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Mersey engineering firm IPS delivers fan system upgrade for Stena Adventurer

Stena Adventurer

Merseyside engineering firm IPS Marine Fabrications has upgraded air-flow systems on a Stena Line ferry while it continued sailing between the UK and Ireland.

The Birkenhead-based business carried out car deck improvements to class requirement on the Stena Adventurer operating between Holyhead and Dublin. IPS Marine Fabrications specialises in metal fabrication and insulation products. Its in-house services include surveys, design, manufacturing, installation and maintenance.

The firm is led by directors Paul Smith and Peter Hillan. Mr Smith said the latest contract showcased the company's bespoke design solutions and quick-turnaround fabrication services.

"We have completed the first phase of work to modify the fan uptakes, controlling air-flow in the Stena Adventurer's car deck," said Mr Smith. "It is the first time we have delivered this sort of work for Stena, although we do have a track record in this specific area.

A common problem vessel operators encounter with fans and air vents is corrosion. This causes them to seize-up and work ineffectively. Yet they form an important component helping to control and remove dirty and harmful substances and displace them with clean, fresh air. They are particularly important in areas such as car decks to tackle exhaust fumes which pollute the atmosphere.

Our engineers initially carried out a survey to assess the condition of the fans. This was followed with a report with key actions. The first job involved cutting a hole in the existing chamber creating better access for the ship's crew. This will help the overall maintenance of the entire fan system.

We then sectioned-off one of the ten fan uptake units. We cut away the existing fire flaps for the vent uptake made of mild steel. These were replaced with 316 stainless steel to give the structure greater strength and durability. The standard of products is a key feature in many of our projects. We look to use the highest calibre materials which drive greater efficiency by reducing maintenance and repair costs.

Critically, we also modified the air-flow system to make it more efficient. We replaced and redesigned a spindle mechanism attached to the new fire flap. This allows the device to be operated automatically or controlled from the bridge.

The project demonstrates IPS rigorous approach to projects to not only improve fabrication standards but critically deliver more efficient solutions. We completed the Stena Adventurer job on the move ensuring no disruption to service. Due to the success of the project we are now beginning work on a second fan."

The new contract comes after a series of investments in the Mersey business. More than £150,000 has been pumped into metal fabrication facilities with a new brake press and drawn-arc stud-welding machines, while a further £20,000 is being spent on new tooling for construction hall machines.

Mr Smith said the expansion will allow for larger volumes of work and encourage design innovation. In addition, five new engineers have been recruited in the past 12 months, taking the total staff count to 30.

"IPS's services are transferrable to virtually any vessel," said Mr Smith. "However, we are seeing greater emphasis placed on the provision of intelligent solutions which help to solve common operations problems and also address cost, time and safety issues.

In addition, we are also receiving calls for reinforcements to galley areas. The screed in these areas is notorious for breaking apart, due to high impact and water corrosion. They require frequent washing down for health and safety reasons. IPS is currently working on a project to design a galley area and install a stainless steel scupper system to help draw water away and reduce impact. This again addresses key themes of time and maintenance."


 

IPS targets commercial shipping sector with bespoke engineering package

Merseyside engineering firm IPS Marine Fabrications is targeting the commercial shipping sector with its innovative engineering package after completing a new project for Stena Line.

The Birkenhead-based business specialises in delivering metal fabrication and insulation products. Its rounded service includes survey, design, manufacturing, installation and maintenance.

The firm's latest project on the board the Stena Adventurer was completed on the move while the vessel continued operating between Holyhead and Dublin. Work involved replacing and upgrading air-flow systems in the vessel's car deck, to class requirement.

Directors Paul Smith and Peter Hillan are continuing to invest heavily to drive innovation and enable the firm to excel in the delivery of bespoke orders.

Mr Smith said the Birkenhead outfit's con-hall will benefit from a £20,000 cash injection in the next 12 months. This will be invested in new tooling for existing machines to expand capacity and scope for unique projects.
He said the latest Stena Line contract is a strong case study signalling IPS Marine Fabrication's desire to not only provide durable and reliable fabrication upgrades – but also interrogate designs and provide more efficient engineering solutions.

"We have completed the first phase of work to modify the fan uptakes, controlling air-flow in the Stena Adventurer's car deck. This is the first time we have delivered this sort of work for Stena, although we do have a track record in this specific area.

A common problem vessel operators encounter with fans and air vents is corrosion. This causes them to seize-up and work ineffectively. Yet they form an important component helping to control and remove dirty and harmful substances and displace them with clean, fresh air. They are particularly important in areas such as car decks to tackle exhaust fumes which pollute the atmosphere.

Our engineers initially carried out a survey to assess the condition of the fans. This was followed with a report with key actions. The first job involved cutting a hole in the existing chamber creating better access for the ship's crew. This will improve the overall maintenance of the entire fan system.

We then sectioned-off one of the ten fan uptake units. We cut away the existing fire flaps for the vent uptake made of mild steel. These were replaced with 316 stainless steel to give the structure greater strength and durability. The standard of products is a key feature in many of our projects. We look to use the highest calibre materials which drive greater efficiency by reducing maintenance and repair costs.

In addition we also modified the air-flow system by replacing and redesigning a spindle mechanism attached to the new fire flap. This allows the device to be operated automatically or controlled from the bridge. When we encounter jobs like this we not only look to elevate fabrication standards, we look at how we can help deliver more efficient solutions. We did it on the move ensuring no disruption to service. The work was successful and we are now carrying out work to a second fan."

In the last year IPS has recruited five new engineers taking the total staff count to 30. Capital investment of more than £150,000 has further powered-up metal fabrication facilities with a brake press and drawn-arc stud-welding machines.

"We feel well positioned to ramp-up activity in the commercial shipping market," said Mr Smith. "The UK coastline is buzzing with activity from passenger and vehicle ferries. However, we are also keen to communicate our range of skills and services to the broader maritime community.

IPS's services are transferrable to virtually any vessel. At present, we are seeing a large demand in the market for support with protective and reinforced aluminium flooring. We are seeing a greater emphasis placed on the provision of intelligent solutions which help to solve common operations problems and also address cost, time and safety issues.

For example, we are looking at a current project to deliver a non-slip, checker-plate, aluminium floor for an engineers' changing room. This essentially offers a safer and more durable solution. In addition, we are also receiving calls for reinforcements to gally areas. The screed in these areas is notorious for breaking apart, due to high impact and water corrosion. They require frequent washing down for health and safety reasons. We are currently working on a project to design a gally area and install a stainless steel scupper system to help draw water away and reduce impact. This again addresses key themes of time and maintenance."

Mr Smith said the firm's future plans include expanding its fabrication shop and offices. Growth has been greatly boosted by sub-contracting roles for Cammell Laird shipyard and its 25-year through-life support contract with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels.

This relationship has also led to a broader mix of marine work including a project to supply insulation services on two new-build vessels for Scottish ferry operator Western Ferries. Work on the Sound of Soay and the Sound of Seil focused on structural fire protection in the main engines and thermal oil pipe insulation in the engine rooms.


 

Mersey engineering firm IPS lands first offshore furniture deal

Mersey engineering firm IPS Marine Fabrications has completed a contract to manufacture oil rig beds for a Yorkshire-based furniture company.

The Birkenhead business, led by Paul Smith and Peter Hillan, specialises in metal fabrication and insulation services predominantly for maritime firms. It secured the latest manufacturing deal with Marine & Offshore Furniture Ltd, which has its furniture workshops based in Sutton in Derwent, near York. Mr Smith said an initial specification to produce two beds for a rig proved such a success another order was placed for a total of 66 beds.

"Marine & Offshore Furniture approached IPS because of our growing reputation as an expert metal fabricator," said Mr Smith. "We worked with robust, corrugated steel to give the beds great strength and durability.

The beds are lightweight and detachable which makes them versatile and easy to move. This is particularly useful for small and contained environments, such as offshore rigs which lack space."

IPS used a new CNC break press to deliver the order, following an 80,000 investment to install new machinery at the Merseyside manufacturing base. The specialist machine is used for bending sheet and plate material. It ensured folds in the steel sheet were precisely calculated for maximum strength.

Mr Smith said the contract demonstrates IPS' manufacturing ability and versatility as a metal fabricator.

"We take pride in our bespoke manufacturing service providing a broad range of products to suit customers' needs. This is the first maritime furniture contract which IPS has delivered. However, we estimate there is large scope for growth in the market."

The order comes as IPS recently reported a surge in employment following strong growth in the last 12 months. It has recruited five extra staff, taking the total employee count to 30. The workforce has been reinforced with highly-trained metal fabricators and insulators to help manage an upturn in business.

Recruitment has been accompanied by capital investment totalling more than 150,000. This includes new sheet metal fabrication facilities and drawn arc stud welding machines. Mr Smith added:

"Our knowledge of steel and aluminium fabrication enables us to manage a wide variety of maritime projects. This includes manufacturing furniture and fittings, ventilation system upgrades and air conditioning installations.

Meanwhile, our insulation package includes thermal, acoustic and structural fire protection. This requires meticulous attention to detail to protect against vessel fire and explosions.

IPS is one of the few companies in Britain to offer both insulation and fabrication, which is a prime selling point. We combine decades of experience and expertise with first-class equipment and facilities. This enables us to provide a one-stop-shop to a broad mix of complex challenges."

Neil Rymer, sole director of Marine & Offshore Furniture Ltd, said:

"We have exacting standards in our own manufacturing workshops and have been looking for an alternative bed manufacturer to suit different client needs for some time. IPS Marine Fabrications is a perfect partner for us."


 

Mersey engineering firm IPS reports employment surge

Mersey engineering firm IPS Marine Fabrications is reporting an employment surge following strong growth across the maritime sector. The Birkenhead business led by Paul Smith and Peter Hillan specialises in metal fabrication and insulation services predominantly for maritime firms.

It has employed five new recruits in the last year taking the total staff count to 30. Mr Smith said the firm has been reinforced with highly-trained metal fabricators and insulators to help manage an increasing workload.

"IPS has witnessed a significant rise in work across the military, commercial and offshore maritime markets. We benefit from a long-standing relationship with Cammell Laird shipyard and its 25-year through life support contract with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels. This work has been fundamental to our business growth.

We have also made progress in the commercial maritime market delivering high-temperature exhaust insulation to ferries. Further contracts have seen us delivering fire protection projects for petroleum carriers. This variety of work helps to highlight the versatility and competence of our engineering service.

Our team has been charged up with a number of new specialist engineers to manage the upturn in work. This includes two fabricators, an insulator and two general labourers. The extra resource will allow us to take on even greater levels of work to keep driving an upward sales trajectory."

The Birkenhead firm's recruitment boost has been twinned with capital investment totalling more than 150,000. This includes new sheet metal fabrication facilities, a brake press and drawn arc stud welding machines.

Mr Smith said discussions are also underway to expand the manufacturing facility at the Marcus Street site.

"IPS is one of very few companies in Britain to offer both insulation and fabrication," said Mr Smith. "This is a prime selling point. We combine decades of experience and expertise with first class equipment and facilities. This enables us to provide a one-stop-shop solution to a broad mix of complex insulations and fabrication challenges.

Our clients benefit from a fast and efficient service as well as value for money. "IPS' insulation package includes thermal, acoustic and structural fire protection. This requires meticulous attention to detail to protect against vessel fire and explosions.

Our knowledge of steel and aluminium fabrication also enables us to manage a wide variety of projects for ships. This includes ventilation systems upgrades and air conditioning installations. We can further manufacture robust and durable furniture and fittings.

Due to increased demand for this relatively unique skill set we are now considering expanding our current site. Plans are at the very early stages but this could see the creation of a larger manufacturing hall and further job creation in 2015."


 

Mersey engineering firm IPS completes wagon exhaust insulation work for B&M Waste Services

Birkenhead-based engineering firm IPS Marine Fabrications has installed bespoke high temperature insulation kits on 80 wagons in the fleet of B&M Waste Services.

IPS undertook the work at B&M Waste Services' headquarters in Bromborough, Wirral. B&M is one of the leading waste management firms in the North West offering a wide range of waste services including trade and hazardous waste, secure shredding, recycling and drainage.

IPS director Paul Smith said the work undertaken for B&M is vital to vehicle safety.

"This was a complex insulation job which required the high temperature kits to be specially designed. Wagon exhausts can get extremely hot which is a clear hazard when collecting waste, some of which may be flammable. We manufactured the kits from carbon graphite integrated glass cloth combined with high temperature density materials which can withstand heat. There is a real skill in knowing how to combine these materials. We have developed these skills over years having worked extensively on board commercial and naval ships, manufacturing and installing insulation kits to strict safety standards. We have transferred this experience and expertise to the vehicle market."

Mr Smith said IPS saw a big potential market in providing kits for lorries and wagons where the company also has experience of making high temperature insulation pads for catalytic converters.

"Through this job with B&M we can show that can we provide a high quality, highly skilled service at a good price. Our workmanship also lasts longer than competitors as we understand the complex nature of high temperature materials and how to combine them. This durability provides excellent value for investment and a stronger product. We want to position ourselves as the Duracell of the high temperature insulation market – our product is built to outperform and outlast competitors. This keeps maintenance to a minimum delivering big savings."

Neil Curtis, a director of B&M Waste Services, said:

"We take our responsibilities as a business very seriously and this is demonstrated through various certificates and accreditations covering quality, the environment and health and safety.

The work that IPS has done on our behalf is in line with our desire to be seen as an innovative and forward-thinking business and for our customers and staff to have total confidence in our systems and procedures."

IPS has also recently completed a series of high temperature insulation contracts on board ships including for SeaTruck Ferries, Stena Line and Whitakers Tankers. For Seatruck IPS supplied high temperature ceramic fibre insulation for the main engine exhausts Meanwhile for Whitakers IPS made thermal oil pipe insulation pads for the main engine compartments

Elsewhere in the ferry sector IPS recently announced it had completed insulation work for Cammell Laird on the two new build ferries it built for Western Ferries. IPS also installed high temperature exhaust insulation to the main engines of the Stena Line ferries the Stena Lagan and the Stena Mersey.

Mr Smith said the IPS had major ambitions for 2014 after doubling its workforce in 2013 to 30 and investing £80,000 on new sheet metal fabrication machinery, a press brake and drawn arc stud welding machines.

"We are determined to continue driving growth in both the maritime and industrial sectors," he said. "Insulation work as a whole accounts for around 70pc of sales. However, there is huge scope, and a growing demand, for our sheet metal fabrication service. We make a wide variety of products with a speciality in ventilation and air conditioning systems. Our aim is to grow the fabrication side of the business so it accounts for half of sales."



Mersey engineering firm IPS completes marine insulation and fabrication contracts

Birkenhead based engineering firm IPS Marine Fabrications has completed a series of contracts for three ship operators.

IPS director Paul Smith said the contracts with Whitaker Tankers, and ferry operators Seatruck and Stena showcased the broad range of fabrication and insulation skills IPS can provide.

"The job spec of these contracts was really varied and shows how we can save customers time and money. For Seatruck we supplied high temperature ceramic fibre insulation for the main engine exhausts. Meanwhile for Whitakers we made thermal oil pipe insulation pads for the main engine compartments. We also provided stainless steel strainer baskets for filtering sea water and oil and we provided insulated computer covers and general fabrication works."

Mr Smith said IPS also worked with fellow Birkenhead contractor MPE Interiors on its contract to outfit the Stena Adventurer car ferry. Here IPS manufactured and installed a range of stainless steel furniture and grills.

"These contracts demonstrate the unique skill set we offer under one roof," he said. "Few, if any other companies, can offer the range of insulation and fabrication skills we do. This means we can reduce the management time our customers need to devote to jobs. Customers do not have to employ five or six firms to get all the services they need, we can offer a complete fabrication and insulation service. Reduced management time immediately saves customers money.

Our skill set further enables us to offer a high quality service and value for money. We know what we are doing, we have years of experience and our workmanship lasts. Frequently our work lasts twice as long as our competitors which again saves customers money as repairs and maintenance is kept to a minimum."

Elsewhere in the ferry sector IPS recently announced it had completed insulation work for Cammell Laird on the two new build ferries it built for Western Ferries. IPS also recently installed high temperature exhaust insulation to the main engines of the Stena Line ferries the Stena Lagan and the Stena Mersey. The works were undertaken at Twelve Quays in Birkenhead.

Mr Smith said the IPS had major ambitions for 2014 after doubling its workforce in 2013 to 30 and investing £80,000 on new sheet metal fabrication machinery, a press brake and drawn arc stud welding machines.

"We are determined to continue driving growth in both the maritime and industrial sectors," he said. "Insulation work as a whole accounts for around 70pc of sales. However, there is huge scope, and a growing demand, for our sheet metal fabrication service. We make a wide variety of products with a speciality in ventilation and air conditioning systems. Our aim is to grow the fabrication side of the business so it accounts for half of sales."



Engineering firm IPS completes latest contract for Stena Line

Merseyside-based engineering firm IPS Marine Fabrications has completed major upgrade work for ferry operator Stena Europe.

The company, which is headquartered in Birkenhead, has repaired and maintained fabricated air handling units throughout the Stena Europe vessel.

IPS manufactures insulation products, particularly aimed at the marine industry, and has in-house machining facilities.

Director Paul Smith said the project was completed while the Stena Europe, which operates between Fishguard in South Wales and Rosslare in the Republic of Ireland, was afloat.

"These units regulate the air conditioning on the Stena Europe therefore they form a vital part of its operations in relation to staff and passenger comfort," Mr Smith said.

"We were able to bring considerable experience in this particular field and high levels of the skill to the project. The fabricated air handling units are designed and fitted to ensure maximum durability and minimal maintenance. All work was carried out to SOLAS standards."

Mr Smith added:

"Few if any other companies can offer the range of insulation and fabrication skills we do. This means we can reduce the management time our customers need to devote to jobs. Customers do not have to employ five or six firms to get all the services they need, we can offer a complete fabrication and insulation service. Reduced management time immediately saves customers money.

Our skill set further enables us to offer a high quality service and value for money. We know what we are doing, we have years of experience and our workmanship lasts. Frequently our work lasts twice as long as our competitors which again saves customers money as repairs and maintenance is kept to a minimum."

Mr Smith said IPS had major ambitions for 2014 after doubling its workforce in 2013 to 30. It has also investing heavily in new equipment, including £80,000 on new sheet metal fabrication machinery, a press brake and drawn arc stud welding machines.

For further details on IPS' services contact Paul Smith or Peter Hillan on 0151 647 1370 or info@ipsmarine.co.uk.



Mersey engineering firm completes series of high temperature insulation contracts

Birkenhead based engineering firm IPS Marine Fabrications has completed a series of contracts across the North West and North Wales for the combined heat & power provider Cogenco.

IPS, which has doubled its workforce to 30 in the last 12 months, has delivered bespoke insulation kits for power generation packs, working as a contractor to Cogenco at Ysbyty Bangor, Southport Waste Water Treatment Plant, the Adelphi Hotel, Manchester Airport and a number of Total Fitness gyms.

IPS director Paul Smith said maintaining and replacing insulation packs protecting generators is a vital safety procedure.

"We have worked closely with Cogenco on this project identifying generators that require new insulation packs using themorgraphic surveys," he said. "This is a meticulous process that must be carried out rigorously as we are dealing with temperatures of between 600 and 800 degrees C. In any environment where you have this kind of heat, equipment and piping must be properly protected to prevent risk of a serious accident or fire."

Mr Smith said IPS has designed, built and installed bespoke insulation kits to fit the requirements of each project depending on the size and location of the generators.

"We worked very hard to ensure we were as flexible as possible for Cogenco delivering the highest standard of workmanship to stringent safety standards," he said. "These were terrific projects for us to work on and really showed the depth of our experience and expertise in the field of high temperature insulation."

IPS is one of only a handful of contractors in the UK specialising in both insulation and fabrication. Presently insulation accounts for around 70pc of its sales, though it believes its fabrication division could soon grow to half its sales.
As well as its commercial property work IPS operates extensively in the marine sector manufacturing and installing insulation services which provide thermal, acoustic and structural high temperature fire protection. In addition it can fabricate a wide range of products for ships or industrial premises. Its in-house equipment enables the company to offer specialist metal fabrication of stainless steel, mild steel and aluminium products. It further specialises in ventilation and air conditioning systems in commercial properties and on-board ship.

For further details on IPS' services contact Paul Smith or Peter Hillan on 0151 647 1370 or info@ipsmarine.co.uk.



Mersey engineering firm completes Western Ferries contract for Cammell Laird

Birkenhead based engineering firm IPS Marine Fabrications has completed a contract for Merseyside engineering services company Cammell Laird to supply insulation services on two new build ferries.

Director Paul Smith said IPS had worked on Cammell Laird's contract to build two new car ferries for Scottish ferry operator Western Ferries – the first complete vessels built at the yard for nearly 20 years (See notes to editors).

"The work we provided on the Sound of Soay and the Sound of Seil focused on structural fire protection in the main engines as well as thermal oil pipe insulation in the engine rooms," he said. "This was an excellent contract for us to work on. We are a committed supplier to Cammell Laird and are dedicated to supporting its growth. Cammell Laird is able to win work across the new build, refit, repair and conversion markets on a global scale. This puts the business in a unique position to drive investment into Merseyside and the wider maritime sector. It is terrific to see Cammell Laird building ships again and it has been brilliant to play a role in their construction."

Mr Smith said IPS is investing substantially in its operations to keep pace with Cammell Laird's electric growth with the shipyard now employing more than 1000 people directly and indirectly.

"We have recently grown our workforce to its highest level of 30 and we have just invested more than £80,000 in new machinery to enable us to support Cammell Laird better," he said. "This includes new sheet metal fabrication facilities, a press brake and drawn arc stud welding machines."

Cammell Laird CEO John Syvret said the company is committed to its supply chain and supporting local businesses wherever it can.

"Cammell Laird has invested between £30m and £50m in the local economy and our supply chain every year for the last four years," he said. "We want to use local expertise and we want companies like IPS to be able to support us as we grow and develop in the marine sector and also the civil nuclear and renewable markets. These are massive multi billion pound industries which present glittering opportunities for Cammell Laird, our supply chain and our region."

Western Ferries

The new vessels are enlarged versions of Western Ferries roll-on roll-off ferry MV Sound of Shuna. The new ferries are 50m length, with four car lanes that can carry 40 to 42 cars. The newbuilds also have the capacity to go faster than the two older ferries they are replacing, with a maximum speed of 12 knots compared to 10 knots, in order to respond to demand. Sound of Seil and Sound of Soay are the first car ferries in the UK to be built under the new MSN 1823 code, which is aimed specifically at domestic passenger vessels in the UK.

Both vessels will operate Western Ferries route between Dunoon and Gourock.



IPS Marine Fabrications completes naval contracts for Cammell Laird

Paul Smith, IPS MarineBirkenhead (UK) based engineering firm IPS Marine Fabrications has completed a series of major contracts on four Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) vessels for Merseyside shipyard and engineering service provider Cammell Laird.

IPS is one of only a handful of marine contractors in the UK specialising in both insulation and fabrication, though the fabrication services it provides to Cammell Laird are limited to specific areas (see about us). Director Paul Smith said the company's contract with Cammell Laird, to work on its through life support contact with the RFA, showcases a broad range of IPS' services.

"We are very proud to have worked for Cammell Laird on its contract, to maintain nine ships in the RFA flotilla, since it was awarded by the Ministry of Defence in 2008," he said. "In that time, we have built up extensive experience and understanding of all nine vessels and how our services can be best delivered. Moreover, we have developed a strong insight into how the RFA and Cammell Laird work together, led by the Cluster Support Team (CST), in Birkenhead. It is vital that we, as a supplier, support the CST in its constant drive to improve fleet time availability by delivering greater engineering efficiency and greater value for investment."

Mr Smith said in the last six months the company has worked on RFA Fort Rosalie, RFA Wave Ruler, RFA Diligence and RFA Fort Austin.

"In terms of insulation services, for the most recent contracts, we manufactured and installed bespoke main engine insulation on both the RFA Fort Rosalie and RFA Wave Ruler at Cammell Laird. In addition on RFA Wave Ruler we manufactured and installed special custom built insulation packs for the diesel generators. The key factor for insulation, in a high temperature environment, especially on board ship, is safety; particularly safety from fire. That is what the insulation must protect against. As a result we meticulously manufacture, test and install our insulation packs to the highest industry standards, including Lloyd's and flammable fluid SOLAS requirements. That attention to detail informs everything we do for Cammell Laird and the RFA."

Mr Smith said IPS manufactured and installed thermal, acoustic and structural fire protection extensively throughout both vessels. IPS also undertook complex upgrades to the vessels' ventilation systems, installing a new air conditioning plant in the RFA Fort Rosalie and fabricating and fitting more than 50 jalousie slatted panels to improve air flow through both vessels.

"IPS only fabricates a specific range of products for Cammell Laird including stainless steel galleys and vents. On these two vessels our work included production of new main engine uptakes and steel skeletons for the radio room and bridge."

Mr Smith added that IPS had undertaken similar work in the last six months on the RFA Diligence and RFA Fort Austin at Cammell Laird as well as in Portland, Dorset and in Crombie, Scotland.

"These were two complex and demanding contracts which saw us again install thermal, acoustic and structural fire protection throughout the vessels," he said. "On the RFA Fort Austin we also undertook our biggest ventilation upgrade for the RFA to date. Meanwhile, on the RFA Diligence we removed the main engine exhaust insulation and installed new high temperature structural fire protection."



IPS Marine Fabrications doubles workforce in 12 months

Merseyside based engineering firm IPS Marine Fabrications is reporting rapid growth after doubling its workforce to 30 in the last 12 months.

Paul Smith & Peter HillanThe Birkenhead firm run by co-directors Paul Smith and Peter Hillan delivers insulation and fabrication of steel and aluminium products.

Mr Smith said the firm had witnessed major growth since 2011 in part due to its relationship as supplier to Cammell Laird. Further deals have been secured across the marine and commercial industrial sectors including Liverpool to Belfast ferries as well as paper mills and hospitals across North Wales.

IPS has seen increased demand for its insulation services which provide thermal, acoustic and structural fire protection. It has also driven growth through its fabrication department which manufactures a wide range of stainless steel and aluminium products.

Mr Smith said IPS had built on success with a £80,000 investment on new equipment including new metal fabrication equipment, a press brake, and drawn arc stud welding machines.

"The last 18 months has seen IPS working on a number of terrific high profile projects including the HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH aircraft carrier. This productive period has allowed us to invest and provide roles for our skilled local workforce. We are now determined to continue driving growth in both the maritime and commercial industrial sectors. Insulation work as a whole accounts for around 70pc of sales. However, there is huge scope and a growing demand for our sheet metal fabrication service. We make a broad range of products with a speciality in ventilation and air conditioning systems. Our aim is to grow the fabrication side of the business so it accounts for half of sales."

Mr Smith said IPS' main share of work is based in the North West. However, the firm is now looking to broaden its reach across the UK.

"A key message we want to communicate is the value for money and high calibre service we provide. All work is undertaken in house, by our highly skilled technicians under a rigorous inspection regime. This enables the company to maintain the highest standards of workmanship and customer service. The region's maritime sector is in an extremely strong position with a number of major construction, engineering and logistics projects planned over the next decade. Billions of pounds are due to be invested into the region with initiatives including Peel Port's Post Panamax dock development, the Mersey Gateway Bridge and Mersey Multi Modal Gateway. We are determined to show we have the knowledge, skill and capability to help deliver these projects."



IPS completes insulation contract for Stena Line

Mersey based engineering firm IPS Marine Fabrications has completed a contract to supply insulation and maintenance services to ferry operator Stena Line.

The Birkenhead firm run by co-directors Paul Smith and Peter Hillan delivers insulation and fabrication of steel and aluminium products.

Mr Smith said the firm has just completed supplying high temperature exhaust insulation to the main engines of the Stena Lagan and Stena Mersey. The work was undertaken at Twelve Quays in Birkenhead on the ferries which operate the Liverpool to Belfast route.

“This was a great contract for us to work on,” he said. “We have a long standing relationship with Stena and have worked on ferries operating the Liverpool to Ireland route since we founded in 2001. Insulation services are now a key growth driver for the company. On this job we also provided thermal, acoustic and structural fire protection which is a SOLAS requirement.”

Mr Smith said IPS had also modified the galley furniture and worked on the extract ventilation on the galley.

“We were delighted to work on this job which included fabricating specially made dog enclosures for each ferry. We are proud to support Stena and its work promoting Merseyside and the UK and Belfast and Ireland as business and tourism destinations.”

Mr Smith said IPS’ main share of work is based in the North West. However, the firm is now looking to broaden its reach across the UK.

“A key message we want to communicate is the value for money and high calibre service we provide. All work is undertaken in house, by our highly skilled technicians under a rigorous inspection regime. This enables the company to maintain the highest standards of workmanship and customer service.”

“The region’s maritime sector is in an extremely strong position with a number of major construction, engineering and logistics projects planned over the next decade. Billions of pounds are due to be invested into the region with initiatives including Peel Port’s Post Panamax dock development, the Mersey Gateway Bridge and Mersey Multi Modal Gateway. We are determined to show we have the knowledge, skill and capability to help deliver these projects.”



Mersey engineering firm completes three year aircraft carrier contract for Cammell Laird

Birkenhead based engineering firm IPS Marine Fabrications has completed a three year contract with Cammell Laird to supply welding services for the HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH aircraft carrier.

Carrier modules leaving the MerseyIPS director Paul Smith said the contract saw between six and eight IPS men work on the project helping construct huge flight deck modules known as Centre Blocks 01 (CB01) and CB02.

"We have a long standing relationship as a supplier to Cammell Laird and this was a terrific contract for IPS to work on," he said. "It was complex and demanding job but one which was a good fit for our experience and expertise. The main work we undertook was the drawn arc stud welding. The prime advantage of drawn arc stud welding is that it provides very strong and reliable welding under a broad range of conditions. It essentially produces a full cross-sectional weld, forming a bond that is stronger than the surrounding metal. Given the scale of the aircraft carrier project and the thousands of pins we had to fit this calibre of welding was essential. Working on such a big project also meant reviewing the specification in detail with the project team to maximise efficiency and ensure we kept to strict deadlines."

Mr Smith, who founded IPS with co-director Peter Hillan 2001, said the carrier project provides a tremendous showcase for IPS' skills and expertise.

"We are very proud to work for Cammell Laird and to work on a project of this size and prestige," he said. "It really shows the depth of expertise in the supply chain here on Merseyside and in the North West. Moreover, the market for drawn arc stud welding is big one and not many firms have the track record and skill set that we do. We want to use this project to promote our expertise to the wider marine and industrial sectors."

Mr Smith said IPS also fabricated extract ventilation facilities to provide ventilation for engineers working on the flight deck modules.

Cammell Laird first signed the contract to build the flight decks for the HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH in July 2010. On completion the flight deck modules have been transported from Cammell Laird by ocean-going barge on a five day journey to Rosyth on the east of Scotland where the aircraft carrier is being assembled. In total five UK shipyards are involved in building the ship.

The aircraft carriers HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH and HMS PRINCE OF WALES are being delivered by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, a unique partnering relationship between BAE Systems, Thales UK, Babcock and the UK Ministry of Defence.

The QE Class will be the centre piece of Britain's military capability. Each 65,000 tonne aircraft carrier will provide the armed forces with a four acre military operating base which can be deployed worldwide. The vessels will be versatile enough to be used for operations ranging from supporting war efforts to providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief.