A firm that’s thriving under pressure!

Handling air: Ryan Wright at work on a pressurised delivery system at Schenck Process UK's new factory at Capitol Park, Thorne.   Picture: Steve Parkin
Handling air: Ryan Wright at work on a pressurised delivery system at Schenck Process UK's new factory at Capitol Park, Thorne. Picture: Steve Parkin
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Whether you want to shoot a solid ‘plug’ of coal or copper into a furnace or move powdered cocoa around a chocolate factory, Schenck Process UK knows exactly how to handle the pressure.

The Doncaster-based business specialises in moving materials and counts power plants, steel makers, copper smelters, dock yards and food companies as key customers for its world-beating equipment.

When it comes to measuring and then delivering quantities of material using compressed air, there are few that can compare with the German-owned business.

Schenck’s skills range from designing and manufacturing to installing, commissioning and maintaining equipment that, more often than not, solves what, to Schenck’s customers, appear to be intractable problems.

Its abilities have been reflected in rapid growth, fuelled by multimillion pound investments, since the Doncaster business was acquired by Frankfurt-based Schenck Process, just over 18 months ago.

That deal brought together three companies – Schenck’s own operations in Manchester, a company called Redler in the Gloucestershire market town of Stroud, and Clyde Process, based on Doncaster’s Shaw Lane Industrial Estate.

Schenck specialised in weighing, feeding and blending materials.

Redler started out during the First World War to develop machinery for moving materials in flour mills, once the men who had done it before went to fight at the front.

By the time Schenck bought the business in 2006, it had grown into a company that specialised in machinery for moving materials in bulk.

The final piece of the jigsaw, Clyde Process, started out in Doncaster in 1974 as Macawber Engineering, after founder Brian Snowdon invented the “dome valve,” which led to huge improvements in the reliability and efficiency of pneumatic conveying and delivery systems.

Much of Macawber’s business centred on the coal industry and the company was hit hard by the 1984 Miners’ Strike, after which it was acquired by the Scottish-based Clyde Group.

While Redler continues to make bulk handling systems in Stroud, the rest of the Schenck Process UK business is based in Doncaster, where the company continues to develop what has now become its new headquarters on Capitol Park.

Schenck’s investment in the Capitol Park site has expanded its capacity so that it can cope with a number of new contracts it has taken on as it grows its turnover from £25 million to around £45 million.

Contract successes include installing what Schenck believes is the biggest injection system for a blast furnace in Europe, developing a system to deliver renewable biofuels to furnaces at a leading power station and other systems for injecting a range of alternative fuels into processing plants that include cement kilns.