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Skan keeps Boughton jobs in Devon
New Bideford plant will retain people, skills and experience
Skan Group Holdings, the West Midlands Engineering Group which owns Boughton Engineering, has revealed the outcome of its consultation and strategic review of its North Devon operations. A new fabrication, machining and manufacturing operation is to be commissioned in Bideford at the beginning of April, retaining a significant number of skilled jobs from the former Winkleigh site.
Whilst a range of componentry production previously based at the dilapidated Winkleigh premises will move to Skan’s freehold headquarters facility in Wolverhampton, fabrication and manufacturing operations will continue, with some additional work also to be located at the site. Importantly, the move saves an as yet undisclosed number of jobs in the North Devon area and retains the deep rooted knowledge and experience of the product which existed within the old facility.
Group Managing Director Richard Skan says, “We announced in January that we would fully engage in an ‘everything on the table’ open and transparent consultation with our staff in Devon, regarding the future of the operation. Everyone involved actually accepted that retaining the out of date and costly facility at Winkleigh was not an option.
Concurrently, we reviewed all options for the future fabrication of components and major sub-assemblies – including overseas production and outsourcing manufacturing to low cost economies as most of our competitors do. That process absolutely confirmed that we should retain fabrication and manufacturing capability in the UK, where we have full control of both quality and process – characteristics of the Boughton product which we will never compromise. Moreover, we were keen to retain the exceptional skills and experience from the Winkleigh plant and supporting jobs in British engineering is an embedded part of our family business ethos”.
Skan Group’s new Boughton Engineering facility will commence operations at the beginning of April on the Clovelly Road Industrial Estate in Bideford. Site Manager John Symonds, who will move with the plant says, “This is the best possible outcome for all concerned and demonstrates particularly Skan Group’s committed loyalty to its workforce – a now all too rare culture in Britain, particularly in the current climate. The new premises will allow us to further optimise our latest lean production processes, which will help us to remain extremely competitive in the market. In addition to the fabrication and manufacture of key components for the Boughton product, we will support service engineering requirements for Boughton’s growing customer base in the South West. We will also be able to support some of our sister company, Oldbury’s defence sector customers in the region”.
Minister’s visit to Oldbury UK
caps off 150th Anniversary
Roger Skan, Chairman of Skan Group Holdings; Gavin Williamson MP for South Staffordshire; Philip Dunne MP, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology and Richard Skan, Group Managing Director of Oldbury UK and Boughton Engineering – with a communications ground station built by Oldbury for use in Afghanistan.
Oldbury Director of Engineering, Car Holroyd and Design Engineer, Colin Griffiths explain advanced CAD engineering data to Philip Dunne MP, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, watched by Group Managing Director, Richard Skan and Oliver Welch, the Minister’s Special Adviser.
A third generation family owned West Midlands engineering company, which manufactures specialist equipment for the defence, aerospace and security sectors, today completed its 150th anniversary celebrations with a visit by Britain’s new Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Philip Dunne MP.
Oldbury UK, based in Wolverhampton, makes a wide range of land systems and ancillaries including enhanced mobility trailers, integrated platforms, heat shields and environmental shelters – some of which have been supplied to UK MoD as Urgent Operational Requirements for Afghanistan. During the visit, the Minister met the company’s owners, senior management and employees, toured the plant and reviewed examples of equipment supplied to defence customers, including UK MoD.
Unveiling a plaque to commemorate the company’s 150 year milestone, Minister Philip Dunne said, “Oldbury UK has an illustrious history responding to the calls of our Armed Forces for the latest developments in military technology and I am honoured to be here in Wolverhampton to mark its 150th anniversary.
“The Government is committed to ensuring that our Service personnel are provided with the very best equipment available. This can only be realised with the dedication and responsiveness of small and medium-sized companies like Oldbury UK, who play a vital role in the MOD’s supply chain right across the country.
“From what I have seen here today, it is apparent that Oldbury UK has embraced the Government’s call for manufacturing firms to develop and diversify their businesses, invest in innovation and look confidently for new opportunities in world export markets. This matches my aspirations for the Defence industry more widely and I congratulate the company for leading by example. It is this agility, flexibility and responsiveness that will help drive our economy in the right direction.”
Thanking the Minister for his visit, Group Managing Director, Richard Skan said, “We are very proud of Oldbury’s heritage and achievements – from the components it made for carts and carriages in 1861 to the complex and innovative solutions it manufactures today for customers such as UK MoD. That capability has been highlighted this year in Oldbury UK successfully becoming an accredited member of FATS 4, the Framework Agreement for Technical Support. Minister, we take our custody and the future long term development of our businesses as seriously as we take delivering added value for the customers they serve – such as your department. We are also passionate about our people – many of whom have worked within the businesses over many years. Our success is in no small way due to them and your visit is both recognition and a great encouragement for them.
“Here in Wolverhampton, with our now co-located businesses, Oldbury and Boughton Engineering, we have successfully brought together two of the longest established and most highly respected British engineering businesses – with combined histories which add up to over 250 years of experience and excellence. Their combined resources now provide us with the versatility and flexibility to be able to respond to a broad range of design and engineering requirements. Importantly, involving us as early as possible in the requirements capture process enables us to add value and then tailor the design and system componentry to precisely integrate with the platform.
This approach has been proven already in real life practical delivery terms – where we have shortened important UOR lead times and deployment into theatre by months. Indeed, in one case, our partner Prime was awarded a special commendation by the Chief of Defence Materiel. It is that type of innovative, ‘can-do’ and ‘hands-on’ engineering – for which we British are famous, coupled with our focus, commitment and ambition, that has led, largely at the behest of our end-user, Prime, Tier1 and Tier2 customers, to our natural growth into full programme management and project integration – and we are delighted to have been able to show you examples of that work today”, said Richard Skan.
Group Chairman, Roger Skan added, “Our family still upholds the business style and culture with which my father founded the company ... we quietly get on with the job to the very best of our ability. Our businesses – Oldbury, Boughton Engineering and HV Skan, the original specialist glass business founded by my father in 1954, are all based here in the heartland of British manufacturing. I both endorse and thank you Minister for underlining the Government’s view that it is SME manufacturing businesses like ours, which will play an important role as our economy recovers from what has been a very difficult and challenging few years”.
South Staffordshire MP, Gavin Williamson, who also attended part of the event said, ”This area has one of the highest skills bases in the country – and the education and training facilities to support that. It is companies like Oldbury, which attach such importance to investing in their people, which will help to rebuild Britain’s competitive manufacturing economy for the future”.
MRF Success... all on their Todds!
Leeds Paper Recycling adds Boughton-equipped vehicles to its fleet
When Michael Todd bought his first truck in 1990, to start Leeds Paper Recycling – a business collecting paper, cardboard and metal for onward sale to merchants, he sowed the seeds of a successful and still family run business which confidently expects to grow to a turnover of £20 million in the next two years. It has just spent £3 million upgrading its MRF on the southeast side of Leeds, which already handles around 500,000 tons of materials per year – and added Boughton-equipped vehicles to its fleet.
Whilst LPR has always operated some of its own vehicles, about half of its current fleet is based on contract hire. “One advantage for us of running a part contract hire fleet is the opportunity to benchmark and compare performance and reliability of different equipment – before we decide what to buy for our own in-house fleet. On that basis, we have now bought a Boughton-equipped hook-loader unit with their KwikCova auto-sheet unit, based on a 6x2 Volvo chassis with rear steer – and we have two more 8x4 vehicles and a close coupled trailer on order. Quite simply, we know they stand up to the job”, says LPR Managing Director, Jamie Todd.
Moving material inwards and outwards is a significant logistics challenge too. The company operates a mainly rigid fleet of around eighty vehicles, most of which operate well within a fifty mile radius, in line with the company’s commitment to reduce ‘waste miles’. Its two tractor units, which operate with high capacity bulk trailers, run slightly further afield to supply material for Waste to Energy plants in the region.
Today, founding father, Michael, is still actively involved and eldest son, Jamie Todd, is the Managing Director, supported by brothers Sam and Thomas – and daughter Gemma who looks after marketing and community initiatives.
The sweet smell of waste and success has not all come easy – with the business having had its fair share of challenges over the years, including arson attacks. But having recovered quickly and then successively outgrown each of its previous premises, it moved to its current site in 2007. It was the first waste and recycling operation in Yorkshire to go co-mingled and the present site also enables the company to operate shift systems to manage optimum through-put. It will shortly install a new, state-of-the-art baling system.
“The whole of our family, including my father who founded it, have a mindset commitment towards diverting all waste from landfill, whilst channelling separated materials for re-use within a minimum radius of its MRF origin. Here at our Leeds site, we have the capability to do that”, says Jamie Todd. “We work very closely with our customers and local authority partners to manage their waste streams whilst also encouraging recycling through interactive programmes and other initiatives. We have activities running with over 100 schools, colleges and universities in the area”.
Where next for LPR? “Standing still is never an option”, says Jamie, “and if we had the opportunity to expand eastwards towards Humberside – or become more involved in the energy side of the business, we would think about that very seriously”
Boughton hooks up for Countrystyle
Leading British-built hook loader manufacturer, Boughton Engineering, has delivered the first vehicles in a major fleet replacement programme to Kent-based waste management and recycling company, Countrystyle Group. The new Boughton-equipped units incorporate a number of engineering features developed specifically for the Countrystyle operation and all are specified with Boughton’s market leading Kwikcova auto-sheeting system. The Volvo chassis-based vehicles, supplied by MC Truck & Bus, will enter service between now and March 2013, replacing some units which have been in use for around 20 years – a testament to the proven longevity of the Boughton equipment in one of the harshest operating environments in the industry.
The supply contract also sees the establishment of an engineering and service supply agreement between Boughton and MC Truck & Bus, one of the South and South-East’s largest commercial vehicle dealerships. MC Group, which won this year’s Motor Transport ‘Dealer of the Year’ Award, serves commercial customers from eight depots across the region and boasts its own dedicated body repair facility and training centre.
Boughton Group Sales & Marketing Director, Allan Burley says, “Where we can work closely in partnership with a dealer group which has such outstanding engineering capabilities, it makes very sound business and commercial sense for us to develop such relationships for the benefit and operating convenience of our shared end customer. We will pro-actively develop this type of working framework where we judge we can contribute and add value to the customer’s business – and this will apply particularly to after sales service and parts”.
Paul Cogger, MC Group’s Regional Sales Manager at Maidstone says, “We know the Boughton product well – and its proven reputation in the marketplace. We have our own specialist in-house facilities to be able to support our customer at a very local level – so it is an entirely logical step for us to work closely with the manufacturer of the equipment”.
The new Countrystyle fleet is based on Volvo’s latest FMX 8x4 tipper chassis with day cab. All units feature the I-shift gearbox with factory fitted power-take-off. Boughton’s 8:32B specification hook loader is fitted, which incorporates rear axle stabiliser jacks. Other features include Vehicle Weighing Solutions (VWS) Loadweigh on-board load cell equipment, sheet and pinning tube carriers and rear facing work lights.
To protect the rear of the vehicle in its operating environment, Boughton has incorporated an integral steel fabricated assembly which provides full and robust protection for rear components such as lighting and rear markings. Some units being supplied will also include a towing hitch, to operate with one of Boughton’s high-end specification, tri-axle close coupled trailers.
Countrystyle Group is one of the fastest growing, privately owned waste management and recycling companies operating in the South and East of England. Founded in 1996, it provides a broad range of cost effective and sustainable solutions for dealing with waste throughout the public and private sectors. Operations Director for the Group, Wayne Brown says, “Our company’s mission is to provide a tailored waste management service that meets customer expectations, government targets and aims for zero waste to landfill. We work with a wide range of companies from small local businesses with single loads through to major companies and local authorities with complex multiple waste streams. Specifying premium reliable equipment such as Boughton hook loaders on our mainly Volvo fleet, will give us the operating life and reliability which is imperative for our business”.
John Cooper moves back to Boughton
John Cooper has returned to Boughton this month (September) as its new Area Sales Manager for the Midlands and North. Based in Bolton, he is a well known and familiar face around the waste handling industry, with over twenty years experience in a variety of roles including design engineering, product development, service and sales management – and an eight year previous stint at the former Reynolds Boughton operation.
Most recently, he has held nationwide responsibility as UK Sales Manager for an Anglo-French hook-loader business, working closely with end users and a network of dealers and service agents.
“I am really pleased to be back with Boughton Engineering – and at a very exciting time for the business. I am also looking forward to the opportunity to work with some former colleagues again, backed by the across the board resources in design engineering, manufacturing, sales and service which the Skan Group has committed to re-establishing the Boughton name at the forefront of the sector. The waste industry is very much a people orientated business and I am very confident that the growing strength of the Boughton product now and in the future is going to give my established customers a sense of confidence and reassurance”.
John Cooper’s arrival and defined new territory sees Boughton expanding its sales force. Rob Brandon continues to look after the London area and the southern half of the country.
‘Co-management’ teams take shape at Boughton Engineering and Oldbury UK
Well-known industry specialist, Allan Burley has been appointed Group Sales and Marketing Director, bringing the functions together for both Boughton and Oldbury products. In addition, he assumes overall responsibility for the new group Service and Parts operation. Allan has worked at the forefront of the waste industry related commercial vehicle sector for over forty years. He was closely involved with the early stage development and sale of new technology vehicle mounted waste handling equipment which pioneered the designs, systems and operating methods that are now industry standard practice. Ten years ago, he was also responsible for the successful development of a military, aviation and fire products division – experience which he expects to call upon in his parallel responsibilities – the defence specialist and bespoke engineering Oldbury UK group company.
Speaking about his new role, Allan Burley says, “The market has not taken long to recognise that Skan now owns two of the longest standing and respected specialist vehicle equipment engineering brands in the industry. The cross-over synergies that exist at both the product and capability level are already starting to deliver real benefits to customers. The creation of the newly combined service and parts operation fully returns Boughton’s genuine OEM support capability to the market – with the resources and availability end-users know they can trust and rely upon. Anything less is not acceptable – and operators are rightly dismissive of claims and rumours that have been circulating about the availability of genuine manufacturer warrantied parts. Boughton has a strong order book and the group is pressing ahead with major factory expansion and investment which will fully restore Boughton’s position as the Market Leader”.
Stepping into the role of Group Service & Parts Manager is another well known industry figure, John Wilson. John brings to the group his wide ranging and career-long experience in mechanical, hydraulic and electrical engineering, in both private and public sector fleet engineering management. Over the years, John has developed an enviable track record in contract fleet management, running specialist UK-wide field service teams and repair and maintenance workshops.
“Both Boughton Engineering and Oldbury UK have a deeply embedded culture of customer care that includes high service standards, minimising down time and efficient parts availability. I am really looking forward to working with the engineering teams of both companies to ensure that end users experience the level of service that today’s operating environment demands”, says John Wilson.
Also recently arrived with cross-company responsibility is Group Purchasing Manager, Heather Roberts. A member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply with over twenty five years experience in purchasing, Heather joins the Group from one of the West Midlands’ largest and most respected engineering product suppliers.
Heather says, “It is the supply chain which feeds a dynamic engineering business and I thrive on personal contact with suppliers. In today’s manufacturing environment, purchasing and cost control, process change and supplier monitoring are absolutely critical. I am joining Boughton and Oldbury at a particularly exciting time in their development and I am really looking forward to the challenges that recent changes and developments are certain to present”.
Group Managing Director, Richard Skan says, “We are extremely fortunate to have been able to attract a number of really high calibre people to join our exceptional existing team. These are all very experienced senior people and together they will be enormously beneficial as we move forward with our future plans for both the businesses”.
Firow sets the pace as Boughton returns to market
Some of the first hook loader vehicles to be completed by the now renamed Boughton Engineering company have entered service with Firow Ltd., one of the country’s largest specialist vehicle, hire fleet providers. The new units are fitted with Boughton’s latest 8/32C hook loader and Kwikcova auto sheeting package.
The former Reynolds Boughton companies were acquired by Skan Group Holdings in May, since when, order intake has been described as ‘brisk and healthy’. The company is already running at increased production levels.
Firow Director, Gary Unsworth says, “We have over twenty years worth of operating experience with Boughton equipment and we closely monitor the whole life costs of every unit in our fleet. That has helped us to provide consistent reliability and serviceability for our customers and we are confident that, under its new owners, the company will continue to deliver market leading products we can depend upon.
“We have three of our own workshops and we undertake all our own MOT testing – so we have a very close knowledge of our fleet, our equipment – and its service performance. All our Boughton hook loader units are fitted with Kwikcova auto sheeting systems – which is the best we can do to ensure that our end customer contract fleets are legally compliant in operation”, says Gary Unsworth.
Firow is now the UK’s market leading contract hire operator serving the waste industry. It is also the only hire operator to offer fully specified hook loader and tri-axle close coupled trailer combinations (wagon and drag outfits), complete with Boughton Kwikcova auto-sheeting systems on both units. A large proportion of its long-term contract vehicles operate in customer liveries.
Firow operates a mixed fleet of over 200 vehicles and trailers, including predominantly DAF rigid chassis, plus MAN, Scania and Volvo. The latest vehicles to enter service are based on the 3205 wheelbase MAN TGS 35.360 8x4 rigid chassis, with the M series day cab. Power comes from MAN’s D 2066LF38 360 PS version of its 10.5 litre six-cylinder turbo-intercooled engine driving through a ZF 16-speed gearbox with PTO.
The hook loader equipment specification includes the Boughton ‘C’ type universal container locking system, which enables the unit to safely handle variable rail width containers – and not just containers manufactured to the CHEM specification. Firow vehicles also feature stabiliser jacks on the rear and Boughton’s automatic hook safety pin system. Electric/air-over-hydraulic, hook loader operating controls are located in the cab, with an external four-lever valve chest to operate the Kwikcova auto sheeting system. Boughton’s patented retractable operating arm width extender arrangement is incorporated, to facilitate full width container handling within legally permitted dimensions. All Firow’s vehicles are first life and stay in service for up to five years.
Boughton Group Managing Director, Richard Skan says, “When we bought the Boughton businesses we had every confidence and expectation that its loyal customer base and market reputation would survive intact. The whole team, including those former employees which we have been able to take on again, have worked tirelessly to get engineering, production, service and parts support back on track – and their efforts are testament to the buoyant order book we have already for customer build requirements for the rest of this year”.
Boughton HQ co-locates into Wolverhampton with Oldbury ... as Winkleigh, Devon manufacturing and fabrication facility becomes key part of future plans
Boughton Engineering, acquired earlier this year by Skan Group Holdings, has completed its co-location move and is now fully operational at its new headquarters, shared with Oldbury UK in Wolverhampton. Concurrently, the company’s former leased site at Barton-under-Needwood has closed.
As part of Skan group’s significant future investment plans for the Boughton business, the service and parts operation has been relaunched, offering ‘one-stop-shop’ customer support. The company, which is the only supplier of genuine Boughton, MacLift and Telehoist parts and provider of manufacturer supported service facilities, has also set up dedicated telephone, fax and e-mail contact points.
The new Boughton Engineering Limited contact numbers are:-
Main Switchboard / Sales & General Enquiries 01902 623430
General / Sales & General Enquiries Fax 01902 787265
Service Department Dedicated Direct Line 01902 623441
Parts Department Dedicated Direct Line 01902 623440
Service & Parts Department Fax 01902 623442
Importantly, the company’s website and all Boughton’s existing individual sales, service, parts, engineering and central administration e-mail addresses remain unchanged, but are now supplemented by separate general addresses for ‘enquiries’, ‘sales’ and ‘service’. These are:-
The co-location move consolidates the administration, engineering, assembly and production activities of the two companies at two key locations – the group’s large freehold site at Wolverhampton in the West Midlands and its fabrication and manufacturing facility in Winkleigh, Devon. Boughton Engineering’s twin site capabilities now cover everything from basic componentry through to the complex systems and integration required for hook loaders, skip loaders, close coupled trailers and ejector trailers.
Oldbury’s Wolverhampton-based complementary activities cover standard, bespoke and special types trailer engineering, defence systems integration and ruggedised ancillary equipment. A new, centralised and group-wide advanced design engineering and development facility has been created at Wolverhampton.
Group Managing Director, Richard Skan says, “Skan Group now owns two of the leading brands in the industry – both having enormous synergies with one another – and both with engineering pedigrees stretching back well over a hundred years. By bringing the two companies together on the same site, both at the technical and commercial level – we are confident that the move will deliver significant benefits, added value and better services for customers”, says Richard Skan.
Boughton’s new skip loader Kwikcova rolls out over three Hills
The first three of Boughton Engineering’s new Kwikcova CMs autosheeting systems for skip loaders have entered service with Swindon-based Hills Waste Solutions. The system, which is designed for operation with standard containers up to 16 cubic yards, can be deployed in about a minute and ensures full and safe compliance without the need for the operator to climb on the vehicle.
The new units are part of Hills’ latest order for Boughton skip loader and hookloader equipment. The three units which feature the new skip cover system are mounted with Boughton’s highly successful Telehoist CH18 PRS Skip loader on MAN TGM 18.250 two axle rigids for operation at 18 tonnes gvw.
The new skip loader variant Kwikcova comprises two cranked operating arms, centre side mounted on the vehicle and which carry the sheet roll. In its stowed position, the rolled cover sits onto a fixed ‘cradle’ assembly on the top of the skip loader front bulkhead. It is operated from a simple single lever adjacent to other controls on the offside of the vehicle. Once a full container has been lifted into position, the Kwikcova is simply deployed and rolls out over the load in a fixed trajectory. The sheet is designed to spread according to the bulk of the load and, with the container fully covered, the operating arms come to rest on rubber stops at the lower rear of the frame.
The Telehoist CH18 PR-S skip loader units for Hills feature telescopic operating arms and jack legs with roller feet. Heavy duty ram guards and light guards are fitted for additional component protection and dual access ladders are provided for access to either side of the vehicle.
Hills Waste Solutions operates from three depots to serve a range of commercial and local authority customers across Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Dorset. Founded in 1900, originally carrying bricks, the company has grown and expanded into homes, building materials, quarry products, waste and recycling. Today, its mixed vehicle fleet includes tractor units with high volume bulk waste trailers, rigid hooklift units – many with tri-axle drawbar trailers, skip loaders and nearly forty kerbside source separated RCVs. The company recently marked a notable milestone – having assisted Wiltshire Council to divert over a million tonnes of household waste from landfill through its recycling schemes.
Fleet Manager Peter Moore says, “As one of the leading wastes operators in the area, we have very demanding expectations of the equipment we use. We have used Boughton equipment over many years not least because we recognise both its design and build quality, which provides us with good availability and reliability in an industry which, by its nature, involves harsh and difficult operating conditions”.
Order intake at Boughton Engineering has recovered sufficiently quickly that the company is already strengthening its field sales team across the country. The specialist manufacturer of premium hookloaders, skiploaders and wastes trailers was acquired out of administration in May by the Skan Group. The first of a number of imminent appointments to be confirmed is that of Rob Brandon, who becomes Area Sales Manager South.