Sheffield Forgemasters

Heavy skills investment pays off for Sheffield Forgemasters

Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd has reported a 2018 order book value of £118m, its highest since £117m in 2012.

The company, which has been pursuing diverse global contracts since the 2015 oil and gas market crash erased 30% of its workload, counts UK and US defence orders, materials processing, and research and development projects orders as helping to support the order book.

Forgemasters claims that its policy of heavy investment in technology and skill allows it to operate in a competitive worldwide market for large scale engineered components which have a high safety-critical requirement.

Chief executive Dr Graham Honeyman CBE said: “We are very pleased to report that our order book has breached the 100 million pound mark for the first time in five years.

“This announcement follows a prolonged period of market austerity across all of our market sectors after the global recession started to take effect, which was further compounded by the collapse of oil and gas markets which closed off a key revenue stream almost overnight.

“It is important to recognise that our customers see the high integrity of our products and our ability to create engineering solutions as invaluable against increasing competition from other, less experienced manufacturers and aggressive tiger economies.

“Despite the downturn in global markets, the company holds fast to the belief that we have to maintain a technological lead so our investment into new skills and technologies has gone on unabated. This is a crucial difference that sets this company apart and we are confident that we can outgun our fiercest competition in terms of product integrity and design innovation.

“The company still has a lot of work to do to secure new contracts and we have no intention of resting on these placed orders – we need to keep pushing forward and securing work in new markets.

“Research and development projects are increasingly important for us and we have no competitors that can offer our levels of expertise in this field.”

Forgemasters is only one of a handful of companies around the globe qualified to produce high integrity components for the UK submarine programme.

The company is also creating some of the first components for the new class of small modular reactors which may revolutionise the global civil nuclear power programme, working in partnership with EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute) of the USA.

Published: 20 April 2018

Article by Bryce Wilcock
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