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Steel Benders and Parnaby Cyclones

ByDave Stopher

Feb 20, 2024

Two North-East businesses are to mark the 20th anniversary of working together on the latest large scale processing plant to be transported around the world.

Middlesbrough’s Steel Benders UK have been forming all shapes and sizes of steel for Chilton’s Parnaby Cyclones since 2004.

Parnaby then fabricates the parts to form the recycling plants that are then transported to different areas of the globe.

Parnaby has delivered a 400-tonne per hour wash plant inside the Arctic Circle, a glass washing plant to Italy and to the copper mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

And Steel Benders have processed the steel in almost every project carried out by Parnaby – highlighting the excellent partnership between the two companies.

Ian Parnaby, the process manager at Parnaby, said: “We have also delivered mineral processing plants to Indonesia, China, Canada, South Africa and placed a recycling plant to France and New Zealand.

“We are effectively separating the organics from aggregates and a lot of the kit that we are using, almost on every plant, comes from Steel Benders and then we send it around the world to the required destination.”

Steel Benders have successfully worked with Parnaby since company founder Malcolm Cooper developed a relationship with the then works manager, Keith Metcalfe, at the Chilton Industrial Estate, near Ferryhill two decades ago.

Since sales manager Lucy Anderson joined Steel Benders in 2008 she has managed the contract and remains the point of contact for Parnaby’s current works manager, Darren Metcalfe, who took over the reins from his father, Keith.

Lucy said: “Relationships like this are fantastic for the business and fantastic for the area too. Each project starts with design and comes to me, broken into segments, and then we quote before moving onto the purchase element where Darren knows we can deliver.

“There are always hurdles to overcome and we will find solutions. Parnaby and Steel Benders have a great working relationship and the staff have built a strong rapport going back two generations.”

Parnaby Cyclones celebrated its 50th anniversary last year when it was founded by Ian’s grandad, Derek. Ian and his father, Adrian, run the operation along with his brother, Ben. The family run business has County Durham at heart.

Ian said: “We are proud of what we do here. When items are delivered we will have an experienced skilled person among our 60-strong workforce to assemble parts into its final form.

“We are a project based-company solving problems for clients dealing with very difficult materials in various sectors. Our history was traditionally working in the coal industry until we diversified into recycling.

“Now our large-scale processing plants have large tanks, processing vessels, which require large plates and parts to be formed to suit our needs – and that is where Steel Benders come in.

“It is great to be able to work with a company on our doorstep. It is convenient for us and we are both supporting local businesses in the area – so everyone is a winner.

“The relatively close proximity between the two sites means less transportation, a lower carbon footprint and we are both having positive impacts on recycling applications as well as steel industries globally.”

Steel Benders bend and profile items such as cylinders, concentric and eccentric cones, buckets, lobster backs, stair stringers, Parallel Flange Channel (PFC), Circular Hollow Section (CHS), Rolled Steel Angle (RSA), Universal Beam (UB) and Flat Bar. From an offshore perspective it has huge experience of items like anode rings and transitional pieces.

* For more information and to look at Steel Benders’ services check out steelbenders.co.uk