Timsons Engineering Ltd in 2016 remains based in Kettering but is far removed from the early days that saw Arthur Timson pursue his general engineering passion. He started by repairing shoe machinery, designing and manufacturing bicycles and eventually diversifying in to the manufacture of bespoke printing machinery. Timsons printing presses are still in production around the world today.
For the past 80 years, the company has also been renowned as a sub contract engineering service provider, offering solutions to a wide range of issues for a diverse range of clients.
The Timsons machining services are vast, with the Kettering factory boasting some of the sectors most impressive machines. The highly skilled workforce offers turning, milling and grinding as well as gear cutting, deep hole boring and wire eroding. The company caters for small components through to large scale components on a variety of CNC machines tools.
The company has also had its own foundry since 1927, with two modern electric induction furnaces designed to produce high quality castings in small to medium batches.
Timsons Engineering is a “One Stop Shop” offering Foundry and Machining services as a complete supply or individually, along with the supply of machined fabrications and the machining of free issue components.
The company also stands out as a bespoke manufacturer, specialising in the design and production of often complicated componentry across a range of sectors. You won’t find large production runs at Timsons, instead, the team focuses on producing sometimes just five bespoke components that have been specifically designed and manufactured to meet their client needs.
Timsons Managing Director Troy McCourt says a key part of the 120 year Timsons success story is the ability to embrace change and diversification, while always keeping its customers, suppliers and workforce at the forefront of the company’s evolution.
“The only constant in our industry is change, but it is how you communicate this change to your team, your customers and suppliers that is so important.”
Timsons was an early revolutionary in prioritising the wellbeing of its workforce, and it is this respect for its people that has seen the company retain a loyal, long serving team of devoted, highly skilled engineers.
“Nobody here is a number and as a company we are very transparent with our goals and intentions. We have regular meetings to discuss the business and this transparency and open communication is a key part of our success.”
The Timsons passion for engineering at a hands-on level is also reflected in its apprentice programme, which is dedicated to producing highly skilled, practical engineers on the shop floor. This programme also helps to address the manufacturing skills gap impacting the sector, by focusing on developing skills that are applied on the shop floor, rather than a purely academic route that often skips over the hands-on element.
Troy McCourt says this approach is important to help combat the fact that UK manufacturing is widely underrated.
“We have always been at the forefront of manufacturing revolutions and technologies, and huge developments in the sector over the years have started in the UK. We are still important, influential innovators and we play a massive role in the global manufacturing sector. But we are still underrated. We don't have enough faith in our own abilities. We are very good at what we do. And we should be more bullish. We should shout it from the rooftops and make people understand that they do not need to go far to get things produced. We have the ability to be the best in the world.”
For Timsons, the future lies in continuing the 120 year tradition of diversification and evolving with the ever changing sector.
“We will always move forward. We have no idea what will be happening in the next few years. But we will continue to evolve, grow and diversify.”
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