Hydraulic Handling Solutions

SCX joined forces with Denley Hydraulics to offer bespoke hydraulic power solutions to complex handling and lifting challenges.

Covering concept and system design, machining and assembly, build and test, and installation and commissioning, SCX and Denley offer an unrivalled end-to-end solution for complete electro-hydraulic systems.

The Challenge

Each handling challenge that our clients bring to us is assessed thoroughly by our mechanical and electrical design teams. For every required motion – whether lifting, rotating, tilting, opening – we explore the range of tools available to us to determine the most appropriate.

While many of our solutions are driven by electrical motive systems, there are many applications for which electrical drives are not the right engineering choice. Hydraulics offer a significant power density advantage over electrical drives, whilst retaining fine control, installation flexibility and long-term reliability.

The Solution

SCX and Denley Hydraulics have engineered and built some of the world’s iconic kinetic architecture, alongside the most innovative handling solutions. Many of these have called on hydraulics to power complex movement, designing them into skyscrapers, nuclear handling systems, bridges, stadiums, test rigs, production line solutions, and more.

As part of the SCX Group, Denley Hydraulics is a recognised leader in the bespoke design and manufacture of electro-hydraulic engineering, providing complete fluid power solutions from concept through to design, build, and installation.

Speedy build and breakdown

  • A modular, portable system for building and dismantling stage sets, designed for use in challenging environments such as rain or windy conditions
  • Towers are raised or lowered hydraulically through 1.25 metres a time, section by section
  • The four corners are synchronised via a bespoke EC&I system, giving outstanding repeatability and ease of operator training


Solutions for renewables

Orbital Marine O2

  • Denley’s engineers combined the simplicity of hydraulic flow division with the flexibility of a variable speed drive in an on-board hydraulic system for the Orbital Marine O2 floating tidal turbine
  • This enables the O2 to tension it’s seabed anchors and deploy and retract the turbine support legs
  • The new design for the turbine leg hinges eliminates the need for external hydraulic hoses and the potential for damage from tidal debris

Find out more at Denley's website >>


A moving stadium experience

  • SCX is famous for its 10,000 tonne retractable pitch at Tottenham Hotspur, however the pitch surround is an equally impressive feat of engineering
  • The entire pitch touchline raise and lowers hydraulically through 1.8 metres from Premier League to NFL mode
  • Hydraulic power packs open up the surround flaps, before powerful rams raise and lower the entire structure, all carefully synchronised via an SCXengineered EC&I system


Doors in the sky

  • The 44th floor of the One Blackfriars skyscraper in London conceals a BMU garage, hidden behind panels that perfectly match the building’s exterior
  • A hydraulic system first leans the panels back, then raises them up inside of the building, significantly reducing wind loading on the panels
  • The building maintenance unit is then deployed from the garage to maintain and repair the exterior of the building

Find out more >>


A unique access solution

  • The uniquely shaped ‘Gherkin’ has no flat roof, so an equally unique access solution was required that would not compromise the appearance of the building
  • Bespoke hydraulic machines allow maintenance staff to access the full external facade of the 160m high building
  • SCX's solution calls on numerous advanced ‘kinetic architecture’ engineering disciplines

Find out more >>


Precise positioning

  • Four hydraulic handling stations were designed and built for a UK nuclear licenced site to manipulate and wash large contaminated cylinders

  • Each station has three hydraulic rams for various lifting, lowering, positioning and locking tasks, all fed by a central power pack

  • All four wash stations are controlled centrally by a remote PLC system, keeping operators out of harm’s way


Stadia access solutions

  • The new Tottenham Hotspur stadium had a specific access challenge: How could HGVs get to the inner bowl for large concerts and exhibitions?
  • SCX Special Projects designed a simple, powerful hydraulic ram solution that pivots up a section of seating
  • The lift creates 1.7 metres of additional headroom, allowing HGVs to deliver to the inner bowl


Reaching into nuclear

  • The Sellafield nuclear power plant has a number of storage bays from which intermediate level waste (ILW) needs to be removed
  • Access to the bays is extremely restricted, the only entrance being a small hatch in the concrete ceiling
  • A hydraulically powered telescopic mast and hydraulic robotic manipulator reach down through the hatch to retrieve the waste


Creating concert capacity

  • At a famous UK football stadium, the seating behind the goal retracts, creating valuable additional space for a stage set
  • The seating pivots along a giant rear hinge, powered by 18 8-metre hydraulic rams
  • The stadium can accommodate 25,000 standing concert-goers when the seating is retracted

Find out more >>


Size isn’t everything

  • Court 2 at Wimbledon has an entry tunnel along one side of the stadium
  • A small retractable terrace spanning the opening was conceived, for additional spectator capacity
  • SCX Special Projects was invited to assess the retractable terrace concept and subsequently provide the hydraulically pivoting solution


Landmark infrastructure

  • The Falkirk Wheel's hydraulic system was manufactured and installed by Denley Hydraulics to deliver precise and advanced levels of control and performance

  • 10 hydraulic motor gearbox assemblies with disk brakes drive a gear on the wheel’s central shaft commence and cease motion

  • A proactive maintenance scheme was developed to ensure maximum operational availability including routine replacement or refurbishment of key items

Find out more at Denley's website >>


From concept to commissioning

  • SCX was approached to explore what configuration would best serve the access needs of the Scalpel skyscraper in London, while minimising both weight and the risk of damage from high winds

  • SCX subsequently engineered, built and installed the doors, each opening at precise angles to the building

  • All the doors are hydraulically powered, giving reliability, high strength, and fine control in operation


Perfect growing conditions


  • In addition to a retractable pitch and surround, SCX also engineered, built and installed the innovative growlight deployment system at Spurs
  • The six growlight trusses are deployed and stored hydraulically from a storage area beneath the North Stand
  • Once positioned, the trusses also raise hydraulically up to a height of 2.5 metres above the pitch, for perfect grow light coverage


Critical contingencies

  • Hinkley Point B required a solution to keep the cooling pumps running in the event of electrical power loss

  • Denley Hydraulics devised a solution to provide power to the pumps via adjacent hydraulic motors connected with a high-power toothed belt. These are driven by a 125kW diesel power unit over 100 metres away

  • The hydraulic backup system can cope with a wide range of fault conditions and post-fault scenarios such as flooding or fire that would make the use of electric motors untenable

Find out more at Denley's website >>

Let's talk more about hydraulic handling solutions

SCX and Denley Hydraulics always explore the most practical, cost-effective and appropriate solutions for the task in hand.

In many applications – just like the examples that we've shown above – hydraulics have the strength and reliability that is unmatched by other sources of motive power.

Call us on +44 114 262 6199, email us at, or complete the contact form below and we'll be in touch.

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SCX Special Projects Ltd

Roman Ridge Road, Sheffield, S9 1GA, United Kingdom

t:  +44 (0)114 262 6199