Manufacturer makes Acquisition

A Sheffield-based manufacturer has acquired a counterpart with financial support from the Barclays Northern Powerhouse Fund.

OSL Cutting Technologies, formed in 2015 and part of the wider OSL Group, has acquired Universal Drilling, which is also based in Sheffield.

Mathew Grey, group managing director, said: “The acquisition of Universal Drilling further strengthens OSL Cutting Technologies position as a world class manufacturer of cutting tools. Universal has a fantastic reputation both nationally and internationally and will allow us to grow our presence in a variety of markets.

“The new funding, offered by Barclays, has not only supported us to complete on the acquisition but also provided us with the confidence to increase our overseas business, which is crucial for our ongoing expansion plans. It represents our continued belief and investment in Sheffield and as an employer we are wedded to the heritage of its manufacturing excellence.”

OSL Cutting Technologies manufactures and distributes magnetic drills, annular cutters and hole cutting tools to a global market. Its brands includes Rotabroach, GJ Halls, Powerbor and Taylor & Jones.

Matthew Chenery, Barclays relationship director put together the funding package for the deal. He added: “OSL is a great example of a thriving business that is expanding for the future and contributing to the local economy. The new funding from our Northern Powerhouse fund will enable the company to reach new markets, increase overseas trade and we’re delighted to be able to support OSL with their growth ambitions.”

The OSL Group employs more than 200 people with turnover expected to exceed £30m for 2019.

Source: Stephen Farrell, Insider Media, 8th February 2019

GRIPPLE Team is Heads above the rest of the in National Award 

On behalf of their company, a team from Gripple Limited, the global, market-leading, employee-owned manufacturer of the iconic wire fastener, walked away with one of the major accolades in one of the UK’s most respected and largest annual awards programme.

In the Manufacturer MX Awards it was in the People and Skills category which most impressed the hand-picked, experienced judges, following a final presentation at Gripple’s Sheffield headquarters.

Gripple’s People & Culture team – an alternative to the traditional HR department – has grown from two to five in a year, to drive the company’s values-driven culture through learning and development.

Supported by leading industry sponsors, its headline sponsor Santander, the sought-after award scheme is in partnership with The Manufacturer and the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).

Matt Rooney, engineering policy adviser at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said: Manufacturing is one of the major drivers of our economy and, in order to remain so, the sector will need to adapt to a fast-changing technological landscape. Congratulations to all the winners.”

Katrina Ritchie, head of the People & Culture team: “This award means so much to the P&C team and I am proud of the them. However, it really recognises the passion and commitment of everyone at Gripple who understand that training and developing people to be the best they can is vital and will work hard to make Gripple a great place to work.

“The Gripple ‘spirit’ in essence means working together with respect and integrity and going the extra miles to make Gripple the best place to work and so successful.”

Photo caption: Members of Gripple’s People & Culture team who attended the awards’ presentation: l-r Ewa Smereka, Katrina Ritchie and Emma Hibbert.

AMRC visit strengthens Malaysian Links

The University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) has built its links with Malaysia with a visit from the country’s minister of education.

Dr Maszlee Malik’s visit was designed to strengthen the relationship between Malaysia and the UK in the fields of engineering and advanced manufacturing.

The minister, accompanied by a delegation that included the vice chancellor of the University Technology Malaysia and a board member of Education Malaysia Global Services, was introduced to researchers at the centre by Professor Keith Ridgway, founder and executive dean of the AMRC.

The delegation visited Factory of the Future, Nuclear AMRC and Factory 2050 where translational research into advanced machining, manufacturing, materials and lightweighting processes is being carried out for the biggest names in aerospace, energy, automotive and defence.

They also visited the AMRC Training Centre, which is helping more than 300 small and medium sized manufacturing companies in the region to develop new engineering talent. 

Dr Malik said: “Education is key for us and I think a model like the University of Sheffield AMRC could sit very well in the Malaysian economy.

“We also want to look at the possibility of collaborating with the University of Sheffield on joint degree programmes where our students study both in Malaysia and here. We really want to build on our relationship with the university, that is something we want to progress.”

Professor Ridgway added: “A good relationship with Malaysia is something the Sheffield City region will pick up on and could, in future, be a conduit to inward investment just like we have seen with Boeing opening their first European manufacturing facility here and McLaren establishing its Composites Technology Centre in Sheffield.

“Most heartening of all, it was great to see the interest the Minister and his team showed in the training of apprentices and the vital role their skills and talent are playing in growing an economy where inward investors want technology and skills.”

Source: Stephen Farrell, Insider Media, 31st January 2019