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

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.