When hydraulic parts or tools are required, the Burbo Bank Offshore Wind Farm site goes to the local supplier FPI NorthWest Limited (FPI). A good working relationship has been established, and along with supplying hydraulic products, FPI have also advised the site on requirements and carried out specialised fluid power training specific to the wind power industry.
FPI is a growing fluid power engineering company, situated in two locations in the North West region of England: St. Helens, Merseyside and Birkenhead, Wirral. FPI supplies fluid power products and services across industries, which besides offshore wind includes heavy industry, glass, pharmaceutical, and maritime industries. Albeit an SME and still young, the company can boast a combined staff experience of over 50 years in engineering.
Lee Rollason, Head of Operations at Burbo Bank Offshore WInd Farm said:
"FPI has provided us with 3.6MW turbine hydraulic course, and by the report from our Technicians this was more in-depth than any training they had previously undertaken."
Immediate local support
Being a local company means being able to offer full and immediate local support. FPI's employees are all local to the area and have a good knowledge of the region. And not only are their own employees local as FPI often prefers to utilise local suppliers themselves to enable quicker response times. Most of FPI's local suppliers are quality approved by the ISO 9000 standard, and FPI has long established relationships with their suppliers built up on mutual trust and respect.
An appetite for wind power
FPI entered the wind energy market through training and consultancy work for a major energy company. Given their experience, FPI gained an appetite for more work in this industry. They contacted other wind energy companies in their area and were invited in by the Burbo Bank Offshore Wind Farm site to discuss their requirements further. FPI's knowledge of the industry and the locality of the company helped to establish the good working relationship they now have with the Burbo Bank site.
Colin Walker, Technical Director at FPI NorthWest Limited said:
"Local businesses in the North West of England are gearing up to get ready for the major expansion of the renewables industry in the area. They are working together and forming partnerships, not only with other businesses but also knowledge providers to assist in meeting the upcoming requirements of this growth industry. We are looking forward to the challenge that the wind power industry will bring and the opportunities it will present.”
Health, safety and the environment − a matter of pride
At DONG Energy, health, safety and the environment (HSE) plays a crucial role in choosing suppliers. FPI take pride in their uncompromising attitude to HSE, and in 12 years of trading they have had one minor accident. The company director Colin Walker is currently involved with the British Fluid Power Association in helping to establish a task force aimed at promoting health and safety in the workplace with regards to fluid power systems and pressure.