TSP Engineering – Power & Precision

TSP Engineering shares with us the values that made it a source for leading talent in the manufacturing industry.

TSP Engineering can trace its roots back to 1945 when it was established to meet demand in the iron and steel industry for mining machinery, mine cars and ingot moulds. Since then, however, the company has grown and developed to be so much more.

“We are engaged in delivering to the civil nuclear and defence nuclear sectors as well as oil and gas, marine engineering and energy, and the provision and refurbishment of steelmaking equipment,” says John Coughlan, TSP Engineering’s CEO. “We can offer a complete turnkey solution from design through to delivery and installation. We have the capability to produce machinery up to 130 tonnes and the heavy engineered products we manufacture are made to very tight tolerances. We’re not just building big, rugged products, but products manufactured to operate to precise requirements.”

From their home in Workington, dubbed Britain’s “Energy Coast”, TSP Engineering has devoted itself to solving complex problems while combining precision to the minutest detail with robust heavy engineering. The company works closely with its clients from the earliest design and consultancy stages of a project, through to manufacturing and project management and even refurbishment. TSP Engineering’s facilities, location and wealth of engineering experience allow it to offer design, manufacture, electrical engineering, instrumentation and testing.

Staying Ahead of the Curve

While it’s clear what TSP Engineering has to offer, Coughlan makes it clear that the company can’t simply stand still.

“The biggest challenge we face at the moment is changing technology, particularly in the nuclear and energy sectors,” he explains. “The sector is moving from the traditional projects we saw, large manufactured items for conventional nuclear sites, to the sort of work we’re seeing now which is predominantly small advanced modular reactors, built completely in the factory and delivered to plug in and produce power immediately, costing from £100,000 to £900,000.”

TSP Engineering works in a constantly changing, fast-paced industry where the number one priority must always be safety. What’s more, every product they work on is different, with its own requirements and specifications.

The “Three Ps”

This is why TSP Engineering provides a bespoke service tailored to the individual needs of its customers.

“We invest heavily in developing our people and advancing the skills of the people in the business,” Coughlan says. “While a lot of people talk about people being their most important asset, we invest heavily in keeping our people’s skills up-to-date.”

TSP Engineering’s staff come to work with open minds, safe hands and a sprinkle of innovation, and a company culture that has produced leaders in the industry.

“You can see our track record in the fact that for the last four to five years we have had between one and five people in the national manufacturing top 100,” Coughlan says with obvious pride. “We’ve had young engineers named national technical manager rising stars. The people here are being recognised nationally, internationally and locally as being the best in their field.”

Those rising stars have access to one of the largest workshops in the UK, with 20,000 square metres of floor capacity, two five-meter deep manufacturing pits and a lifting capacity of 130 tonnes. This gives TSP Engineering the ability to take on some of the biggest engineering and steel fabrication projects in the UK and around the world.

“It all comes down to the ‘Three Ps’,” Coughlan points out. “People, product, profit. If you have the right people, they will deliver the right product, and you’ll make a profit.”

By having the right people equipped with the right tools, TSP Engineering has received the certifications BS EN ISO 9001, BS EN ISO 3834 Part 2, BS EN ISO 1090 at execution level 4, ISO 14001, SABRe Edition 2, GS3001, CQR (SLM 4.06.02 Issue 3), ISO 45001 and ISO 19443, which TSP Engineering was the first in the world to achieve.

Beyond Expectations

As well as leading the industry in many respects, TSP Engineering’s culture is helping to change some preconceptions about it.

“The nuclear industry has a bit of a reputation for projects arriving late and over budget,” Coughlan admits. “But TSP Engineering has a record of delivering products in the nuclear sector within the programmed time and budget. Our last project was £2.5 million under budget. These things can be achieved if you use the right professional companies.”

£2.5 million is an outstanding saving, but Coughlan is surprisingly matter-of-fact about how that margin was achieved.

“We have professional management within the business and put investment into our people,” he tells us. “Our team understand what to do and how to do it and the timing required. They understand the entire business, not just the part of the project they’re manufacturing.”

It’s a culture that time and again leads TSP Engineering to deliver on time and to budget at the required standard, and on a first-time basis.

“Our people understand that by achieving that, they secure the future of the business,” Coughlan says.

It’s a culture that, most recently, has been recognised by MAKE UK, who recently named TSP Engineering the SME of the Year in the North West of the UK.

“MAKE UK looks across all sectors of manufacturing, so we were seen as being the leading SME manufacturer across every sector,” Coughlan says proudly. “It’s a big achievement and we’re very proud of it.”

While it’s a landmark achievement, for Coughlan it is also a driver to try harder and achieve more.

“It’s a really good benchmark, a reminder to continually look at how we need to improve and how we can learn,” he says.

Looking forward, TSP Engineering is very much growing in the nuclear energy sector, but it’s also gearing up to offer support to the wind energy and hydropower sectors.

“We’re supporting companies manufacturing for building an ocean or large river power generation unit to provide tidal power which will be used in the islands of Scotland in the next 24 months,” Coughlan says.

As TSP Engineering enters these new areas of the power industry, you can be sure they will bring with them the reliability and precision they have built their name on.

More like this