing ways to strengthen the service we offer our customers.”
Jeremy Paul, Managing Director of Proteum said, “We are proud to work with ZF Services UK which is a prestigious addition to our product portfolio. We have built our service on mechanical excellence, responsiveness and integrity and we look forward to supporting customers for ZF’s products – we always strive to provide the best long-term solution and develop a longstanding relationship built on trust”.
Over the last three years its overseas earnings have grown from £2.5m to over £32m buoyed by a large Australian order for its Special Forces HMT Extenda vehicle, which has become the vehicle of choice for the world’s elite Special Forces. Supacat has recently won Norwegian and New Zealand contracts for the vehicle and the company is actively pursuing emerging opportunities with new export customers for its family of military high mobility and protected vehicles, which includes the acclaimed `Jackal` and `Coyote` operated by the UK Armed Forces.
“This is wonderful news for our business and we are very proud to be a winner of this very prestigious award. All the stakeholders of the business are delighted and are enthused to continue to pursue first class export opportunities especially recognising the national need for exports during these changing times. We are particularly proud of this award given the challenging circumstances UK Defence businesses face in selling their products to international customers and into one of the most openly competitive home markets. Financing exports is one of the challenges and we are grateful for the support we received from UKEF and RBS,” said Nick Ames, Chief Executive Officer.
Established in 1980 and headquartered in Devon, Supacat’s growth has been driven by the UK defence sector, which continues to be a core business. It is part of SC Group which has diversified into providing engineering solutions to the oil and gas, nuclear, marine and renewable sectors though investment into developing specialist vehicles and services and actively engaging in new international markets including the USA, Middle East and China.
The programme includes two of the original Powered Carriage variants and five of the new Non-Powered Carriage variants and is valued at over £7.5 million. SC Innovation will build the vehicles to meet the RNLI’s schedule requirements at a rate of one to two per year at its facility at Dunkeswell, Devon. The first is due for delivery in November 2017 and final vehicle completion in 2021.
SC Innovation has already built eight of the twelve SL&RVs delivered to date. The engineering and design services company jointly designed and developed the vehicle with the RNLI Engineering Project Team and was also responsible for the design of the Non-Powered variant, which is currently undergoing prototype trials.
The original variant’s carriage is powered by a four-track-drive system to deliver the exceptional traction needed to negotiate steep gradients and rough shingle. Joe Wilcox, Head of SC Innovation, said, “The new two-track-drive variant has been designed specifically for the RNLI’s less demanding locations to assist the RNLI in delivering optimised capability for the greatest value at lifeboat stations with more benign conditions.”
Prior to joining SC Group, Alison was the Operations Director at QinetiQ and her earlier career spans roles with Marconi, Westland Helicopters and Aviation Training International. From over 25 years’ experience in the Defence and Aerospace industry Alison brings expertise in Procurement, Supply Chain Management, Commercial, Programme Management and Operations.
On her appointment Alison commented, “I’m excited to join SC Group which has great people, exceptional products and a proud heritage, to which I hope to contribute and build on as the company moves towards the next stage in its growth plans. With SC Group’s reputation for agility and innovation I will be using my experience to help it deliver on the UK MoD’s policy to increase procurement with SMEs, in recognition of their role as innovation drivers within the supply chain”.
Nick Ames, Chief Executive of SC Group, said, “I’m delighted to welcome Alison to our team. She brings a wealth of senior level expertise in competencies that are fundamental to fulfilling our future vision. Her passion for collaboration, which is a core to our growth strategy, will be a huge asset to the Group”.
Under the teaming agreement and upon contract award, the Supacat-designed vehicles will be built by RMMV NL and the production line will be supported by their existing supply chain in the Netherlands. The proposed solution includes substantial local industrial content for a fleet of more than 500x 12kN AASLT and 900x 12kN light-weight protected vehicles.
“The teaming agreement is based on a strong collaborative platform and the allocation of responsibilities will be based on ‘Best for Customer’ criteria,” said Phil Applegarth, Head of Supacat. “Both companies have demonstrated their agility in forming a solution that delivers an outstanding in-country product, which supports Dutch jobs for a Dutch requirement.”
“Cooperation between Supacat and RMMV meets the requirements of this programme for the Dutch Army,” stated Coen van Leeuwen, Managing Director of RMMV NL, adding that, “a proven concept built in the Netherlands and supported by people who know how the Dutch Army operates is bound to succeed.”
Supacat, a high-mobility vehicle specialist, stands on an established and successful track record of developing high-quality vehicles for the global defence market. RMMV NL is currently in the process of producing Boxer 8×8 wheeled armoured vehicles for the Dutch Army at the local facility in Ede.
Building on a strong relationship, Supacat and Rheinmetall continue to work together on a number of programmes, including the UK’s Challenger 2 Life Extension Programme and Australia’s Land 400 Phase 2 programme.
The project is the vision of Stephen Ball, former CEO of Lockheed Martin UK and a Plymouth University alumnus, who recommended SC Group CEO, Nick Ames, be invited to become one of the project’s mentors. Devon headquartered SC Group is one of the world’s leading engineering companies specialising in the design and development of high mobility vehicles and bespoke equipment for harsh environments.
The pilot year has four of the highest achieving disadvantaged students across 29 engineering courses at the University taking part in the project. Nick is now mentoring a second year Mechanical Engineering student, Benjamin Bush, and as an employer with extensive industry experience, Nick is available to advise Ben on professional practice, improving his CV and interview techniques and crucially, providing him with a network to tap into, which can widen his horizons and raise his aspirations regarding the opportunities available to him.
Nick Ames, CEO of SC Group said: “The Tamar Engineering Project benefits both sides and I’ve found mentoring a very rewarding and refreshing experience. Encouraging and helping the next generation of engineers has to be a good thing. The country needs them. Working with Plymouth University also builds on our existing activity with local schools which includes hosting an annual open day for schools at our off-road Test Track”.
Professor Kevin Jones, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering, said: “The Tamar Engineering Project very much responds to the latest recommendations from HEFCE about underprivileged groups accessing higher education. But more than that, our hope is that it will help with retention of students, and through the mentoring side, provide a springboard to personal and career development. It is very rare that students have an opportunity to gain such advice and guidance from senior figures in industry.”
HMT 400 Desert has been adapted to enhance performance in the desert’s harsh environment and climatic conditions. It has no armour and the lighter gross vehicle mass improves the power-to-weight ratio and increases mobility over deep desert sand. Further desert features include cooling, a central tyre inflation system and lightweight bead locks to enable the vehicle to be operated at the lowest tyre pressures.
The vehicle has been configured to fully comply with the UAE Presidential Guard’s requirements for a new special operations vehicle, including tactical CH-47 internal loading, and has undergone successful tactical trials and testing by UAE forces over the summer. The HMT series, widely known as `Jackal`, has been battle proven in service with numerous elite special forces worldwide.
“Supacat is committed to supporting the region and in the event that HMT 400 Desert is selected by the UAE Presidential Guard a large element of the production and subsequent support programmes will be conducted in UAE”, said Phil Applegarth, Head of Supacat.
The flexibility of the HMT series has been recently demonstrated by Supacat in developing additional variants and conversions to meet wider and emerging requirements. These include HMT in the Recovery, Logistic Support and Gun Towing roles as well as a unique 4×4 to 6×6 convertible feature, which were announced in September at DVD in the UK.
The M33.2 has been designed specifically for the marine environment and extends Baudouin’s portfolio into the 650HP -1500HP range, offering the flexibility of two specifications, the 12M33.2 V12 39.2 litres and 6M33.2 straight 6 19.6 litres. Its high engine capacity, relative to the horsepower, is designed to conserve engine life in high strain, load bearing applications such as fishing trawlers, offshore support, workboats and ferries.
Operational and through life costs are low in accordance with Baudouin’s reputation for designing low fuel consumption engines. A proven and simple design eases maintenance to minimise downtime.
Customers benefit from the world-wide technical expertise and service support from authorised Baudouin distributors, such as Proteum, the marine products specialist, which is part of the SC Group engineering business. It operates from Hamble, UK, offering complete powertrain solutions, providing sales, commissioning, technical support, spares and servicing as well as service maintenance agreements and training.
Jeremy Paul, General Manager of Proteum, said, “The M33.2 is an exciting new engine delivering significant operational savings to commercial and fishing operators and Proteum is looking forward to talking to customers and supporting them through its introduction and service life ”.
Moteurs Baudouin has built a reputation for an unparalleled range of marine diesel engines, marine generators and auxiliary engines for the demanding commercial marine, fishing and shipping sectors. The company is now part of the Weichai Power Company and continues to develop new products that offer exceptional reliability and low through life costs.