Plymouth-based Fine Tubes, which makes a wide range of stainless steel, nickel alloy and titanium tubes for critical applications in the aerospace, medical, oil and gas, and energy industries, celebrated its 75th anniversary at the end of last year.
Founded in Surbiton in 1943, the company began construction of a 51,000ft2
production facility in the northern part of Plymouth in 1960 and then moved into its new factory in 1962.
It has been a major local employer in Plymouth ever since and can look back on several key milestones.
Since 2016, it has been part of the Specialty Metal Products division of AMETEK Inc — a global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices with annual sales of $4.8 billion.
Fine Tubes’ success in the aerospace market began back in 1957, when it started to supply tubing for the Vickers Viscount aircraft.
In 1965, the company was making advanced stainless-steel alloy tubes for Concorde; by 1999, it was making titanium tubing for the hydraulic systems of the Eurofighter.
Today, it is one of the few companies qualified to produce the high-pressure titanium tubes used in the hydraulic systems of the Airbus A380 and A350, and its contract was recently extended to cover the full range of Airbus aircraft.
Always ready to respond to a technological challenge, Fine Tubes was the company chosen to supply 130km of cooling tubes for CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, corrosion-resistant heat-exchanger tubes for a ground-breaking power plant in Spain, and specialist titanium tubing for the chemical propulsion system of the European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter.
Operations director Dave Cawse said: “Fine Tubes can look back on a truly impressive history of technological achievement on an international stage.
“With so much of that achievement generated from our facility in Plymouth, the company can claim to be a significant player in the story of UK manufacturing success.”