Spring sunshine greeted his Royal Highness The Duke of Kent, accompanied by Eric Dancer the Lord Lieutenant of Devon, when they visited Centek in Newton Abbot on Thursday, February 24.
His Royal Highness was given a guided tour of the factory by managing director Tony Cutmore and was introduced to key staff members while inspecting some of the design and unique manufacturing processes which have contributed to Centek’s success. Among the staff presented to The Duke were Cliff Berry, Andy Jenner, Mike and Ben Cutmore, Andy West, John Pearson, Andy Boulcott and Stu Forrester.
Civic dignitaries, including the mayor of Newton Abbot, Cllr Carol Bunday, chairman, Teignbridge District Council, Cllr Stephen Purser and executives from Halliburton, the leading oil service company, also attended. The Duke unveiled a plaque commemorating his visit and was presented with his coat of arms etched in steel as a demonstration of Centek’s laser technology.
Centek, the market leader in oil and gas casing centralizers, won the Queen’s Award for outstanding achievement in International Trade for 2008 and the Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2009. Centek manufactures casing centralizers, which are used in oil and gas drilling to position casing down the drilled hole prior to cementation.
“The visit of HRH The Duke of Kent and the Lord Lieutenant is a great honour for Centek and the people who work here,” said Tony Cutmore, managing director of Centek.
“It is recognition of our two Queen’s awards and our continuing contribution to both the international oil industry and the local economy. We would also like to thank our loyal customers for making our 10 years in operation a success.”
Innovation is at the heart of Centek’s approach and success, based on an original idea of the company founders back in 2001. Centek centralizers have no welds or moving parts and are made from a single piece of heat-treated steel that reduces friction and gives great strength combined with flexibility, allowing the centralizer to compress, without breaking, as it goes down the drill hole, and to expand to its correct diameter centring the casing in the hole. This allows cement to be pumped through the casing and back to surface or tie back and secures the casing evenly.
Centek employs 75 people, exporting to 42 countries with patents held in 16 countries. Export sales are 90 per cent of all Centek sales.
(image: From Left: Stuart Forrester, test engineer, Andy Boulcott, lead test engineer, HRH The Duke of Kent and Tony Cutmore, Centek managing director.)