15 Year Celebration at Phoenix Materials Testing

March 22, 2018

15 years ago, Darren and Vicki Wilkes formed Phoenix Calibration & Services Ltd, as a UKAS accredited service and calibration company. They are celebrating by looking at their business milestones over the years. Here are a few we think are particularly special, but have a look at all the achievements across the #15yearsofphoenix on their website or by following the LinkedIn page.

2003 - Phoenix is formed

Darren and Vicki Wilkes formed Phoenix Calibration & Services Ltd, over the next 7 years, Phoenix would become a manufacturing business specialising in building bespoke testing machines, offering consultancy and technical support and continuing its original calibration services.

2005 - They won their 1st international sale

In 2005 Phoenix won its first international order - a creep testing machine to be delivered to Malaysia. “We managed to design, build and export the system from the office at our home in Wolverhampton and a garage facility in Bobbington! A far cry from the dedicated factory and offices we now occupy in Brierley Hill.”

2007 – The largest machine to date is built

“Having bid on tenders via our local agents, and after nearly 3 years of discussions, we won our first major contract for Malaysia - a 3000kN Universal Test Machine! We worked with a wide range of suppliers and associates, with the main frame being built in Korea due to material costs (to Phoenix design), and the controls and high precision parts being shipped from the UK. The system has worked well for over a decade and marked the point where Phoenix moved into handling large, high-value projects.”

2010 - Phoenix moves to a new site

Due to increasing demand from customers for larger items and complete testing systems, Phoenix invested in a new factory that would allow the space to design and develop new products. Based on the Wallows Industrial Estate in Brierley Hill, the new premises would also allow them to begin development for their own in-house testing laboratory.

2013 - Our 1st KTP Associate joins the team

As a small business, sometimes you can see the opportunity to make developments in your technology, but don't always have the skills or resources to do so. The Knowledge Transfer Partnership is the ideal solution to this challenge! “We submitted a successful proposal to develop the next generation of control system, and we worked with the University of Wolverhampton over the following 2 years to recruit Edison Owhonda as our 1st KTP Associate. Edison is a valued member of our team, and is currently leading our Electronics Design capability.”

2018: Our future

“Looking back over the past 15 years makes us appreciate how far Phoenix has come, but we are always looking at what the next materials testing challenge will be. The move towards Electric Vehicles and battery development, more focus on understanding and predicting the influence of complex temperature profiles and environments on materials, miniaturisation and new manufacturing techniques are sure to keep us busy and innovative for the next 15 years and beyond.”


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