A wide range of bespoke chain assemblies are still manufactured at the West Midlands site along with a range of agricultural products, but the lifting and handling division was more recently established in Northumberland in 1989.

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The lifting division trades through a network of distributors and, in its own words, is a “service-driven company.” The division has swelled over the past 18 years and outgrown its original factory.

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The new factory facility covers a 1.2 acre site and has doubled the warehousing capacity. It has built-in container handling for rapid and safe loading and unloading, plus an overhead runway system for chaining and testing chain hoists and lever hoists.

Purpose built assembly lines and computer controlled picking lists have more than doubled the capacity for grade 8 chain sling production, “while state-of-the-art computer controlled testing equipment ensures that standards of quality are maintained,” William Hackett said.

A 100 square metre training and conference room with dedicated kitchens and wash rooms is an added luxury.

Since its inception in 1989, the firm’s lifting division has represented McKinnon Chain (lately renamed as Scaw South Africa (PTY) Ltd, Chain Products) of South Africa, in the UK and Irish markets. It initially manufactured all of its own grade 80 forged components, but last year agreed to cease manufacturing to market the Yoke range of forged grade 80 components.

The result is the William Hackett grade 8 lifting system, a lifting system that combines the chain making and flash butt welding expertise of Scaw Chain Products with the forged component range of Yoke Industrial Corporation.

“As well as investing in property and machinery, we have looked to invest in people to strengthen commercial and technical knowledge within the company,” it said.

There has also been a series of personnel changes.

Richard Corston joined as commercial manager at the beginning of September 2006, from local firm Holtite, while Adrian Luxton rejoined the company in March 2007 as sales manager for the lifting division. Finally, Ian Kelly joined the company in December 2006 as a technical support engineer, bringing a range of skills such as Cad drawing. Kelly was instrumental in the implementation of ISO9000.

william hackett 1 william hackett 2 The new factory covers a 1.2 acre site and has doubled the warehousing capacity william hackett 3