SGS Tool Europe has recently appointed Hugh Welch as Manufacturing Manager, responsible for the efficient flow of the company’s high performance cutting tools, through the precision production facility located in its European headquarters in Wokingham. He brings with him a wealth of production management, engineering knowledge and experience gained in a solid carbide cutting tool manufacturing environment.
Hugh Welch joins the company having previously gained experience at ATI Stellram, Garryson and Kennametal. “I originally started with Stellram on the shopfloor as a toolmaker, using 5-axis machines back in 1997,” he recalls. “After a year I took a hefty pay cut to become a Production Planner, then the Production Manager moved on and I got the nod. I was mentored to become the senior site manager and went through a number of transitional roles, gaining more responsibilities with each one.”
When ATI, the owners of Stellram, purchased Garryson, Hugh Welch was asked to relocate and become Manufacturing Manager for the company’s new tungsten carbide-based and industrial abrasives tool business, “to help integrate them into the ‘ATI’ way of working,” he says. “I did that for 8 years, until ATI decided to sell the Stellram businesses to Kennametal.”
SGS supply some of the most advanced solid carbide cutting tools currently available, providing high performance solutions from stock, as well as bespoke cutting tools designed and manufactured in its extensive UK facilities to meet, and often exceed, customers’ exacting specifications. Now, Hugh Welch says he is looking forward to ensuring the right tool is delivered to the right customer, at the right time.
Engineering runs through the Welch-family veins, as Hugh’s father owned a subcontract precision engineering company, Stimpson Engineering based in Wiltshire. This provided his first taste of the manufacturing world and is from where he studied a mechanical engineering apprenticeship and a BTEC in Business and Finance at Chippenham Technical College.
Following this, Hugh Welch decided to return to full-time education and attended Southampton University. He concludes: “I am very proud to be involved in the precision engineering industry with a technically advanced and progressive company such as SGS. I look forward to working with existing and potential new customers to develop the efficiency of their manufacturing process, using our high performance cutting tool technology.”