Fabricating catering counters for Astute-class submarines

A British catering equipment manufacturer is making waves after the Ministry of Defence assigned it to manufacture bespoke catering equipment for one of their latest marine projects.

Target Catering Equipment, a family-run business that has been providing quality, bespoke catering equipment to the foodservice industry for over 30 years, was recently assigned to design and fabricate a number of three and four dish servery counters for the Royal Navy’s Astute-class submarines.

Commissioned to carry out the project by Wathen Marine Catering Equipment Service Ltd, the Gloucester-based company designed, manufactured and supplied the catering equipment based on the MOD’s specific requirements, as well as previous product designs and specifications produced by Target.

The project came as a result of previous contracts to manufacture and supply bespoke stainless-steel items for Southampton-based distributor Kempsafe, original suppliers to the Royal Navy’s shipbuilding contractors.

David Pedrette, managing director at Target Catering Equipment, said: “Having six years’ experience in marine engineering and over 30 years’ experience in manufacturing commercial catering equipment, helped to ensure we could provide the exceptional service required for this project. It also helped that we had previously carried out projects which we offered our services and equipment to prestigious maritime projects including the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers HMS Invincible and HMS Ark Royal.”

In 2000, Target Catering Equipment was approached by Kempsafe to supply the bespoke fabrication of stainless-steel catering equipment for their marine-based projects. This included designing and fabricating items such as stainless-steel cupboards, counters, tabling and sinks.

In 2003, Kempsafe again commissioned the company to design and fabricate a number of eight and ten dish servery counters for HMS Invincible and HMS Ark Royal.

Since then, the company has been working with Kempsafe to design and fabricate items including servery counters, hot cupboards and stowage lockers for the brand-new HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, Britain’s biggest warships.

David added: “The challenging part of our most recent project was trying to achieve the high standards expected by the MOD, which were equal to what we had previously achieved. This required reviewing our current manufacturing techniques, and ensuring the quality was identical to that of our projects from 15 years ago. Looking through our archives of old manufacturing specifications, drawings and photographs, along with the knowledge of our longstanding employees helped us to achieve this.

“However, despite these challenges, the manufacturing processes for the equipment destined for the Astute submarines went particularly well, and we were able to deliver units on time to the exact specification required; and, most importantly, the client was happy with the end result!”

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