Keltech "2017 Year in review"
As 2017 draws to a close, it's time to take a breath and reflect on the year as a whole; Keltech has exceeded all growth expectations and closes the year having posted one of our strongest 12 months in our 30 year history. Here are our stand-out moments of the year:
Driven by continued investment in our people and processes related to our areas of expertise namely; acoustic enclosures, overhead guards and cabins, telecommunications enclosures and reservoir tanks, Keltech has had a highly productive last 12 months. With the addition of several new customers and the fact that most sectors are experiencing positive growth in 2017, the company has created no less than 80 new positions in this period, taking our workforce to 180 people, and growing, at our Waterford base.
With a growing customer portfolio Keltech continues to strive for fabrication excellence. Through the ongoing tutorship of our weld expert Piotr Starosciak (now CSWIP 3.0 certified) Keltech surpassed the 50 mark this year of fully certified welders onsite recognised at BS EN ISO 9606-1 level. Recruitment and training is ongoing and we would be delighted to accept suitable applications to firstname.lastname@example.org
In September Business Development Manager Seamus Lawlor and European Business Development executive Ryan Kalagin travelled to Homberg/Nieder-Ofleiden, Germany for Steinexpo “One of the world’s leading trade fairs for construction machinery, building material machines, mining machines, construction vehicles and construction equipment.” The event which only takes place every 3 years brought together a host of existing and potential Keltech OEM customers. Keltech produced product such as reservoir fuel tanks, hydraulic tanks, cabins and acoustic enclosures were visible on many customers machines such as: Terex, Caterpillar, Sandvik, Hiab/Moffett, McCloskeys etc. The sun shone all week and it was the perfect setting to engage with existing customers, meet with potential new customers over a Weißbier and catch up on all the latest developments in our industry.
Continuing our partnership with Waterford Institute of Technology
Throughout the year Keltech welcomed WIT students to the plant for tours. The students study stream had a keen focus on “innovation for growth” with the Keltech success story of how we have transformed our organisation from being classed as a “Sub-Contract sheet metal organisation” to a “Contract Manufacturer Partner to OEMs” over a short period of time driving year on year growth really resonating with them. Keltech have maintained contact with many of the students since as they have chosen to complete their final dissertation on our business model.
Keltech in Europe
It’s been a phenomenal year for our European Business Development Executive, Ryan Kalagin. This year we have successfully entered serial production with several German OEMs. In addition to this, Ryan is working on several major projects in Europe that are scheduled to begin in 2018.
Keltech feature in Manufacturing Today Europe Magazine.
Having created a niche in the industry as tailored contract manufacturing partners to OEM’s a “steady buzz” has been building among peers/customers/etc, this paired with our new found prowess in mainland Europe brought us to the attention of the Manufacturing Today Europe Magazine. This cumulated in a 2 page feature on Keltech in their Autumn edition which was published in September. The article focused on our impressive growth numbers despite challenging marketing conditions and honed in on particularly the reservoir tank side of our business and how we had implemented a “growth hack strategy” by becoming the experts in reservoir tank internal cleanliness hence providing the customer with real value while creating an undeniable edge over our competition. You can read more here.
Onsite Gravimetric Testing
On the 14th of June 2017 Keltech officially commissioned its own onsite gravimetric testing laboratory. The lab is specifically designed for the internal cleanliness testing of fuel and hydraulic reservoir tanks, a first of its kind in the UK and Ireland. This is another step in Keltech’s commitment to “reservoir tank excellence”.
Sean Long of Enterprise Ireland commented on the new venture. “it is excellent to see a firm like Keltech hone in on a specific area and become true experts. Their use of scientific thinking with regards to the entire reservoir tank manufacturing process from metal grade selection right through to the tank cleaning and preservation agents used is industry leading, it is clear to see that this is why they are gaining such traction in this space with customers dotted all over Ireland, the UK, Germany and beyond”.
R&D Department 2018
The first quarter of 2018 will see the company kick off its largest R&D project to date. The 3-person strong team will be solely focused on R&D and will not be involved in any production activities. The brief of the newly formed department will be working in partnership with the Keltech customer base to create customer centric solutions that will add significant value to their business in the focused area of reservoir tanks.
SQEP Silver Caterpillar Certification Awarded 2 years running
In late November Mark Adler and Nathan Bland of CAT Perkins travelled to Keltech to present us with our SQEP Silver Certification award for the second year running. The award is recognition of Keltech’s excellent supplier performance to the Caterpillar group. On presentation of the award these gentlemen spoke of the strength of the relationship that exists between the 2 firms that has developed over numerous years and the invaluable technical support supplied by Keltech from NPI stage right through to the production stages. The re-issuing of this Caterpillar SQEP Silver level certification is something that makes Keltech part of an elite group – in fact Keltech are 1 of only 2 suppliers based in the UK and Ireland from a fabrication background to be granted Silver Level status. Gerry Forristal concluded the ceremony with a short acceptance speech on behalf of Keltech where firstly he thanked Caterpillar for their ongoing business and then gave a special mention to the Keltech team “This has all been made possible by our excellent team at our plant; our highly trained and skilled managers, office staff and floor operatives provide Keltech with a key edge over our competitors, this paired with our customer focused approach has made us the company we are today and I am proud to accept this award on Keltech’s behalf”.
Now that we reach the end of 2017, what has Brexit meant for Keltech and what will it mean? Our feeling is the market went into an initial shock. UK based opportunities we had been working on around the time of the Brexit vote were put on hold and uncertainty reigned supreme. However given some time to settle and having met face to face with all of our UK based customers normal operations continued. Our UK customer base many whom we have dealt with for 10 years plus classed Keltech as a vital cog in their wheel and one they would not lose on any account. Opportunities that had stalled gradually came back to the table and in fact our customer acquisition numbers for UK based firms in 2017 has been the highest in the companies 30-year history! We continue to monitor the situation and are of course cognisant of it but, for Keltech it is business as usual.
New Hires & Promotions continue
New customers and increased growth means that Keltech have increased our headcount significantly in 2017. As a company we value highly the development and progression of our people and owing to this we have the proud statistic that 80% of all mid to senior level management appointments have been made from within in the last 5 years and 2017 was no different. We have also recruited externally; our Engineering Department has welcomed Cormac Walsh, Declan Cheasty and Sean McNamara this year, Veronika Sedova and Amy Comrie have joined the Human Resource Department, Ryan Kalagin has joined the Business Development Department and Conor Kearney has joined the Supply Chain team but to name a few. Recruitment is ongoing and if you feel you are suitable candidate we would be delighted to accept applications to email@example.com
As our reputation grows as a leading contract manufacturing partner to global OEMs so does our sales pipeline which has never been stronger. Keltech has advanced new sales opportunities in Ireland, the UK, Europe and the USA for 2018. The company guided by our “Towards 2020 strategy” will continue to enhance the key cornerstones of our current success through the ongoing development of our people and plant. We will continue to strive to be the experts in our chosen fields providing a strategic competitive edge to our valued customers.
Many thanks to all of our employees, suppliers and customers for your ongoing support in 2017, we wish you and yours a happy and safe Christmas and New Year!
Enjoyed reading this post or want to find out more? Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or 00353864681333
"Blazing a Trail" Emma Daly.
Rathgormack born Emma Daily became Keltech’s very first female to enter our Welding Academy in November 2021. 8 months later Emma’s welding torch is burning bright. She has firmly become a key member of our Tank division and now fabricates fuel & hydraulic tanks for some of the largest construction equipment manufacturers in the world.
Our New Normal. 1st Female Production Team Leader.
It’s no secret that as a contract manufacturer with a core competency in sheet metal fabrication Keltech have traditionally operated in a male-dominated industry. But recently, this is becoming an outdated and inaccurate stereotype.
2021 Leaving Cert student says “Don’t follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you.”
In Ireland 2 out of every 3 leaving cert students now opt to enter higher education. Anecdotally we can all identify with the stories of those individuals who have drifted into courses that in hindsight were never a fit.
Welding- Automation & Craft Combine at Keltech
For over a decade global supply chains have struggled with a deficit in welding capacity. However the extreme market volatility caused by COVID-19 has now suddenly accelerated the issue to crisis point. The delta between demand for welded products and available welding capacity is now one of the largest issues facing industry in 2022.
Andy Hayes appointed CEO of Keltech.
Effective the 13th of December 2021, Andy Hayes takes on the role of CEO at Keltech. Andy takes up the leadership position having joined the business initially in 2018 as Chief Financial Officer. As part of the new company structure, founder Ray Breen will now move into the role of Chairperson.
"Tommy Farrell Flash Cup" Welding Competition Launched.
Last weekend we held our inaugural "Tommy Farrell Flash Cup" welding competition! This now annual event is an opportunity for our welders to display their skills in a competitive but fun format. The tournament is the brain child of Keltech's new in-house welding trainer Jeff Imrie.