SMD has been honoured with the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category for its growing presence and success in global markets.
This is the second Queen’s Award the company has won in the last two years. In 2011, SMD was presented with the Queen’s Award for Innovation for its work-class remotely operated vehicles (WROVs).
The Wallsend-based company is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of remote intervention equipment, which is operated in hazardous environments across the globe.
The company’s latest development, the Atom WROV system, has been exported to customers in South East Asia and the Mediterranean. The Atom is an ultra-compact work-class ROV, which is suitable for subsea drill support, inspection, repair and maintenance, survey and light construction and can be mobilised on vessels and rigs with limited deck space.
Other significant international markets served by SMD include Brazil, China, Egypt, Japan and Singapore.
Across its five business streams (ROVS, Trenching, Renewables, Nuclear and Mining) SMD has experienced continued growth, which has seen saw its workforce increase from 275 to 372 in 2011. The growth has also enabled the expansion of the company's manufacturing facilities in North East England.
The company recently opened its third production facility, Neptune Works, a 37,000 sq ft launch and recovery systems (LARS) manufacturing operation.
A fourth facility is scheduled to be opened later this month at the Oceana Business Park, also close to SMD’s Turbinia Works head office and heavy production facility. The new facility has been specifically designed to house the build construction of the three Nautilus subsea mining vehicles for Nautilus Minerals Inc. and will create a further 12,000 sq ft of workshop space.
Andrew Hodgson, Chief Executive of SMD, said: “The Queen’s Award is fantastic recognition of SMD’s increasing presence in global markets. Our vehicles have been deployed in some of the world’s most extreme subsea locations, supporting operations across a range of industries including the emerging marine renewables and nuclear decommissioning sectors.”
He added: “Our innovative approach, which was honoured by the Queen’s Awards in 2011, has enabled SMD to become a world-leader and further expand our operations. The last 12 months have been particularly exciting as we’ve dramatically increased the size of our facilities in North East England, which has enabled workforce expansion and the range of products and services we can offer to UK and international customers.”