News

NEW Product Line Manager

Hannah Verrall has recently been appointed to this role having previously been in the position of Aftermarket Manager. Hannah takes over from the previous Product Line Manager, Darren Martin who has been promoted to become the Strategic Account Manager for the Chemical Team. Hannah will be responsible for developing and executing product development roadmaps, which encompasses marketing and pricing strategies aimed at growing market share. She is keen to align HMD Kontro product development with the target market.

Hannah Verrall

Hannah already has a strong working relationship with the internal HMD Kontro internal team, the sales team and customers. She is eager to develop these relationships further through virtual and face-to-face meetings.

In 2012, Hannah joined HMD Kontro as a postgraduate having studied at Cardiff University. Hannah believes she brings a range of skills to her new role, which have evolved through her nine years of experience with HMD Kontro. Previously, she spent six years in Applications, proposing pump packages to a wide range of users, and three years as Aftermarket Manager where she enjoyed supporting customers and solving problems.

Her first goal is to assist with the successful roll-out of the latest product line, namely the CSA/CSI chemical service pump range. She will also be keen to identify and put forward business plans for other product opportunities. Here she is looking forward to working with the New Product Development team more closely, collaborating with the commercial team on HMD Kontro product introductions and getting to grips with the marketing side of operations.

So how do Hannah’s colleagues describe her? Positive, approachable, friendly, motivational, a dynamic thinker and efficient – all the attributes that will pay dividends in her new position.

Stuart Pugh Retires After 36 Years With HMD Kontro

We couldn’t let Stuart Pugh go without a bit of a send-off. He has after all been with HMD Kontro for 36 years and certainly deserves his retirement.

On a recent Friday evening, Stuart thought he was just going to the Eastbourne United Football Club for a couple of beers with some close colleagues. But in true HMD Kontro style, we had other plans!

Stuart Pugh

We wanted to give him a great send-off. The staff were informed of the event and they didn’t disappoint and came along to raise a glass to a well-liked colleague. It certainly was a big surprise for Stuart, which he really enjoyed.

Over the years, Stuart worked at the Unigate Dairy as a Maintenance Engineer before joining us as a Centre Lathe Turner in 1985. He was only with us for sixteen months before joining a rival pump manufacturer. That didn’t last long and Stuart was back with HMD Kontro in 1987 and has stayed ever since.

We would like to wish Stuart a long and happy retirement. We understand he is looking forward to spending more time with his family and beloved motorbikes.

HMD Kontro Appoints New Health & Safety Reps

The importance of health & safety at HMD Kontro is never underestimated and it is something that is taken extremely seriously. Employees, sub-contractors, customers, visitors and any members of the public are all taken into consideration when ensuring the company’s premises are as safe as possible and so revitalising the team was considered very important and vital. Consequently, a company election was held to appoint new Health & Safety representatives. The outcome was that HMD Kontro now has a team made up predominantly of new employee safety reps who will work alongside the two existing and experienced representatives.

Promoting free-flowing and candid conversations

Bi-monthly committee meetings are planned with the most recent one attended by the newly appointed representatives. All in all, it was very successful as everyone came well prepared and all brought something to the table allowing for a free-flowing and candid discussion and if there are any issues or concerns that arise between meetings, these can be raised with the EHS manager. It is hoped that the new reps will be as proactive as possible and already they are being utilised for incident investigation. This will not only give them an insight into a range of situations, but also enable them to give their viewpoint on activities and solutions. Further training will be provided to help the reps settle into and be confident in their new roles.

 

Health and Safety Team

Above (from left to right): Andy Mann, Liane Emery, Andy Schlotter, Claire Penfold, Brian Cordingley.

 

What do the Health & Safety Reps say?

Brian Cordingley – Storeman – “My aim is to help the team make HMD Kontro a safe and enjoyable place to work.”

Claire Penfold – Factory, Shop Floor – “I want to understand more about the health and safety side of the business. It will enable me to help my colleagues and to also assist the company in recognising where workplace related problems could occur. I’ll be a small part of the team to help overcome and solve problems that may arise.”

Liane Emery – Service Co-ordinator – “Having been with HMD Kontro for twelve years, I jumped at the opportunity to be a Health & Safety Rep. My aim is to help David and the team bring awareness and make the work areas safer places to be, which will ensure better safety for everyone.”

Andy Schlotter – Paint Sprayer – “I became a rep four years ago with my main reason being that I felt quite strongly about safety in the work place and wanted to try to improve people’s awareness of it and help in some small way. Everyone should be aware of how dangerous it can be working in a manufacturing and engineering environment. As I have spent all my working life in this industry, I feel I do know about the types of dangers it can bring. By educating others, I feel I’ve helped in my own way. The paint shop also brings with it some unpleasant and dangerous substances and so this has made me very aware about being vigilant in my every day job and hopefully I can make others aware of good practices.”

Andrew Mann IEng MIMechE – Senior Product Engineer – “I became a Health & Safety Rep about five years ago and have now been re-elected for a second five year term. I took on the role to help maintain, support and improve the health and safety of our workplace in order to ensure a safe working environment for all HMD employees. I bring to the role previous experience, which I hope will help the new members of the ‘safety team’. I want to continue and encourage staff to raise safety concerns, whilst broadly assisting in the general overview of the company safety systems ensuring we all go home safely at the end of each working day. I would like to specialise my Health & Safety representative role in the Display Screen Equipment (DSE) regulations and assessment.”

 

Looking after the mental health of employees

Mental health is a big issue in the workplace today and consequently, HMD Kontro also has two mental health first aiders onsite. These roles are currently completely separate from the safety representative roles although there is nothing to prevent a member of staff having both positions should they wish to put themselves forward when there is a vacancy.

HMD Kontro – safe pumps and a safe place to work

With the new appointments, HMD Kontro now has two office reps and two factory reps. Despite an imminent retirement, one of the HMD Kontro Health & Safety reps is staying on as part of the team in the role of mentor for the new appointees and will be working alongside them to pass on valuable information and lessons that have been learned over the years. HMD Kontro sealless pumps are inherently safe thanks to them being completely leak free and this fits perfectly with the company’s focus on site safety.

On The Grid

HMD Kontro is delighted to be sponsoring Neil Jessop in this season’s Modified Ford Series. Neil was ready and almost on the starting grid for last season’s series when you could say the pandemic literally threw a ‘spanner into the works’. Not surprisingly, there was no racing last year, but Neil is more hopeful that there will be meetings this year as the UK begins to open up. He is prepared and raring to go and race in the Modified Ford Series in his Ford Escort sporting the HMD Kontro logo and brand.

Neil Jessop Car

 

HMD Kontro Branding Doing The Circuit

The series was established to provide ‘the place to race’ for the huge variation of modified Ford (production) cars that have been developed over the last fifty years. The classic Ford cars which must be pre-2010 race in various categories determined by their engine size. Neil and his Ford Escort will be racing in the 2.0 Litre class B, which also features Ford Sierras and Capris. The shiny black Escort is a 1978 Mark 2 classic car. However, Neil points out that all that remains of the original car is the shell as it has been completely refitted with modern racing components. The shiny black Ford Escort certainly stands out with its new livery including red and yellow stripes and orange HMD Kontro branding.

 

Modified Ford Series

The Modified Ford Series will comprise eight races at famous racetracks including Lydden Hill in Kent, Donnington Park and Mallory Park, both in Leicestershire, the Cadwell Park circuit in Lincolnshire referred to as the ‘Mini Nurburgring’ and Brands Hatch. Neil intends to go to as many as he can although distance sometimes dictates that this is not possible. Although the cars do not have speedometers, they can reach speeds of up to 140mph. Races involve fifteen minutes of qualifying to establish a grid position followed by two fifteen-minute races.

 

A racing love affair that started at Arlington race track

Neil Jessop joined HMD Kontro in 1998, just over twenty-two years ago and today he runs tests on the sealless pumps once they have been produced. Coincidentally, his love affair with cars and racing started at this time. It was at Arlington race track near Eastbourne where he first started racing stock cars and then went on to hot rods, racing on different tracks in the south east. A progression to circuit racing from the oval racetrack followed some ten years later. It was then that Neil started building his own cars including a Silhouette, based on a Peugeot 206, which is all pretty technical stuff involving a tubular chassis with fibreglass panels. However, for a pump test engineer, it’s just what comes naturally!

 

Opportunities with HMD Kontro

HMD Kontro is delighted to sponsor Neil in the forthcoming season of racing and demonstrates another way of how we help our staff. If you are looking to work for a progressive company that manufactures sealless pumps, please see www.hmdkontro.com/recruitment.

HMD Kontro Encourages Women In Engineering

As an Equal Opportunity Employer, HMD Kontro has been at the forefront of encouraging women to take on engineering roles. We were therefore delighted to feature in the Business Edge magazine published by the Sussex Chamber of Commerce. Jenny Woollett, our HR Manager talks candidly about how HMD Kontro actively pushes for women to take up positions in engineering roles

Women in Engineering

 

That was not all! We also made it to the front cover of the magazine with Jo Whitling, one of our Technical Support Engineers, featuring with a picture taken in the reception area of our Eastbourne headquarters. It’s no secret that historically engineering has been a male-dominated industry, but HMD Kontro is helping to change this by encouraging more women to take up engineering, with the career opportunities it opens up.

 

HMD Kontro is a member of Women in Engineering Society (WES)

The Sussex Chamber of Commerce produces the Business Edge magazine six times a year. The April/May issue centres on the topic of Employment and Skills. As a company we actively push for women to take up engineering positions. Jenny discusses this in detail and also talks about how HMD Kontro became a member of the Women in Engineering Society (WES) in 2019.

This is a professional network of women engineers, scientists and technologists, which offers inspiration, support and professional development. Several employees from the company have been given annual individual WES membership so that they can reap as much as possible from this prestigious society, which boasts the largest network of women engineers in the UK. It highlights that HMD Kontro is fully committed to supporting WES in its campaign for gender diversity in engineering.

 

Women in engineering bring a diversity of skills and approaches

The article features two of those who perfectly highlight the increasing role that women are playing in engineering at HMD Kontro, namely Hannah Verrall, our Aftermarket Manager and Jo Whitling. They have been working for the company for nine and thirteen years respectively and are testament to HMD Kontro’s supportive culture. Both outline how they are able to have a well-balanced work and home life having young families. They come from contrasting backgrounds bringing a diversity of skills, approaches and opinions.

 

Hannah Verrall training to be a Chartered Engineer (CEng)

Hannah chose to study engineering at Cardiff University and is now training to be a Chartered Engineer (CEng). She joined HMD Kontro as a postgraduate with two years experience and now manages a team of six. CEng is an internationally recognised qualification, which will emphasise her professional competence and commitment as an engineer. Attaining this status will put her into a very select group. Current statistics suggest that less than 13% of all engineers are women with only 5% of registered engineers and technicians being female, which includes those having achieved Chartered (CEng) status.

 

Jo Whitling becomes an Engineering Technician (EngTech)

The article also features Jo Whitling, who always knew her career would involve doing something technical. Five years ago, an opportunity arose at HMD Kontro to train as an EngTech and Jo jumped at this. This qualification is a formal recognition of engineering skills and competence and a vital stepping stone towards becoming an Incorporated Chartered Engineer. In September 2020, Jo started an Electrical Installation course, which she hopes to complete soon.

 

Talks and workshops about ‘Women in Engineering’

Jo also went into Hastings College to talk about ‘Women in Engineering’ to the students before the pandemic. This is something that Jo and Hannah plan to continue and are looking forward to hearing from local schools and colleges who would be interested in talks and workshops once the restrictions are lifted.

 

Opportunities for female engineers with HMD Kontro

HMD Kontro is always looking towards recruiting more women in the roles of apprentices and engineers. For more details and a current list of vacancies at HMD Kontro and to register your interest if an opportunity becomes available, please visit: hmdkontro.com/recruitment. The Business Edge magazine article can be seen by going to pages 20 and 21 here: https://issuu.com/distinctivepublishing/docs/be60