Hutchinson Engineering of Widnes, Cheshire (UK) is investing more than £500,000 in new technology to streamline its performance in manufacturing wind turbine structures.

Hutchinson Engineering of Widnes, Cheshire (UK) is investing more than £500,000 in new technology to streamline its performance in manufacturing wind turbine structures.

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The new Ficep equipment – a £370,000 Gemini Italian-built machine for drilling, tapping, milling, marking and thermal cutting steel, and a £140,000 Dutch PC-600 for pipe profiling – will speed up the fabrication and cutting process by generating quality parts for better fit and less welding time.

This new machinery will allow the company to manufacture larger wind turbines – 50kW and 100kW models – with added ease.

Dean Drinkwater, MD of Hutchinson Engineering, which has been involved in structural steel work for over 30 years, said: “We have quietly positioned ourselves as the market leaders in the telecoms and renewable energy sectors with the manufacture of mobile phone masts and wind turbines.

“Our name is now synonymous with these sectors and we have good reason to celebrate this success with our recent sales growth. We have always been involved in specialist steel work, but during my ownership we have diversified into new areas such as wind turbine manufacture.

“It is for this reason that we have decided to invest in additional machinery to help us work smarter and faster when drilling and cutting steel. We are aiming to have the two new systems up and running by April which will increase our productivity and reduce wait times for products.”

Hutchinson Engineering has also invested £30,000 in a 3.5 tonne JCB to ensure that heavy structures can be loaded and unloaded with extra efficiency.

Explained Dean: “The forklift truck will be added to our existing fleet of vehicles to fulfil requirements for the transportation of steel products around our site. We need to ensure safe handling of these structures and make certain that they are shipped out to customers without delay.”

He added: “These investments are all part of our vision to become a world leader in the design and manufacture of steels structures for wind energy and telecommunications.”

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