Park Electrical

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Park Electrical'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 Park Electrical 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

Left to right: Gary O’Callaghan
(Siemens) congratulates John
Meehan, John McPhillips
(Almeric Ltd) and Rob
McConachie (Park Electrical) on
the Almeric acquisition
Virtual commissioning with
a digital twin improves
competitiveness and time to
Founded in 1973, Park Electrical Services is a leading supplier
of specialist electrical power, control and automation
products. Based in Belfast, it was set up by Jim McConachie
who started out as a sole trader, but it now has locations
covering the UK and Ireland, employing more than 100 staff
with annual group revenue approaching £50 million. Current
Managing Director Rob McConachie tells
The Parliamentary
more about the business and reflects upon the
environment in which it now operates.
Park Electrical Services began life against the backdrop of the Troubles in Northern
Ireland, a very difficult time for inward investment and development. This dark time
in its history sits in stark contrast to a long tradition of innovation, creative thinking
and engineering excellence.
Northern Ireland can take credit for the pneumatic tyre, the three-point-linkage
system that gave us the modern tractor and the penalty kick.
The origin, ethos and success of our business is entwined with this tradition of
Having a disciplined understanding of the problem at hand and diligently working
towards a solution, approaching every opportunity with enthusiasm and ensuring
that we are competently equipped for the task at hand are all the hallmarks of the
Park person.
»Founder and Managing
Director: Jim McConachie
»Managing Director: Rob
»Founded in 1973
»Based in Belfast
»Services: Supply of specialist
industrial electrical products
and systems
»No. of employees: 106
Park Electrical
Highlighting best practice
Fourth industrial revolution
The modern industrial era is marked
by the fourth industrial revolution.
The availability of large volumes of
manufacturing data, coupled with
the easily accessible and relatively
low-cost systems by which this data
can be analysed, contextualised and
understood gives manufacturers the
opportunity to gain a competitive edge
like never before. None of this can be
achieved without the close integration
of the technology supply chain. Once
we find a Park person, we invest in
training and mentoring to ensure that
they usefully and valuably fit into the
supply chain, acting as an extension
of the sales and technical support
resources of the manufacturers that
we represent.
Being useful and valuable to our
customers means that we work
closely with them. Alignment with
our suppliers and proximity to our
customers allows us to tailor the
offering that we bring to them. Recent
examples of how this market intimacy
has innovated our business are
plentiful. In 2016 we completed the
acquisition of Almeric Ltd, the Siemens
automation partner in the Republic of
Ireland. This acquisition meant that we
became the Siemens partner across
Ireland, for the full Siemens industrial
automation portfolio. InSeptember
2018 we acquired Industrial Valve
Specialists Ltd, a Northern Irish
specialist supplier of valves, enhancing
our offering to the process industry.
These two acquisitions have given
us access to a range of products and
solutions that support and amplified
our traditional core offerings into the
OEM and process end-user markets.
We now have a presence throughout
the manufacturing process: electrical
distribution and energy management,
machine and process automation and
control, process measurement and
optimisation, machine and process
safety, reporting and SCADA. More
important than access to products and
solutions, however, is the fact that the
two acquisitions have been successful
because they were Park people –
they work hard for their customers,
they grab opportunities and they are
experts in their disciplines.
Embracing change
The diverse technology and
corresponding opportunities of the
Left: Industrial Valve
Specialists, acquired by
Park Electrical in 2018
Right: Jim McConachie,
founder of Park
Electrical, showcasing
the innovative features
of the Eldon range of
enclosures, circa 1975
Being useful
and valuable
to our
means that
we work
closely with
fourth industrial revolution mean that
companies partner and collaborate
in newer, more nimble ways in order
to share skills and experience. This
was the case when Kaizen PLM Ltd
was founded in December 2018. We
partnered with 3D Technology Ltd,
a Galway-based specialist supplier
of 3D printing systems, to create
Kaizen PLM Ltd as the only Irish-based
reseller for the Siemens PLM design
and simulation software systems. The
mission of Kaizen PLM Ltd is to help
Irish machine builders enhance their
competitive edge by using simulation
as part of their design process. This
involves creating and commissioning a
“digital twin” of their intended design
in the virtual world, and perfecting
the design before committing it to
the physical world. Early adopters
are seeing reductions in their all-
important time to market of 30 to
40 per cent with similar benefits in
The early days of Industry4.0 were
awash with buzzwords and confused
messaging. Significant tangible,
credible and meaningful improvements
in the competitive advantage of an
OEM, such as those afforded by
virtually commissioning a digital twin,
show that the technology has begun
to crystallise. None of this would be
possible without a technology-focused
supply chain bringing industry-leading
manufacturers’ solutions to meet
the demands of a diverse and ever-
changing market. Being a valuable
contributor to this supply chain has
been core to our success over the
last 46 years and will continue to be
a shaping and driving force for the
company into the future.
Championing people
The discussion above demonstrates
that the success of the company, and
indeed any enterprise, comes from the
people within the organisation. When
we go to the market to recruit, we
work on the basis that if we can find
someone who is diligent, enthusiastic
and competent, we have a really good
starting point. However, I can’t help
but feel that the education system
within the UK is missing an opportunity
to take more of a lead from industry in
terms of fine-tuning the skills of their
graduates, specifically in relation to the
convergence of engineering and IT.
Considering the rapid and constantly
accelerating pace of technology
change within the industry, as
demonstrated above, it is more critical
now than ever before that education
and industry are aligned.
Better equipped and more
appropriately trained graduates
entering the workforce would mean
that SMEs like us could reduce
our time to market. I believe that
universities and technical colleges
should see themselves as a digital twin
of industry, in tune with the skills and
technical experiences that are required
to flourish in the fourth industrial
The diverse
of the fourth
mean that
partner and
collaborate in
newer, more
nimble ways
Data changes the
manufacturing landscape

This article was sponsored by Park Electrical. 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 Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster