Collaborations Old

A key objective of the cluster is to demonstrate the value of industry collaboration, i.e. cluster members (including competitors), engaging together to address opportunities and roadblocks to their business.

Many of our cluster companies compete but when they find common ground to collaborate successfully, everyone becomes a winner.

“If you think that you can go it alone, in today’s global economy, you are highly mistaken”

Jack Welch, former CEO, General Electric

Some of the ways we Collaborate:

  • Steel Workstream
  • Machine Building Workstream
  • Offsite Fabrication Workstream

Steel Procurement Workstream

Initial exploratory activity identified that there is a huge problem facing our regional engineering industry in regards to the supply chain and price of Steel product. To address this an industry group focusing on this issue was initiated. The group consists of 13 companies across the south east region ranging in size and area of specialisation.

The Benefits of this Workstream:

  • To create a connected pathway for SME’s in the region to obtain a more reliable and consistent supply of steel products.
  • To provide a means of peer to peer learning between companies that will enable them to strategize supply chains better within their own companies.
  • To utilise Industry supply chain and steel specialists to present key information that will allow them to make time critical business decisions.

Steel sourcing is a massive issue for us. Being part of this collaborative group gives us confidence that we are not missing anything obvious in term of dealing with the problem

Tony O’Neill, Materials Manager, Keenan Alltech

Companies involved in this workstream are:

If you would like to become part of this group – please contact us for further details

Machine Building Workstream

The South East has a strong tradition in the area Machine Building. This comprises not only of automation and robotics experts but also the companies that feed into them as subcontractors.

The Benefits of this Workstream:

  • Enables specialist SME’s to have a secure peer to peer forum to address opportunities and barriers within the sector.
  • Provides a means of highlighting skills shortages and influencing how those skills shortages are addressed.
  • Provides a means to source specific niche services within the sector.
  • Provides a means of accessing or collaborating on world class R&D services.

We have seen great benefits by being part of this Machine Building workstream

Tony O’Neill, Materials Manager, Keenan Alltech

Industry Case 1

Clustering activity of regional engineering companies results in international automation excellence.
Lead Company: T.Butler Engineering (Kilkenny):
Regional collaboration with: CDS Metalwork (Kilkenny) & Rittal (Carlow)

TBE are specialist in CNC Wire forming and Special Purpose Machinery produced mainly for the global automotive industry. They have supplied over 250 bespoke machines since the company was set up in 1988.

TBE have their own in-house R&D and their technological expertise is in the area of digital AC servo drives, multiple axis high-speed feed systems, servo winding, servo forming, press attachments, rotating wire and integrated welding.

In terms of regional collaboration, TBE utilize the skills of local supplier CDS Metalwork to manufacture their complex machine frames. They also utilize electrical enclosure specialists Rittal to supply enclosures that require specialised integral cooling units that their end clients environmental conditions require.

Industry Case 2

4 of the regions engineering companies who are involved in the machine building space recently engaged with the Engineering South East Cluster via a workshop to explore support options available to SME’s for training. The specific specialization they had in mind was “Certified Machinery Safety Expert” training.

We initially explored financial support and Engineering the South East reached out to the Engineering Skillnet group who were able to organize a 40% discount for members to avail of the course ultimately making it financially viable for them to enroll their employees on the programme.

3 Engineers have now either completed the programme or have enrolled in the next delivery. Engineering the South East is now exploring other opportunities with this sub-cluster such as work placements, graduate funding supports and R&I (Research and Innovation) projects.


Horan Automation
Carlow Toolmaking
Kinetic Engineering
Pneumatics & Sensors Ireland

Offsite Fabrication Workstream

Offsite fabrication refers to the process of manufacturing / assembling parts of a structure in a location different to the actual site it will be built on. This practice is becoming increasingly popular in recent years and some of the South East’s engineering companies are leading the way on a national and international level.

The Benefits of this Workstream:

  • Enhances opportunities for companies to reduce on site labour and provide higher quality end products.
  • Provides a forum where members can source specific niche services within the sector.
  • Provides a means for members to access/collaborate with world class R&D services
  • Connects members with national clusters who are focusing on this area (particularly in the construction sector).

We are delighted to be involved in this workstream with other great people and companies

Tony O’Neill, Materials Manager, Keenan Alltech

Industry Case

Clustering activity of regional engineering companies results in international automation excellence. Lead Company: FLI Group (Waterford):
Regional collaboration with: FLI Global & Lawlor Sustainability

FLI Group are headquartered in Waterford. They operate across the Water, Semi-Precast Concrete Engineering, Soil remediation and Geosynthetics sectors.

FLI have recently added a new string to their bow in regards to their innovative solution in the precast housing sector. Their new purpose-built factory in Carlow will focus purely on the manufacture of lower carbon precast housing superstructures built under factory conditions which will then be delivered to site for rapid construction.

Understanding the opportunity for other engineering companies in the region to deliver complimentary services into this project, FLI engaged with Engineering the South East to help explore ways of getting local companies to collaborate.

Lawlor Sustainability in Kilkenny were immediately identified as a company who could help feed into the design process and they are now working together to investigate opportunities within the project.

connecting &
innovating through
a shared vision

Our Members

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