Brookes Bell’s new state-of-the art laboratory
The contracts have been signed and construction is about to begin on the new fuel testing, metallurgy and non-destructive testing (NDT) centre. Brookes Bell Chief Technical Officer, Ray Luukas, says: “This is an exciting next step, the contracts have been signed for the fit out, construction commences on 3 August and the building is scheduled to be completed – coronavirus permitting – on 23 October.
“This will be a significant diversification of our services, but the new laboratory is just one aspect -we’ve also made extensive investments in new equipment and have hired some exciting highly skilled experts to head up these services.” Our new laboratory, which represents an investment of £1.8million, will boast a variety of new equipment, including the Olympus DSX1000 digital microscope, the first of its kind in the UK. It has been purchased for a wide range of metallurgy and forensic engineering investigations, with many other applications including advanced paint flake analysis. It will allow the user to switch between a range of magnifications and inspection methods with ease while examining the microscopic aspects of broken and fractured components.
Added to which, over the last year we have recruited high-level chemists to lead and deliver the new services while expanding the NDT team with highly skilled specialists. The bigger team is well established and will provide a much more flexible onsite service with ample capacity to expand to meet customers individual requirements in marine engineering, industrial mechanical engineering, manufacturing and energy applications.
Ray Luukas adds that: “At the moment, much of our NDT work is centred around marine and energy services, but NDT opportunities are prevalent across many industries, similarly our metallurgy work is focused on the maritime sector, but metal is used everywhere. The new laboratory will act as a focal point to expand well beyond our traditional markets to offer unique, bespoke services everything from heat exchanger tube analysis to teak underdeck inspection for superyachts and aluminium superstructures.
“One thing that has become very clear in the last few months as a result of the global pandemic is that diversification is key to businesses survival and success. As a company that was established back in 1903, we are well versed in being ahead of the curve and anticipating new business developments.”