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

Supply Chain Manager at WCE, James Barnes

What does your job role as Supply Chain Manager at WCE involve?

My job role involves all aspects of the Supply chain from the sourcing of raw materials and all associated parts required ensuring a smooth process to enable the on-time and in full delivery to our customers.

Close collaboration between all our departments is key to producing a top-quality product, at a competitive price for the benefit of our customers. My day includes liaising with our valued suppliers to make sure we have the correct materials available to meet expected lead times and at competitive pricing.

What is the best part of working at WCE?

I particularly enjoy working with my purchasing team to resolve problems and discover new solutions to any issues that may arise. I started working at WCE in 1999 as a CNC machine operator and have been fortunate enough to progress through the company over the years, taking advantage of the many opportunities offered to me such as programming courses and ILM training, which led me to the role of CNC Manager. It was from there I was able to take up the offer of more training and coaching to where I have taken the role of Supply Chain Manager at WCE. The role is certainly a challenging one, but also a rewarding one.

What do you like doing for fun?

In my spare time I spend a lot of my time with my family at various Theme Parks around the country, such as Alton Towers and Thorpe Park, and combine this with travelling abroad to visit parks in Europe and the USA. I also enjoy reading a good book and watching motorsport when I can.

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

The origins of WCE

Our Story, how it all began over 50 years ago…..

The origins of WCE can be traced back to the 1950s, with its original owner and founder Mel Bayliss. Born in 1928, Mel had a passion for engineering and in particular, motorised travel. So much so, in 1959 Mel built his first “Fastakart” racing Kart, which was all the rage at the time!

Less than 10 years later, there was a turning point and Mel was asked to build his first hydraulic cylinder for one of his customers. By early 1969, Mel had manufactured his first farm tipping ‘ram’ and his new business was born.

Fast-forward to 1972 and Mel was joined in the business by his son Ken. Ken can be seen in the middle of the motorbike picture as a little boy in shorts! Ken completed his engineering training. By 1975 Ken was in charge of the entire Bromyard factory, at the young age of 25. By the time he was 36, Ken was running the company and taking the business to new heights.

Current day, origins of WCE still remain…

To this day, the origins of WCE remain a family business producing high-quality hydraulic cylinders. They now cover a wide range of sectors including waste management and mining, but farming and agriculture remain at its core. At 50 years young WCE’s manufacturing process may have changed a lot, but our dedicated, experienced and knowledgeable staff are still key. Our passion for engineering will always remain at our core.

Funding for innovative machinery is secured

Innovation is at the heart of what we do here at WCE. We are always looking into ways to improve our manufacturing process, products and customer service. The funding secured for innovative machinery we received, enabled us to streamline our paint drying process. Our current machinery was insufficient and meant we were losing value time and energy. It didn’t meet our high expectations and we needed a solution to overcome this.

We had previously approached Marches Growth Hub, to obtain a BEEP Grant in 2019. This enabled us to invest in a new piece of machinery. This not only increased our productivity, but also accrued yearly energy cost savings and reduced almost 25 tonne of carbon a year.

Due to the previous success, it was natural for us to reach out once again, to see if any further support was available. Marches Growth Hub helped with a successful application. WCE secured funding for innovative machinery with a £20,000 grant from the Business Growth Programme (BGP2). This supported the purchase of our new £45,000 paint drying oven, from Unitech Engineering Ltd. This helped us achieve an increase in capacity and provide a better quality finished product to our customers.

Richard Williams, Managing Director comments

“We were extremely pleased to receive the grant. The addition of this new paint drying oven has enabled us to increase capacity. We can now complete an extra 500 cylinders per week and it has created two new full-time jobs. We are very proud of the high quality hydraulic cylinders that we design and manufacture. This feels like another piece of the jigsaw! We can now provide an even better end-to end service for our customers. We are extremely grateful to Marches Growth Hub and we look forward to working with them on future opportunities.”

For further details on Business Funding Opportunities contact Marches Growth Hub here

Cylinders in paint drying machine

Cylinder paint drying machine

Hydraulic cylinders in paint drying machine