A fresh start for Clyde Pumps
Although Clyde Pumps was only formed on 8th May 2007, its routes go back to the golden age of engineering in the late 1800s.
Clyde Pumps – know in full as Clyde Pumps Incorporating Weir Pumps Glasgow and formerly known as Weir Pumps, is the result of the combination of two highly successful companies coming together to create a stronger future.
In 1871, two brothers, George and James Weir founded the engineering firm of G&J Weir. From their Cathcart workshop in Glasgow, the Weirs quickly established a reputation for inventing pump and valve technologies that were utilised successfully on ship engines, oil pipelines, desalination plants and power stations across the world.
Clyde Blowers, a portfolio of companies coordinated and controlled by a hub of investors under a lead-investor, bought Weir Pumps – one division of the Weir Group, and created the newly formed Clyde Pumps. Currently, Clyde Blowers operates in three core areas – power, materials handling and intermodal transport and logistics. These areas are managed through the Clyde Bergemann Power Group, Clyde Process Solutions and Interbulk Investments portfolio companies.
Clyde Blowers ranks among the world’s most successful and innovative business development companies, creating wealth for all its partners. Using its tried and tested business models, the group’s workforce deploys its financial and strategic expertise to transform companies. Clyde Blowers has a history of expanding the companies it has invested in and positioning them to exploit new market opportunities.
Over two centuries, Weir Pumps has demonstrated it has an outstanding track record of designing innovative pumping solutions for customers across a wide range of industries. The new owner of Clyde Pumps and chairman of Clyde Blowers, Jim McColl, believes that this heritage, complemented by a highly skilled workforce, will provide the new company with a strong platform to significantly grow both market share and profitability.
Jim, a renowned Scottish businessman and exapprentice of Weir Pumps expects to expand the company through both organic growth and acquisitions. He has an extremely strong history in the engineering business with a number of awards under his belt, including most recently being awarded the World Achiever’s Award, Lanarkshire, in January 2007. Jim has built Clyde Blowers into a portfolio of companies with a combined turnover of £600 million operating in 21 countries throughout the world.
As a result of this acquisition, the diverse portfolio of technologies, process knowledge and expertise generated by Weir Pumps will be incorporated into the new company. Looking to the future, Clyde Pumps has numerous opportunities ahead and the company is committed to working with the existing Weir Pumps employees to develop a successful, innovative, market leading business.
Frank Barrett, manufacturing director for the company explains: “We have developed a new business plan, which looks at the future of Clyde Pumps. The goal for the company now is to enhance our product range with significant investment into research and development. In addition, we aim to expand the company into new markets, whilst enhancing our existing markets. Like Weir Pumps, Clyde Pumps’ technology will be aimed heavily at the oil industry, power stations and desalination plants.”
Clyde Pumps’ strategy is to further develop a market leading position in pump technology, hydraulic design and engineering. Key to the success of this strategy is to build on Weir Pumps’ world-renowned engineering reputation by continuing to employ the finest engineering talent. As a result of this, the company is currently on a major recruitment programme, which is looking for individuals who have relevant experience in many different engineering disciplines.
Frank comments: “One of the major changes since the acquisition is our attitude towards the workforce. The new plan here is to concentrate on providing training for all our employees through the use of training schools. We also want to encourage more new recruits to join the business by offering them great opportunities to progress through the company. In addition to this, we will be offering training for our customers, which will enable them to understand our products and make installations easier for them. Over time, we intend to become a training centre of excellence, which will enhance our skills base and open up a lot more opportunities for our whole workforce.”
Clyde Pumps will continue to run the business from the Cathcart site, which remains with the Weir Group, until 2009. Thereafter Clyde intends to invest in a world-class test, development and manufacturing facility in the greater Glasgow area. “Relocating the site will present some logistical challenges for the company but as we have a very strong workforce this problem is easily manageable,” Frank comments.
Looking to the future, Clyde Pumps is aiming to focus on improving its market share in the oil and power sectors. Frank explains: “As we are now part of Clyde Blowers we can utilise the group’s power within the market. We now have an enhanced portfolio of products and services, as well as the use of the group’s worldwide connections. Since the acquisition we have inherited a much stronger supply chain, which we aim to build on even further.”
As a result of the current strong order book, Clyde Pumps has a healthy workload for the next two years. With a confident vision of the future the company will be working hard to build on this strong order book and grow the business.
Frank concludes: “During 2007 our aim is to satisfy our existing order book and finalise our long-term business plan. In the future we aim to become much more responsive towards our customers and continually meet their requirements. Overall, Clyde Pumps’ aim is to become a market leader within the industry and offer its customers a one-stop-shop service, with a much broader product range.”
Products: Pump technology, hydraulic design