Sandwell turns 20!
This year marks the 20th since Sandwell was founded in 1997. The company was founded as Colin McGrory had discovered that the available surface engineering solutions were often not meeting the specific requirements of motorsport customers. Hence, a company was born where quality and customer service were paramount; key values that are still part of the company ethos today.
Right from the start, Colin, his co-director Liz Slater and their team have been pursuing surface engineering excellence, and through its numerous projects in the F1, Automotive, Medical, Nuclear and Oil & Gas industries, have built up an unrivalled expertise in the subject. This lead to Colin being only the 3rd ever British recipient of the highly prestigious Shot Peener of the Year award in 2016.
“Back in 1997, I worked for the Stewart Grand Prix F1 team and we just couldn’t get the service and quality we were looking for in terms of surface engineering solutions” Colin explains. “So we embarked on the journey to do it ourselves, and given that we have worked with all the F1 teams, and numerous prestigious automotive manufacturers since, we clearly weren’t alone.”
“Now of course I would say this, but when it comes to surface engineering, there is enormous potential – we’ve barely scratched the surface if you will –. The benefits are manifold, and we can make some really dramatic improvements to the performance, life expectancy and even functionality of components by applying the right techniques.” He continues. “It is a vast area of engineering to explore and pushing the boundaries as we do at Sandwell is very gratifying.”
Over the years, the directors have expanded the operation both through recruiting a skilled and dedicated workforce, as well as continuously pushing the boundaries of surface engineering technologies. The company now serves customers from a broad range of industry sectors.
One of its latest projects involves the in-house development of RoboPeen, a robot-driven shot peening machine that enables the shot peening of parts to a new level of precision and complexity. Sandwell are also involved in nano crystallisation and 3D printed parts finishing research projects.