Wednesday, July 19, 2017

News: AESSEAL's new Rotherham facility given royal seal of approval

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HRH The Duke of York was back in Rotherham this week to see the continued investment from leading manufacturer, AESSEAL.

With its global headquarters at Templeborough, the £150m turnover company manufactures mechanical seals for a wide range of industries, including oil and gas, food, water, mining and pharmaceuticals.

Earlier this month, Rothbiz featured the latest £500,000 investment in their testing facility.

To meet a huge demand for both new and repair of dry gas compressor seals, AESSEAL has doubled the current capacity and increasing the diameter of seals that it can manufacture, refurbish and dynamically test up to 380mm (14.96") shaft diameter.

Work began in a former store area of the state of the art premises in November last year. The company previously announced a multi-million pound investment in large capacity 9-axis machining centres which are an essential requirement for both new manufacture and repair of third party dry gas compressor seals. Lifting equipment has also been installed to increase the lifting capacity to 2,500kg (2.76 tonnes).

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Before officially opening the facility, the HRH The Duke of York met with some of the 300 Rotherham-based staff, including the company's founder and managing director, Chris Rea, and Madeleine Kearney, an AESSEAL engineering apprentice who has spent time working in the test house.

The testing rig ensures that Rotherham-made products meet the needs of the demanding oil & gas industry. AESSEAL's more standard sized seals can fit inside its latest, bigger products.

AESSEAL believe that Dry Gas Compressor Seals represent the top of the mechanical sealing technology ladder and have invested heavily in this technology in the last 15 years.

But Chris Rea, founder and managing director, explained to the HRH The Duke of York that: "We've spent ten years losing money in this sector. It's a broken market with no new technology since the 1950's. Our investment is a statement about what we can offer our customers - and that is the best in the world."

During his visit, HRH The Duke of York said: "It is a pleasure to be invited back here and to see the growth since my last visit in 2002. It is also a pleasure to see a company committed to its workforce and to manufacturing in the UK."

AESSEAL reports that, due to the decline in the oil price, all other major companies in the mechanical seal field, apart from AESSEAL, have seen declining revenues since the beginning of 2016, along with a substantial reduction in profitability and heavy job losses.

As proof, March 2017 saw sales at AESSEAL come in at just under £16m, nearly £2m greater than the previous record breaking month for the business.

Rea joked with the Duke of York: "Perhaps I can invite you back in 15 years when we have doubled the company."

The Duke's response: "You double the company and I'll be back as soon as it happens."

AESSEAL website

Images: Duke of York / twitter


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