The nation’s critical infrastructure relies on the safe, resilient, supply of power and energy, and Ulverston-based Bender UK has developed a strong demand for its customised and off the shelf solutions that support the needs of the public and private sector across the UK and Ireland.

The company’s pioneering technologies, coupled with its expert knowledge, enables Bender UK to respond to the most challenging of problems faced across defence, healthcare, rail, oil and gas, manufacturing, marine and renewable energy sectors. Operations in demanding environments such as subsea cables and 24/7 processing plants rely on Bender to monitor, alarm, and forewarn of electrical failure in vital systems to protect services, people and production from costly disruption and downtime.

Bender UK 25-year anniversary

2022 marked the 25th year since Bender UK was formed. The business has grown year-on-year, and now employs over 90 personnel who are dedicated to the support of its expanding customer base.

The strong foundations of Bender UK grew out of its German parent company Bender GmbH founded by Walther Hans Bender, an innovator and pioneer of the world’s first patented insulation monitor. Seventy-six years later the goal to realise potential in new markets and deliver technology innovation is still firmly embedded in the culture and values of the family-owned group of companies.

Safeguarding Infrastructure

Protecting the health of electrical infrastructure is at the core of Bender UK’s activity in the UK and Ireland.

The company works with consultants, OEMs and end-users to deliver solutions that guarantee resilience and improve safety through the monitoring of power, energy usage and residual currents – detecting degradation and faults in complex electrical systems. Bender also provides state of the art services to healthcare, delivering critical power projects to hundreds of NHS, HSE and private hospitals each year. Many of Bender’s clients benefit from round-the-clock maintenance, call out and repair services. The company supports hundreds of industrial and healthcare clients with annual preventative maintenance contracts, 24/7 support and remote monitoring services that enable analysis, repairs, or upgrades to prevent shutdown.

Engineering Services

The experience of Bender UK’s team is undeniably strong. As a company which values internal progression, many of the company’s electrical experts have worked on-site in industry, prior to moving into management, project delivery or applications engineering roles. With a field-based team throughout the UK and Ireland, Bender has a skilled BS7671 compliant and factory-trained engineering pool strategically located within 2-4 hours’ drive of its vast customer base. Engineers deliver design, consultancy, installation, commissioning, and technical support to customers on and offshore. They are supported by a large research and development team based at the Bender headquarters in Germany.

Advanced Solutions

Electrical safety and resilience are the pinnacle of any critical electrical system. Bender UK has a breadth of knowledge and expertise to support increased demands for such intelligent power solutions and offers support from consultation to the delivery of advanced engineered solutions. Globally, Bender is recognised for its ability to help protect people and ensure the safe operation of machines, systems, and plant. Locally, Bender UK creates customised packages using technology produced by the Bender Group and other strategic partners. That technology spans the supply of four key global business units – Healthcare, E-mobility, Service Solutions and Industry.

The portfolio is broad with proven, off-the-shelf products supplied alongside bespoke systems that are assembled and tested locally, to ensure compliance with customer standards.

A proven supplier

In Cumbria, Bender has supported defence submarine programmes for many years and is engaged with the design and production of future ships and vessels. Bender equipment is also being used within buildings and infrastructure to monitor and manage energy use, maximising efficiencies. Bender UK has Network Rail approval to deliver advanced rail signal power monitoring that pinpoints and locates earth faults trackside. A partner of choice, the company supplies and helps maintain thousands of systems that provide early warning of developing electrical failure to ensure a safer, more reliable rail network that supports modern safety priorities to keep engineers off the track.

E-mobility is Bender’s fastest growing market globally. Bender technology is at the heart of many of the UK’s charge stations, partnering with major manufacturers to deliver safe, intelligent electric vehicle charge control. Bender components are also designed into systems which safeguard the wider charging station infrastructure.

In Cumbria:

In healthcare Bender UK has an enviable position as market leader in the delivery of turnkey theatre solutions incorporating Medical IT power, battery backup systems, energy monitoring, operating room and theatre control and alarm technology for critical Group 1 and 2 hospital medical locations. Boasting a geographically widespread team, the company designs and installs small to large scale projects out of three bases in Cumbria, Cambridgeshire, and Ireland. Bender UK supports these customers by preventing shutdown to theatre and critical care services with annual preventative maintenance, and rapid response engineering call out and support 365 days of the year.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Bender UK delivered the urgent Nightingale temporary hospitals and critical care expansion projects to increase patient-care resources. Partnering with OEMs they helped design some of the fastest and largest critical health facilities ever delivered in the UK.

Marking the milestone

Bender UK managing director Gareth Brunton is proud of the continued growth of the company he joined almost 20 years ago. He said: “Our growth has not just been in year-on-year turnover which on average has doubled every five years and is now approaching £30 million. “We have also grown the number of people within the business to more than 90, as we have expanded new markets and developed our strong base in critical industries.

"I am delighted that during this time, we have been able to create opportunities for engineering graduates, and apprenticeships in marketing, engineering, project management, finance, and business administration. The electric vehicle sector has witnessed huge growth that is set to continue as we help to build the charging infrastructure the UK needs to meet its zero carbon targets, and there are other exciting markets we are exploring."

In Cumbria:

To mark Bender UK’s 25th year of success and growth, a special team-building event was organised that brought together the whole workforce from across the UK and Ireland.

Sandy Murray, head of finance at Bender UK, was delighted with the positive feedback from employees. She explained: “For many of our most recently recruited staff, this was the first opportunity to meet face-to-face with colleagues, and for others it was the first big gathering they had attended since the start of lockdown. During the pandemic we created a remote working system and culture that is continuing now to give our employees greater flexibility in the ways they work and in their work life balance. But working together in the same space also generates greater creativity and innovation, so now we have the best of both worlds.

“There are few companies that can match the achievements of Bender UK, and it is our consistent growth alongside the strength of the Bender group worldwide that underpins confidence in the business and in its bright future. Better management of power usage and electrical systems will be a major priority for both the public and private sectors going forward against the backdrop of economic and environmental challenges. Bender UK is perfectly positioned to help our customers and the country meet those challenges."

In Cumbria:

Lisa Hudson, Head of Marketing at Bender UK added: “During this celebratory year we have been visited by senior members of the Bender Group in recognition of our efforts which have made us one of the largest Bender companies outside of Germany. “CSO Heinz Nowicki planted trees at our facility during a mid-year visit and our chairman and head of the Group Advisory Board Dorothea Bender came to Ulverston in November to discuss our strategy going forward, a new direction in leadership and branding, and to cement our future growth plans.

“To mark the end of our 25th year of Bender UK we have commissioned local architectural blacksmith Chris Brammall to design and produce strikingly unique benches which have been donated to five hospitals across the UK. “We are installing the final bench at our own head office in Cumbria, to commemorate our 25th anniversary year.”

In Cumbria: