Specialist engineering firm, R&B Switchgear Group (R&B) is celebrating a prestigious electrical restoration project with the Philippines Light Rail Transit Authority in Manila (LRTA).

The power distribution experts have been appointed by the government’s rail authority to repair fifty-two original Whipp & Bourne MM74 circuit breakers and fourteen switchgear panels following a flash-over incident which resulted in significant fire damage.

The company underwent a rigorous tendering process in partnership with Brownsteel Prime Parts & Services Corporation and were awarded the bid as a result of their unrivalled experience of Whipp & Bourne and heritage equipment.

It is anticipated that the project will take 12 months to complete and will help to improve the safety, reliability, and efficiency of the capital’s leading transport network.

This is the second landmark contract the company has been awarded by the LRTA and follows a move to create an Asia-Pacific hub with the launch of a Singapore office in 2018.

Speaking of the contract win, R&B Switchgear Group Director, Mark Beswick said: “R&B already has a proven track record of working with global transport providers such as London Underground, Network Rail, UK Power Networks, Melbourne Metro and Baltimore Light Rail Link (USA).”

“In fact, many of our engineers were involved in the original design and commissioning of these Whipp & Bourne products, meaning we can apply a breath of experience and skills to deliver the best results for our client.” 

“We are delighted to be working with Brownsteel and LRTA again following our first rehabilitation project in 2009 and look forward to embarking on this latest challenge with them.”

As part of this extensive project, R&B will undertake restoration work at both their head office manufacturing facility in Manchester, and on site in Manila.

R&B Switchgear Group is recognised as a leading provider of electrical switchgear and power engineering solutions for the transport, marine, oil & gas, healthcare, education, renewables and energy sectors.

This latest contract comes as the company celebrates a significant period of growth, winning projects with household names such as TESCO, the NHS, TATA Steel, Royal Caribbean & P&O and growing its workforce by 40% in the past twelve months.

For further details on how you can embark on an exciting career with R&B Switchgear Group, please get in touch at

Specialist engineering firm, R&B Switchgear Group has been recognised for its best-in-class health & safety and environmental management systems with two international accreditations.

The company achieved the coveted ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems and ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems certification following a meticulous and comprehensive on-site assessment with NQA.

This new environmental standard (ISO 14001) recognises the steps the company has made in reducing its overall environmental impact in order to advance environmental conservation.

Alongside a commitment to preserving our future, the company has also focused on the health, safety, and wellbeing of its workforce, taking crucial steps to maintain its HSEQ record and further improve injury prevention measures.

As part of the evaluation process, the team were asked to demonstrate successful implementation of processes and policies, alongside sharing data and evaluation of these changes to ensure compliance with the stringent industry standards.

Speaking of the latest accolades, R&B Switchgear Group Director, Max Beswick said: “As a business, we uphold our commitment to be reliable, responsible, and honorable. This mindset drives every decision we take, so it was a natural step for us to look at how we can impact positive change beyond our day-to-day output.”


“After a rigorous and lengthy certification process, we can now proudly demonstrate that we’re a member of this international community, setting standards which better protect our people, our future and our planet.”


R&B Switchgear Group is recognised as a leading provider of electrical switchgear and power engineering solutions for the marine, oil & gas, healthcare, education, rail, renewables and energy sectors.

Building on the company’s existing ISO 9001 Quality Management accreditation, the new accolades come as the company celebrates key project wins with TESCO, the NHS, TATA Steel, Royal Caribbean, and P&O.

For further details on how you can embark on an exciting career with R&B Switchgear Group, please get in touch at

Specialist engineering firm, R&B Switchgear Group has bolstered its team with fourteen new hires as the company seeks to create a focused, high-performing culture, primed for a new era of growth.

The talented new recruits have been appointed in response to soaring enquiries & landmark contract wins and will support the businesses growing finance, operations, engineering, project management and CAD departments.

Mohsin Nawaz joins as Group Financial Controller and brings with him 10 years of industry experience. He will take on a strategic role, using data & insights to drive growth across R&B’s global network which spans the UK, USA and APAC regions.

The company’s engineering department has also undergone an exciting transformation following a nation-wide campaign to attract the industry’s top talent. Among the newly appointed experts are Paul Casanove who brings a wealth of testing experience from Siemens, Mike Hardy who joins from Anord Mardix, Alison Rhodes starts in a newly created Operations Coordinator role, and Lukasz Rudnicki who will bolster the Group’s electrical design capability.

In Scotland, Robbie McMillan will build on R&B’s stellar marine credentials, drawing on his training with the Ministry of Defence and, V.Ships, Scott Ritchie brings 5 years’ experience with Terasaki and Jordan McDonagh returns having acquired industry insights from Schneider and Anord Mardix.

The company’s retrofit and Whipp & Bourne expertise has also been super-charged with two key hires. Heath Horton brings 13 years’ experience from legacy manufacturer, Hawker Siddeley and David Billington returns as Technical Project Manager to help diversify the existing heritage offering.

Managing Director Mark Beswick said: “This is a historic moment for R&B Switchgear Group, and we are delighted to welcome so many skilled experts into our ranks as we set the foundations for the future.

“As specialists in our field, we strive to engineer bespoke solutions for our clients. Every project we work on is unique, which is why we need to attract unique talent and nurture the unique skills within our team.

“We are excited about the potential to grow our service offer and embrace new ideas & new technology to ensure we remain at the fore-front of our industry.”

This strategic expansion comes as the company celebrates landmark project wins with new and existing clients, including the UK Atomic Energy Authority, TESCO, the NHS, TATA Steel, Royal Caribbean, and P&O UK.

Newly appointed Project Manager, Robbie McMillan commented: “The vision and potential of the R&B Group of companies is hugely exciting to me. With a legacy spanning more than 35 years, the business has evolved a great deal over the course of its history - and it continues to tackle new technical challenges and set new industry benchmarks.

“I look forward to joining the team and working towards a bright, bold future for the business and its people.”

For further details on how you can embark on an exciting career with R&B Switchgear Group, please get in touch at

Specialist engineering firm R&B Switchgear Group has been enlisted to provide critical maintenance services to a network of UK businesses, government facilities, hospitals, farms and utility providers.

The team will be repairing and servicing more than 130 circuit breakers at multiple sites across the UK, spanning from Andover to Edinburgh. Among these are several NHS hospitals, including the Royal Marsden Hospital, energy and utility providers Bryn Power and Vale Bio, along with numerous farming sites, universities, waste management locations and media hubs including Media City in Manchester.

The leading experts in power distribution, R&B will be working hand-in-hand with regional supervisors for the North, Central, South East & South West to deliver a seamless operation over the coming months - ensuring all downtime onsite is kept to an absolute minimum.

Speaking of the project, Managing Director Mark Beswick said: “We’re delighted to be working on what is a hugely diverse and exciting project.

“Switchgear maintenance sits at the very heart of our business and this critical care is the most effective way for our clients to extend the life cycle of their electrical assets.

“Whether it’s for hospitals carrying out essential care for patients, farms growing the food on our plates, or utility providers keeping the nation fully powered, this project will ensure that these leading businesses and organisations can continue to provide their much-needed services across the country; something we know is now more critical than ever before.”

This latest contract follows a successful start to the year with the team securing exciting and challenging projects with the likes of Westmoreland hospital, Manchester International Airport and Manchester Royal infirmary.

For further details on R&B Switchgear Group, our manufacturing capabilities and range of services, please visit our website,

Specialist engineering firm, R&B Switchgear Group, has appointed two key hires as it focuses on exploring new growth opportunities and delivering stand out projects to its expanding client base.

The two appointments, Faizal Patel and Louis Wilcock, bring with them a wealth of industry knowledge, passion and experience and have joined the ranks during the company’s busiest ever January.

Drawing on 15 years of experience, Patel has joined in the newly created role of Business Development Manager. With a demonstrated history of working in the Marine, Oil & Energy sectors, he is charged with nurturing new and existing client relationships.

Originally a member of R&B’s field service team back in 2015, Wilcock has rejoined the company, stepping into the position of Project Engineer following two years at Brush Switchgear. His role will focus primarily on developing turnkey solutions for the company’s diverse portfolio of clients.

Speaking of the new appointments, Managing Director Mark Beswick said: “We’re delighted to welcome Faizal and Louis to the team at what is a hugely exciting time for our group of companies.

“In recent months we’ve had a number of major developments with the growth of the business which is why we’ve sought to bolster our team and peruse even bigger and more challenging projects in 2020.”

The news comes as the company has secured key projects with leading global companies including Carnival Australia, V.Ships China, TOTAL, Serica Energy and Network Rail.

For further details and to understand how R&B Switchgear Group can support your business, reach out to us at or call us on (+65) 9759 6513.

R&B Switchgear Group has successfully completed a landmark project in the North Sea, enabling Repsol Sinopec’s Fulmar platform to power the operation of the Auk platform via a subsea link.

The specialist engineering firm was enlisted by multinational energy services company Wood and leading energy providers Repsol Sinopec, to undertake extensive modifications on the two platforms following a review of the existing generators and power supply.

Prior to the upgrades, both Fulmar and Auk generated their own electricity from a combination of turbine and diesel driven generators. However this was growing increasingly more expensive, particularly on Auk due to the need for externally purchased diesel and the poor efficiency of the generator sets.

R&B Switchgear Group was tasked with manufacturing new Whipp & Bourne heritage circuit breakers, undertaking modifications to existing HV and MV assets and installing new protection relays to ensure a seamless transition and guarantee optimum operating across both platforms.

Expected to save millions of pounds each year, the unique project took six months to complete and the team are confident that the refurbishments will continue to deliver on-going benefits when Auk enters into the decommissioning phase of its life cycle.

Lead engineer and project manager at R&B Switchgear Group, Paul Robinson said: “We are hugely excited to have worked alongside Repsol Sinopec and Wood on this technically demanding, industry-leading project.

“As more platforms age and enter new life cycles, we anticipate that more companies will follow this example and employ subsea links as a way to create efficiencies, minimise downtime and save money.”

To find out more about R&B Switchgear Group and how the team can extend the life cycle of your electrical assets email the team at

R&B Switchgear Group has undertaken a significant transport project with Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM), upgrading their heritage Whipp & Bourne DC high speed circuit breakers to maximise the performance of Australia’s leading rail network.

 The project was part of a landmark investment by Public Transport Victoria, designed to remove nine of Melbourne’s most congested level crossings and rebuild five stations on the busiest lines.

The government aims to upgrade the ageing power systems to allow for a 42% capacity increase - that's the equivalent to an extra 20,000 passengers a day!

To meet these ever-increasing demands, the team of specialist engineers from R&B have successfully upgraded 24 Whipp & Bourne MM74s from 2000ADC to 4000ADC, ensuring that the circuit breakers can function with the increased power supply.

All parts required for the upgrade were manufactured at the company’s dedicated facility in the UK, before being transported to Melbourne where the specialist team fully installed and tested each asset.

During the installation, R&B’s engineers were able to offer a significantly reduced period of downtime through their innovative solutions – something which was particularly critical to the operation of the transport network.

As part of this turnkey project, R&B also carried out bespoke training for 35 MTM team members, upskilling the local engineers in the correct use, maintenance and testing of their upgraded equipment.

The project has been hailed as a huge success by the team at Public Transport Victoria and Metro Trains Melbourne due to the significant savings the organisations have made by upgrading their switchgear, rather than investing in costly replacements.

Lead project manager at R&B Switchgear Group, Ian Penswick said: “We are thrilled to have been a part of this major project with the leading transport teams in Melbourne.

“When we embarked on this particular project, we knew that the aftercare was going to be key; ensuring the local engineers can continue to service and maintain their assets without needing to rely on third party support. This is something we’re seeing more demand for group-wide and we’re developing more and more bespoke training programmes, tailored to the needs of our clients.

“We have a long-standing relationship with MTM and look forward to supporting them and their many passengers in the future!”

To find out more about R&B Switchgear Group and how the team can extend the life cycle of your electrical assets email the team at

R&B Switchgear Group eyes era of new growth with the launch of its Singapore Office

Specialist power distribution company R&B Switchgear Group has set its sights on new growth opportunities across the Asia-Pacific region as it launches its first Singapore office.

Centrally located in Marine Parade, the new hub will service the company’s growing client base which already includes Metro Trains Melbourne, Philippines Light Rail Transit Authority, SMRT Trains Singapore and Castle Peak Power Station in Hong Kong.

Providing bespoke design, manufacture and life cycle maintenance for low & medium voltage switchgear, the company services a range of industry sectors, including marine & shipping, oil & gas, rail and construction.

With workshops in the UK and USA, it’s expected that the new hub will enable the team to provide more agile solutions, as well as embark on larger and more technical projects with clients in Singapore and the wider region.

Speaking of the new office, Group Managing Director, Mark Beswick said: “We’re delighted to announce the APAC expansion of the company as we enter a new era of growth and ambitions for the business.

“Over the past year we’ve delivered projects for a number of new and existing customers, supporting them with turnkey solutions designed to optimise the performance of their electrical equipment. With a rapidly growing network of clients, we felt it was the perfect time to set up our first office in Singapore.

As well as manufacturing bespoke power systems, R&B Switchgear Group is perfectly placed to support owners of Whipp & Bourne switchgear, with many of the company’s engineers involved in both the original design and commissioning of these products.

Mark continued: “Many of our global clients operating with heritage Whipp and Bourne equipment come to us for help with extending the life cycle of their systems and this is something we expect many Singapore-based companies will be interested in.”

For further details and to understand how R&B Switchgear Group can support your business, reach out to us at or call us on (+65) 9759 6513.

This week, teams from R&B Switchgear Group attended the bi-annual SPE Offshore Europe event in Aberdeen. 

SPE Offshore Europe is recognised by offshore E&P professionals as Europe’s leading E&P event, with 36,000+ attendees joining to hear about the very latest engineering innovations and developments. 

The four-day show included showcases from some of the industry’s largest brands, including ABB, Wood Group, Schneider and Seajacks. 

R&B Switchgear Group team members from Manchester, Aberdeen and Glasgow hosted a number of existing and prospective clients, showcasing the most up-to-date switchgear technology and protection systems. 

The company’s exhibition stand also included a series of retrofit solutions and upgrades which can be easily implemented for customers looking to optimise their existing equipment in order to minimise downtime and avoid costly replacements. 

For further details, contact a member of the team at

R&B Switchgear Group's bespoke distribution switchboard was successfully designed, manufactured and installed this month ready for Manchester Airport's new 'super terminal', a project set to be completed by 2024 with it's first phase opening this April, 2019.

The new distribution switchboard was designed to accommodate Siemens devices with 1600A incoming ACB’s and MCCB feeders ranging from 63A to 1000A. All devices are withdrawable or plug-in for ease of future maintenance. Manufactured with full segregation to Form 4 type 7 and external rear cable termination boxes.

To find out more, or to see how we can assist you with your own requirements, feel free to call us at +44 (0)1706 369933.

IRISS have been commissioned to supply bespoke thermal windows for R&B’s LV and Medium voltage switchboards being manufactured at its Headquarters site in Heywood Lancs.

R&B also install these types of windows for non-intrusive thermal imaging services we supply to many Marine, Offshore and Land based installations as a retrofit to their own and other switchgear manufactured switchboards.

The windows have been certified for use by most governing bodies and provide a wide field of vision inside the switchboard, Which other manufacturers designs appear to fail to consider appropriately.

For bespoke or specific installations, we can design a window to suit any application which will allow thermal imaging where it was previously thought impossible.

Additionally, our windows can incorporate another device to facilitate the testing for Partial discharge (PD) mainly used for systems above 3.3Kv.

In another exciting addition to this IRISS have developed a continual heat monitoring system which will monitor the heat difference between the inside and outside temperature of a switchboard compartment to provide early warnings of a potential heating problem occurring inside the switchboard compartment.

For further technical information on all the products available around thermal imaging of Switchgear, Generators and Transformers please contact us for further information.

R&B’s design team are ready to provide a detailed proposal for your installation and will carry out the full installation on site at your request.

For further information please click here

R&B complete designs and first production of the latest retrofit design offering:-

Target Equipment - Whipp & Bourne 11kV 2000Amp. Type DV53 50kA Vacuum Circuit Breaker

Design Process - Transplant a Schneider HVX Vacuum Circuit Breaker into the carriage of a DV53 VCB in order for it to be a "Plug and Play" Retrofit.

R&B switchgear were awarded the contract by Alstom Transport to supply three extension panels to their existing Whipp & Bourne switchgear.

The MM74 panels and circuit breakers have been completely refurbished and rebuilt using original W&B parts. They comprise of 3x 6000A positive & 3x 6000A negative rectifier breakers.

The panels are to be utilized in substations across the London underground, where they have enabled the expansion of their existing switchgear at minimal cost and disruption to essential services.

We are committed to supporting owners of whipp & bourne products and we expect the life time of our refurbishments to last at least another 25 years.

R&B Switchgear now has a permanent presence in the Bahamas.
The Grand Bahama Shipyard is now an additional permanent location for our team of engineers stationed locally at one of the main dry-dock ship repair yards in the north American vicinity.

Switchgear repairs, general servicing and testing of protection relays and instruments for switchgear and thermal imaging are just some of the services we are now able to complete at the shipyard for ships visiting the dry-dock.

R&B Switchgear (Bahamas) LLC
c/o Grand Bahama Shipyard Ltd
PO BOX F-42498-411
Fishing Hole Road
Grand Bahama

Tel : +001 (954) 428 3175
Email :

Earlier this month, the new chief executive of Network Rail admitted that the £1bn scheme to convert the line linking London to south Wales from diesel to electric trains project has gone over budget because of rising costs.

This is one of a number of projects Network Rail is undertaking, including Thameslink for £6.5bn, Crossrail for £2.3bn, the £600m Northern Hub scheme to increase capacity, £900m of improvements around Reading and multimillion pound station overhauls at London Bridge and Birmingham New Street.

The organisation is aiming to upgrade the UK's rail network so it can carry more trains and passengers, and by 2019 it is aiming to run an extra 335,000 trains a year.

As the UK's railways enter their most extensive phase of upgrades since the Victorian era, it's imperative that the new technology can withstand the added pressures it will face in the future and meet the ever changing safety guidelines.

With the new IEC 61439-2 electrical safety standards coming into force this year, all new electrical switchgear needs to be independently tested and issued with a certificate to verify it complies with this exacting standard, ensuring electrical protection for people and their environment.

By incorporating low voltage, intelligent switchboards which deliver superior safety, reliability and performance, operators will be able to ensure safe operation, trusted reliability and optimum performance. Losing electrical power is a worst case scenario for any rail service provider, as the knock on effect to customers and staff can be catastrophic. Therefore, to ensure the risk of any power failure is reduce as far as possible, switchboards incorporating the latest intelligent electrical circuit breakers and devices which allow remote monitoring of the electrical network via internet or SIM should be incorporated into each upgrade.

Intelligent switchboards communicate their status real-time and automatically alert operational crew of an overload or situation where power failure could occur if not dealt with. Also, if a power failure does occur, serious consideration should be given to incorporating a facility to "hot swop" out the circuit protection, allowing rapid replacement without the need to switch off the whole switchboard.

Being informed in real-time of the status of the electrical network, means that any downtime required for maintenance can be accurately scheduled to fit rail timetables. An intelligent switchboard can also greatly reduce energy costs by providing visibility for optimising loadings, motor operation, trace problems, precise control, identify trends and troubleshoot problems before they result in a costly power loss.

In addition to helping boost power system reliability and productivity, intelligent electrical devices such as progressive starters and variable speed drives can synchronize motor operation to load capacity, reducing peak energy consumption by up to 50%.

Space is also something that is becoming increasingly important for switchgear development. With electrical switchrooms taking up valuable space, there is always a premium to be had by operators specifying main electrical distribution switchboards that can reduce the size of these areas.

New compact modular, standardised LV boards are designed to accommodate more features with less volume and weight, with specially adapted characteristics such as space-saving drawers which directly connected to the vertical busbar are ideal for rail applications. It is vital for modern rail services to have electrical switchboards which deliver superior safety, trusted reliability and optimum performance. Switchboards must also comply with a whole set of requirements linked to increasingly sophisticated and challenging applications and changing international standards, while also offering increased productivity and rapid return on investment.

By ensuring electrical equipment is built to these exacting standards, operators have equipment which significantly reduces the risk of supply loss and decreases maintenance requirements while increasing reliability.

The new equipment also needs to strike the right balance between high level performance, both in electrical distribution and motor control, with open-endedness to continually satisfy the specific needs of rail operation.

It should also deliver the highest possible level of safety for people and installation, even in the most demanding conditions and have built-in peak reliability both short and long term, guaranteeing availability as well as delivering a constantly superior level of performance with ease and speed of use and maintenance.