Institution of Mechanical Engineers IMechE

Hugh Ford Management Lecture: Rotork, Renishaw and Spirax Sarco - the drivers for their success

22 February 2012

The West Country has three mid cap engineering businesses that have seen remarkable growth in the past 25 years.
Rotork, which is based in Bath, and was founded by Jeremy Fry, has become the world leader in industrial valve automation.
Renishaw, which was founded by Sir David McMurtry and John Deer, has become the world leader in metrology, providing products, software and systems for the highly accurate measurement of manufactured components and assemblies.
Spirax Sarco Engineering plc has two niche business areas: the steam business is the global leader in the supply of engineered solutions for the design, maintenance and operation of efficient steam systems. Its Watson Marlow subsidiary is the world leader in peristaltic pumps, a small but fast growing part of the global pumping market.
The lecture will explore the drivers for these businesses, dwelling on both the similarities and differences in their approach. The speaker intends to look at their history of developing world beating products, their development of exceptional worldwide sales and marketing structures, and their different approaches to manufacture. The lecture will also look at some of the issues around marketing input into the innovative process of developing new products.

Speaker: Bill Whiteley, Chairman, Spirax Sarco Engineering plc

Bill Whiteley is Chairman of Spirax Sarco Engineering plc, and Hill and Smith Holdings plc, senior independent director of Renishaw plc, and non executive director of Brammer plc.
Bill has a BSc in Economics and an honorary Doctorate in Engineering from the University of Bath. He is an FCMA.
He spent most of his career with Rotork plc. He joined the board in 1984, and became managing director of the actuation business in 1989, after running the North American operations. He became CEO in 1996 and retired in 2008.
He has been Chairman of the University of Baths Engineering IMRC, the British Valve and Actuator Manufacturers Association, and a non executive director of Roxboro/Dialight.


Play it back

: Bill Whiteley

Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes