Three apprentices from Polypipe have developed innovative technology that will be rolled out in Polypipe factories across the world.

Tom Fletcher, 24, Dan Johnson, 21, and Dillon Reay, 18, have worked alongside senior engineers in creating a new End of Arm Tooling, to be fitted onto the company’s injection moulded Polystorm automated robot manufacturing systems.

The developments made have improved the reliability of the tooling and the pick and placement of the Polystorm modular cells, an interlocking geocellular system, used to create a strong, flexible buried structures to store water for retention, attenuation and infiltration sustainable drainage system (SUDS) applications. The system will eventually be used across other Polystorm robots in the United Arab Emirates.

Studying their apprenticeship programmes through Lincoln College, the trio have achieved and are currently working towards their NVQ Level 2 Improving Operational Performance Engineering (Maintenance Engineering), NVQ Level 3 in Mechanical Engineering and Level 4 HND in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

Over the coming months, the apprentices will be working on Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), a system for maintaining and improving the integrity of production and quality systems, as it is rolled out across the factory as well as heading up a condition monitoring project for the critical areas of the plant.


Paul Brewer, Maintenance Manager at Polypipe Civils in Horncastle, said:

At Polypipe, we encourage our apprentices to be involved in day to day activity, meaning they work on products that will be used in the real world.

“The challenging environment of Engineering Maintenance is rewarding for those who have the desire to push themselves to learn more to develop into quality Engineers for the company. An Engineering Apprenticeship at Polypipe offers individuals an opportunity that will hugely benefit them in their careers.

Whilst the apprentices have been working at Polypipe Civils, based in Horncastle, they have supplemented their ‘on the job’ training with a range of courses at Lincoln College, including NVQ’s in Mechanical Engineering, Performance Engineering Operations and Stage 1 Hydraulics at NFPC.

Mark Care, Director of Employer Provision, at Lincoln College added:

This is a great example of how Lincoln College works alongside over 1000 local businesses to improve their productivity by developing the knowledge and skills of their workforce.

High quality apprenticeships are the flagship of our education and training offer to employers and their employees. We want to work with more employers in this way, by being business-led and career focused.

Apprentice, Tom Fletcher, said:

This is a great place to start a career; the variation on site from basic mechanics to advanced robot automation is an ideal platform to launch oneself onto a prosperous Engineering career at Polypipe.

Date: 15 December 2015