Broder Metals: Interview with Simon South

Broder Metals Group offers a wide-ranging mix of metals and metal products together with the ethos of a world-class customer service to provide a persuasive offering to their core markets. 

Simon South, Technical Manager at Broder Metals Group, shares his in-depth insights, knowledge and experience. 

Q: How did you start off in the metals industry?

A: I started as an apprentice in 1995 at Mckenna Precision Castings, a foundry producing Lost wax investment castings. The foundry produced both medical and commercial castings including valve bodies in a range of alloys.

As day release to college and later University was part of my academic path, my chosen course of study was Mechanical Engineering. This was under advisement from my mentor that this subject covered a broader spectrum engineering than that of Metallurgy alone.

I continued this path over several years taking a gap as I moved companies and completed my qualifications from an NVQ apprenticeship to the ONC and HNC in Mechanical and Production engineering. Then followed by the HND in Mechanical Engineering and the BEng Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering at Sheffield Hallam University.

Q: Could you tell me more about your degree?

A: The dissertation in my final year was the Investigation into Galvanic Corrosion of Super Alloys & Tribology of Metal on Metal Superalloy Bearings.

My supervisor at Sheffield Hallam nominated me and my dissertation to the Master Cutlers & London’s Armorers and Braziers Joint Award Scheme. Which I received the award that year for Materials Engineering.

Q: What work did achieving your degree enable you to do?

A: In these 25 years whilst in industry I have worked in the Casting, Forging and Machining industries which are the ideal areas to apply the academic knowledge gained from the study of Mechanical Engineering.

During my career I worked at the only Titanium foundry in the UK, Castings Technology International. Here I was part project management team for small and large-scale projects in Titanium and Nickel based superalloys. This included the engineering of titanium valve bodies for harsh environment applications through to aerospace prototype castings.

Following my time in the casting and machining industries, I felt it was time to deepen my manufacturing engineering knowledge in both Superalloy manufacture and forging. After spending some time at Firth Rixson working for both the metals and forging plants at Glossop and Sheffield, I moved to the Tinsley Bridge Group working as the process engineer for the forge.

This combined experience and academic knowledge has given me the ideal foundation to make the recent transition to Technical Manager at Broder Metals Group.

Q: Broder obviously has many customers who manufacture valves – what can you contribute to this work?

A: The skills I can apply to the valve industry is that not only of material selection, processing, and manufacture. But also, the theoretical knowledge of Fluid Dynamics, Thermo Fluids, Dynamics and Structural Integrity, finite element analysis and Corrosion from the units studied as part of my engineering qualifications.

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