Hythe Engineering Services signs Armed Forces Covenant

On the 24th of July 2020, Josh Mathias, CEO of Hythe Engineering, signed a commitment for his company to honour the Armed Forces Covenant.

We recognise the value Serving Personnel, both Regular and Reservists, Veterans and military families contribute to our business and our country. Through this covenant, we dedicate ourselves to help those who have served or are serving our country, in any way we can.

An Enduring Covenant Between

The People of the United Kingdom Her Majesty’s Government and all those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces of the Crown and their Families.

The first duty of Government is the defence of the realm. Our Armed Forces fulfil that responsibility on behalf of the Government, sacrificing some civilian freedoms, facing danger and, sometimes, suffering serious injury or death as a result of their duty. Families also play a vital role in supporting the operational effectiveness of our Armed Forces. In return, the whole nation has a moral obligation to the members of the Naval Service, the Army and the Royal Air Force, together with their families. They deserve our respect and support, and fair treatment.

Those who serve in the Armed Forces, whether Regular or Reserve, those who have served in the past, and their families, should face no disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public and commercial services. Special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given most such as the injured and the bereaved.

This obligation involves the whole of society: it includes voluntary and charitable bodies, private organisations, and the actions of individuals in supporting the Armed Forces. Recognising those who have performed military duty unites the country and demonstrates the value of their contribution. This has no greater expression than in upholding this Covenant.

Hythe Group sign armed forces covenant

1.1 Section 1: Principles Of The Armed Forces Covenant

We Hythe Engineering will endeavour in our business dealings to uphold the key principles of the Armed Forces Covenant, which are:

  • No member of the Armed Forces Community should face disadvantage in the provision of public and commercial services compared to any other citizen
  • In some circumstances special treatment may be appropriate especially for the injured or bereaved.

2.1 Section 2: Demonstrating our Commitment

Hythe Engineering recognises the value serving personnel, reservists, veterans and military families brings to our business. We will seek to uphold the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant, by:

  • promoting the fact that we are an armed forces-friendly organisation;
  • seeking to support the employment of veterans young and old and working with the Career Transition Partnership (CTP), in order to establish a tailored employment pathway for Service
  • Leavers;
  • striving to support the employment of Service spouses and partners;
  • endeavouring to offer a degree of flexibility in granting leave for Service spouses and
  • partners before, during and after a partner’s deployment;
  • seeking to support our employees who choose to be members of the Reserve forces,
  • including by accommodating their training and deployment where possible;
  • offering support to our local cadet units, either in our local community or in local schools,
  • where possible;
  • offering a discount to members of the Armed Forces Community;
  • any additional commitments Hythe Engineering could make (based on local circumstances).
  • Offer additional training to all personnel who are interested in our skills & want to pursue a trade

2.2 We will publicise these commitments through our literature and/or on our website, setting out how we will seek to honour them and inviting feedback from the Service community and our customers on how we are doing.

If you would like to know more please contact our team via the button below.

Lloyd’s Coded Welders: Why we’re different…


To ensure the highest welding standards are consistently met, all Hythe Engineering welding procedures are developed in accordance with the recognised British/ISO Standards, using Lloyd’s rules and regulations and with the aid of Lloyd’s surveyors as witnessing authorities.

Our team of Qualified Welders carry out testing against Lloyd’s code-compliant processes using various welding methods including MMA, FCAW, MIG, MAG, TIG on many different materials, like carbon steels, stainless steels, Inconel, aluminium and CuNi. The final independent review is from a surveyor, tasked by Lloyd’s Register. The review process monitors and improves the safety and quality of construction requirements for shipbuilding, marine engineering, structural steelwork (BS EN 1090) and any general welding activities.

Lloyd’s Register Foundation is an independent global charity that helps to protect life and property at sea, on land, and in the air.” – The Lloyd’s Register

What is Lloyd’s Coded Welding?

Coded welding refers to those with official certification, whose welding work is traced and recorded to maintain the required quality standards. 

“Our value lies in our experience and reputation for quality inspection. We were there as shipbuilders went from using wood to using iron and steel. Today, we inspect that steel and qualify the welders and welding procedures that fabricators use to weld safety-critical equipment and structures.” – The Lloyd’s Register Foundation

Particular to the marine industry and Hythe Engineering, the Lloyd’s Register provides the industry standard in coded welding. Originally Lloyd’s Register started out as a marine classification society in 1760. They are now a leading provider of professional services for marine engineering. The missions of Lloyd’s Register are improving safety and increasing the performance of critical infrastructures for clients in over 75 countries worldwide.”

Within shipbuilding and maintenance, welding is one of the most critical operations. If a weld was to fail, the entire structure is at risk of being compromised. Current quality expectations of welding have never been higher and are the central factor in the rules of all ship classification societies. The Welding Institute states, “Rules for shipbuilding are all written with the expectation of achieving safe shipping, including Lloyd’s Register.”

The Importance of Coded Welding at Hythe Engineering 

When manufacturing fabricated components and systems, welding certification is critical to the assurance of structural and pressure integrity. All Classification Societies, such as Lloyd’s, ABS and DNV, require welders to be properly qualified for the task in hand and to hold official certification. Lloyd’s Register requires the inspection and subsequent NDT and mechanical testing to be witnessed by an approved third party, as well as witnessing the weld procedure qualification and welding of the test piece. Hythe Engineering’s Director of Value Engineering explained the process of Lloyd’s inspection. 

We weld a test piece in our workshop as authorised by our company welding department. Lloyd’s witness the process ensuring it is welded in accordance with the given Weld procedure specification. On completion, it gets sent away for the required testing as defined in the relevant standards. When Lloyd’s confirms the test piece qualifies within the required acceptance criteria, we are given the go-ahead to be able to weld on the ship/site. Each time we do a job we are required to submit evidence that then gets sent to a third party for non-destructive testing, to prove the welding quality is in accordance with the relevant acceptance criteria.”

The official Lloyd’s Register Welding Certification Guide states, “Welding qualifications used for the construction, conversion, modification or repair of ships, other marine structures, offshore units and associated machinery which are classed or are intended for classification by Lloyd’s Register are to be manufactured, tested and inspected in accordance with the appropriate Lloyd’s Register Rules.”

We spoke to Hythe Engineering’s Senior Welding Inspector/Head of welding, to find out more about the weld test inspection process. “We carry out rigorous testing using  British Standards as well as EN ISO standards. These give us the guidelines to follow when developing Weld Procedure Qualification Records or carrying out welder qualifications.” 

All test pieces are visually inspected. If the piece is acceptable, the necessary NDT is carried out and mechanical testing when required. If the test piece passes, the welder qualification certificate is issued, signed and stamped by the Lloyd’s surveyor.

Marine welding services

When to use Coded Welding and Welding Inspections

Hythe Engineerings’ Director of Value Engineering explained, “Not just any welder can carry out the work we do, as you must have specialist qualifications. Any of the welding undertaken on these vessels requires you to be a Lloyd’s registered welder before you’re even permitted to step onboard.” 

When asked about specific projects that involve coded welding, Hythe’s weld inspector told us, “All welding carried out by Hythe Engineering involves using qualified welders and approved procedures. We can use it on not just warships for the MoD but also external customers on pipe systems or any pressure vessels or structural steelwork, which we now have accreditation for. Anything like that we will always be using qualified welders. We are very lucky here at Hythe Engineering as both our Director of Value Engineering and managing director appreciate the need to offer customers the highest quality of welding, which makes my job so much easier. Our welding department has always been backed, which means we can continually push to develop new procedures and bring in the suitable welding talent which we need. By achieving this I have found that we consistently get repeat work from customers every single day, who are pleased with the quality and also deadlines being met.”

Another priority that Hythe Engineering stipulates is that all welding is visually inspected. Throughout the company, there are inspection personnel qualified for various levels. There are Visual Welding Inspectors CSWIP 3.0 who visually inspect the external welds, and another Welding Inspector CSWIP 3.1 who deals with materials, types of materials and assess any defects they may find. Finally, there’s the Senior Welding Inspector who has the extra knowledge and experience for both internal and external welding assessment along with welding quality and increased job knowledge. We are currently in the process of allowing all of our welders to become CSWIP 3.0 visual welding inspectors. All welding apprentices will also complete this course once they have finished the first 2 years of training.

How to become a Lloyd’s Coded Welder

Achieving the status of Lloyd’s Coded Welder requires the witnessing of a successful test weld by an external examiner, surveyor or testing body. The test examines the skills of the welder and their ability to produce a weld of satisfactory quality in accordance with supplied procedures. There are limits given on flaws associated with the shape of the weld bead, such as excess weld metal and concavity, to assess the welder’s true competence and skill.

After completing a weld following Lloyd’s approved weld procedures and materials, Hythe Engineering arranged for a Lloyd’s surveyor to come in and carry out their external assessment. The Lloyd’s surveyor will witness the testing carried out by Hythe Engineering welding inspectors, to ensure everything has been completed in accordance with the official weld procedure. Once the Lloyd’s witness and Senior Welding Inspector are satisfied with the assessment, the weld is then sent away for Non-Destructive Testing (NDT).
Hythe’s weld inspector explained to us what these tests might involve. “NDT could be in the form of radiography, dye-penetrant inspection or surface crack detection.” depending on the type of weld configuration or material. 

If this is all that’s required for the specific qualification, then the Senior Welding Inspector writes up the welder qualification, which is then sent off to Lloyd’s who will review, sign and stamp it. Some welded plates may require additional testing using a laboratory where mechanical testing is carried out. Unlike NDT, mechanical testing is destructive, so the test weld won’t be returned. The test plate is cut up into sections so the relevant tests can be carried out. If the weld plate is satisfactory then the Senior Welding Inspector will complete the welder qualification to be signed and stamped by Lloyd’s. 

These qualifications will then be uploaded to the Hythe Engineering system where they can be circulated to customers should they need to see it. Hythe Engineering also ensures that our welders are prolongated every 6 months up to a 3 year period. Once the period has elapsed then we re-qualify them.

Lloyds Register procedure welding

The Advantages of Lloyd’s Coded Welding 

For Hythe Engineering, holding Lloyd’s Coded Welder status assures customers that they are meeting relevant quality standards that are recognised worldwide. He said, “The main benefit for customers is that by Hythe using Lloyd’s Coded Welding they are stating they supply a quality process. This assures customers that the standards we operate to are proven to work. The main factor is that an external surveyor comes in and makes sure we are using the right materials, that the welders are testing in the correct positions, and that we’re using the right consumables against the given weld procedure specification.”

In essence, the customer is guaranteed a process that is quality assured and can be backed up with full traceability on all materials used.

Looking for a Lloyd’s Coded Welder? Contact us.

Hythe Engineering Achieves CE Accreditation

The CE accreditation marking of construction products became mandatory in the summer of 2014 at which time fabricators were legally required to demonstrate compliance with BS EN 1090, a required European standard for the execution of steel and aluminium structures and construction products. The associated accreditation falls under the UK Construction Products Regulations (CPR).

Driven by customer demands and a commitment to continuous improvement, Hythe Engineering set CE marking accreditation as a primary strategic target to attain in 2020.


Value for our Customers

As of March 2020, Hythe Engineering is now approved to fabricate steel and aluminium structures to an Execution Level of Class 2 as classified within the UK Construction Products Regulations. Hythe’s level of accreditation comprises all supporting structures made of steel up to strength class S700 and structural components made of aluminium alloys. This typically includes buildings with between 2 and 15 floors.

Each product produced by Hythe Engineering will follow a regulated process. The European Commission website explains, “It is the manufacturer’s responsibility to carry out the conformity assessment, set up the technical file, issue the declaration of conformity if requested by the customer, and affix the CE marking to the fabrication. Only then can this product be traded on the EEA market.”

We spoke to Hythe Engineering, Compliance Manager who told us, “Just having the CE marking shows your prospective customers that you have gone through very stringent process controls in your production process. It shows that you’re checking things like materials, consumables, whether machines used are calibrated, that welders are qualified, that you’re putting the right people on the right jobs at the right time, and that you can certify all of this with full traceability.”


Responsibilities of Manufacturers using CE marking

As a CE-accredited manufacturer, Hythe Engineering has an obligation to ensure its structural steel fabrications are safe and maintain the high standard required by BS EN 1090, ISO 3834 and the EEA market.

All components that comprise the fabrication are strictly controlled and audited. Line Managers in conjunction with an appointed Responsible Welding Coordinator, are responsible for the quality of the supply chain, the qualification of the fabricators, the traceability of materials, the approval of weld processes, and the contractual and technical approvals. Auditing programmes are maintained and implemented through Hythe’s dedicated compliance manager.


Looking to the future

Hythe Engineering has embarked on a clear strategy of improvement, setting objectives from within the company that drive best kaizen practices across all of its functions, engaging with the marketplace and looking at potential future demands. The Company looks to demonstrate its achievements through an ongoing commitment to associated ISO Certifications.

Would you like to discuss a project?

Turnkey Belzona Solutions with Hythe Engineering

Discover the processes and training behind Belzona applications.

Hythe Engineering is a highly competent applicator of all Belzona Polymeric Engineering Composites and Protective Coatings. Belzona marine coatings and metal repair composites are ideal solutions for the marine industry due to their ability to withstand extreme weather and long-term wear.

“Our products are specifically designed to cope with harsh offshore conditions and have exceptional resistance against erosion and corrosion.” – Belzona


What is Belzona?

Belzona are an internationally renowned manufacturer of repair and refurbishment services as well as coating inspection and application training. Their unique technology provides solutions to wide ranging repair needs, from full turnkey systems to in-situ repairs. Their mission is to ensure customers have the correct materials and knowledge to protect against erosion, abrasion, corrosion and chemical attack.

“Our approach to refurbishment and protection avoids the need for replacement, reducing repair and maintenance costs, and above all, downtime.” – Belzona

Founded in 1952 by entrepreneur Jorgen Svendsen, Belzona is now a global leader in repair compounds and industrial coatings. Hythe Engineering understands the importance of providing bespoke and effective solutions to every client and Belzona’s materials, applications and training help make that possible.

Belzona commented, “In recent years Hythe Engineering have invested extensively in team training which has resulted in qualified members of the Group reaching Belzona Certified Trained Contractor status.”


What is Belzona used for?

Hythe Engineering works with Belzona to protect and repair common erosive forces such as cavitation, impingement and entrainment. This ensures long-term solutions against the effects of water erosion and corrosion in marine equipment. From mechanical parts to damaged ships or offshore structures, Hythe applies Belzona processes and materials to ensure exceptional defence against harsh offshore conditions.

By utilising a wide range of rapid and cold-curing marine coatings and metal repair composites, repairs can be safely carried out in-situ, to reduce downtime and the need for hot work.

“When hot work isn’t achievable we use Belzona. Using this method we got the system back in action in a fraction of the time of conventional methods!” Hythe Engineering Belzona Applicator


What Makes Belzona Special?

“It’s our mission to exceed customers’ needs and expectations by providing long-lasting, quality repair and maintenance solutions” – Belzona. With over six decades of experience, the Belzona specification consists of the highest standard of long-term repair and protection, with the team priding themselves on sourcing the best raw materials available, to enable the highest quality manufacturing.

The company also has a cycle of continuous improvement, working to improve the standard of Belzona material application through theoretical and practical training programs. These programs enable Belzona-certified engineers at Hythe Engineering to learn and perfect their application skills.


Verified Belzona training

Hythe Engineering has various engineers who are extensively trained to eliminate the risks of incorrect application practices. Belzona commented, “To enable our reputation to remain as world leaders in our field we acknowledge the need for providing training whilst working alongside contractors.”

Belzona has state of the art training facilities where courses have been developed following internationally recognised Engineering Standards. Each course enhances application skills and provides the technical and practical knowledge required to adapt to the ever-changing demands of the marine industry. After completing training at Belzona headquarters, applicators can earn their verified status.


What Belzona Services Does Hythe Provide?

Within Hythe Engineerings, Belzona materials and processes are used for a variety of projects including sea tube repairs and initial sea tube protection measurements, steel pitting repairs, cold plate bonding and rubber seals.

“It is comforting to know that when a Certified Trained Contractor such as Hythe is involved then the level of application will be of a very high standard.” Steven Stay, Independent Area Consultant, Belzona Polymerics Ltd.

Hythe’s verified applicators are trained in a vast range of Belzona services to match all project needs, such as Belzona’s ceramic erosion-resistant coating, which prolongs the life of marine equipment against weathering and water wear.

Looking for Belzona solutions?

Bespoke machining services at Hythe Engineering

Meet the man in the machine shop.

Being part of the Hythe Engineering team means working alongside highly skilled individuals who are leaders in their fields. Just within the machining side of the business alone there is a huge range of in-house abilities and specialist knowledge. Some of the services provided include bespoke Precision Machining and CNC Profiling for one-offs and small batch capabilities.

Every single project has rigorous quality checks, both throughout and after completion. As well as this, the company focuses on continuous improvement of procedures and staff development.

Imagine being given a piece of machinery you’ve never seen before and then being asked to recreate it within a couple of days. This is one of the common challenges faced by the Hythe Engineering Machine Shop team.


The Man in the Machine Shop

Before joining Hythe Engineering seven months ago one member of that team had been in the aircraft industry for twenty-one years. Straight out of school he began his apprenticeship with Highbury College and J M Automatics. During these four transformative years he developed skills he still uses on a daily basis. These years included his first experiences of tool-making, and learning how to replicate, in precision detail, a bespoke object.

Since the start of this young machinist’s career, he has worked hard to continually learn and perfect his skills, stating that, “The harder you work on a project, the more pride you have when you finally see the finished result!”

This drive and dedication meant it wasn’t long before he was on the production line where projects were varied and challenging, building parts for helicopters and aircraft as well as pretty much any other bespoke items requested by customers. After many great years at J M Automatics he felt it was time for new challenges and for the last 7 months has been a Mechanical Fitter/Machinist at Hythe Engineering.


The Jump From Aircraft to Marine Engineering

Moving to a new industry and company after 21 years takes courage. Gone was the familiar environment and in its place were dockyards, boating terminology and Navy abbreviations. Initially, this change was a struggle but the welcoming atmosphere at Hythe Engineering meant this machinist quickly settled in and became part of the team.


Daily Life at Hythe Engineering

Even with years of experience in the tool-making industry, there are always new problems to solve. Working at Hythe can be a high-pressure job with numerous teams working in tandem to get the job done. Much of the work is an internal process with raw materials coming in and leaving as high-quality finished products.

“There are the welders who work with the Pipe Fitters, who work with the Fabricators, who work with the Machine Shop. There are so many trades coming together to create a great finished product. Every day is a learning curve, even for me who’s been doing this for 22 years.  A lot of the projects are bespoke one-offs that require reverse engineering to recreate an object. This process of working out the mechanics behind an item is something I’ve enjoyed since childhood.”


What goes on in the Machine Shop?

Being a Hythe Machinist involves a lot of work on the manual milling machine, which uses cutters to create horizontal and vertical profiles, and drill or tap holes.

“My previous company required me to work to extremely precise, millimetric accuracy measurements. Precision that is still present in my work at Hythe.” 

What the Hythe Engineering machine shop is working on often depends on the customer’s drawings, specifications and timeframes. The wide range of knowledge and skills within the team means Hythe Engineering can manufacture and install all types of systems. This spans from complex pipe systems to structural and non-structural fabrication.

Occasionally the team comes across unknown parts, so there are always opportunities to learn and improve.

“If the customer wants it, and Hythe can do it, we just get it done.”


What’s it like to work at Hythe Engineering?

When asked what to say to someone considering working at Hythe Engineering, they simply said, “If there’s an opportunity at Hythe Engineering then grab it with both hands and don’t let go. Training and opportunities here are invaluable.” 

A clear theme from this chat was the familial atmosphere at Hythe. From his very first day, it was clear he felt like part of the team, with everybody always ready to help each other out. “If you’re ever struggling with something, somebody will always stop and help you out. From the apprentices to the experienced heads, they all have a minute to help. Everyone’s friendly and working together. It’s a nice place to work.” 

Heritage, history and growth: a lifetime of naval architecture design

Hythe Engineering is the leading turnkey provider of design, engineering and repair services to the marine, civil engineering and waste management sectors.

This family-run business is known predominantly for its delivery of quality engineering and fabrication work, combined with its ability to seemingly drop everything to complete what others might refer to as “mission impossible” projects.

What many people don’t realise however is that there is a hidden gem within this modest business. In-house Hythe retains an experienced team of shipbuilding engineers and designers, with full SC clearance, and a vast background in commercial and MOD projects. Design talent that dates right back to the 1960’s.

The roots of Hythe Engineering’s relationship with design, many people may know better, under the company names Mathon Engineering, and then later as Avrotech Design. Two companies with a rich historic connection to naval architecture were absorbed by Hythe a number of years ago.


Who were Mathon Engineering and Avrotech Design?

Mathon Engineering, was set up in May 1961 and specialised in the supply of contract designers to the government, who then set them to work on varied projects; such as the construction of Type-45 battle ships, right through to submarines and super yachts. Mathon Engineering worked closely with the MOD, as well as warship design and construction company, Vosper Thornycroft (UK) Ltd.

Mike Cook-Yarborough, who worked for Mathon Engineering and Avrotech Design in the 60s and 70s commented, “The most impressive projects we worked on must have been the support work that we completed for the Royal Navy and BAE Systems. This included working on naval ships such as HMS Bulwark, Tyne, Severn and Mersey and some others that we can’t talk about!”

Mathon Engineering Netherland BV opened in 1970 supporting all the major shipyards in Holland, before later being renamed as Avrotech Design.

“Whilst working in Holland I completed many concept designs for tankers as well as a high-speed passenger catamaran car ferry, the first of its kind. The reputation that came with Mathon Engineering and Avrotech designers and engineers was outstanding, their skill at that time, was unrivalled,” Mike commented.

Since being absorbed by Hythe a number of years ago the team have been busy working on a range of extensive design projects, from naval submarines to carrier ships and bespoke super yachts.


Building the future of naval design talent

Hythe Engineering has been working on submarine designs for many years in Barrow, under the request of BAE. The team are a leader in the field, through their innovative use of a lifetime of naval design pedigree and industry knowledge, partnered with the introduction of new modern technologies and applications.

When asked about the future of naval architecture and design Josh Mathias, CEO at Hythe Engineering commented, “Our reputation for providing bespoke solutions to unique projects, by combining both modern and traditional craftsmanship, has been the best source of new projects for our team. We have secured a number of contracts around the globe through our ability to combine the skills of the past, with the talent of the future. Many people don’t realise that the roots of our business came from naval architecture and design. Simply put, it’s in our blood.

It is however imperative that our team retain and develop the skills brought on-board from Mathon and Avrotech to take us forward into the future. This is why apprentices make up 10% of our workforce. We are making great strides toward shaping the talented designers and engineers of the future, something myself and the team are incredibly proud of.”


Firm Foundations

Hythe Engineering have a strong presence in Southampton, Portsmouth’s naval base, Trafalgar Wharf in Porchester as well as Plymouth, Rosyth and Barrow-in-Furness. The team are deployable 24/7 around the world and is continuously working to create a one-stop-shop of dependable, innovative in-house capabilities, from one-off bespoke projects through to full refit projects and management packages.

Speak with any member of this close-knit team and you will quickly realise that their emphasis on continually inspiring their workforce and instilling rigorous quality standards, is an ethos adopted by everyone.

A lifetime of pedigree, mixed with Josh’s vision for technological advancement and personnel development, seems to be a winning formula for the crew at Hythe Engineering and personally we can’t wait to see what the next fifty years bring.


Looking to find out a bit more?