Can you remember what you were doing in 1991?
It was the year that Tim Berners-Lee introduced us to the World Wide Web, Yorkshire-born Helen Sharman became the first Briton in space and Trevor Baylis created the prototype of his wind-up radio.
Tottenham Hotspur beat Nottingham Forest 2-1 in the FA Cup and at Wimbledon, Michael Stich and Steffi Graf held up the singles’ trophies. Dances With Wolves won the Best Picture Oscar and number 1 singles included Bryan Adams, (Everything I Do) I Do It for You and The Clash, Should I Stay Or Should I Go.
For PPS it was a momentous year as it was in 1991 that the company was founded – which means that this year we are celebrating our 30th birthday!
From five members of staff and one site to more than 80 employees spread over four sites across the north of England, the story of PPS has been one of successful managed growth.
Our purpose-built head office in Brighouse is a state-of-the-art hub for our activities, which have expanded over the years to the wide range of products and services we provide today.
Our loyal customers have come to rely on us for the supply of the latest energy-efficient Atlas Copco Variable Speed Drive (VSD) air compressors and vacuum pumps, pneumatics and nitrogen generation, the design and installation of pipework, emergency repairs and service contracts.
Spares and parts are available from our Sales Counters and we operate a genuine 24/7 breakdown service to keep factories running, whatever the emergency. Improved efficiencies have saved our customers many thousands of pounds on their energy bills – and reduced their carbon footprints.
Our apprenticeship programme has allowed young people to develop skills and forge a career in the industry, as well as ensuring that we have skilled staff on board to support our customers in years to come.
Along the way we have won many awards and accolades, and signed up to important initiatives and accreditations, including Carbon Trust and SafeContractor.
Our passion for people and excellent service continues today.
Managing Director Ian Harrison has been with the company since 2001 and has a wealth of industry experience under his belt.
“At PPS, our first priority is our customers,” he says. “We have always valued long-term relationships over a quick sale and will spend time getting to know each and every business, so that we can supply the right products and services to meet their individual needs.
“Looking back over the past 30 years, we can be proud of our achievements: saving customers money, keeping their factories running and reducing their carbon footprint, with the environmental benefits that this brings.
“Despite the enormous challenges of the past 18 months, PPS remains a vibrant and successful business. We look forward to the years ahead and the opportunities they present to help existing customers and welcome new ones into the fold.”
1991: Gary Whitaker founded Pennine Pneumatic Services from the ashes of compressed air company Pennine SCS, with just five members of staff. The company moves to new premises and wins the Atlas Copco distributorship.
1994: PPS won the Atlas Copco Distributor of the Year Award for the first time.
1995: PPS moved to new premises on Pellon New Road in Halifax and opened the first Sales Counter.
2001: Current Managing Director Ian Harrison joined PPS.
2007: PPS started its annual Charity Golf Day.
2013: PPS won the Atlas Copco Distributor of the Year Award for the second time.
2015: PPS won the Atlas Copco Distributor of the Year Award for the third time and also the Employer of the Year Award at the 2015 Halifax Courier Business Awards. The business expanded with the purchase of Sheffield-based company Simm Engineering.
2016: PPS celebrated its 25th birthday with a quiz and a bespoke birthday cake for the 52 staff. At the celebrations, founder and Managing Director Gary Whitaker said: “From where I sit PPS people are special people. We succeed together, we fail together. We have no airs and graces. We are one great team, there is nobody to touch us. There are exciting times ahead for the PPS/Simm Group. Here’s to the next 25 years!”
2017: After outgrowing a succession of offices in Halifax, the company moved to its current state-of-the-art premises, The Yorkshire Air Centre, in Brighouse, West Yorkshire.
2018: The start of a new era of growth, designed to take the company to the next level. With investment from R&G Fluid Power Group, Gary Whitaker stepped down from his role and Ian Harrison took over as Managing Director.
2020: Simm Engineering moved into their new base in Dinnington, Sheffield after outgrowing their old premises. Integraflex Yorkshire became part of PPS in August and moved into the new Simm site.
2021: PPS opened a new branch in Leigh, Greater Manchester, and acquired Hull-based company Norman Walker Machinery.
In August 2021, we will be looking back on our history and heritage – and celebrating 30 years of success!