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Business & Economy

Partnership makes light work of heavy lifting at new assembly and test centre

North East engineering company, JK Lifting Equipment, is celebrating continued growth with the successful completion of a major six-figure project for a Gateshead leader in innovative manufacturing, assembly and testing solutions for the subsea energy industry.

The Newcastle-based firm worked in partnership with Express Engineering to relocate and install five Overhead Travelling Cranes (OTC) within its newly built £3.5m international assembly and test centre in Team Valley.

The collaborative project involved JK Lifting Equipment decommissioning and dismantling five OTCs using forklifts and a 13-tonne mobile city crane.

The cranes are an integral part of the new centre enabling Express Engineering to efficiently lift and transport its engineering solutions for subsea equipment and offshore energy within the facility.

Chris Thompson, chairman of Express Engineering, said: “We are delighted that the centre is now complete. The JK Lifting team have been incredible to work with and really understood our challenges and what we wanted to achieve.

“The OTCs have been designed to best utilise the space available and to maintain safe working areas, as well as vastly speeding up the entire assembly process.”

To ensure the project ran smoothly the JK Lifting Equipment team worked in collaboration to create a comprehensive project plan.

James Bright, managing director at JK Lifting Equipment, explained: “After dismantling the five four-tonne cranes we transported one of them back to our Ouseburn workshop for modification using a specialist extendable trailer provided by J.R. Adams hauliers. The fabrication included modifying the crane’s span to suit the facility. Our team of specialist welders then utilised Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) an industry analysis technique used to ensure no welding defects.

“Then, once back on site in Team Valley and using a 50-tonne mobile crane, each OTC was carefully installed into the Express Engineering’s centre. Following the installation, the team proof load tested each crane to ensure compliance.”

JK Lifting Equipment, which is recognised for its engineering excellence, innovative solutions and collaborative working, has nearly 40 years of lifting expertise and has seen exponential growth in the marine, offshore and energy sectors.

Mr Bright continued: “Since JK Lifting Equipment was established, Express Engineering has supported our business throughout our initial phase of growth. They share a similar approach to ourselves in terms of delivering excellence and added value for customers at every step, through in-depth industry knowledge, technical skill and cutting-edge innovation.

“We appreciate the longstanding partnership and are proud to have supported the creation of the company’s international assembly and test centre. The purpose-built centre demonstrates the growth and investment within the region’s marine and renewable energy sector.

“This project wouldn’t have been possible without a combination of teamwork and expertise, it’s the bedrock of our culture. We are currently looking to further expand the team, to continue combining complementary skills and expertise to fuel our rapid growth and expansion.”

The North East of England is a growing UK hub for the global marine, offshore, renewable and oil and gas sectors. Its strategic importance beside the North Sea and the vast experience, knowledge and network of specialist companies able to support the sector mean the region is attracting growing levels of investment.