Driving Hastings forward 01424 205481

Sussex Coast College Hastings has developed the following engineering courses for apprentices and management in the manufacturing sector in response to industry requirements, starting in September 2016. Manufacturing companies locally have been asking for years for somewhere to provide this training and Sussex Coast College has delivered these courses to cater for this need.

Check out the course flyer here

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its time o hire an apprentice engineer a stronger workforce

The UK manufacturing growth had a 26-month low in June but has now picked up in July according to a survey.

In July, the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 51.9 in July, from 51.4 in June. This shows good improvement as any figure above 50 indicated expansion.

Despite this result, it is still below the average of 54.3, which the sector has had since April 2013.

In addition, manufacturing has been at its lowest since September 2014 when it comes to the pace of growth of new orders, as this slowed to 52.2. Product expansion continues to be dependent on consumer goods manufacturing, which offset a contraction in investment goods. This includes goods such as plant and machinery, according to Markit.

The sterling-euro exchange rate sapped the demand for exports and new export orders contracted for the fourth consecutive month in July.


Hastings based cable management manufacturer Marshall-Tufflex is strengthening its market-leading position by extending its unique Same Day Collection service with longer opening hours and refurbished collection points.

The service allows account-holding electrical distributors to collect cable management orders between 7am and 5.30pm Monday to Friday, just two hours after order placement from Marshall-Tufflex’s strategically located depots in London and Manchester, a service unrivalled in the industry. Orders placed between 3.30pm and 5pm can be collected from 7am the next working day.

Stock levels of key product ranges are also being extended and constantly reviewed to ensure popular stock lines are available.

The Same Day Collection service is in addition to normal Marshall-Tufflex product deliveries via the company’s own logistics fleet, ensuring wholesalers have the option to obtain stock within 2 hours outside of their normal delivery runs. Contractors benefit from improved access to a quick solution should last minute problems arise on site, resulting in shorter waiting times for urgently needed product.

Both the Manchester and London depots are accessible from major road links and are convenient to get to, with a wide catchment area within one hour’s drive of each. Marshall-Tufflex will provide a reception area at the depots, with a dedicated collection point, seating and refreshments available.

Product collections can also be arranged from Marshall-Tufflex’s manufacturing base in Hastings, on a next-day basis for orders placed before 12.30pm.

“Extended opening hours is good news for our wholesalers and contracting clients and signals just how serious we are about delivering the best products at the right time,” said Debbie Ensell, Marshall-Tufflex Customer Services Manager. “Competitors, at best, only offer next day delivery so offering a Collection Service with a maximum two hour turnaround from receipt of order (subject to stock availability) coupled with longer opening hours is an exciting development that we hope will really benefit our customers, allowing them to better service their electrical contractor customers.”

Details of the depots where this can be done are:

  • Hastings: Marshall-Tufflex, 55-65 Castleham Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, TN38 9NU
  • London: Marshall-Tufflex, 101c Blackhorse Lane, London, E17 6DJ
  • Manchester: Marshall-Tufflex, Europa Trading Estate, Stoneclough Road, Radcliffe, Manchester, M26 1GG

UK industrial output grew at its quickest rate for six months in March, official figures have indicated.

Output has risen by 0.5% from a month before, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) stated. The narrower measure of manufacturing output rose by 0.4% month-on-month, with figures revised up to 0.5% for manufacturing-laserFebruary.

Pharmaceutical products and preparations, manufacturing and repair, and rubber and plastics boosted manufacturing output. Going by a year-on-year basis, the total production output was predicted to have an increase of 0.7% in March 2015 compared with March 2014.

Two of the four main industrial sectors faced an increase, with manufacturing output being up by 1.1%. However, going on a quarterly basis, total production output was estimated to have risen by 0.1% between the October to December 2014 period and the January to March 2015 quarter.

The largest component of production, manufacturing, was estimated to have increased by 0.1% between these periods, as stated by the ONS. As well as this, a report from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) said its monthly estimated of UK GDP inferred that output grew by 0.4% in the three month ending in April. This was after the growth of 0.3% in the three months to March.

Due to increased demand The Kurt J. Lesker Company has announced the expansion for specialty manufacturing at its European Headquarters. Further investment will allow KJLC additional resource creating a dedicated manufacturing team, specialising in the fabrication of stainless steel products.  The strategy being to replicate the current US Manufacturing division, to become Europe’s largest manufacturing facility. kurt-j-lesker

In order for KJLC Ltd to see growth in Europe it is a necessity for the UK based manufacturing operation to expand.  Currently producing Electrical Feedthroughs, Liquid Feedthroughs, and custom components onsite and subcontracts large scale manufacturing services from either their US parent company or from local manufacturing organisations.

Expansion will enable KJLC to support the high demand for quality vessels and components across Europe.  Additional capital equipment will provide the capability to machine a 1mtr³ envelope for vacuum related applications at competitive pricing with shorter lead times.

KJLC has built a reputation as a world class manufacturer and distributor of quality vacuum products. Offering customer’s an unrivalled global product inventory, excellent customer service, and outstanding e-commerce solutions.

Founded in 1954, Kurt J Lesker Company has grown into a highly recognised global organisation supporting the high- and ultra‑high vacuum market.  Serving industries; LED, Optics, UHV/ Synchrotron, Electronics, Decorative Coating and R&D.  KJLC provides the most complete line of products and service solutions in the vacuum industry worldwide.

Hi-Vac Engineering is an established manufacturer of scientific equipment in the East Sussex area, with full ISO 9001:2008 accreditation and clients both around the UK and in Europe. The company is continuing to increase its international presence, and have recently added clients in China, Hong Kong and the Middle East to their customer base.


This expansion has led to investment in two brand new machines; an XYZ 1510 large 4-axis Vertical Machining Centre, which has 1.5 meters of travel and a 32 station auto tool changer and is complete with the 2015 version of the Siemens 828Dshopmill controls. To meet increased demand for manufacturing UHV seals, an additional M701 Cold Welder is now on site. This continued investment will ensure that the exceptional level of quality expected by customers is maintained.

At the start of the year, the company welcomed three new staff members to the team; experienced CNC machinist Dave Clement, Paul McGarvie, who is responsible for the logistics side of the business, and Dr Marcus Hughes, who is working closely with synchrotron customers and will be taking a leading role in forthcoming development projects.

Following the success enjoyed by Hivac Engineering at last year’s Vacuum Expo Exhibition and Conference at the Ricoh Area in Coventry, Managing Director Paul Lennard is pleased to confirm that a team from the company will be in attendance at this year’s event on both the 14th and 15th October at stand W01.

Posted by: In: Business, Local, News 04 Mar 2015 Comments: 0 Tags: ,

Small and medium sized manufacturers (SMEs) in London and the South East are defying predictions of a slowdown by reporting increases in current and predicted sales.


57% of the regional respondents to the latest Manufacturing Barometer* have indicated that their turnover has continued to increase which is the same reported a year ago.  Over two thirds (72%) expect further increases over the next quarter which is higher than the national response of 70%.

In further positive news, over half of firms (53%) are still looking to recruit and 58% said they were planning to increase investment in new technology, a 9% increase on the last quarter and the highest figure recorded in the six-year history of the Barometer indicating a movement towards more advanced manufacturing.

Hampshire-based GW Martin Machining Specialists supply machined components and assemblies to the aerospace, defence, automotive and electrical industries in the UK and overseas.  Stuart Yalden, Managing Director says: “We are positive about the future and pleased to report a healthy order book to take us well into the next year.  This gives us the confidence to commit to our investment strategy to develop the business with new equipment and systems, and importantly investment in the skills of our team.”

The specialist topic this time was ‘identifying barriers to growth’. Responses revealed that the burden of regulation and the pressure of paying higher salaries are the two main concerns for London and the South East SME manufacturing base.

Roger Churchill, MD of Lohmann Technologies UK Ltd in Buckinghamshire, who provide high-tech bonding solutions for manufacturers says: “Lohmann has seen continuous expansion since 2009, yielding a CAGR of 17.39% on sales growth. This has been achieved by continuous investment in people, machinery and buildings, allowing for future growth. The future looks very positive, with a strategic plan to double our business again over the next six years, but there are always risks and we are very focused on ensuring we deliver what our customers’ need, on time and in full.”

Business Minister Matthew Hancock commented: “Small businesses have been at the forefront of our economic recovery and the findings show no sign this is slowing down. We are committed to making Britain the best place in the world to start and grow a business, which means backing manufacturers every step of the way. Our long-term economic plan is delivering and it’s clear that manufacturers are leading the way.”

Surrey-based Acro Aircraft Seating is an aerospace engineering company specializing in aircraft seating.  Chris Poland, Operations Director says: “Business is booming at Acro. We recently added 25 jobs and have moved to a larger facility. Although we export over 80 % of our sales, 95% of our purchasing spend is UK based and we intend to keep it this way. A strong UK economy and supply base will continue to be vital to our expansion plans.”

Steven Barr, Head of Manufacturing at the Business Growth Service, commented: “There have been concerns that manufacturing is slowing down, and GDP figures from the Office for National Statistics did indeed reveal a slight decline. However this is not the case for SMEs.

“Record investment plans in technology from these manufacturers are welcomed. This shows they recognise the need to spend to compete globally, to offer unique processes and technologies to establish themselves on the added value chain. Any slowdown by the bigger manufacturers will take a while to cascade down the supply chain and we have to be mindful that there might be a delayed reaction to the predicted slowdown.  At the moment though the news is very positive.”

Sussex-based Drallim Industries producers of specialist engineering equipment for the aerospace, industrial and utilities market has increased their workforce recently by 20% reflecting the strengthening economy.  David Mooney, MD says “We are very proud to be a British manufacturing company and we intend to continue growing providing local jobs and contributing to returning the UK’s manufacturing status to “Great Britain.”

The Barometer is the largest survey of its kind, reflecting the views of 546 SME manufacturers across England, employing over 16,000 people. The London and the South East response represented the views of 144 manufacturers.

The Business Growth Service, launched in December 2014 by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, brings together GrowthAccelerator and the Manufacturing Advisory Service, with additional elements from the Intellectual Property Office (Intellectual Property Audits) and the Design Council (Design Mentoring). The manufacturing offer is closely aligned with GROW:OffshoreWind and Fit for Nuclear (F4N), the latter delivered by the Nuclear AMRC (NAMRC).

The Business Growth Service also refers SME manufacturers to the right support provided by other agencies, including UK Trade & Investment, Innovate UK (including High Value Manufacturing Catapults), the British Business Bank, local Growth Hubs and UK Export Finance.

For further information, please visit www.greatbusiness.gov.uk/mas or follow @BGS_tweets/@mas_works on Twitter.



Hastings is a major hub for Ultra High Vacuum manufacturers as highlighted by the annual Tec 66 Conference and Exhibition so it comes as no surprise that the The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) have asked us to let manufacturers in the sector that they are looking for suppliers to tender for Small aperture UHV vacuum chambers for their electron storage ring.

Here’s the timeline and procedures from the tender document for bidding and delivery for the successful bidders.ESRF-LogoBaseline-RGB

  • Pre-Qualification Exercise scheduled for dispatch: February 2015
  • Call For Tender scheduled for dispatch: June 2015
  • Contract date: December 2015
  • Delivery: Mid 2018

Here’s some more details (from the tender document) regarding what they are looking for.

The ESRF will procure more than 450 vacuum chambers of various types: Chambers machined from stainless steel solid material and welded as well as chambers produced from cold formed stainless steel sheets and special chambers involving ceramics and copper and aluminium alloys. All of the chambers will be subject to tight dimension tolerances and demanding ultra high vacuum specifications in terms of leak tightness and residual gas spectrum. Mechanical measurements and full vacuum qualification with bake-out will be requested.

All participants in the pre-qualification exercise will be invited to answer a questionnaire to allow the ESRF to shortlist the companies who will be involved in the formal Calls for Tender. Following the pre-qualification exercise, the ESRF expects to issue between four and eight tenders.

If you manufacture these and would like the opportunity to tender for it then click on the link to view the ESRF Tender.

Good luck to al those that tender and if you are a local manufacturer that wins the business then we’d like to hear from you.


Sussex Coast College Hastings has responded to local business demand by developing an exclusive course entitled ‘High Vacuum Technology’ which gives employers and employees the opportunity to enhance their knowledge of the high vacuum industry and its requirements.scch-logo

Paul Nash, who developed the course after seeing the need for basic understanding of High Vacuum in Hastings and Rother said, ‘This course is the only one of its kind, nothing else like it exists. We are meeting the needs of local businesses and providing education to those already working in the industry for large and small organisations.’

Paul has 20 years’ experience in the High Vacuum industry, working as a manufacturing engineer and production cell manager for BOC Edwards in Eastbourne before moving into engineering teaching.  Before that, Paul worked in the defence industry on Flight Control Systems so is used to the demands of high-tech industries. He feels that it is essential that we meet the educational demands of today’s and tomorrow’s businesses by providing exceptional training to students. Indeed, his project for his teaching qualification was on ‘meeting the needs of local employers’.

Tuition on the new course is provided by qualified teaching staff with a background in the vacuum and high-tech engineering industry. Some content is delivered at local manufacturers’ premises and delivery is supported by guest lecturers from local vacuum businesses.

Mike King, of specialist manufacturers Photek, said, ‘Photek have benefited a lot from the course. We recently had two production engineers attend and they were able to adopt the new skills and practices and bring them into the work place. This helped improve both quality and production at Photek.’

Mike concluded, ‘The course is beneficial to both employee and company. It has boosted skills of the employee which helps with confidence and improves productivity and morale.’

Katie Binns works in sales for Kurt J Lesker, a leading global provider of high-quality vacuum products and systems. ‘This course has been very informative and helped me greatly with my day-to-day job. I now have a better understanding of what customers are asking for and what they are explaining to me.’

‘The course was neatly divided into digestible portions, all relevant to the vacuum industry. As there are many people in this town who work within this sector, it’s great to see that the college is acknowledging this: it was a useful introduction to the world of vacuum. The timing of the course fitted perfectly around work hours and the delivery of the course was varied and interesting: we even had the chance to hear and learn from people working in the field. This course is a definite must for anyone in the vacuum business.’

To find out more about studying the High Vacuum Technology course at SCCH, call 01424 442222 or email pnash@sussexcoast.ac.uk.

Outgoing Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) President Phil Fagg has praised British manufacturer Marshall-Tufflex for its high quality, easy-to-install energy management products – while warning that more needs to be done to equip buildings with energy efficient solutions to ameliorate the threat of power blackouts.

marshall tufflex

ECA praises Marshall Tufflex

Mr Fagg visited Hastings-based Marshall-Tufflex on May 12 to discuss the marketplace from a contractor’s point of view. He met with senior management including Managing Director Jim Fletcher, Commercial Director Richard Beale plus members of the sales, marketing, customer service and operation teams.

He reinforced the ECA ’s long-standing relationship with Marshall-Tufflex, which manufactures both market-leading cable management and energy management solutions, praising the family-owned company for developing products that are both effective and aesthetically pleasing: “Contractors are continually looking for well-designed products that are easy on the eye, efficient and simple to install. Marshall-Tufflex is responding to these requirements. Your Boiler Management system is great – it’s high quality. And you’ve got it right with your Voltis voltage optimisation offering. Top quality products not only make my job easier but I know I am supporting a UK manufacturer. Energy efficient products are a win-win situation for all – the manufacture, the installer and the end user,” he said.

However, Mr Fagg went on to describe energy efficiency as ‘a fantastic opportunity for our industry, but also our greatest challenge’. He warned that national power output may not meet consumer demand, leading to localised blackouts ‘becoming a reality’ as early as next year and making the drive to more energy efficient buildings all the more important. This topic is set to be discussed at the ECA ’s Electric Event (May 28-30, ICC Birmingham) during which Marshall-Tufflex will present a seminar – ‘Reduce energy costs, build customer loyalty’ – discussing the business opportunities for electrical contractors offering energy saving systems to clients.

“We were delighted to welcome Phil to Marshall-Tufflex and really appreciated his endorsement of our energy saving systems such as the Domestic Boiler Manager,” said Jeremy Dodge, Marshall-Tufflex Head of Marketing and Technical Services. “We’ve worked hard to develop domestic and commercial products that deliver good savings for users, are straight-forward to install, as compact as possible and aesthetically pleasing. It’s good to get positive feedback from Phil, who is both an industry leader and an electrical contractor who knows what works for him and his company.”

Its great to hear that a Hastings based company such as Marshall Tufflex is receiving this much praise from a national association. If you have a similar story to share then let us know via the contact page.