“One small step” for Rockwell Automation, Remembered, 50 Years On
Published: 10 June 2019 - Sarah Mead
Rockwell Automation celebrates 50 years in the UK, marking the occasion with a staff event in Bletchley, on 23rd of May, the first of a series of activities to celebrate the occasion.
Just a couple of months after The Beatles’ last public concert from the top of Apple Corp on Saville Row, London, and a couple of months before Apollo 11 set humans on the surface of the moon, Allen-Bradley set up shop making switches and push buttons for industry in Bletchley. Now part of Rockwell Automation, Allen-Bradley, a US owned, globally recognised industrial trademark, has expanded from these first small-steps outside of North America, to operate in more than 80 countries around the world, and is part of the biggest company dedicated to industrial automation.
Far from forgetting its Yesterday though, Rockwell Automation still operates a significant presence in Bletchley, and benefits from the experience and continuity of staff that still remember the early days of Allen-Bradley in the UK. “People and teams make the company,” said David Gocher, site responsible manager and employee of 43 years. “A lot of our employees have enjoyed a long tenure. As a company we a have low attrition rate and benefit from retained knowledge due to that rich experience. We have nurtured a customer- and quality-oriented culture, evidence of which I see every day.” In fact, the average tenure of employment for Rockwell Automation staff at Bletchley is more than 15 years, with the newest member of the team about to celebrate their first full year.
The Rockwell Automation UK headquarters has been based in Milton Keynes since the 90s, but Bletchley is home to Rockwell’s EMEA remanufacturing Centre and the European Hub warehouse, part of Customer Support and Maintenance (CSM); and Consumer Goods and Heavy Industries application centres for the Systems & Solutions Business (SSB).
That the Bletchley site remains central to the EMEA operation of the company is fitting for the first location of Allen-Bradley outside of the United States. For UK Country Director Phil Hadfield, the importance of the company’s heritage is central to its vision for expanding human possibility around the world. “It’s fantastic to be marking 50 years in the UK, and I look forward to further celebrations throughout 2019. The UK operation proved to Allen-Bradley that it could operate globally, and when you look at the company today, that should be a source of immense pride to all those UK employees of Allen-Bradley and Rockwell Automation over the years. I am in no doubt that our continued success is due to the loyal, highly skilled and flexible workforce, who meet to our customers’ demands to ensure that that we, as a company deliver to our customers’ high expectations. It is these same principles that underpin our efforts to help our customers and the world expand human possibility in the era ahead – the exciting fourth industrial revolution, that has so much Rockwell Automation technology at its heart.”