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We recently attended an international congress of machining industry organisations in Ireland and visited factories of leading engineering and manufacturing companies.

The Greater Manchester precision engineering firm attended the 2018 congress of the Syndicate International du Décolletage (SID) in Limerick. DPC attended as members of the British Turned Parts Manufacturers’ Association (BTMA).

DPC provides wide-ranging subcontract and engineering services to clients in the UK, Europe and beyond, across sectors including aerospace, aviation, defence, energy, environmental, marine, medical, motorsport and rail transport.

DPC has worked with clients in Ireland for over 10 years. Tony Hughes, works and tooling purchasing manager, attended the Limerick congress with finance director Julie Hughes.

The SID was founded in 1963 to bring together machining industry organisations across the world for engineering and economic updates, collaboration and exchanges.  Countries and regions represented include the UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Catalonia, Canada the United States.

The 2018 congress was centred around Limerick Institute of Technology. The host was Charlie Coughlan of the Irish Precision Turned Parts Manufacturing Association (PTMA) who is also currently President of the SID. There were 140 delegates representing 100 businesses for seminars, networking sessions and factory visits.

The Limerick and Shannon region is home to a number of important engineering and manufacturing businesses in sectors including medical, transport, marine and aerospace. Shannon Airport has a unique role in aviation history and over 50 aerospace companies are based in the area, employing over 1,700 employees.

Factory visits took delegates to leading Irish and global manufacturing companies across Ireland including in Galway, Clare and Cork. Factories visited included medical products manufacturer Stryker, Takumi Precision Engineering, Penn Engineering, Dawnlough, Bolgers, temperature control specialist Thermo King, hydraulic solenoids manufacturer Lisk; and mechanical seals specialist Sealol.

Tony said: “The factory visits were quite interactive, and we met both medium-sized and large businesses. One manufactures medical products for knee and hip joints. It was a great opportunity to see around the manufacturing shop floor, meet the MD and other representatives from similar companies across the world.

“Other events included a SID economic seminar at Limerick Institute of Technology, when a German delegate presented data from different countries with comparisons on topics including labour force issues, hourly pay, days worked, sick days and holidays.”

Tony added: “Delegates also discussed Brexit. Most want the UK to remain in the EU and for some other solution to be found. The policies of US President Donald Trump were also discussed including his tariffs on imported steel, which was very topical.

“Regarding skills and education, we heard about a new precision engineering degree in Sweden and new technology centres in France.

“We also enjoyed a little bit of sight-seeing around the Shannon region and a banquet in the historic Knappogue Castle.”

“DPC also visited a client in Waterford who also attended the SID congress and recently moved premises. The managing director showed DPC the new Waterford site, which was very interesting. It was another great opportunity for networking and sharing of ideas.”

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