The skills and technologies to reinvigorate the UK economy and help its transformation to a low carbon future provided the focus for the visit by Pat McFadden MP, Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills, to BOC's Wolverhampton Technology Centre today (Friday 9 October).
The Government's industrial strategy aims to make the UK the home of world-class manufacturing technology. BOC, part of The Linde Group, has been developing innovative solutions to a range of industrial challenges at its Manufacturing Technology Centre. Wolverhampton is also home to the company's cylinder test centre, which opened last year and houses the most up-to-date testing equipment anywhere in the world.
BOC supplies gas and engineering solutions to virtually every part of the economy, from oxygen for power generation and steelmaking, welding gases for engineering applications, through a range of medical gases and liquid nitrogen for food applications, down to the helium used on the high street for party balloons.
The visit gave the minister the opportunity to discuss the latest applications of industrial gas technology - from one-stage welding for wind turbine towers to flame-straightening for shipbuilding, as well as a range of other techniques.
"The UK's manufacturing base is at the heart of our economy and we have to ensure that industry can access the most up-to-date and technologically advanced processes and techniques," said Mr McFadden. "That is why we need companies like BOC who can develop new and innovative solutions for industrial sectors identified by the Government as being key to our future success - sectors like manufacturing, energy and construction."
"BOC has been an integral part of the UK industrial scene for over 100 years and our success has been built on providing our customers with the products and processes they need in order to compete effectively," noted Mike Huggon, BOC's Managing Director. "In an increasingly globalised economy, that means seeking out the best technologies from around the globe, refining them and delivering innovative solutions to British industry. Our Manufacturing Technology Centre was established in Britain's industrial heartland to do just that and to help maintain this country's reputation for engineering excellence."