Investment aims to generate growth

Howco's Jon Paul Lawson operating one of the new machine tools that form part of the �1.6 million investment in the company's Sheffield site
Howco's Jon Paul Lawson operating one of the new machine tools that form part of the �1.6 million investment in the company's Sheffield site
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Oil industry supplier Howco has spent £1.6m on new machine tools and furnaces at its plant in Sheffield, to secure growth.

The Glasgow-based business, which makes hi-tech metals, forgings and machined products, says the investment at its Carbrook Street plant will boost capacity and increase capabilities. It is part of a total £3m spend on three of its UK plants.

One of the new heat treatment furnaces that forms part of the �1.6 million investment in Howco's Sheffield site.

One of the new heat treatment furnaces that forms part of the �1.6 million investment in Howco's Sheffield site.

European operations director, Andrew Marwood, said: “This latest round of investment underlines our objective of delivering optimum cost and quality for our customers by facilitating quicker deliveries and tighter control on specification resulting in improved performance.

“Our two new aerospace-standard heat treatment furnaces feature the latest technology in pulse-fired burner control.

“Each offers precise temperature control throughout the operating range and, along with a dedicated rapid charger for loading and unloading products, they exceed the demanding standards required by our clients. They complement our range of 30 ton and 10 ton capacity furnaces to form our centre of excellence for processing the high-integrity nickel and duplex parts which are used extensively throughout the global oil and gas industry.”

The company has also bought new machine tools to enhance its pre-weld production cell and create what Andrew Marwood describes as a “powerful new machining capability”.

New machines include a state-of-the-art Hyundai Wia horizontal borer which can work on components weighing up to 10 tonnes.

Mr Marwood said: “The demand for quality, precision and accuracy is the core ethos of our business – everything we do is designed to give our customers a competitive edge.”

n Howco Group was formed in Scotland in 1982 and began growing significantly at the turn of the century, opening up new service centres in the USA, Canada, Singapore, and Norway. A year later, the group acquired Carbrook-based Henry Whitham and Rotherham-based Millhouses Engineering, along with Houston-based Carbon and Alloy.

More recently the company has opened up operations in Dubai and China.