Probe was formed by Keith Ford in a small rented unit on Southgates Road in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England with one other employee (Ian Mercer) who remained with Probe until his retirement in 2016.


The company registered with Companies House.


We moved to new premises at Brinell Way on what was then the newly established Harfreys Industrial Estate, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England.


Probe continued to expand, and we moved once more to newer premises at Bessemer Road again on the Harfreys Industrial Estate, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England.


We built our first drilling riser for KCA Drilling in the North Sea.


Expansion continued with a move into new purpose-built premises on Edison Way on the new Gapton Hall Industrial Estate, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England. This move allowed us to purchase a new large diameter hollow spindle lathe which enabled us to repair and refurbish oil country tubular goods (OCTG’s), drill pipe, drill collars and rotary subs.


Probe were proud to develop our apprenticeship programme and started recruiting young engineers in association with a local engineering college. The first apprentice employed is still with the company and now trains new apprentices as they join Probe. This has been an ongoing programme and we currently have three apprentices.


We purchased our first Mazak Slant Turn 50 CNC lathe for manufacturing and repairing premium threads on casing, tubing and accessories. In the same year we were granted API-6A License to manufacture and monogram under the newly developed Q1 Quality standard and subsequently won our first large order for API-16A Clamp assemblies for a North Sea operator.

1990 - 2002

We expanded our workshop by 50% and added further Mazak machines, including an Integrex 70YB Universal Lathe/Machining Centre to assist in manufacturing API-6A Wellhead equipment.


Probe purchased a Union TC.110 CNC Horizontal Boring and Milling Machine/Machining Centre. These high-performance machines deliver high-positional accuracy and proven process reliability in the most demanding machining applications.


Purchased a Toshulin Powerturn 1600 C-M CNC Vertical Turning Centre with capacity to machine single parts up to 2000mm diameter and 12,000 kgs in weight.


Obtained registration to the International Quality Standard BS-EN ISO-2001 with DNV GL in addition to our API 6A and Q1 registration.


Probe became part of the Acteon Group. A group committed to working together to define, shape and lead subsea services for the benefit of its clients.


We moved to new purpose-built premises on the prestige Beacon Park development in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England.


Purchased a second Toshulin Powerturn 1600 C-M CNC Vertical Turning Centre with capacity to machine single parts up to 2000mm diameter and 12,000 kgs in weight.


Purchased a Doosan DBC 130 II 5 Axis Boring/Milling Machining Centre that provides best-in-class performance, high-productivity and exceptional accuracies in production.


The founder of the company Keith Ford retired, and David Brennan was appointed as Managing Director.


Six employees, each with over 30 years’ service, were presented with long service awards.


Probe launched new website and brand proposition.



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Meet the technical experts

Probe has built a reputation over a 40-year period of technical expertise in manufacturing and machining. We provide our clients with the highest technical service supported through innovation, collaboration, quality and agility.

Many of our team members have been with Probe for a number of years and have gained an unrivalled understanding of the challenges our customers face. Our team each have unique specialisms and vast experience within the sector, meaning they are best positioned to offer timely, cost-effective solutions.

Meet the Probe experts