Rope and Sling Specialists Ltd. (RSS) has opened its eighth facility—in Roborough, Plymouth.
The 5,000 square-foot site joins six other lifting and rigging depots and the recently acquired Gemmak Engineering business, the manufacturing division within the RSS engineering services department.
Having last opened a site in Warrington, this expansion represented an opportunity to move into a new-build in a prime location close to Plymouth and the surrounding area. RSS worked closely with the developer, RJM Property & Development Consultants Ltd., to ensure that the Broadley Park Industrial Estate site was both fit for purpose now, but also able to accommodate what the company is hoping will be significant long-term demand in the region for engineering, hire and sales, initially upheld by Ministry of Defence (MoD) contracts.
The location currently sits under Matthew Rogers, engineering services director, but RSS is recruiting for a dedicated depot manager; each of the company’s facilities is the responsibility of a single person. David Homeyard has been recruited as head of projects and programme for MoD work, while a project coordinator and three multi-skilled engineers complete the team.
RSS has also invested in a suite of machining equipment including a new 60t capacity tensile test bed and a wire rope press, both of which will be installed in March. Perhaps more notably, with a nod to the aquatic nature of the region, the company has invested £35k on a boat—a Humber Defender RIB—for swift and safe delivery of personnel and small product to marine sites.
Rogers said: “The MoD is providing an immediate focal point for the business but we are strategically located to support the whole south-west region of the country. The marine industry is naturally of primary interest—Plymouth has a strong history in ship-building—and the geography generally will produce demand for our full range of lifting and rigging services. We’ll also leverage Gemmak’s engineering capabilities.”
In addition to the core lifting and rigging product offering, and the aforementioned engineering services, the Plymouth site will also showcase the company’s collaborations with a number of leading brands. It is nationwide distributor of JD Neuhaus’s (JDN) Profi air hoist range, and has more recently formed partnerships with MSA Latchways, a provider of innovative fall protection systems, and FAAC, a manufacturer of automatic commercial and industrial doors.
Beyond Plymouth, RSS has two sites in South Wales, plus depots in Grangemouth, Scotland; Aylesford, Kent; Templeborough, Rotherham; Heathrow, West London; and Warrington, equidistant to Liverpool and Manchester.