Rope and Sling Recruits to Engineering Services Dept.


Rope and Sling Specialists Ltd. (RSS) has recruited to its Gemmak Engineering business, the manufacturing division within the company’s engineering services department.

RSS completed the opportunist acquisition of Gemmak—it is based on the same industrial site as de facto headquarters in Pyle, South Wales—two years ago but has since gradually integrated it into the operation. The facility is now the company’s eighth in the UK upon opening of its latest lifting and rigging depot in Roborough, Plymouth.

Joining Matthew Rogers, engineering services director, are a works manager, three site-based engineers, a design engineer, an administrator, and four fabricators / welders; two apprentices will complete the team next month (February). Further, a separate recruitment campaign has been completed within the core lifting and rigging equipment business to enable Alan Varney, operations director; and Louise Grant, office manager (both based in Pyle) to dedicate a portion of their time to Gemmak.

Steve Hutin, managing director at RSS, said: “Our first target [for Gemmak] is £1m turnover. We’ve never been a business about complicated metrics and plans; we generate demand and employ people to meet it, and create additional enquiries. It’s a simplicity and transparency that staff embrace, which has yielded results at each of our other facilities to date. Of course, success always hinges on putting the right people in the right roles. In Alan and Louise, we have proven lifting industry professionals and they will be valuable resources as Matthew grows his business unit.”

Gemmak is responsible for the design, manufacture, fabrication and repair of a range of lifting beams, swing jibs, lifting platforms, pipework, runway beams, and lifting brackets, in addition to bespoke equipment, for the steel, shipbuilding, petrochemical and other heavy industries. It can fabricate anything metal, using the latest design, cutting and welding technology; at the centre of Gemmak’s suite of design systems is SolidWorks, a solid modelling computer-aided design and computer-aided engineering computer programme.

Tooling includes various guillotines, a plasma cutter, radial drills, magnetic drills, pillar drills, a centre lathe, an iron worker / press, an abrasive wheel, a band saw, a circular saw, a threading machine, and welding sets, plus fume extractors and air compressors. Hand tools include a series of 4-inch to 9-inch grinders and multiple cordless drills. Gemmak delivers one-off projects plus batch orders and even maintains ongoing production lines for customers.

Hutin said: “Presently, growth is being driven by demand for bespoke solutions; we have assembled a team to respond, while ensuring that we can look for opportunities and leverage the full capability—and capacity—of our breadth of state-of-the-art tooling. Our sales teams around the country will combine to ensure our RSS and Gemmak brands continue to represent provision of world-class product to the point of use, backed by the industry’s best after-sales support.”

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