Hydraulics & Pneumatics November/December 2023

UPDATES BFPA Regional Meetings Prove to be a Success As part of a new engagement initiative for 2023, BFPA has introduced regular regional meetings which are quickly increasing in popularity. So far this year, events have taken place at MAKE UKin Birmingham in June, Flowtechin September and Hydrasunin October. Our Northwest regional meeting on 26th September was hosted in Skelmersdale by Mike England CEO of Flowtech, John Farmer, Group Commercial Director of Flowtech and the Flowtech Team who gave all attendees a very warm welcome and an excellent overview of the business. BFPA member companies attending the event were: Husco International, R&G Fluid Power , Metalflex, Prevost UK, MP Filtri, Flowtech, Pegasus Hydraulics and Pirtek. On 18th October, BFPA distributor member HydrasunTeesside hosted our Northeast regional meeting at their brand new 20,000 sq. ft office and workshop facility at Teesside Industrial Estate, Thornaby, Stockton on Tees. The event was co-hosted by David Whiles, Operations Manager and Neil Holmes, Regional Manager of Hydrasun. An overview of the BFPA’s latest activities and initiatives was followed by an open forum discussion on the challenges facing the fluid power industry covering issues such as how to fill the “skills gap” which is facing UK manufacturing in general, not just fluid power. BFPA MD Chris Butcher commented: “Many of our members have already invested in apprentices through local Technical Colleges to help fill their own “skills gaps” and are increasingly following this route. Government support is lacking, with no clear direction for education when it comes to manufacturing and engineering sector. Manufacturing in general, not just fluid power, is struggling to fill over 70,000 vacancies (figure from Make UK & ONS Sept 2023) – this is a real challenge for our industry.” A particular focus of 2023 for BFPA has been to encourage members to engage with their local Technical colleges, UTCs and STEM ambassadors to promote their business and the fluid power industry (more information is available on our website www.bfpa.co.uk) The meeting was an excellent platform for sharing ideas and networking, and was followed by an overview of Hydrasun’s business and a tour of the very impressive new facility. BFPA member companies attending the event were: Hydraulic & Offshore Supplies, MD Engineering Fluid Power Ltd, R&G Fluid Power – Seals & Gaskets Division, Haskel Europe Ltd, Industrial and Marine Hydraulics (IMH), Hydraulic System Products Ltd, Hopespare Ltd and Arco Ltd. BFPA’s next Regional Meeting will be held in Scotland on 15th November. For more details on BFPA regional meetings, please visit our website www.bfpa.co.uk/events Contact the BFPA at Tel: +44 (0)1608 647900 • Email: enquiries@bfpa.co.uk • Web: www.bfpa.co.uk BFPA’s Northwest regional meeting held at Flowtech BFPA’s Northeast regional meeting held at Hydrasun