The beginnings of FP McCann Ltd were formed in Northern Ireland in the 1950’s on the back of a small quarry and asphalt surfacing operation.
This family run business established by Francis Patrick McCann and now managed by son Eoin McCann (MD) and his five brothers and one sister, has grown over the years into a leading Northern Ireland civil engineering and asphalt surfacing company.
From roads and bridges, rail, sports complexes, public realm, landfill sites, and renewable energy projects, FP McCann has a wealth of experience in constructing and managing projects.
In precast concrete, from a standing start in 2000 at Knockloughrim in Northern Ireland, the acquisition of Hepworth Concrete Products in 2005, saw FP McCann spread across the water to see rapid growth on the UK mainland.
Helped further by the acquisition of Ennstone Concrete Products in 2009, and more latterly the former Tarmac Topfloor business, Charcon's specialist precast facility in Cambridgeshire and in early2014, the precast interests of the Eleco group, Bell& Webster and Milbury Systems.
A market leader
With significant added investment in plant and machinery at a number of its production facilities, precast concrete now forms the core of FP McCann's business.
This rapid growth, enhanced by many years of knowledge, skills and experience brought onboard via the acquisitions has seen FP McCann become one of the UK’s market leaders in the manufacture, supply and delivery of precast concrete products.
Products are manufactured and delivered through FP McCann’s series of modern manufacturing plants located nationwide.
This geographical spread gives the company an unrivalled ability to serve the construction industry throughout the UK and Ireland.
The operating divisions of the precast arm of FP McCann include: Drainage & Water Management; Railway; Power & Infrastructure; Shafts and Tunnels; Walling; Rooms
Fencing; Flooring; Specialist Bespoke and Agriculture
In shafts and tunnels, within the last five years FP McCann has significantly developed its range and manufacturing capabilities and is now one of the sector's main suppliers.
The company’s design and engineering team have developed its own concrete moulds which meet the latest British Tunnelling Society’s specification.
As a result, FP McCann is supplying shaft and tunnel segmental linings to J Murphy and Sons at New Cross, London, manufactured at its Cadeby production facility in Warwickshire.
FP McCann’s Tunnelling Manager Stuart Carson said: “In terms of shaft build, we are the UK's market leading provider with a full range of segmental shafts from 3.6 metres up to 25 metres in diameter.
“All shaft segments are pre-fitted with ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber (EPDM) gaskets, which is the preferred choice of the miners in the UK.”
“Tunnel segments to New Cross are manufactured to the latest BTS specification, with no relaxation on the design. Independent testing is being carried out on tolerances and dimensions.
“We’re quite unique because our competitors tend to have to go out to steel mould suppliers which obviously increases costs and lead times.”
FP McCann has industry recognised experts in all its precast divisions, and despite only being involved the tunnelling industry for the past five years, the company boasts a wealth of knowledge and skills.
Some of the people working for the company have more than 30 years’ experience in the industry including, Tunnelling Engineer Lesley Parker, Tunnelling Contracts Manager Howard Lloyd, Tunnelling Estimator Colin Timmins and Precast Group Quality & Materials Manager Colin Richards.
Continuing with staff development, the company has embarked on apprenticeship programmes and the offer of student gap year placements to further their training and knowledge within the industry.
FP McCann has adopted a philosophy of encouraging people to develop their skills and in turn, nurture them through to senior positions, which is perfectly illustrated today by many of its current management staff.
What underpins FP McCann as a market leader is its extensive stock holding of core products across all its precast divisions. The ability to service its customers’ demands while ensuring consistency and speed of delivery.
The pioneering precast concrete solutions provider is continually developing new and innovative off-site products that are safer, quicker to install and offer a higher quality finish to traditional construction methods.
A good example of this can be seen in its proprietary Easi-Base precast concrete manhole system. All water authorities have now adopted this with its inclusion within ‘Sewers for Adoption seventh edition’.
Speaking of the future, and the challenges that lie ahead, FP McCann’s General Manager Andy Cooper said: “We will always come up against companies with a variety of materials competing against concrete.
“Our main challenge is to try and keep concrete very much at the forefront in terms of durability, proven performance, cheaper installation costs and extensive design life.
“Precast concrete works because it is modular in nature and by design. You simply take it to the site and plug it in, you don’t have to do a lot of formation work on site with associated wet trades.
“Our focus is on product modularisation across all our precast divisions. Standardisation of design has greatly assisted our contractors, aiding the speed of on-site installations in a safe and cost efficient manner.”
Precast concrete can offer significant carbon reductions compared with traditional build methods: It is very durable with a proven in service life in excess of 100 years; Uses recycled aggregate and is highly recyclable; Can be quickly installed in a safe and efficient manner and is cost effective compared with other materials and traditional methods of construction.