The North East is a pioneer in so many aspects of engineering. From the development of the steam turbine to the locomotive engine, the region is a hot house of invention and innovation.
That entrepreneurial spirit exists in the vast range of manufacturers from the region that blaze a trail in home and export markets – many being prominent players in their sectors.
UTS Engineering is very much in this category.
The company operates from large-scale manufacturing and service facilities in Jarrow and Newport, Wales. It works extensively in the utility sector, as well as across a range of industrial and commercial sectors in the UK, and has developed significant business in the Middle East.
The company, which employs more than 100 people, produces a vast range of couplings, flange adapters and repair clamps. Its unique selling point is having the capability to provide almost any product for the piping industry, to incorporate tailor-made solutions and to fabricate its products to suit any size of diameter and oval pipes, if required.
However, it’s the company’s culture that makes it special. Basically, it is fearless. It operates around the clock every day of the year, including Bank Holidays, and is on constant call to assist in large-scale emergency situations.
When water bursts occur or when essential maintenance is needed, it is UTS that the utility sector turns to.
Shaun Sadler, managing director, says: “We are constantly available and always on the move. We hold over £5 million of engineering parts, the majority of which we manufacture ourselves, and we have a fleet of vehicles with skilled engineers on call 24/7.
“It is not unusual for us to be contacted about a major incident and for us to design and produce an engineering part, transport it by road 300 miles, and for us to be on site and the problem solved all within 24 hours.
“It can be challenging and stressful but I have complete trust in my colleagues, with whom I have built a tremendous bond over the years. They overcome what sometimes may seem insurmountable odds. However, they always deliver.”
With two sites in Jarrow and ever-increasing demand from customers both at home and overseas, the company invested £750,000 in a facility in Newport, at the end of 2017, which will offer a variety of essential services to customers in Wales and the south of England.
What makes UTS stand out is the sheer size of its facilities. In a world where evolving technology means firms can downsize, UTS requires vast shop floor space in which to design and engineer its products. The three sites combine to close on 200,000 sq ft, which is approximately four football pitches.
Shaun adds: “It is remarkable how far we have come and I suppose that, in many ways, manifests itself in the size of our facilities. I was increasingly aware that the more we grow, the more the interest in our company would be.
“We needed to stand back a little and look at the way we presented ourselves, not just to customers, but suppliers and the communities in which we operate. To that end we have engaged with Bradley O’Mahoney Public Relations to help us promote the many positive things we do as a business and to look at our digital and web presence. That work is taking place now.
“We are very proud of our industrial heritage and also where we are heading in the future as a company. It’s time that we started to tell our story.”