Schoolhill joins forces with Francis Brown

Aberdeen-based Schoolhill Hydraulic Engineering has signed a collaboration agreement with a North East England fabrication company.

The collaboration with Teesside-based Francis Brown Engineering will enable both Schoolhill Hydraulic Engineering and Francis Brown Engineering to increase the scope of works they can offer on turnkey projects in the oil & gas sector.

Currently, supporting its extensive expertise in the design and manufacture of subsea hydraulic equipment, Schoolhill has a small fabrication capability within its Aberdeen workshop but limited to 5te. 

As a result of this collaboration between the two companies, this capacity has been substantially expanded thanks to Francis Brown’s 50te capacity to deliver road transportable fabrications. Both companies are members of business development organisation, NOF Energy, and were introduced to each other by this organisation.

In addition, the collaboration enables Schoolhill to tap into Francis Brown’s specialist welding techniques, many of which have been developed to serve customers in the energy industry.

Francis Brown has more than 100 years’ experience serving traditional and emerging industries including the oil & gas, chemical, offshore renewables and marine sectors. It employs more than 100 people and has established itself as a key member of the sector’s supply chain. The company holds ISO9001 quality assurance accreditation and has recently achieved ISO3834. 

Schoolhill, which has increased its workforce from 30 to 40 over the past 2 years, has been designing and manufacturing hydraulic equipment from its Aberdeen based factory since 1950. Although becoming involved in the North Sea Oil Industry in the early 1980s, the company has maintained a diverse range of products and continues to supply barrel working machinery for the whisky, rum, and wine industry worldwide. 

Schoolhill’s core business is the design and manufacture of hydraulic cylinders and the company were one of the 1st hydraulic cylinder manufacturers in the UK to achieve ISO9000 quality assurance accreditation, having held this since 1987. 

Ronald Whyte, Managing Director of Schoolhill Hydraulic Engineering, said: “This collaboration will enable both companies to take on larger turnkey fabrication and hydraulic projects and deliver products such as subsea handling tools, tree running tools and riser packages. We invested heavily last year in the building of a new drawing office and reception area with additional meeting rooms. This has provided us with capacity to carry out Front End Engineering Design (FEED) service for our customers and handle multiple design projects at the same time. 

“Both Schoolhill and Francis Brown are long standing family businesses and our complimentary specialisms will enhance both our offerings to the energy industry supply chain.”

Jamie Brown, Managing Director of Francis Brown Ltd: “I am very pleased to have secured this agreement with Schoolhill and am looking forward to collaborating on future projects. Our fabrication capacity and experience will add value to Schoolhill’s operations, while at the same time, we can benefit from their knowledge of hydraulic equipment and systems.”

Joanne Leng MBE, Deputy Chief Executive of NOF Energy, said: “This is a perfect example of the kind of collaborations that take place within the membership and strengthens the ability of the UK supply chain to secure work in a competitive global market. It is encouraging to see the North East of England and The North East of Scotland forging relationships like this through the support of NOF Energy. Schoolhill and Francis Brown have extensive experience in their own, but supporting, fields and I am sure that this collaboration will be beneficial and successful for both companies.”

Schoolhill and Francis Brown will be exhibiting on the NOF Energy stand (No 1100) at AllEnergy in Aberdeen on 22 & 23 May 2013.

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