People and Technology working together

WCE have been manufacturing hydraulic cylinders for over 50 years. We have evolved over the years and one area we have seen change dramatically is the manufacturing process itself and the introduction of the most innovative machinery. We believe our success is due to people and technology working together.

Rich Williams, Managing Director says “Innovation is at the heart of what we do at WCE and because we own the end-to-end process from designing the cylinders to the finished product, we are always looking into ways to improve our manufacturing process, product and customer service. We have invested around two million on the latest equipment and innovations, we are now in a position where 90% of our plant is both modern and reliable. This includes the latest sawing, welding and spraying equipment, alongside factory process control technology, which dramatically increases efficiency and production. We have recently installed another Mazak CNC robotic feed machine, the third addition to the collection. The innovative technology that Mazak provides has been a core element in us achieving our ambitious growth plans.”

Many UK manufacturers are reluctant to commit to new technology due to large investments involved and the fear of change in a world where there are so many uncertainties. However, the benefits WCE have reaped have outweighed the investment. Improved quality of output, boosted productivity as there is less downtime, ‘lights out’ manufacturing 24/7, improved customer delivery times, more resilience, reduced waste and reduced carbon emissions are just a few.

However collaboration is at the heart of everything we do and is the central point for all our company values. Without collaboration of our team of skilled workers, our technology suppliers and their expertise, we would not succeed with technology alone. People and technology working together is key.

Read our full article, printed courtesy of the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce here.

Meet our Engineering Manager

Darryl Richardson

Hi, I’m Darryl Richardson, the Engineering Manager here at WCE.

Tell us about your career at WCE?

I’ve been working at WCE for over 12 years. I started my career at WCE as an apprentice tool maker, with a passion for engineering. A short-while after completion of my apprenticeship, I moved into the drawing office as a Technical Engineer. I held this position for 8 years, before progressing into a more people-focused role, as the Engineering Manager.

Designing hydraulic cylinders at WCE

The design phase is crucial, so we work in collaboration with our customers. We get to know their application process inside out, in order to design a hydraulic cylinder that matches their exact requirements.

We use the latest CAD technology in Autodesk Inventor (3D). This allows us to bring our innovations to life and collaborate our ideas with our customers. Once we have crunched all the details in design, our team utilises an ERP system to build our BOM’s and factory routings. This ensures a smooth process from planning to dispatch and keeps track of the cylinder progression along its journey. 

What’s a typical day like?

My typical day involves communicating and collaborating externally with new and existing customers and internally with staff members. Ensuring we keep a close relationship between the design office and the shop floor is also critical, to deliver on our customers’ needs.

What is the best part of being the Engineering Manager at WCE?

I get to help people and solve problems. I get to provide value, make people’s lives better, develop employees’ skills and be a force for positive advancement and change.

What do you like doing for fun?

I’m quite into my cooking and also building things. I’ve recently completed a build of my first offset smoker, and now using it to smoke meats such as brisket and pork. This started as a hobby to get through Covid, but now has moved on and grown so much I’ve had to mount it on a trailer!

Please feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn below.

Darryl Richardson | LinkedIn

WCE is growing thanks to Marches Growth Hub!

WCE is growing thanks to Marches Growth hub, which enabled us to secure local funding support. This has helped WCE in making improvements to the productivity of the business, significantly reducing carbon savings and offering more job opportunities.

Last year we were lucky in being able to purchase a paint drying oven. WCE Secures Funding for Innovative Machinery – Wye Cylinder ( This was a huge success, enabling us to increase capacity and reduce energy costs. We were very grateful that once again, we could benefit from help from the Marches Growth hub.

We need people and technology working together for WCE to grow

WCE have been manufacturing hydraulic cylinders for over 50 years. We want to leave a legacy in UK manufacturing, highlighting that investing in modern technology doesn’t mean a reduction in the workforce, in fact the opposite. We need the expertise of our trained workforce! This technology compliments their skills in enabling us to upskill team members, increase our productivity and hence increase our workforce. This means we can ensure our customers receive high quality hydraulic cylinders, fit for their specific purpose, at a cost-effective price, delivered to their timescales. Our strategy is to give our people the right tools for the job.

WCE’s growth journey

We’re now in a position where 90% of our factory is both modern and reliable. There has been an amazing transformation over the past few years at WCE. Increased efficiencies, technology advancements, reducing waste and becoming more environmentally friendly have all been on the agenda. We have further investment planned for new machinery and continually strive to improve our manufacturing processes, products and customer service. We are excited to now take on the next stage of our growth development plans, so watch this space!

If you would like to learn more about how WCE is growing and our journey so far, just click the link below to view the video.

Wye Cylinder Engineering – The Marches Growth Hub helps business to thrive – YouTube