With a focus on geotechnical survey equipment, Feritech Global is constantly innovating and developing, in order to meet the demands of a worldwide market.
1 | Feb | 2018
Feritech Global supplies a comprehensive range of deck handling and marine geotechnical survey equipment to clients worldwide.
All of their products are designed, manufactured and tested at their base at Penryn in Cornwall. Over 90% of the company’s products and services are exported, with clients in over 40 different countries.
Leading the field
As co-founder and Managing Director, Rob Ferris explains, innovation and product development have been key drivers of their success. He says: “We want to lead the crowd, not follow the crowd. So we focus tightly on our core market and continually challenge ourselves to develop world-leading products that break the mould.”
Rob continues: “The equipment we manufacture for the marine geotechnical market is designed to examine the engineering properties of earth materials in detail. Our portfolio is built around that market. There is an ongoing demand from clients for equipment that is more efficient, safer and more cost effective to run. So we have concentrated on premium products and seek to continually improve their safety and performance.”
One example of the constant innovation at Feritech is their Vibrocorer with real time control and feedback, which is designed to take a 12 metre core sample from the seabed and to work effectively in the harsh offshore environment. The system knows how deep it has sampled to the nearest millimetre and also has HD cameras so the user can watch the operation.
“With conventional equipment, users were effectively operating blind” Rob explains. “They would drop the rig below the surface but could not see what was happening at the seabed level. With our Vibrocorer we added sensors that fed back real-time data, so the operator knows exactly what is happening under the sea. We can now also add sensors to detect unexploded ordnance or metal obstructions. The latter can be very useful if you are working, say, in the Thames and need to detect bridge foundations and other buried obstructions. We have also recently added an ultra- high resolution thermal heat probe to help reduce the costs of cable installation. This is the only digital high resolution product of its kind in the world.”
Rob adds: “Later this year we are launching our next leading-edge system which combines seven systems into one and we are confident will revolutionise the near shore geotechnical survey market especially for the renewable and cable route sector. It will also provide an exponential advance in safety on the world stage.”
So why has Rob chosen Cornwall as business location?
Rob says: “Traditionally my family trade for countless generations has been oyster fishing on the River Fal. After studying and working abroad, I was keen to return to the UK but it had to be the right location to grow our rapidly expanding business. Attracted by the cluster of strong global marine businesses in Cornwall, I knew this was an environment where we could really thrive.
“The marine sector in Cornwall is incredibly strong. There are clusters of exceptional marine specialists here with whom we can work and collaborate. The marine supply chain and infrastructure is outstanding. Transport links are also excellent and we have no problems in getting our products to market, which is vital when 90% of your business is in export.
World class manufacturing
“We have developed some world-class manufacturing techniques at Feritech. We will shortly be opening a new state of the art, purpose built facility for turn key manufacturing. As well as producing our own equipment, this is a facility that we plan to contract out to other marine engineering companies, so that we retain all that work within Cornwall.
“With R&D playing such a pivotal role in our business development, we are frequently out on the waters around Cornwall testing out new equipment. Having quick access to a range of different test locations helps everything to run more smoothly and keeps our new product launches on schedule.
“All in all, Cornwall is the ideal base for our fast- growing global business.”