Latest News


Major MoD Contract Awarded


Solid Swivel are proud to announce that we are one of a very limited number of companies that have won a place on all three parts of the UK MOD Marine Systems Transformation (MaST) Framework agreements.


The three frameworks cover the provision of spares, the repair maintenance and overhaul of equipment, and post design technical services for maritime platforms.


Prior to winning this award the business has been a key supplier to the Royal Navy for mooring, anchoring and rigging equipment. As of March 2024 the business had ongoing orders for equipment to fit virtually all of the Navy’s platforms including Minehunters, Type 23, 26, 31 Frigates and Type 45 destroyers, LPD and Aircraft Carrier ships, as well as Astute and Dreadnought submarines.


With more that 114 years in the business, Solid Swivel is continuing to adapt to the changing nature of the requirements of the UK MOD, offering new products and services and the MaST frameworks will provide up to seven years of work for the factory in Cradley Heath.



Anchor Repairs


Solid Swivel have despatched another anchor following repair.


This one is a 1960kg AC14 anchor, one of 7 received in the last 12 months.


We have also received and processed a number of other anchors ranging from 430kg up to 4830kg, some of which are still in the repair stage.


Repairs include the straightening of flukes and shanks, the sleeving of worn holes in the shanks and the replacement of both anchor rings and super swivels.


All of the repaired anchors are then tested in the presence of a Lloyds Register of Shipping surveyor and completely repainted to Naval specifications before being returned to the clients.


The repair and manufacture of large anchors is a new addition to the company’s products and service portfolio, but one that seems to be appreciated by our clients.




First Blake Stopper for Type 45 Ships


Solid Swivel have reached a key milestone in the production of replacement equipment for the Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyers.


Having been tasked with the survey of the equipment onboard and the reverse engineering of the current anchoring accessories, the business received an order to make new Blake stoppers for the fleet of six ships. The first one has now been completed and having been fully tested, is ready for despatch to our client.


The photograph does not really give a sense of scale, but at over 2.5 metres in length, this is certainly a significant item of hardware.


The Blake stopper has been made to the highest standards at our works in Cradley Heath and will be supplied with full Lloyds Register of Shipping certification.


Solid Swivel are recognised by its clients as the foremost UK manufacturer of anchors, chain cable, and associated fittings.


We are trusted to engineer and manufacture solutions to meet their high expectations.


If you have any enquiries for class approved chain or fittings, please give us a call.


T45 Blake


Solid Swivel Business Development Manager


The Company has employed David Kertai as a full time Business Development Manager.


David has extensive experience in the Lifting, Marine, Defence and Height Safety fields, as well as a sound general engineering background.


Given the situation with COVID 19 he is available on the telephone, email, Teams and Zoom calls.


As the situation improves and normal business resumes, he will be visiting customers once more.


If you have any projects or enquiries you wish to discuss with him, he is available at or on the telephone at 01384 632003 or 07534 927261.




Survey and Repair Service on Non Magnetic Chain Cable


As you can see in the picture below, prior to inspection this chain needed a good clean up.


This is easier said than done, because non-magnetic cable can easily become contaminated if it is handled and cleaned in the normal way.


Solid Swivel used their specialist measuring instrumentation to carry out the required checks to ensure the magnetic signature (mu) value is kept within the limits.


Once cleaned, our NDT survey begins on the links, studs, welds, plus the markings, we also checked the certification. Our report of inspections was then validated by the Lloyds Register Surveyor.


Following this all of this, the client decided to proceed with the repairs, retest and the re-certification.


Solid Swivel are able to offer this specialised service, because it holds Lloyds Register of Shipping approvals and has gained a wealth of experience surveys and repairs over many decades.


Non mag for survey


Grade 3 Anchor Swivel Survey and Repair


The swivel shown in the photo below came in from a large tanker it really needed a good clean prior to survey.


It was clear that the main pin was damaged beyond repair.


Solid Swivel used its own specialist NDT equipment to ensure that the damage to the main pin had not effected the rest of the swivel.


Our Lloyds Register endorsed report concluded that with the replacement of a new pin and taper pins, the swivel could go back into service.


The repaired swivel was retested and certified under witness by Lloyds Register of Shipping, and returned to the client ready for refitting. Having the grade U3 material in stock, and using our own 255t test bed, we were able to complete the whole process within 14 days.


Survey and repair of grades U2 and U3 anchor cable, fittings, and anchors, is a key service Solid Swivel are able to offer its clients.


Ships Original Swivel



The Creation of Plant 3


Solid Swivel has built yet another special plant that forms rings and links, and joins them by fusion. The plant also flash butt welds bars to our forgings, to give extra length.


The size range that can be fused is from 6mm to 32mm diameter.


This in house facility enables us to produce linked products faster, at a more attractive price, to the highest quality.


Plant 3 also overlaps Plant 1 on some larger sizes, so this means we also have more capacity, and backup if needed.


The types of products made on plant 3 are:


Single Links, Rings & Open Link Chain

Senhouse Slips & Pelican Hook Assemblies



ISO 9001 Upgrades


During the year, both Solid Swivel and Solid Stampings have both successfully been recertified to the latest ISO 9001:2015 quality standard.


Congratulations to our Quality Team.



Solid Swivel Go Large


This year we took on the manufacture and approval by Lloyds Register of our largest anchor chain cable size to date, 62mm Grade 3.




Following this we made two heavy forged Hook Pelican for Towing with End Link, for 48mm cable.


The breaker for these pair comfortably exceeded the 130 tonne break load required, the pallet is barely big enough to hold them.


The white colour is from the NDT process after proof testing, to ensure that there were no flaws or cracks.





Grade 3 Mooring Swivel


A new product that that may be of interest to you, is an enclosed mooring swivel filled with grease shown in the picture.


The customer had one in service since the 1990’s, made to suit grade 2 chain cable, and was very pleased with its longevity in rough sea conditions.


The Company that made it had ceased, so our task was to re-engineer it.


Our job was complicated by the fact that the customer wanted us to upgrade it to meet grade 3 cable loads that they now wished to attach it to.


This required full Lloyds Register Approval of the product material, and processes, throughout its manufacture.


Drop forging from the bar, machining, linking and testing, all being done on our site.


The 44mm cable swivel comfortably exceeded the 157 tonne break load requirement and is now in service.





Major Forge Refurbishment


This year our focus has been on upgrading our forge, Solid Stampings.


Historically, our forge furnaces have run on oil, and this year the opportunity has come along to change them to gas, a cleaner and more efficient fuel.


Our main drop hammer is air operated and the compressors feeding the hammer have also been replaced with the latest Atlas Copco units.


The outcome is a more efficient forging unit, requiring less maintenance.


Further refurbishment in the forge will take place in 2015 on the other hammers.



Launch Of the SS Solid Brand


Solid Swivel has been looking to display our confidence in our products by identifying them with a brand name.


The selection was made and the registered trade mark secured. We thought that the word  'Solid'captured the essence of our products.


This follows 100 years of compliments about how our parts are 'strong and reliable', take 'misuse and abuse' and 'last a long time'.

Soon you will see 'SS Solid' marked on our parts, giving you the confidence that it is the genuine article that you can depend on.


Our largest forged shackle so far


The first picture shows us clear space forging the body of the anchor shackle for HMS Ocean, currently the Navy's largest warship.


The second picture shows the finished shackle after the 300 tonnes break load was applied, there was little deformation to be seen, an excellent result.


forged shackleforged shackle<



ISO 9001 Scope expanded in our triennial Award


Solid Swivel is a customer led business, and our scope has been enhanced by our accreditation body in recognition of the additional new work we are now doing as follows:


‘The Design, Research, Development, Manufacture, Supply, Survey & Repair of Lifting, Lashing & Rigging gear, Chain, Links & Couplings including Ancillary Fittings and EN 795 Anchors.


As well as, Open Link Chain, Chain Cable & associated accessories for Mooring, Anchoring and Towing, for the Marine, Mining, Rail, Power and Commercial sectors.


Utilizing general forging & engineering practices including proof testing, and project management for the supply of associated spares and ancillary equipment.


Capacity Increased


5 years after we set up our first chain and linking plant, we are pleased to announce that our second plant has begun production.

Plant number 2 can duplicate the range of plant 1, reducing delivery time and exposure, but the exciting part is that it can make much bigger links. We are working up the diameters at present to see how large we can go.


Below is a photograph of the largest link we have recently made, it is 80 mm diameter. (3 1/8").


Once we reach the maximum diameter we can fuse, then our Lloyds Register Of Shipping Approvals for chain and linked products will be up rated accordingly.


New Enquiries are most welcome at this early stage for large links and rings, or the flash butt welding of free issue material.


capacity increasedlink



New Product boosts our exports


Azerbaijan, Mexico, Iceland, Philippines, Spain and Australia have all taken delivery of our 'Preston Shoe' this year. This unique Container Lifting Lug is being chosen across the globe because of its robust heavy duty quality, ease of use and low maintenance.


Click here for Product Information


Prestigious Order won


Solid Swivel received an order for the tensioning of cables for the Kiev Stadium in the Ukraine for the Euro 2012 games. The order was the result of our developing a special low cost rigging screw with a unique feature. The criteria was that the traditional tommy bar hole be omitted to stop the ingress of water.


The customer was delighted with the design and method that we came up with, which enables the tightening to be done by a standard spanner directly onto the tube. The flats were created hot by our blacksmiths to a very tight tolerance.


See picture below.




Deep Mine Cage Chain orders won


These are the chains that suspend the lift cages.


The specification exceeds all other chains we have made due to the safety aspect. Up to 50 miners are at risk being lowered hundreds of feet in the lift.


Our quality has now been approved over several orders all of which are now successfully operating daily in the UK deep mines.


See picture below.


deep mine cage chain



New in 2010


test bed machining centre
A new build 255 tonne test bed,
available for any testing you may require
A 4 axis machining centre


Long Term Contracts Awarded


The 4 year MoD Enabling Contract for Chain Cable for the Royal Naval Fleet.


Two BAE Systems contracts for the supply of eyeplates and linkplates to the new Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carriers.


The MoD Recovery Shackle Contract for 25 t and 50 t shackles for fighting vehicles.





New Website Launched


As you can see, there is now a lot more content than before! Hopefully, seeing more of what we make, how we do it, and for who, will give you the confidence to try us with your enquiries.


web release 2009


In House Welding Facility upgrade planned


Currently we have our two operators being trained to the latest Standards using TIG, MIG and stick. A TIG machine is being purchased and will give us the facility to weld non ferrous as well as steel.


Certification will be gained in ferrous and non ferrous welding to meet the stringent Approvals of Lloyds Register.



Non Magnetic Minesweeper Chain Cable


This year Terry Meacham developed a special calibrated gas furnace for the chain plant.
This facility enables the very tight temperature controls needed to preform bronze links prior to flash butt welding.




The whole process has been overseen and Approved by Lloyds Register.
Our scope is now being extended to cover the manufacture of chain cable and the linking of cable fittings in non ferrous material.


terry blakestopper



Tensile Forgings Company’ purchased by Solid Swivel


Well known for their quality range of shackles, eyebolts, and upset forgings, the addition of the business and the skills of the men who have joined us, has helped consolidate Solid Swivel’s position in this market.





Chain Cable Making restarts in the UK


Following the closure of Lloyds (Brierley Hill) chain works at Brettell Lane, Solid Swivel recruited Terry Meacham, their Chain Manager with a view to building a production facility in one of our bays.


Terry’s 42 years experience in the business was utilised to the full, and a Chain Making Centre has been created at Solid Swivel and staffed by other Lloyds BH lads who were made redundant.


The centre piece of the facility is a fully automated ‘A1’ Flash Butt Welding machine, capable of welding diameters between 12mm to 54 mm.The whole process has been Approved By Lloyds Register for marine chain cable and linking.


Rail Industry Approval for the welding of their safety critical parts to BS 6944 :1988 has also been gained, and customers are delighted with the quality.





XYZ Horizontal CNC Turning Centre


The purchase of this brand new machine enables Solid Swivel to offer improved turned product finish, improved cycle times, and more flexibility, as well as additional capacity.


Several of our operators have been on the XYZ training course on how to program the machine.





220 tonne Purpose Built Tensile Test Bed


Solid Swivel commissioned local experts 'AJT' to build the huge machine. It can pull parts up to 4 metres long and over 1 metre wide.


This machine complements the Company’s two other AJT machines, 5t & 20t, and its 50 tonne Avery. Solid Swivel has now become Approved as a 'Lloyds Register' Approved Test House, with fully calibrated machines.





Extension to Solid Stampings Workshop


The building housing our forge's ancillary machinery, such as the Lumsden Grinder, milling machine, saws, welding bay, die prep area, and the post forging processes such as punching, grinding, inspection etc, has been extended by 50%.


The extension is a fully insulated steel and brick building that required planning permission. This has given our operators a much improved, spacious, modern environment to work in.



T B Wellings International


Following the 'Woodcote Group' going into Receivership, Solid Swivel bought the machines and tooling that made the complete range of the famous ‘Wellings International’ portfolio.


Tony Boult, who ran the Shackle and Fittings making facility at TB Wellings for many years, was employed by Solid Swivel to Champion the installation of the machines, and get production underway. New processes have been brought in house to The Company such as Upset Forging and Profile Cutting that were previously sub contracted.


Hundreds of new products have been added to Solid Swivel’s range, strengthening and diversifying its position.







3 Axis CNC Milling Facility, including full CAD / CAM Systems


Following the sudden closure of one of our sub contract die sinkers, the Company decided to create its own Die Sinking facility in house.


The CAD package also allows us to do Rapid Prototyping in solid resin, with our Partners at the University.

Customers now find it a real benefit to handle the resin model of the forging before the dies are sunk. Amendments to size and shape at this point are quick and easy to do.


This ensures that the customer knows the finished forging will meet their requirements first time, on time, and no extra costs are incurred.


dmcscanmillingmillingheadforging die



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