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,” he said. “For Seatruck we supplied high temperature ceramic fiber 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.”
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.
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.”