Pentangle Engineering Services is a real success story for business and engineering in Grantham.
Its products are being shipped around the world, an increase in demand is seeing the company expand and its reputation is growing globally.
Yet, few people living locally have heard of Pentangle or understand what it does. Despite this, the products its impressive fleet of equipment helped to make may be fastened to your car or have a place in your home.
The company, based on the Alma Park Industrial Estate, makes special purpose-built machines which create all manner of items, from car exhausts to conveyor rollers to hot water cylinders. They aim to be an engineer’s best friend, by replacing manual tasks which robotic and automatic machines do just as well.
State-of-the-art modelling software and electrical design systems allow the team to build a machine for almost any purpose, largely within the construction, aerospace, petro-chemical, mining and automotive industries.
Nigel Rivers is one of six directors, and he believes that the team’s vast knowledge and experience is the making of Pentangle’s great success.
He said: “Apart from the apprentices, each person within the company has over 20 years’ experience within the welding and automation industry, giving us a very impressive knowledge base when looking at enquiries for customers.
“Currently, we have three apprentices and the company’s aim is to take at least one apprentice every year to supplement each department. This also allows for our knowledge to be passed on.”
Managing director Mark Paterson added: “Although our past knowledge was heavily biased towards the cutting and welding industry, we took the decision at the outset to broaden our horizons by focusing on a variety of other manufacturing processes to open up new markets. We believe this has helped us to ride the wave of recession and remain profitable.”
Pentangle’s achievements have not only caught the eye of partners within the industry, but also business leaders in Grantham. The company was entered into the Business of the Year category in the Grantham Journal Business Awards 2013 - and won. Judges were impressed by the directors’ commitment to their work, and also their commitment to other local businesses.
Nigel said: “As a policy, Pentangle tries to use the services of local companies wherever possible. As well as helping us to keep a closer working relationship with suppliers, the hope is that our success allows other local companies to benefit and Grantham in general.”
The business was born in June 2004, set up by Nigel, Mark and Andrew Kennedy. After six months spent building tooling in Nigel’s conservatory and meetings held around Mark’s kitchen table, the trio were finally able to secure start-up premises on Withambrook Park Industrial Estate.
Six months later, two further directors were added to the team, Keith Adcock and Kevin Meakins, followed by a sixth in Tom Tyndall, who brought with him a wealth of knowledge on laser systems.
In 2007, flying high with year-on-year growth in profit and size, Pentangle moved to larger premises on the Alma Park Industrial Estate.
Nigel said: “We purchased the building and immediately raised the company’s profile. Suddenly we were visible worldwide and were supplying services all over Europe as far as Russia.”
By 2010 a further six full-time employees joined the team, along with the first apprentice. The team grew to 17 full-time employees by the end of the following year.
Nigel said: “By the end of 2012 our turnover had doubled from the previous year and our profits had also increased.
“2013 has started in a similar vein and we have introduced our own fabrication unit, which we hope as well as making our own manufacturing leaner, will help us to diversify into new markets such as sub contract services and will lead to further local employment.”
* Information: www.pentangle-eng.co.uk