Larkin Engineering wins prestigious NTA contract
Examples of Larkin Engineering’s work can be found in every town and village in Ireland and throughout the UK thanks to the Galway company’s success in winning major contracts.
Established in 1995 by managing director Noel Larkin, who initially carried out repair work to machinery at the old Irish Sugar factory in Tuam, Larkin Engineering is a leader in the manufacture of general engineering components and street furniture, and is part of Larkin Engineering Enterprises, which also comprises Larkin Street Products. The family-run concern currently employs 30 staff and is growing at a rate of 15-20 per cent year on year, having experienced huge growth in the UK in particular. Indeed, it is now running a partial second shift at its facility in Tuam to keep up with business demands, with the possibility of running around the clock shift for manufacturing its products being very much on the cards.
Larkin Engineering manufactures a vast range of robust, well-designed street furniture, including bollards, bicycle shelters, railings, litter bins, bus shelters and outdoor seating by using materials such as mild steel, stainless steel, aluminium and galvanise. The company offers full customisation to all its products and has invested heavily in equipment and machinery over the years to ensure it can offer customers an in-house solution to whatever problems they may have. The Larkins are committed to continuing the tradition of manufacturing innovative and quality products for both the public and private sector.
The company has been very successful tendering in the street furniture market and is ISO 9001 and 14001 accredited. In 2008, it won the Irish Exporters Association’s First Flight Exporter of the Year award as a result of its success in penetrating the UK market. The UK now accounts for about 20 per cent of Larkin Engineering’s overall business, much of it for street furniture and little bins with city and county councils.
“The contracts we’ve had with the likes of Bus Eireann, Dublin Bus, DART, Iarnrod Eireann and the NTA (National Transport Authority) are a great reference for us when we’re tendering in the UK,” general manager Stephen Larkin explains.
“The UK market is massive when compared to Ireland and our UK representatives are working hard to get our name out there and to attract new business. We’re winning contracts on a regular basis on both sides of the Irish Sea and are happy with our growth rate. We have a huge share of the Irish street furniture market and we’re striving to make a similar impact in the UK.”
Larkin Engineering secured one of its most prestigious contracts to date last year to supply stainless steel bus poles, metal flags and timetable display units to the National Transport Authority (NTA) over a three-year period.
The contract, which is worth between €1.8 million and €3 million, sees Larkin Engineering supply their products to bus operators all over the country. It was awarded on the back of the Tuam firm erecting and supplying over 100 shelters for DART along its lines in Dublin as well as the supply of bicycle sheds to Bam Construction both here and in London which are used in schools.
“The NTA contract was a great one to get. A lot of companies, some of which were from overseas, had tendered for it, so we were delighted to be chosen,” general manager Stephen Larkin says.
“We put the first 325 units into Co. Cork. Before we were awarded this contract, we had supplied bus poles and information display units to Bus Eireann and Dublin Bus. We designed display units which involved removing just two screws compared to 10 on the older displays every time a timetable needed to be changed.
“The convenience of our display unit was undoubtedly a factor in securing this contract.”
The innovative plastic information display cases for the flagpoles are manufactured in association with local firm JFC Plastics. Larkin Engineering also manufactures a number of products for companies in the agri and pharmaceutical sectors.
Larkin Engineering has built up an extensive customer base, which includes household names in the construction sector such as Ganson, Stewart Construction, JJ Rhatigan & Co, John Sisk & Sons and Bam. Among the local authorities in Ireland it has supplied street furniture to are: Dublin City Council; South Dublin County Council; Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council; Galway City Council; Galway County Council; Cork City Council; Cork County Council; Kerry County Council; Donegal County Council; Limerick City Council; Kilkenny County Council; Limerick County Council; Mayo County Council; Tipperary County Council; Westmeath County Council; Wicklow County Council.
Local authorities in the UK who are clients of the Co. Galway-based company include: Argyll & Bute Council; Belfast City Council; Birmingham City Council; Boston Borough Council; Cambridge City Council; Chester-Le-Street District Council; Derby City Council; District of Harborough; Fermanagh District Council; Halton Borough Council; Kirklees Metropolitan Council; Nottingham City Council; Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council; South Tyneside Council; Tewkesbury Borough Council.
The Co. Galway firm has introduced a number of initiatives aimed at becoming more environmentally friendly as a result of participation in CGPP4. The project focused on product eco-design to minimise resources and material consumption. The company also examined potential opportunity to minimise water consumption and improve energy efficiency at its Tuam factory.
The CGPP initiatives introduced were successful in improving the overall performance of the company. Savings of 38 per cent in material on one bin type redesigned was achieved, equating to a 34 per cent reduction in Kg CO2 per unit manufactured versus the original product sold before CGPP.
Larkin also introduced product take-back and refurbished damaged bins for clients, thus extending the life of these bins rather than replacing them with new ones. The team worked to introduce rainwater harvesting, improve productivity, reduce energy consumption and paint consumption.
Larkin Engineering Ltd
Weir Road, Tuam,
Telephone: +353 (0)93 24629 / 24504
Fax: +353 (0)93 22190