Quality to beat the recession

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A COMBINATION of skills, versatility and the ability to take a job from concept to commissioning has been the key to Mayflower’s ability to beat the recession.

“We’re not a jobbing shop, we are not a steel basher. What we do is high quality, hi-tech design and manufacturing,” says operations director Glyn Hobson. “What we are selling is technological expertise to suit whatever field.

“We look at every engineering issue as a problem in it its own right and without reference to how it has been done previously. We are not influenced by tradition.

“Some people would say this is the way it has been done for the last however many years. We say that’s why it doesn’t work.

“We will visit a site, understand the requirements and problems, do a conceptual design, take that through to a completed design and to manufacturing – fabrication, machining, shop assembly, delivery to site and commissioning.

“Because what we do is special, we tend to get a hearing from new clients.”

Examples of rapid technical solutions which Mayflower has created include highly specialised piling rigs which can hold steel piles perpendicular with an accuracy of five millimetres over 17 metres while the concrete around them sets, improving the strength of the finished structure and reducing the amount of steel needed.

Each rig has to be tailored for the project it is being used on and have to be designed, manufactured and dispatched within six weeks of being ordered.

Recently, the company was asked to make special platforms to allow a dam to be built to hold back the sea while a harbour in Norfolk was extended and given four weeks to turn the rough sketches they had been given into the finished article.

Challenges like that don’t only test Mayflower’s design skills. The company also had to display the manufacturing skills that have made it one of fewer than 25 companies in the UK recognised as meeting the stringent BS EN ISO 3834 Welding Quality Standard.

On land, the company has fabricated giant sculptures that include the world’s biggest mirror ball – a rotating six-metre sphere, covered with almost 47,000 mirrors, which stands on the South Promenade at Blackpool.

It was Mayflower that developed a tilting mould holder for a company in Stoke which allows castings to be made more quickly and to a higher quality and so impressed the firm’s American owners that they ordered a bigger version for their US plant.

The company was also chosen by Rotherham-based Sterecycle to design and manufacture a new generation of waste processing autoclaves, which can be used to separate recyclable materials from domestic and industrial waste and turn the residue into a material that can be burnt as a fuel or used instead of compost and top soil on reclaimed sites.