COMPANY HISTORY AND SOLAS
‘The SOLAS convention was the most important international treaty concerning “safety of lives at sea”. The first copy was designed in the UK, in response to the sinking of the Titanic as a result the treaty prescribed numbers of lifeboats and emergency equipment, along with many other safety procedures. The first version was ready in 1914 but was not entered into service due to the first world war. Re-issued years later, with various updates, the third edition of 1929 was signed off by the UK, EU and USA. Initially intended as a reference source for all crew members, a copy was always made available in each crew / mess room, recreation room and crew cabin, in order that the contents and information was available. Over the years, updates were issued in 1948 and 1960 with different manuals including the creation of training manuals, 14 books in total.
The SOLAS convention of 1974 was an international agreement between Flag States, which sets standards on various aspects of marine safety, including construction equipment and the operation of all merchant ships.
In 1985 a joint venture between Britain’s premier College of Maritime in Warsash Southampton, serving the International Maritime Shipping Industry and a company (Atlantis Technical Services), combined to produce the technical documentation for the Marine Industry. Maritime Progress Limited was formed and became the go to company for all IMO legislative compliant manuals, including SOLAS, training publications, record books, safety signs, safety posters and photoluminescent (LLL) escape systems. All these products are manufactured in our UK factories.
Maritime Progress historical timeline
1985 – Formed in 1985 initially as a joint venture between The College of Maritime Studies (in Warsash, Southampton; Britain’s premier Maritime College serving the International Maritime Shipping Industry) and Atlantis Technical Services, it produced technical documentation for the marine industry.
Coinciding with the early use of photoluminescent materials within the marine industry, Maritime Progress Limited developed rapidly to become a market leader in the specialist field of marine signage, offering both efficiency and comprehensive services supplying all types of marine signage and allied safety products.
1994 – The company became part of a group under the holding firm, Warnstar Ltd. The group’s experience in the marine sector extended to the servicing of Inert Gas Systems for tankers, combustion control instrumentation and pipeline paints and coatings.
It gained an excellent reputation for knowledge of marine safety legislation that resulted in the introduction of the range of safety awareness and training posters, which now number over 80 consistently revised titles. Maritime Progress liaises with many regulatory authorities, key ship owners and operators to ensure that all products meet current international legislation. We have assisted both ISSA and IMPA in the preparation of the signage sections of their catalogues and participate in the revision process of SOLAS Chapter II.
Today, we have representation on the following committees and are a part of the decision process:-
BSI and ISO Committees
SME 32 – Ships and marine technology steering group
PH/008 – Graphical symbols & PH/008/01 – Graphical symbols – Safety signs
ISO/TE8/SC1 – Ships and marine technology – Lifesaving and fire protection
ISO/TC8/SC1/WG3 – Ships and marine technology – Fire protection
1998 – Maritime Progress expanded its In-house design department and, using the latest CAD software, final plans can be produced to any dimension or format (including booklet form) on various types of materials and substrates.
2000 – Maritime Progress launched its publications department, offering IMO publications, MPL logbooks and MPL training manuals complying with the requirements of SOLAS and MARPOL.
2001 – The Company opened a new headquarters, at the Sealand Centre in Redhill. Its expansion enabled increased production capabilities and improved facilities to maintain a growing product range and to maintain a top service quality.
Warnstar Signage Ltd was formed and produced a brochure dedicated to land signage and safety products. It also launched a new website www.signsforsafety.co.uk
The company was certified for BS EN ISO 9001: 2000 and is now accredited to BS EN ISO 9001: 2008.
The Maritime Progress Book has been adopted as a reference by many regulatory bodies and our website maritimeprogress.com (with online ordering facilities) serves to support and reinforce those aims.
2007 – Investing in digital technology improved our ability to produce ‘special runs’ and smaller volume products that complement existing hand bench and Svesia production equipment.
The new printer provides high quality definition prints, on virtually any substrate, and is capable of handling either rolled or rigid material up to an inch thick and eight foot wide. It is highly versatile.
2008 – A new sister company Telegan Pressed Products Ltd (www.teleganpressedproducts.com), based in Harwich, UK, joined our strength and is the only production facility to produce pressed products in the UK. It was born from the demise of an 80 year old plastics company located in Brantham producing soft visual panels for safety suits, motor vehicles, marine craft and the signage industry.
Working together with the chemical engineers in Harwich, we developed a range of new products that include Telglow™ photoluminescent materials (PSPA Class A-D), Vynalast™ engraving materials, carriers for Low Location Lighting, as well as pathway illuminated matting for Telscape systems.
2013 – Investment in a large scale router allowed us to extend our product range, incorporating framing systems, kick boards, safety rails, floor matting and LLL carriers, as well as taking on projects requiring router services.
2015 – Signs for Safety book was launched, in conjunction with the new website www.signsforsafety.co.uk
2016 – Our digital print capabilities were expanded, with a digital flatbed printer for rigid materials (print width capability 2440×1220) and a large format vinyl printer (print width capability 1650mm).
2017 – Telegan Pressed Products relocated to purpose built premises in Manningtree, to cater for future and continued expansion.
2018 – Chairman and founder, Mr Terry Egan, passed away in March. His expertise, commitment and enthusiasm are sorely missed, however, with the support of a great workforce and the determination of the management, Maritime Progress and the other companies within the group continue to thrive.
The company celebrated BS EN ISO 9001: 2015 Quality Assurance accreditation. Full traceability on our own photoluminescent material is readily identified by our Warnstar Trade Mark, which appears on all signage.
2019 – Restructuring with an eye to the future, we strengthened our printing facilities with two new Eco-solvent printers, which we have nicknamed ‘Pinky’ and ‘Brains’, to add to the existing array of printers – named after The Minions, with “Kevin” being the busiest.
2020 – Maritime Progress continued to operate throughout recent pandemic lockdowns and continued to provide the impeccable services for which it is renowned.