COMPANY

UK VALVE MANUFACTURER SINCE 1977

 
 
 

A UK manufacturer, supplying high-quality valves to the oil & gas industry since 1977.

 

Company Overview

 

We design, manufacture and deliver high-quality valves for critical applications. In doing so, we have gained approvals from major, global oil and gas providers and built an enviable reputation with our customers.

When you buy from Alco Valves you can be very confident in the quality and integrity of the product you are buying. We achieve this through tight control and continuous improvement in our manufacturing and quality control processes.

 

To meet the ever-changing needs of the oil and gas market, it’s essential that we keep a close eye on the future and are able to track and satisfy changing customer needs. That is why we have such a strong focus on recruiting and developing high-calibre staff, and developing our R&D and bespoke manufacturing capabilities.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

In September 2014, we were acquired by Graco Inc – a global specialist in fluid handling solutions, based in Minneapolis, USA.

The acquisition was one of mutual benefit, with Graco enhancing their presence in the oil and gas industry, whilst Alco retains its own identity however it has now been given the scalability to take it to the next level.

Graco has built a reputation for investing in long-term assets to generate growth in their group businesses – even during downturns like the one currently affecting the oil and gas industry.

Within our first three years as part of Graco, their philosophy has seen us move to a purpose-built, state of the art manufacturing facility, invest heavily in specialist CNC milling machinery, and continue to recruit, train and retain new apprentices and placement students within the business.

We are confident that in the coming years, we will see continued success for ourselves and the wider Graco group.

 Graco Inc.

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KEY PEOPLE WITHIN OUR ORGANISATION

 
 
 

Jochen Hennes

MANAGING DIRECTOR

 

In his long Graco career, Jochen has held diverse assignments of leadership and has delivered consistently strong results for various international business units. He joined Alco in January 2019 with a strong push for team performance to deliver a long-term, customer centric, approach to Alco’s future.

Jochen holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from the technical University of Dortmund in Germany with additional coursework in Communication Management. In prior work assignments outside of Graco, Jochen worked for a variety of markets inside and outside of Europe, including Product / Channel Marketing and Sales within diverse surface technology industries.

 
 
 

Joshua Malmquist

PRODUCTION DIRECTOR

 

Joshua joined Alco in March 2019 and is responsible for all aspects of Production and Procurement for the Alco Valves Group. With over 13 years of experience in engineering, including design and manufacturing, Joshua's capabilities ensure that Alco Valves products are produced to the highest standards for quality. Prior to joining Alco, Joshua was the Production Manager for Graco’s Chemical Injection cell in the Oil & Natural Gas Division.

Josh holds a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota where he also minored in Business Management.

 
 
 

Graham Ellis

HEAD OF COMMERCIAL

 

Graham joined Alco in August 2017. Prior to Alco he had 29 years’ experience in the valve industry covering products for the Oil & Gas, Power and Nuclear industries. This exposed him to key commercial management disciplines as well as Quality Management and Materials Technology.

At Alco, his key responsibilities are Commercial Management, Commercial Project Management and Key Account Management. Graham also holds a Postgraduate degree in Business Management.

 
 
 

James R. Strang

GROUP TECHNICAL DIRECTOR

 

In a dynamic, demanding sector Ron Strang provides the in-depth technical knowledge required to ensure that our products are effective, safe, compliant and that they meet the very specific needs of our customers.

Ron joined Alco in July 2015 as Group Technical Director with responsibility for the Technical,  Engineering, Quality and R&D departments. He has over 35 years’ experience in the valve industry, gained in roles with Serck Audco Valves, Orseal Valves and Shipham Valves, where he was Technical Director for 20 years. He is currently on the BSI valve standards committee and has presented various professional theses, studies and articles in international publications and conferences. He also carries out training for the British Valve & Actuator Association (BVAA) on European Directives.

Ron is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and has a Mechanical Engineering degree from Aston University, as well as an MBA from Hull University.

 
 
 

Cindy Craig

GENERAL MANAGER - AMERICAS

 

Cindy joined Alco in December 2018 as General Manager overseeing Alco’s operations throughout North and South America.

Cindy’s impressive career portfolio includes a number of demanding internal and external sales positions within the oil and gas industry. These include a role as Sales Executive for the Fortune 500 company MRC Global, a post which Cindy held for over 14 years and including a year working in Australia. Prior to this Cindy operated as Account Executive for the oil and gas supply chain Distribution Now (DNow). With her wide array of skills Cindy brings valuable experience to the Alco team.

 
 
 

Mark Seah

GENERAL MANAGER - ASIA PACIFIC

 

As General Manager of a growing business, Mark’s role involves building and maintaining a young, enthusiastic sales and technical team to grow our market presence in the region. He also maintains a close relationship with the UK business, to ensure that his local team benefit from the experience of the established UK business.

Mark joined Alco in October 2016 to help us build stronger relationships through a physical presence in the region in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Prior to Alco, he had gained over 10 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry within the Asia Pacific region, and also completed national service with the Singapore Armed Forces Commandos.

Mark holds a graduate diploma in Marketing & Public Relations from Oxford University.

 
 
 

GLOBAL OFFICES

 

As well as our Head Office in the UK, we have a presence in seven other territories throughout the world. We also have a network of global partners in other parts of the world, who can advise you on the most cost-effective way for you to buy our valves locally.

 
 
 
 

Graduate Opportunities & Apprenticeships

 
graduate-programs
 

Student Placements & Graduate opportunities

 

Student placements are another great opportunity for us to bring new skills and ideas into the business, from students who already have an in-depth knowledge of engineering theory. You will be exposed very quickly to projects that will build on your academic knowledge, leaving you with very useful experience to build on when you complete your studies.

Recent students have taken up very hands-on roles, with several of them returning to the business permanently after their studies, to take up senior management roles.

Contact us if you would like to discuss how your experience and qualifications could help us grow our business further.

internships
 

Apprenticeships

 

Our engineering apprenticeships give you a structured programme of career development. This will include academic studies – typically NVQ and BTEC qualifications, with many apprentices going on to complete a HNC or HND qualification.

More importantly though, you will gain early exposure to important processes within the business such as quality management, sales and manufacturing. Many previous apprentices have progressed quickly into management roles as the business has grown.

 

“I joined Alco in 2013 on an apprenticeship which I’ve now completed. I’m now being supported to study my HNC in Mechanical Engineering, which I’m really looking forward to starting to develop my career even further.

I worked in several different departments as part of my apprenticeship and I now work on the larger valves such as subsea and large trunnion mounts. I find the work really interesting and I just want to keep working hard and progress further up the chain with Alco, and my HNC will help me do this. A lot of my friends from college also went through engineering apprenticeships and it feels like Alco compares very well with some of the other apprentice schemes my friends have been through.”

 
jordan-clavin

Jordan Clavin

ASSEMBLER & FITTER

“I joined Alco in 2013 partway through my apprenticeship and the company supported me in advancing on to my HNC, which I have now achieved. I really enjoy working at Alco because I like to be involved in key processes and I have had a lot of opportunities to do this.

I have had a really hands-on role with work such as fire testing and type approval testing, and I even flew to Oman to help a vendor set up their own testing procedures. I want to keep doing more of this kind of work and maybe get more involved with finished products that we develop within the R&D team. I feel like Alco really listen to their staff and give us all plenty of opportunities to progress.”

 
mark-smith

Mark Smith

R&D ENGINEER

“I really enjoy working so closely with customers - many of them in other parts of the world - and building relationships with them. I recently secured a very large contract for over 20 valves going to Egypt which was really rewarding and I got some great help from my colleagues to secure the deal.

I really enjoy working at Alco and having worked at the old premises and moved to the new one, it’s great to see that Graco are investing in us. I also feel that I personally am getting great support from the business to build my career and see a good future for myself here. ”

 
sam-walland

Sam Walland

APPRENTICE SALES SUPPORT ENGINEER

“My first experience of Alco was two weeks’ work experience while I was at 6th form college. That then turned into a part-time job, and when I completed college I started an apprenticeship and will start my HNC studies shortly.

What I enjoy most about working at Alco is the real responsibility you get. For example I am very involved in testing at all stages of the manufacturing process, and I have worked alongside third party inspectors to demonstrate my methods as part of our quality management accreditations. It just goes to show that if you work hard and use the knowledge you’ve picked up from your studies, you will get opportunities to progress quickly.”

 
josh-milthorpe

Josh Milthorpe

QUALITY CONTROL INSPECTOR

“I joined Alco in 2015 as an apprentice and have worked across the full range of valve products as an assembler. I am studying for an NVQ in Engineering Maintenance and I am impressed with how well my studies fit with the work I am doing.

I see good long-term potential at Alco and the things I enjoy most are the variety of the work, the fact that it’s challenging and teaches you new things regularly and the way the whole team work together and support one another.”

 
sam-lane

Sam Lane

APPRENTICE ASSEMBLER