Duke drops in on Harlow

11 Dec 2018

Engineering capacity news posted by Andy Sandford

The Queen’s cousin, HRH the Duke of Kent, has paid a visit to precision sheet metal specialist Harlow Group.

On arrival the Duke was introduced to Alan Pearce, Managing Director, and Michelle Madell, Financial Controller, by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Essex, Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst.

Established in 1975, Harlow Group supplies leading businesses including Sony, Pitney Bowes, Snap-on and GE Aviation, as well as Kelvin Hughes and Safan. The company has full ISO 9001: 2015 and AS 9100:Rev D aerospace accreditation, as well as customer approvals across many industry sectors.

The Duke was invited on a tour of the premises during which he was introduced to long serving employees. He started his tour at the CAD/CAM department where he was presented to Tricia Clear, Commercial Business Manager (20 years’ service), Dave Carlisle, CAD/CAM Engineer (42 years’ service) and Ashley Peters, Costing & Technical Engineer (28 years’ service). Both Dave Carlisle and Ashley Peters explained to HRH about the CAD design and CAM programming technology, demonstrated what the businesses is developing using 3D printing technology, as well as highlighting the quality control equipment and measuring applications.

Next on the tour was the Forming Area where Mark Adams, Senior Press Brake Setter/Operator (31 years’ service) explained to HRH how the press brake machines are used and the work they produce. From here the Duke proceeded to the Welding Shop where he was presented to Richard Banks, Prototype Engineer (31 years’ service) who talked about some recent project examples of prototype work Harlow Group is undertaking.

Alan Pearce then presented Kevin Pettengell, Senior CNC Setter/Operator (32 years’ service). He demonstrated the Fibre Laser Cutting Machine and explained the functionality of the other two machines in the CNC area: EMK 3510NT Turret Punch Press and EML Laser Punch combination machine.

In the company’s Assembly Area David Gordon-Smith, Finance Director, Harlow Group, presented the Duke to Bill Jheinga, Chief Operating Officer, Harlow Group; Andrew Shroff, Material Health Leader, GE Aerospace; Anthony Blewett, UK Sources Fulfilment Leader, GE Aerospace; Ryan Shaw, Manager – Global Supply Chain Quality, Pitney Bowes, and Simon Papworth, Inward Investment Manager, Invest Essex.

Within the Aerospace Assembly Area HRH was presented to Peter William, Assembly Production Supervisor (28 years’ service) and Peter Kenneally, Aerospace Team Leader (42 years’ service). Both explained to the Duke the products produced by Harlow Group for GE Aerospace that are fitted to Boeing and Gulfstream aircraft, with Peter Kenneally emphasising the technically demanding manual assembly work required for the aerospace sector.

Next was a demonstration in the Machine Shop where Alan Pearce explained the functionality of the company’s new Grob G350 5-axis CNC milling machine and the parts it manufactures.

Long-service achievement awards were then presented to each of the staff celebrating more than 20 years’ service. David Gordon-Smith provided everyone gathered with a brief and often jovial snippet of information about the recipients, and the awards were presented by the Chair of Harlow Council, Councillor Maggie Hulcoop and Brian Keane, Managing Director of Harlow Council.

Alan Pearce said: “It was an honour for everyone at Harlow Group to receive HRH the Duke of Kent, to see just how keen he was to find out more about our advanced manufacturing business. And, it was a privilege for all the directors of the company to have our long-serving staff awards commemorated on such an auspicious occasion.”