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Penny Hydraulics Scoop Highly Commended Excellence in Manufacturing Award!

Penny Hydraulics Scoop Highly Commended Excellence in Manufacturing Award!


Penny Hydraulics celebrate winning a highly commended award for Excellence in Manufacturing at the Derbyshire Times Business Awards held at Casa Hotel, Chesterfield on Thursday 10th November.

The Derbyshire Times business awards are one of the regions highest acclaimed awards. Winning speaks volumes about both the quality of an organisation and the strength of its team. The awards attract a wide range of entries from across all sectors, both small and larger organisations. But the winners all have one thing in common – they are truly excellent at what they do. The Derbyshire Times aim to help local companies raise the profile of their organisation and enhance their reputation by providing a platform for them to celebrate their success.

In the case of the Excellence in Manufacturing Award, the accolade was presented to the company that demonstrated a modern, efficient and innovative approach to manufacturing. Companies had to include a commitment to the excellence and development of its products, a track record for training and passing on skills to future generations and the desire to promote the region as a centre for manufacturing excellence.

Lifting equipment manufacturer Penny Hydraulics Ltd, was founded in 1978 by mining engineer John Penny. The company, still a family run business, has diversified over the years from nationwide hydraulic garage equipment and mining equipment repairs to cater for new markets including; lifting equipment including cranes for commercial vehicles, goods lifts for buildings, winches and tyre handling equipment.

The company’s manufacturing process excellence, however is best demonstrated by their work within the nuclear industry. In 2016 the company won a large mechanical handling contract for Sellafield Ltd who are the company responsible for safely delivering decommissioning, reprocessing and nuclear waste management activities on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. The Nuclear industry has some of the most stringent regulations and highest quality standards of any industry and this is now the fifth year of Penny Hydraulics manufacturing for nuclear industry projects.

Working to the latest regulations and standards, Penny Hydraulics engineers utilise the latest 3D CAD and Finite Element Analysis Packages, as well as applying failure modes and effects analysis, risk assessment tools and As Low As Reasonably Practicable principles. The company provide complete traceability and assurance throughout a project, understanding the need for high quality products and complete documentation in the form of Lifetime Quality Records (LQRs) for all items.

All mechanical handling equipment for the Nuclear Industry is manufactured in accordance with ISO 9001 procedures and the company’s facilities enable general machining, welding and fabrication (with coded welders and weld procedures), hydraulic testing with both mineral oil and fire resistant fluids, stress analysis, non-destructive testing, shot blasting and painting. The company are now a Tier 2 supplier to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, which enables direct tender to the site licence companies responsible for decommissioning and clean-up at 17 UK nuclear sites.

The company pride themselves on their commitment to innovation and agility which have helped them grow to be such a prominent player in the lifting equipment market today. During the recession there was a vast reduction in commercial vehicles being manufactured which saw a downturn in the need for vehicle mounted lifting equipment. Vehicle mounted cranes and loading platforms was Penny Hydraulics core business at this time and therefore this could have potentially been catastrophic for the company.

Managing Director Robin Penny explains how the company addressed this challenge, “At the same time during the recession, we grew our goods lift range as we noticed a trend for business owners to expand and develop their existing premises rather than undertake the larger investment to move premises at a time of major financial uncertainty. This meant in a lot of cases that business owners were having a mezzanine floor installed in their buildings for extra storage or work space which then meant there was a requirement for a lift to move goods to and from this area.” Penny Hydraulics Goods Lift division is now a key growth area for the company and is an excellent example of how they have benefited from being an agile manufacturer, able to respond to changes in the marketplace, innovate and release new products to market quickly. Robin continues, “Diversity is one of our key strategies which also sets us apart from a lot of our competition, having 7 business divisions has certainly facilitated our growth and stability.”

The company has big plans for the future with their main objective over the next three years being to obtain a greater market share of vehicle mounted crane & Goods Lift sales in the UK. The introduction of a new range of over 470 hydraulic cranes launched in 2015 will help them to achieve this. An increased product offering enables them to meet the needs of the 3 ½ to 7 ½ tonne UK commercial vehicle market. The employment of further dedicated Goods Lift sales staff in June 2016 will help them to also grow their Goods Lift division.

To give Penny Hydraulics a competitive advantage over other lifting equipment manufacturers, it is essential for them to maintain higher product quality than their rivals. European Standards and harmonized standards between EU countries have helped them improve safety, quality and drive innovation. ISO9001 certification assists as continuous assessment leads to improved quality and service helping the organisation to deliver on time, get orders “right first time” & reduce product returns and complaints.

Another objective the company has is to offer quicker lead times than thier rivals. Work has commenced on a £1.5M site development at our Clowne premises. The work that is currently underway at the site includes a new warehousing facility to allow increased levels of stock, a new production facility to allow increased production and a new office building to allow the company to add to their engineering department and improve the customer experience.

Having a wider geographical coverage than their rival companies is a business objective Penny Hydraulics are working to. Robin explains, “Having already established a strong presence in the domestic market, we are using our strong online presence to break into larger markets such as those overseas which forms a fundamental part of our growth strategy.”

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