In this issue of Industrial Process News, we are pleased to announce ADC Electrical as our Electro-Mechanical Engineering Company of the Year.
ADC Electrical The company was founded in 1974 in premises in Riverside Road, Southwick, Sunderland. Early in 1994, it moved to the present premises, which are purpose-built and is around 14,000 sq. ft. in floor area. The base is a 2.5-acre site in Washington, Tyne and Wear, and the company services the whole of the UK.
Initially, the company was formed to provide a repair and rewind service of industrial electric motors to the shipbuilding repair and engineering businesses in the North-East. It quickly extended the base in order to provide a similar service to all types of industry. The core business was then extended to include the supply of new electric motors and the manufacture of air-cooled transformers and iron and air chokes.
Today, ADC Electrical’s main service is to maintain and repair rotating electrical equipment including motors, fans, pumps, and more. Ensuring that a pump and/or motor is repaired to the highest quality, ADC Electrical’s engineers are trained to the highest level and have experience and expertise that are trusted in the industry. Its pump range covers all major pump manufacturers and types such as Grundfos, Wilo, Flygt, Lowara and Centrifugal, Submersible, Positive displacement and more.
Over the last 12 months, ADC Electrical has seen its Pump repair business experience a large increase, with the motor and fan repair customer base also increasing. In addition, supply of new motors and other goods has shown good numbers, and this has been supported by the introduction of new pump engineers into the business. The company’s manufacturing division is working with its customers on the introduction of new bespoke stator models up to 1.2 megawatt in size, and ADC Electrical may be the only supplier currently building this type of product to this specification and has also gained UL approval for one of its products.
ADC Electrical has also developed its working relationship with the Primary Engineer Programmes project. There is a lack of new engineers coming through the ranks in engineering in general, and this appears to coincide with the reduction of engineering-based subjects in schools. With Primary Engineer Programmes, the company is working with local schools to try to increase skills and knowledge, with the hope of inspiring the next generation of engineers.
The Primary Engineer Rail Project enables teachers across the UK to deliver two inspiring projects for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 primary pupils aligned to the curriculum. These projects will develop practical, design, build, make skills along with cognitive skills such as the Engineering Habits of Mind (EHoM); problem finding, and creative problem solving, along with critical thinking skills, teamwork and communication skills.
This proposal gives ADC Electrical the opportunity to fund the Primary Engineer Rail Project for schools in 2022, which will establish meaningful links between engineering and schools. The foundation of this is based on training teachers and partnering them with ADC Electrical engineering professionals. The engineering professionals will be able to support the Primary Engineer Rail Project in the classroom, with teachers and pupils either face to face or via online sessions providing a real-world context to the learning. This will hopefully increase the aspiration and career awareness of the pupils and teachers about the rail sector and within rail engineering.
Looking back, Business Development Director, Andy Patten commented, “Along with most businesses, we have had some highs and lows in recent times. In November last year, we won the AEMT award for service centre of the year and were also finalists in the category of product of the year, which was obviously a high for us. However, during the same time period, our business took a blow with the confirmed loss of one of our main manufactured products to Chinese competition. This put us under some pressure going into 2022 knowing we needed to find a way of filling the gap sales that the loss of the manufacturing product had left us with.”
It was hoped that with the ending of the pandemic that business, and availability of spares and products would slowly return to somewhere near normal throughout 2022. Instead, the turn in global events early in 2022 added a whole new level of supply chain issues and ever-increasing costs. However, ADC Electrical’s increased turnover during 2021 has been a big plus, based upon its expectations from last year, but of course the increasing costs of everything from materials to energy is a major concern looking forward.
ADC Electrical have found that from a repairer’s point of view the lack of availability of replacement products has been a factor for increased repair business. The same factor has also meant that spare parts are less widely available, and lead times are ever increasing – in excess of a year now becoming more common. The company has also noticed that business has fluctuated more than usual, going from quiet to extremely busy then back again, and recognises that this is possibly due to financial constraints being reflected in many companies’ maintenance budgets.
The company had forecasted that it would struggle to meet the previous year’s sales figures due to the loss of the manufacturing contract and those ongoing global issues. Instead, Andy continued, “During the first eight months of 2022, we in fact managed a 10% increase on sales on the previous year. Following this, we are very pleased to be recognised by Industrial Process News for this award. It is an opportunity for people to see the efforts that our whole team puts in day after day, and receiving the award is another high for us in a year filled with ups and downs.”
Not content to remain static, ADC Electrical has exciting future-plans. In addition to the Primary Engineers project, in the short term it intends to maintain the current business, while adapting as best possible to the everchanging pressures put on all UK businesses. Long-term goals are to grow as a business, while staying true to its environmental commitments, the company is currently looking at solar panels as a possible means of reducing energy cost and a reduction in its carbon footprint.