SEA Achievements 2012

(In no particular order)

1. A further 2 lunchtime briefing sessions were held at the House of Lords bringing our cumulative total to 18. Discussions with Peers, MPs and representatives from the regulatory authorities covered topics such as REACH, capital investment tax breaks, training & skill development and the ever increasing burden of environmental legislation.

2. Following on from one of the luncheons, a meeting was arranged with Secretary of State, Dr Vince Cable MP to discuss our concerns regarding the authorisation process under REACH and its potential negative impact on the UK manufacturing supply chain. The Secretary of State was supportive of our concerns and stated that he would write to the DEFRA Minister to insist that UK Policy was to support manufacturing and its supply chain and all efforts must be taken to minimise the impact of REACH.

3. We took a group of members to Germany to visit a number of surface engineering companies and the world famous Fraunhofer Research Centre near Stuttgart. Discussions were also held regarding the German training system with a view to developing a similar type of system in the UK. A follow up meeting will be arranged in 2013 to visit a number of the actual training schools.

4. The SEA continues to take a lead role within the CETS organisation which has now become recognised by the European Commission as the lead European body for our sector. Meetings were held in Leuven, Belgium and Belfast, Northern Ireland.

5. 2012 saw us celebrate our 125th Anniversary with a Members’ Day at the House of Lords. To have been able to provide services to our sector for this length of time is a fantastic achievement of which we are very proud.

6. A number of meetings were held in Brussels with the European Commission, DG Enterprise & Industry to discuss the potential impact of the REACH registration and authorisation processes.

7. The SEA has supported the Ministry of Defence through its participation in the Standards Advisory Group E3 and has helped to develop many new standards related to surface engineering. Meetings were held at Edinburgh, Abbey Wood, and Birmingham.

8. In an effort to demonstrate that substances of very high concern (SVHCs) can be used safely, we continued our work with the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) on biological monitoring. A presentation was given at the British Occupational Hygiene Society and a full report will be published in January 2013. Our industry best practice guidance will be revised to reflect the key finding of this extremely important study.

9. New Climate Change Agreements for the surface engineering sector and the heat treatment sector are being developed to run from 2013 through to 2023.

10. The SEA continues to operate in a financially sound manner and has developed sufficient reserves to continue to develop over the coming years. Reserves have increased by more than fourfold in the last 10 years leaving us in an extremely health financial state.

11. The SEA now has wide-ranging representation on many committees / organisations engaged in / with the surface engineering sector at a regional, national and European level including: –

  • Government / Industry IPPC Sounding Board
  • Government / Industry LA-IPPC Sounding Board
  • European Commission Technical Working Group – STM BREF
  • Environmental Permitting Programme Stakeholder Committee
  • Surface Engineering Board of the Institute of Material, Minerals & Mining
  • Comité Européen des Traitements de Surfaces (CETS)
  • Ministry of Defence SAG:E3 Committee
  • BSI Committee STI/033 Electrodeposited and other coatings
  • Nickel REACH Consortium
  • Nickel Institute / CETS Nickel Working Group
  • DECC Focus Groups regarding new climate change agreements
  • Cross-sector REACH group

12. Our biennial Awards were presented at the House of Lords by Lord Hoyle who said “ These are difficult times so the fact that these companies and individuals went the extra mile to deliver supreme quality, research into new processes, environmental excellence and community projects is a great accolade for your industry”.

13. The high profile that the SEA now enjoys means that we were involved with numerous consultations during the year including:

  • Health & Safety Executive (HSE) proposal for fee for intervention
  • HSE proposed amendments to RIDDOR
  • Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) consultation on new climate change agreements
  • DECC & DEFRA changes to Environmental Permitting Programme
  • Environment Agency review of PG4-1 surface treatment of metals where NOx is evolved.
  • Environment Agency consultation on Working Together
  • European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), numerous Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) proposals and proposed harmonized classification and labeling.