Manufacturing and Engineering Magazine Volume 425 - January 2016 - Page 64

CIVIL ENGINEERING PCP GRATINGS that statement. Through the development of bespoke manufacturing equipment which, in turn is able to then manufacture bespoke gratings, every step of the process is tailored to the needs of the customer so as best to ensure the end product ticks every box and yet more. This is a unique process available only with PcP. This technology also allows PcP to push innovation where no other can afford to, which is something that the company does indeed do incredibly well. Instead of resting on the laurels of past success or providing the bare minimum requirement, PcP has become increasingly renowned for developing new solutions to traditional problems. Merrington explains this yet further, commenting: “We'll take a look at an existing marketplace, analyse that market, look at the products being used throughout it, decide if it's a viable product, if there's room for improvement and if technology available in the 20th century can bring the design forward. “As an example, with scaffolding, we took a long, hard look at the UK scaffolding industry where traditionally companies use timber. Now, to start with, that involves the cutting down of a “Now we're looking to keep ahead of the curve by looking at new materials, alternative designs and faster techniques so that we can produce them quicker” vast number of trees and, in the days where we need to be ecologically sensitive, we questioned why we shouldn't be using a material which is wholly reusable, so instead we looked at steel,. By looking at an already existing timber product, we tooled up and designed a steel version of the same, yet stronger, more effective, and with an end-of-life usage due to the ability to scrap it, recycle it and reuse it in anything from cars to a baked bean can further on.” This approach is only possible, however, due to the expertise and drive for innovation which is maintained behind the scenes at the company itself. And while company leadership it made up of individuals with a passion for this innovation, PcP doesn't stop there, and actively looks to recruit bright minds, with bright ideas. Explaining further as to what the company seeks out, Merrington explains: “We look for people with specialised skills as designers, with an inventive nature. People who look at an idea, pull it apart and come up with a new solution, a new way forward. As a group, our origin is initiative, with our founder inventing some of the most favoured grating products around the world and now, other people copy that. Of course, now we're looking to keep ahead of the curve by looking at new materials, alternative designs and faster techniques so that we can produce them quicker, also fetching the price down and making them very cost-effective.” Looking to the future, PcP is presently investigating the use of high strength, high yield materials so that products can be made lighter, yet equally sturdy. Not only does this enable PcP to improve upon traditional material applications, but provide far more sustainable solutions with greater strength to weight ratios – this, in effect allows a minimisation of the impact on the ecology and allow for the usage of fewer materials in the production process itself. And on a closing sta [Y[