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.

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

Apprenticeship success stories at WCE

We have been running apprenticeship schemes in conjunction with Hereford and Worcester Group Training Association for several years. There are many great apprenticeship success stories at WCE. It is a great opportunity to gain a highly skilled job, with opportunities for reskilling and career development.

Many of our employees began their careers as an apprentice at WCE, including our Managing Director. Here are just a few of our apprenticeship stories.

Darryl’s Story

I first started working at Wye Cylinder in 2010, as a machinist. I was taken on as an apprentice the same year. This proved to be a fantastic move forward in my development. Within a year I had completed my CNC training and acquired an NVQ in mechanical engineering.

In 2013 an opportunity arose to progress into the drawing office as a technical engineer, where I have been ever since. Growing in this role has allowed me to get involved in more things in the company than I could have imagined before starting my apprenticeship.

I really enjoy the job and in particular the challenges it brings. My current role sees me producing the very drawings that I used to read as a machinist during my apprenticeship. An apprenticeship is a fantastic first step into the rest of your career.

Apprenticeship success stories at WCE

Marc’s Story

I first started work at WCE in 2010 as an agency worker. Quite quickly I was taken on permanently and started my apprenticeship in 2011. In 2013, I successfully completed my NVQ in mechanical engineering and after that completed my HNC in 2015. I continued to progress and was made Team Leader in 2017, which allowed me to play a key role in keeping our barfeed / milling section running as efficiently as possible.

In 2019 I completed an ILM level 3 in Leadership & Management which has helped me with my new role and responsibilities as CNC Manager. The apprenticeship has given me a great foundation to develop myself as an engineer and team leader. Without the apprenticeship, I feel I wouldn’t have the skillset I have now.

Marcin’s Story

I started working for WCE in 2011 in the assembly area, building new cylinders. It was a great experience, but I expressed an interest in moving into machine setting and programming. This happened very quickly and also led me to start my full machining apprenticeship in 2012.

I gained my NVQ BTEC diploma level 2 & 3 by 2016. In 2018 I was appointed team leader in my section, which produces all major internal componentry for our cylinders. I also completed my ILM level 3 in Leadership & Management in 2019. I now have the role of Production Manager. The apprenticeship has helped give me a baseline to expand my skills, knowledge and experience. I really enjoy my work as it keeps me on my toes with all the various challenges that come my way.

Ellis’ Story

My apprenticeship started in September 2017 and I spent the first year at Herefordshire Group Training. I joined WCE and continued my training within the Toolroom. My skills progressed on to CNC milling and lathe machines. Having developed these skills, I feel that I have become a valuable asset to the company.

I’m currently completing my final year of my apprenticeship, to gain a Level 3 Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing. I would love to continue to develop my skill set further and myself as an employee. I know that this company will give me the possibilities to progress my career even further in the future.

Will’s Story

My time at WCE began with work experience whilst I was at secondary school. I spent a week working around the different areas of the business and it helped me understand what it entailed. I really enjoyed the various sections and loved my day as a designer!
Following this week, I stayed in touch with WCE, and was asked if I could work over the summer holiday. Having spent some time here, I felt settled and happy with where I was working. I was lucky enough to be offered an apprenticeship, which gave me a real focus throughout my last year at school.

I’m currently in the second year of my Level 3 Engineering Technician Apprenticeship. I’m working in the drawing office, designing new products and improving older ones where possible. I really enjoy what I do,and look forward to progressing with my career.

Would you like to be part of our apprenticeship success stories at WCE? Find out more about apprenticeships here.