BRAY Controls (UK) Ltd, the manufacturer of valves for the global flow control market, welcomed HRH The Princess Royal today (Wed 19 Feb 2014) to officially open a recently-completed £2.2 million expansion at its European headquarters in Inchinnan, Scotland.
During her tour of the new facility, the Princess met the 70-plus workforce who are fundamental to the success of Bray Controls, including staff who have been with the company since it opened in Scotland in 1990 and new apprentices learning their trade at the Inchinnan plant.
Craig Brown, chair and CEO of Bray International Inc, flew in from the corporate headquarters in Houston, Texas, especially for the Royal occasion.
George Crooks, managing director of Bray Controls in Europe, who accompanied the Princess during her visit, said: “We are honoured that The Princess Royal has officially opened our expanded facility, and met the people who have helped make it all possible.
“We boast a very loyal team of highly experienced employees, some of whom have stayed on past retirement, and continue to offer their key skills – along with a management team all appointed through internal promotion. We are very proud of them all.
“At Inchinnan, we have created a larger, more modern working environment for our team that befits a European headquarters, with improved customer communications, increased inventory holdings and test capabilities.
“This comes at a time when our business is enjoying rapid growth, as we introduce new products and expand into new territories. The visit by The Princess Royal represents recognition of these achievements for our entire workforce.”
The Princess Royal was shown demonstrations on the test rig, which guarantees customers packaged solutions that are fully factory set and tested ready for installation, and the most recent plant investment, the vertical lifting module, which saves time and space and affords complete stock management.
A division of the family owned Texas-based Bray International Inc, the Inchinnan facility has increased from 27,000 sq ft to 37,000 sq ft, with the potential for a further 10,000 sq ft to be added to the site in the future. Employees in France, Germany, Holland, Poland, Russia and Dubai, all report into the Scottish-based European headquarters.
Success can be attributed to a strategy of targeting specific growing economies and expanding into new markets in the Middle East and Africa. The introduction of new products to an already fully integrated and comprehensive catalogue of valves, actuators and accessories, has also helped place Bray Controls at the forefront of the global butterfly valve and flow control market.
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More about Bray Controls
Bray International has remained a family owned company since it was set up in 1986, now operating out of 17 locations worldwide and with a total staff of more than 1600. Its name originated from the surnames of the two company founders Chairman, Frank Raymond, and President and CEO, Craig Brown. Their decision against floating the company was driven by the desire not to be governed by shareholders demanding large profits but, instead, to invest profits back into the business and achieve growth and stability in what is an ever changing global market place. The passion prevalent throughout Bray International is one that comes from the entrepreneurial spirit of the co-founders.
With great faith in the technical expertise of the Scottish workforce, they set up Bray Controls (UK) Ltd in 1990 to tap into the European market. Amidst turbulent times in the economy, Bray Controls has succeeded in bucking the trend by experiencing rapid growth, most dramatically over the past few years when turnover has almost doubled.
Major projects currently underway for Bray Controls include the supply of valves to the Sadara Chemical Company in Saudi Arabia. A little closer to home is the supply to Thames Oilport, a state of the art terminal being created on the River Thames estuary. This move into the oil and gas sector is an exciting new prospect for Bray, whilst key and established industries such as distilling and desalination remain core to the company’s success.
Bray Controls modular product line of butterfly valves, actuators and accessories offers compatibility, economy and quality performance in the flow control industry – manufacturing facilities are certified to ISO 9001 quality standards. Rugged and reliable, they are engineered to provide years of trouble free service. Thanks to years of field application experience, research and development, Bray has designed products that meet stringent requirements and have earned it a reputation for excellence and precision manufacturing, providing personalised customer service and emphasising on-time deliveries. With a commitment to customer support, each region maintains a factory certified sales and service network for all Bray International products.
Since the early days, the company has maintained a policy of dedicated learning and training to achieve continuous improvement. It offers and encourages all staff to undertake personal development via internal and external courses. It employs two young apprentices.
As well as a management team who have all been appointed through internal promotion, including managing director, George Crooks, it has members of staff who have been with the company since the incorporation of Bray UK in 1990 and some who have chosen to continue working beyond the age of retirement. Bray is happy to accommodate reduced hours, as it recognises the real benefits of retaining key skills within the company. More than 50 per cent of the workforce have been recognised for five years service, around 30 per cent for ten years and eight per cent have achieved 20-Year Service Awards.
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