In November 2018 staff at the Harlow Group were delighted to receive Prince Edward, His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent KG, when he visited the company in its position as one of the key businesses in the town. As the first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Kent carries out engagements on behalf of Her Majesty. On arrival at the company’s impressive 100,000 ft² facility he was introduced to Alan Pearce, Managing Director, and Michelle Madell, Financial Controller, by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Essex, Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst.
Established in 1975, Harlow Group is a market-leading provider of precision sheet metalwork, fabrications and assemblies that has grown in size and experience since its inception. From design through to full production, it is committed to high quality products and service. A long-standing trading partnership to supply some of the world’s renowned businesses has been developed with the customers’ requirements at the forefront, these include Sony, Pitney Bowes, Snap-on and GE Aviation, as well as Kelvin Hughes and Safran. The company has full ISO 9001:2015 and AS 9100:Rev D aerospace certification, as well as customer approvals across many industry sectors.
HRH the Duke of Kent KG was invited on a tour of the premises during which he was introduced to a number of long serving employees. Guided by both Alan Pearce and Michelle Madell, the Duke started his tour at the CAD/CAM department where he was presented to Tricia Clear, Commercial Business Manager (20 years’ service), Dave Carlisle, CAD/CAM Engineer (42 years’ service) and Ashley Peters, Costing & Technical Engineer (28 years’ service). Both Dave Carlisle and Ashley Peters explained to HRH the CAD design and CAM programming technology and demonstrated what the business is developing using 3D printing technology, as well as highlighting the quality control equipment and measuring applications.
Next on the tour was the Forming Area where Mark Adams, Senior Press Brake Setter/Operator (31 years’ service) explained to HRH how the press brake machines are used and the work they produce. From here the Duke proceeded to the Welding Shop where he was presented to Richard Banks, Prototype Engineer (31 years’ service) who talked about some recent project examples of prototype work Harlow Group is undertaking.
Alan Pearce then presented Kevin Pettengell, Senior CNC Setter/Operator (32 years’ service). He demonstrated the Fibre Laser Cutting Machine and explained the functionality of the other two machines in the CNC area: EMK 3510NT Turret Punch Press and EML Laser Punch combination machine.
In the company’s Assembly Area David Gordon-Smith, Finance Director, Harlow Group, presented the Duke to Bill Jheinga, Chief Operating Officer, Harlow Group; Andrew Shroff, Material Health Leader, GE Aerospace; Paul Mayhew, Director Global Procurement, Pitney Bowes; Ryan Shaw, Manager, Global Supply Chain Quality, Pitney Bowes; and Simon Papworth, Inward Investment Manager, Invest Essex.
Within the Aerospace Assembly Area HRH was presented to Peter Williams, Assembly Production Supervisor (28 years’ service) and Peter Kenneally, Aerospace Team Leader (42 years’ service). Both explained to the Duke the products produced by Harlow Group for GE Aerospace that are fitted to Boeing and Gulfstream aircraft, with Peter Kenneally emphasising the technically demanding manual assembly work required for the aerospace sector.
Next was a demonstration in the Machine Shop by Alan Pearce and Dan Byrne, Operations and Engineering Manager. They both explained the functionality of the company’s new Grob G350 5-axis CNC milling machine and the parts it manufactures.
Finally, after a heart-felt thank you from Alan Pearce, Prince Edward was invited to unveil a plaque commemorating his visit to Harlow Group before he was presented with a model plane to mark the occasion.
Long-service achievement awards were then presented to each of the staff celebrating more than 20 years’ service. David Gordon-Smith provided everyone gathered with a brief and often jovial snippet of information about the recipients, and the awards were presented by the Chair of Harlow Council, Councillor Maggie Hulcoop and Brian Keane, Managing Director of Harlow Council.
Alan Pearce concludes: “It was an honour for everyone at Harlow Group to receive HRH the Duke of Kent, to see just how keen he was to find out more about our advanced manufacturing business. And, it was a privilege for all the directors of the company to have our long-serving staff awards commemorated on such an auspicious occasion.”