Responsive to rescue when Manchester Ship Canal vessel needed fast action for vital welding tests

Ellis Selkirk

WHEN a shipping company needed fast overnight action to ensure the integrity of new welds in time for its vessel to depart the next morning, Responsive were the experts who came to the rescue.

A vessel moored in the Manchester Ship Canal at night, was due to head out into the Irish Sea the next day to keep to her planned schedule. 

But before the vessel could leave her mooring, new welding on a water tank needed to be checked to make sure it complied with all marine industry safety standards and that no cracks were present.

Long-established logistics company Frank Armitt & Son Ltd, which operates across the UK and handles marine support for companies from all over the world including Rotterdam and Antwerp, was tasked with finding experts who could be on the ground quickly to carry out the testing.

From its base in Manchester and with 14 highly qualified inspectors among its 18-strong team across the North, Responsive was able to be on site quickly to carry out the work in time for the vessel to depart on time.

Thomas Brockbank, of Frank Armitt and Son, which has grown from being a North-West shipping agent founded 70 years ago to become a modern logistics company operating UK-wide across transport, warehousing, and marine support, was delighted with Responsive’s fast action.

Thomas said: “We needed to find someone who could get on site within three hours and carry out the required NDT testing.

“Responsive were in contact almost immediately and we were able to talk them through what needed to be done.

“They were there on time and were extremely professional. They did a high quality and cost-effective job. I would definitely recommend them.”

Responsive is highly-regarded across the UK for being an industry leader in both non-destructive and destructive testing, mechanical testing and material analysis services.

Its teams, based in Manchester, Merseyside and Cumbria, are well-known for their fast, reliable response to provide non-destructive and destructive testing, welding, and painting inspection services to a range of sectors including nuclear, marine, petrochemical, engineering and construction sectors across the UK. 

Qualified to nuclear standards, integrity, quality, accountability and reliability are at the core of Responsive’s operations.

Responsive CEO Lee Grears said: “When Frank Armitt & Son Ltd asked if we were able to help carry out testing on a vessel in the Manchester Ship Canal to such a short timescale we were delighted to be able to provide a rapid response.

“We know how important it is to provide a quick turnaround on such urgent tasks where time is of the essence.

“It’s precisely why we have our bases and our people where we do, so that we are in situ and are able to respond fast and be on site quickly so our expert teams can get to work.

“It shows the value of having one of our bases in Manchester, as well as having our experts on the ground in both Merseyside and Cumbria.

“We have the ability to service industries across the whole of the North, including into the North-East with our Cumbria teams able to support operations in Teesside and Tyneside as well as already working with operators in County Durham. “

Lee said: “Our expertise has long since been recognised in the nuclear, oil and gas, construction and engineering industries and we are delighted that our reputation is also growing in the marine sector.

“Because we are vastly experienced in working to nuclear standards our customers know that integrity, quality and reliability are paramount. 

“When it comes to the testing of equipment we know that for the industries we work with lives are often at stake. That’s why integrity is everything. 

“For us, that accountability is at the core of what we do, and we approach every assignment with that responsibility at the forefront of our minds.”

Experts in Non-Destructive Testing, and Destructive Testing, the fast-growing company has five bases in the North. 

Gamma monitoring and surveys for nuclear transport packages, Stainless Steel ultrasonic testing, Magnetic Testing, Dye Penetrant Testing, are just some of the services the company provides.

Responsive operates a large radiography testing compound which offers 24-hour support to a range of industries, including nuclear, oil and gas, construction, engineering and maritime.

The Responsive Mechanical Testing arm of the company operates a lab for testing and monitoring the point at which materials are destroyed so it is able to precisely analyse the tolerance levels of equipment, products and materials for customers.

Techniques cover everything from chemical analysis positive material identification using Optical Emission Spectrometry (OES) through to Charpy, Tensile or Hardness testing of materials.

Lee said: “Our team can also tailor the ideal destructive testing method, or combination of tests, to ensure the absolute integrity of a customer’s components, materials and products.”

Responsive also has a training arm – Responsive Training Services – and recently set up start-up business Flawed to supply components with hidden defects for training and testing, both in-house and for external markets.