Building is the future for PRV Engineering

image of steel framework fabricationHaving invested more than £1million into the company last year, PRV Engineering Ltd  reported a record turnover in 2013. Twelve months on from the installation of the company’s new plating facility, managing director Simon Jones is confident that 2014 will see a repeat performance.

With the company focussed on the construction industry, PRV Engineering is seeking to not only maintain its high standards, but to add a number of new contracts to the order book.

Simon said; “We had our best ever year in 2013, turning over around £4.1million. The plan for this year is very much the same. We want to keep developing and providing the ‘One stop shop’ service on which we pride ourselves. Continue reading

Engineering in the future

precision engineering equipmentA great deal has been spoken and written in recent times about the current state and the future of the engineering industry in the UK. Not only does Sir James Dyson claim he could employ another 2000 engineers if they were out there, but figures for graduate engineers entering the business, pale into insignificance when you compare them with those in other parts of Europe. Simon Jones, Managing Director of PRV Engineering in Pontypool, South Wales, is concerned about the future of the industry.

“It’s failing miserably,” said Simon. “There’s a lack of investment and a real lack of skill. It just doesn’t exist in this country anymore and engineering doesn’t exist in any child’s vocabulary anymore.

“It’s not a career that is even mentioned in most places. Okay, it’s inherently a dirty, greasy job and at the end of the day, that’s the perception. The pay is good but it’s not as good as in other sectors.

“The real issue is that it’s been destroyed in the schools where you no longer have  metalwork or woodwork lessons. Children are not allowed to use machines because of health and safety rules, so they don’t get excited by a lathe, because they’ve never seen one.

We recently hosted around 50 schoolchildren at our plant in Pontypool and both the boys and the girls were so excited to see the machinery. They even made things on our CNC machine and everyone of them loved it.

“The question is, how will they continue that interest unless they are exposed to it? How would a child get to see a machine because they don’t have them in schools and even many colleges don’t have them?

“We have tied ourselves up in knots in this country and I really don’t see how we can get out of it. Yet elsewhere in Europe engineering is right up there with being a doctor, nurse or solicitor. It’s still very much a business to go into.

“Another problem is the legal wage for an apprentice engineer. It’s £2.50 an hour. Will that excite anybody? I pay more than that, but that’s the legal pay scale and it just shows that everything within the industry has been allowed to go to pot.

“Unless youngsters get excited by it in school, how are they going to get excited about it when they reach an age where they can go out to work? They have to have been exposed to it. Tell me how can I put a youngster on a £380,000 machine if they have never done any metalwork in his or her life?

“Whether the machine does it for you or not, you still need to know what a piece of metal sounds like when its being cut properly.”

If you have any thoughts about the industry or any desire to go into engineering, let us know. You can post a comment below or you can find us on the website, LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.


PRV on track with rail industry

image of railway tracks and station

The rail industry has been a constant topic of conversation over the past 12 months. From HS2 to the 10-year life extension of the current rolling stock and from Bombardier’s £1billion contract to the terrible damage caused by the recent inclement weather; trains and tracks have rarely been out of the news.

The early weeks of the New Year were dominated by the desperate news from the south west of England, in particular, where many sections of track were either submerged or damaged beyond repair.

With the storms having given way to a spell of brighter weather and rebuilding work ongoing, the attention now has turned to other matters, like HS2. This week HS2 chairman Sir David Higgins claimed that building work on the northern section of the £50bn high-speed project, should be accelerated. Continue reading

Female engineers are difficult to find

wordcloud about female engineersA lack of senior engineers and in particular, a serious shortage of female engineers, has been a common theme in recent years.

The figures make for disappointing reading when it comes to female engineers. The United Kingdom is falling behind many of its European neighbours when it comes to attracting women into the industry.

However, Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Foundation chairman, Lord Browne of Madingley, has called on parents to take a fresh look at engineering and encourage their sons and daughters into the profession. Continue reading

3D printing is the future

picture of a 3D printerIf you talk to most engineering experts, they will tell you that 3D printing represents one of the most significant developments ever seen in the manufacturing industry.

For those who are still unsure about 3D printing or as it’s more professionally called, additive manufacturing, the following quote, perhaps, provides the best possible explanation.

“3D printing moves us away from the Henry Ford era mass production line and will bring us to a new reality of customizable, one-off production.” Continue reading