A leading Teesside engineering firm has invested another £500,000 in new machinery after winning a major marine contract.
Tees Components, based at North Skelton near Saltburn, has purchased a new state-of-the-art horizontal borer, which will improve the company’s high-precision, heavy-duty engineering services.
The Hyundai-made kit, bought from a Sheffield-based engineering firm, can take components up to four metres in size and is already working 100 hours a week for Tees Components.
It’s now fully booked into next year and expects to generate at least £300,000 a year in additional sales for the 50-year-old, family-run business, which is now looking to create more new jobs including a quality inspection role.
General manager Sharon Lane says she hopes the development will help Tees Components reach a milestone £6m turnover by the end of the year.
“It’s another significant investment for us after spending £2.5m on new equipment over the last four years,” she said.
“The new machine will enable us to be more accurate with our heavy-duty work and achieve the kind of tolerances we need to on really precise projects.
“Our future is in this type of high-precision work, and that’s where we’re focusing our investments in gradually replacing our older equipment and making sure everything is modern and fit-for-purpose.
“It’s part of an ongoing investment programme. We’re continuing to re-invest profits every year in improving our facilities.”
Tees Components has enjoyed steady growth in recent years after sales climbed £500,000 a year for two consecutive years – hitting £5.5m by the end of 2014.
Lane added: “We’re very busy. We’ve got work coming in from a wide range of sectors, a broad customer base as usual.
“It has been a steady growth for us. We still have good export sales in our ship thrusters and spares, and on our sub-contract work we’re enjoying growth and adding new machines all the time.
“We’re hoping to it £6m by the end of the year, but that will be a long-term growth from £3m to £6m over a number of years, so it hasn’t been overnight.”
Earlier this year, Tees Components was awarded a contract by Cammell Laird shipyard to supply four of its White Gill thrusters to be fitted on a major new research ship, the Sir David Attenborough, which is being constructed at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Merseyside.
Tees Components is designing, manufacturing and building the 60-T3S-QR models of its 360° azimuth thrusters, which will enable the polar research vessel to manoeuvre and position extremely accurately even in heavy ice water conditions.
The vessel will be owned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and operated by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).
It’s a £200m Government investment to maintain the UK’s position at the forefront of climate and ocean research, and will operate in both Antarctica and the Arctic.
Tees Components has taken on a number of new employees in recent months and plans to create more now jobs.
Lane added: “We’ve employed a number of new operators, labourers and apprentices and we’re now looking to create a new quality inspection role as a direct result of our recent growth.”
Tees Components has been operating out of its North Skelton site for over 50 years, providing heavy engineering subcontract services to a wide range of power generation clients.
The company expanded with the addition of the White Gill product in 2005, when managing director Clive Wood successfully secured the intellectual property rights in an acquisition from Elliott Turbomachinery.
Tees Components is also a well-known local employer of apprentices and supporter of STEM education and secondary school work placement programmes, and in 2015 won the Teesside Business Award for its engineering apprenticeship training programme.