Who are Votec?
This was a question I first asked myself at the start of March 2017, when the director of an engineering recruitment agency first contacted me about a new role he was looking to fill.
Having lived in Essex for less than 5 years (and thus being a ‘blow in’ as they’d say where I’m from in Northern Ireland, where less than 30 years of residence qualifies you as a newcomer), I felt some research was required…
- They’re a control panel company. Check.
- They specialise in PLCs, HMIs and SCADA systems. Check.
- They design, build and program everything themselves ‘in-house’. Check.
- They’re based in the heart of the South East; Basildon, Essex. Check.
This was starting to look promising.
An initial meeting with Bob, the current director of Votec and one of its founders, confirmed what I thought; Votec was a good fit for me. But would I be a good fit for Votec?
Born in Larne, Northern Ireland in the late 1970s, my engineering career started in 1997 at FG Wilson Engineering, one of the world’s largest diesel generator manufacturers (handily located less than 2 miles from my family home). Starting as a student placement in the electrical design office I spent the next 15 years at FGW, apart from a year spent finishing off my degree at Queen’s University, Belfast.
Initially designing our generator control systems, I moved through the ranks from Graduate Electrical Engineer to Senior Engineer (receiving Chartership in 2004) and ultimately to Engineering Team Leader. My specialist subject (as they say on Mastermind) was the design, programming and testing/commissioning of Power Management Systems that we built in-house, utilising PLCs, HMIs and SCADA systems… hence my interest in Votec.
A jump across the water to the FGW dealer Progress Group (London office) in 2012 was followed by my time with E Rand & Sons (Ipswich) from 2015, both roles being in Electrical Project Management. Design of more in-house panel building, along with more software programming, was combined with project managing some major electrical installations in the South East of England.
Having also run my own Control Systems company, specialising in Allen Bradley PLC support & upgrades, I was excited at the prospect of taking over the running of Votec from Bob when I met him on that day back in April.
The possibility of expanding Votec from its current Water Treatment, Pharmaceutical, Food & Beverage industries base, into other areas such as Power Management, was something I felt I could bring to the table.
So was I a good fit for Votec? It would appear so.
A few months on and I’m glad to introduce myself as Votec’s new General Manager.
So who are Votec? I now know the answer to that question and if you’re reading this to find out for yourself, this website is a good starting point. From my point of view, I’ve only got positive things to report.
A great team of experienced hardware & software engineers and support staff, who bend over backwards to help their customers, would be how I’d describe my new team. Not forgetting Bob who, although now starting to ease into a well-earned retirement, is still around to help sustain the future of the company he started over 40 years ago.