Paktronic Engineering Co

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Paktronic Engineering Co's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Paktronic Engineering Co is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Highlighting best practice
Spencer Wright, operations
director, and John Wright,
managing director
A motor control panel providing automated
control of a water treatment works
Paktronic Engineering is based in Grantham, Lincolnshire,
where they design and manufacture custom-built control
and distribution panels for a variety of sectors, especially
the water industry. The company was set up in 1965 by three
electronic engineers that were employed in the laboratory of
the Production Engineering Research Association (PERA) in
Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. They were involved in the
testing of PERA members’ electrical products, and assisted
them by designing up-to-date electronic control systems for
their machinery. When building the prototype for an electronic
system, they identified a recurrence of similar circuit blocks
in each new design. They therefore came to the conclusion
that there was a demand for package circuits that could just
be connected together as required, and formed Paktronics.
Managing director John Wright elaborates.
A brief account of our journey
After being approached by some clients we had previously worked for, and
renting our premises in Grantham, we were brought on board to design some
electronic changeover relays for a well-established panel builder. They were pleased
with what we had produced, and thus asked us to design, assemble, wire and
commission some advanced control panels. This introduced us to the market in
which we compete today.
»Operations director: Spencer
»Managing director: John
»Established in 1965
»Based in Grantham,
»Services: Design and
manufacture of electrical
control and distribution panels
»No. of employees: 38
»Turnover: £2.2 million
Paktronic Engineering
We were soon contacted by a
company that manufactured knitting
machines, who were experiencing
quality and delivery problems with
their control panels. After producing
a prototype for approval, they placed
an order for a further 15 panels per
month, requiring us to increase our
workforce to accommodate them. The
call-off allowed us to build in advance,
thus ensuring timely, quality deliveries.
While working with this company,
we made contact with senior figures,
including the managing director, who
was also on the board at Courtaulds.
He appreciated our efforts in ensuring
both quality and delivery and,
knowing that our company was still
in its infancy, he gave us some advice
which we still regard highly today:
when it comes to important decisions
concerning the company’s future and
further development, do not create
unnecessary hesitance or delay.
As the business grew, we purchased
some land designated for an industrial
estate, and established a purpose-
built factory on it. The building was
designed to provide office space, a
large assembly shop and a test area.
We later extended it to house our own
sheet metal fabrication and a stove
enamel paintshop. These additions
allowed us to become self-contained,
more efficient and controlled; all of
these factors contributed further to our
ability to ensure delivery as scheduled.
The scope of our products quickly
broadened significantly, and they
were independently tested to obtain
certification for fault levels and enclosure
protection. Soon, we began supplying
industrial distribution panels and control
panels to most of the UK water utilities.
Supply excellence
Fifteen years ago, British water
companies decided to introduce a
framework system to cover and unify
various areas of their requirements.
After thorough evaluation and
competition with large competitors,
we successfully became a part of
the Anglian Water MCC framework.
Although we had operated under the
principle of having no one client cover
more than 50 per cent of our business,
we had to dismiss this to proceed.
Today, we are renowned industry-wide
and have supplied panels for several
prestigious projects, one in particular
being the Adriatic LNG Terminal,
17 kilometres off the coast of Italy.
Once the panel was completed at our
facility, we shipped it to Singapore
and then to the Campamento Basin in
southern Spain where the terminal was
being constructed. Upon completion,
the structure was towed across
a monumental distance of 3,000
kilometres to reach its final destination.
The panel we have provided for the
terminal monitors and controls the
temperature of the LNG storage
concrete structure; if, for instance,
it would get too cold, this could
potentially lead to structural damage.
Small panels are of equal
importance to us
The scope of
our products
Highlighting best practice
Four years on from dispatch, two
Paktronic engineers were deployed
on-site for commissioning. Wehave
also supplied two similar panels for a
shore-based LNG terminal in Trinidad
and Tobago.
Orders for such prestigious projects are
undoubtedly fantastic opportunities;
at Paktronic, however, all we want to
do is ensure that, if we are renowned,
it is not necessarily for what we have
worked on, but, rather, for our quality
and service.
This philosophy requires an integral
base of staff. This means that where
similar companies might reduce
employees’ hours in rough periods,
we have chosen instead to recognise
our staff as people first, then workers.
They make up an integral, experienced
arm of the company, and we value and
consider them in all decisions made at
the top level.
Technological awareness
We have always kept up with
changing technology. When the first
programmable logic controllers (PLCs)
were introduced, we recognised their
potential and were one of the first
companies to train our engineers to
use them appropriately and keep them
at the forefront of our development.
As technology progresses and
becomes more sophisticated, we try to
continually develop.
Service users are not aware of the
technology and installation behind
such simple things as turning on a
tap or flushing a toilet. The treatment
and monitoring of drinking water
is of paramount importance as we
have to ensure constant quality and
We keep records containing the drawings
and equipment list for every product we
have manufactured for over 50 years –
this ensures we can always supply the
correct replacement components and
provide constantsupport.
Keep providing quality
We have always been committed to
ensuring our products are of a high
standard and that the service we provide
to our customers is the best. This is how
we have developed the company, and
how we want things to continue. Of
course, our quality, health and safety,
and environmental systems are now
audited by external companies several
times in a year to ensure we maintain
the certification that our clients require.
We prosper thanks to the efforts of
our directors and employees and
the service they provide to clients.
Recently, a client sent an email
indicating their appreciation of our
customer service, particularly for a
member of staff who has been with
us for many years. They expressed
that they were so accustomed to
poor service in the sector that they
were overwhelmed by our exceeding
their expectations, and that they
were happy to know a manufacturing
company like ours still existed in the
UK. This encapsulates everything we
do: nothing is more indicative of the
fact that we’re doing the very best we
can than an unsolicited thank you.
We prosper
thanks to the
efforts of our
directors and
and the
service they
provide to
A distribution panel for
an emergency call centre
that ensures power is
always available

This article was sponsored by Paktronic Engineering Co. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister