Issue 07 2012
Nestled in the industrial heartland of Sheffield, Shepcote Engineering is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of heavy duty hydraulic cylinders.
Its in house manufacturing capability is the largest in the UK dedicated to the manufacture of hydraulic cylinders. The company has successfully provided hydraulic and engineering solutions for many years to sectors as diverse as marine, offshore, industrial, mining and civil engineering.
Shepcote Engineering also specialises in large capacity sub-contract machining and proudly boasts having some of the largest machining capability of its type in the UK. Specialist services include; deep hole boring, honing and turning, which presents a unique advantage to its customers.
Shepcote Engineering ensures costs are kept to a minimum and quality is maximised by retaining its manufacturing process in house. This also enables the company to produce its bespoke designed cylinders, many of which are designed specifically for offshore or subsea applications.
The capability to meet the exact requirements of the customers is becoming increasingly important in the oil and gas industry as sales manager, Robert Ketteringham elaborates: “As the search for oil and gas moves into deeper waters and harsher environments, the external factors involved often result in an increase in the type and specification of materials required. Shepcote Engineering has considerable experience in this area and is capable of specialised machining applications, which tends to be outside the capabilities of mainstream contractors, and into our field of expertise.
“Our specialisation is in the design and manufacture of large cylinders or those destined for work in a marine or subsea environment. Typical applications are deck handling equipment including A frames, cable handling equipment and heave compensators. Increasingly we are asked to produce cylinders for the renewable energy industry. Shepcote’s cylinders are to be found on various wave and tidal energy devices that are currently undergoing trials.
“The other main side of the business in terms of the oil and gas industry is the scale of our machining capacity, and capability for deep hole boring and honing and turning of large tubes. We have found that over the years we have carried out more and more work for the machining of non-hydraulic cylinders, which lends itself well to the offshore sector and the need for pipes and tubulars.”
Shepcote Engineering has the ability to respond rapidly to customer situations. “Because we don’t have a production line we can react very quickly, for example, if someone has a riser joint or material that needs machining in a short time-frame. We are well located in the midst of a main logistic area for the supply of raw materials. Additionally we have established links with other material suppliers feeding into the oil and gas industry, so we are handily placed to fulfil demands.”
In making the most of these local ties, Shepcote Engineering is proud to be a member of the organisation ‘Made In Sheffield’. This phrase is recognised worldwide as a symbol for quality in both materials and workmanship. The maintenance of high standards are principles Shepcote Engineering works hard to uphold in its own operations.
The company has recently joined forces with NOF Energy – a non-for-profit membership organisation with over 400 participants. “Because of the specialist services we offer, we can be of interest to any number of our fellow NOF Energy members,” explains Robert. “A lot of projects within the marketplace are huge in their scope, encompassing many standards of engineering. We appreciate that the networking aspect is increasingly important to securing aspects of that work.”
As a service provider Shepcote Engineering is intent on remaining at the forefront of hydraulic cylinder manufacturing and subcontract machining by investing in new machinery and increasing its machining capability further. “The requests for large capacity turning have been such that we are constantly updating our machinery, including recently investing in a new CNC lathe with the capacity to turn components 1000mm diameter up to 12 metres long. Increasing demand for machining services has come out of the oil and gas industry. Therefore as a service company we are working to respond to this,” comments Robert.
Shepcote Engineering recognises that to meet customer needs, it is of equal importance to expand and strengthen its quality workforce. The company has responded by investing in the appointment of apprentices. Primarily focused on the hydraulic cylinder division, Shepcote Engineering is particularly keen to increase its capabilities in CAD design, due to the growing specialisation of such equipment in the market and the reliance its customer place on these capabilities.
“As a service provider, we are dependent upon what is happening in the industry, and what clients are looking for,” confirms Robert. “Our ambition is to become established further along the supply chain with some of the larger operators. Our aim is to make them aware of what we can do for them. To conclude, we are working to consolidate our position at the forefront of machining services by investing in people and machinery.”
Products: Hydraulic cylinders, large capacity turning, and deep-hole boring