A Doncaster precision engineering company is celebrating its 20th anniversary by reflecting on achievements of the past and looking forward to an exciting future.
Agemaspark, which started as a two-man subcontracting business in October, 2002, today produces unique designs and parts for companies all over the world.
Aiming to offer clients a one-stop shop for engineering solutions by combining new technology with cutting-edge design and manufacturing, Agemaspark works with industries including aerospace, oil and gas, medical, food processing, plastic injection moulding and higher education.
The business produces parts for the world’s largest equipment supplier to the oil and gas industry, aerospace components used in the US, Europe, Asia and Middle East and automotive tooling used in the UK and Japan.
Paul Stockhill, managing director at Agemaspark, set up the company with Bryan Moylan, managing director of machine tool company Eurospark, after the pair secured a growing amount of subcontracting work.
With a relocation grant from Yorkshire Forward and the promise to employ up to 10 people, Agemaspark was founded in its Croft Court office in the Kirk Sandall Industrial Estate.
After two decades, Paul has several highlights. He said: “My biggest highlight was the day all the new machines were finally installed. I could look down on the workshop from the upper landing and imagine what the future was going to hold for Agemaspark.
“The second highlight is some of the projects Agemaspark has worked on with blue chip companies, like putting things into the space station and working on parts that went to Mars.
“The third highlight was becoming a tier two member of the AMRC (Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre) in Rotherham. We are involved in incredible new technological developments in manufacturing and playing a small part in helping to develop exciting innovations for the future.”
Agemaspark has a commitment to helping young people forge careers in engineering and 11 of the company’s 16 employees are aged under 33. All are apprentice trained and six now hold roles as either senior managers or supervisors.
Paul was also instrumental in introducing a University Technical College (UTC) to Doncaster. He is vice chair of Doncaster UTC, which integrates technical, practical and academic learning for 13-18-year-olds, and is considered one of the most successful UTCs in the country.
Paul said: “To be directly involved in helping produce the workforce of the future is extremely rewarding.
“And Agemaspark has benefited from this experience because, in our 20th year, we have recently taken our first student from the UTC to become an apprentice.”
Five years ago, Paul and his wife bought Bryan out of the company to become sole owners of Agemaspark.
Paul said: “I was 64 years old and everyone thought I was mad. But to see what Agemaspark has become, I could not be prouder.”
Paul says one of his key learnings from the past 20 years is to “never stand still” and “embrace new technology” to stay relevant in a constantly-changing industry. Following that approach has Agemaspark well-positioned for further growth.
In 2020, the company invested in the future by purchasing a 3D metal printing machine, with the help of a government loan scheme, for £500,000.
The technology has improved the manufacturing of plastic moulded components, making the process both more economical and environmentally friendly. By adding conformal cooling to the inserts, there is potential to save up to 20 per cent on cycle times and energy use.
Paul said: “We have been able to introduce this technology into several companies with great success and with all our machining capabilities and experience we see this only going from strength to strength.
“In the future I intend to leave Agemaspark to my young workforce to take it to its maximum potential. But I will be in the background to guide and encourage them to look to the future and take inspiration from what is happening around them and the technologies that haven’t been imagined yet.”
To see more about the 20 years in business see our feature in unLTD Business magazine and roundtable discussion with two other businesses celebrating 10 and 30 years in business. unLTD Business feature.