Established in 1989, Hornbill has extensive experience in delivering full turnkey engineering solutions to the metals industry.

Our range of services includes:

  • Systems Design & Process Control Automation
  • Panel Manufacture
  • Low Voltage Services
  • Hazardous Area
  • High Voltage Services
  • Instrumentation Services
  • Training


This full range of services have allowed our highly knowledgeable and experienced engineering teams to provide solutions for our clients across all aspects of their site.

Our experience within the metals industry includes:

Automation of an effluent water treatment system.

  • This project required water to be pumped in to through several tanks for treatment. The water treatment process required rigorous testing and dosing to remove the metal contamination and allowed it to be safely dumped into the local river, meeting the strict guidelines from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).
  • Hornbill were responsible for designing the system, writing the software, design, manufacture and installation of the process control automation panels, full commissioning and project management.
  • The project was carried out in stages to ensure the plant could continue to treat water whilst the new automated system was installed.
  • The new process was a zero failure system to, ensure it would not cause any contaminated water to leak into the local river.
  • A full ‘what-if’ failure plan was pre-designed into the system, which, although it was not required, ensured that the contaminated water could not impact on the local environment.

High Voltage maintenance of transformers.

  • A client commissioned Hornbill to carry out high voltage installation and maintenance work at their two major sites in the Plymouth area, each with an output capacity of 895MW.
  •  Hornbill were responsible for routine high voltage maintenance of all step-up generating transformers, station maintenance transformers and service transformers. Since the outage, Hornbill has continued to carry out repairs to specialist high voltage emergent cables.
  • For the same client Hornbill were involved with initiating the electrical infrastructure at solar photovoltaic site, consisting of 21,000PV cells spread across 14 hectares of land with an output capacity of 5MW.
  • The initial phase of this project included the installation of an auxiliary high voltage transformer and the small power and light it supplied. The second aspect involved terminating the 11kV cables, which were required for exporting the electricity directly back to the local distribution network operator. The final phase was to commission the 11kV switchboard – this included commissioning the high voltage protection relays: Woodward W1B1 (overload and earth leakage protection) and Woodward MFR11 (compliant to ENA TS G59 specification). Both the primary and secondary injection test procedures were then successfully completed.
  • Despite our client’s time constraints, all work was completed successfully and the site was generating and exporting electricity within a week following Hornbill’s completion of work on site.

Manufacture repair.

  • Owing to a significant fire on a client’s premises, Hornbill were asked to carry out the electrical, instrument and control installation, which included the design and build of control panels, in a short time frame.
  • The project began with the removal of the old equipment and large steel framework and full installation of cable containment tray work along the length of the process.
  • Cable designs were completed, along with control design in line with the client’s control philosophy. The completed panels were installed tested ad commissioned.
  • As a result of being able to respond with the time frame required by our client, the installation was completed on time and Hornbill also assisted with the commissioning.
  • Since the installation, Hornbill have continued to supply cover for inspection work required on other areas of the plant and are currently quoting further, ongoing work.
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