The North East and the North West of England chemical hubs “mirror” each other in many ways with a line of symmetry cutting down through the Pennines. Both regions have a common beginning from that once titan of industrial innovators which was ICI. Today, the legacy of running aging assets and the challenges to reinvent around new technologies and opportunities in the process sector are shared.
Both regions talk the same language, at least figuratively when it comes to industry, albeit with a different regional twang but both regions feel the same, with engineering know-how and talent that defines the areas landscape and working life.
It is no wonder that Axiom Engineering Associates Ltd has, from its inception in 2003 over in the North East, always found a pull to the North West, providing its services to some of the largest chemical producers, but also some of the smaller mid-size companies that spread across the region.
An excellent example of a business that has the challenge of operating legacy plants, but has an ambitious eye on the future, is Runcorn-based Vynova, a leading European PVC and chlor-alkali company. This top tier COMAH site produces caustic soda as well as chlorine and ethylene dichloride, two essential intermediates for the production of PVC. Axiom has supported Vynova for a number of years with the provision of niche engineering services around its core offerings of mechanical, materials and UKAS accredited inspection services. Following an extensive audit programme conducted by Vynova Runcorn in April 2019, Axiom successfully secured the appointment as Mechanical Design Body and Mechanical Design Verification Authority. With both businesses striving to achieve safe and efficient operation of plant assets in a sustainable manner, this strong partnership is destined to flourish.
In recognition of this and other significant contract awards in the North West, Axiom is looking to build and strengthen its regional presence. In June 2019, Axiom appointed a regional manager for the North West who is already making introductions and checking-in with existing accounts. Like Vynova, Axiom has also now joined the industry-led organisation, “Chemicals Northwest” and looking forward to working with and contributing to this key champion of the region’s chemical sector.
Axiom’s Regional Manager responsible for the North West, Kevin Murray said, “We definitely need to be working with Chemicals Northwest, and given the amount of work we do in that part of the world, membership is long overdue. We’re proud of our involvement in the North East and need to “mirror” that in the North West with focus and ambition. The North East cluster organisation is called NEPIC and we won their “North East Engineering Company of the Year” award for 2019. We now also need to aim high in the North West but recognise that success isn’t just about winning contracts but also about investing time and resource into the region so that local companies, communities and workforce can benefit.”