Apprenticeships are not a new phenomenon, in fact, they have been around in some form since Medieval times and took on a more structured approach in 1563 when the Statute of Artificers created a regulated system that set out more exacting terms of the apprenticeship. Since then, apprenticeships have seen many changes, but the principle still stands; it is a method of teaching someone a trade in a ‘hands-on’ environment that leads to a qualification. [Read more…]
Apprenticeships are definitely a buzzword in our industry at the moment, along with the apprenticeship levy, skills gap and industrial strategy. They are all discussed at length, much tweeted about and frequently debated issues. [Read more…]
Engineering surrounds us, in everything we do. Every brand we engage with on a daily basis has engineering behind it. Engineering is a hugely varied and diverse industry, and it isn’t solely about mechanical engineering, even though traditionally this is where a lot of public perceptions are fixed. [Read more…]
The company are investing considerably in this key production area, on a new racking system and equipment update. They will look to recoup this investment in just 3-4 months through improved manufacturing efficiency. [Read more…]
It always seems to come around quickly year on year, but come Feb/March we start looking to recruit new apprentices to start our apprenticeship scheme in September. The summer period is an invaluable time to trial potential new apprentices on the shop floor to make sure that they are sure of their course, the direction they want to go in, and indeed if the reality of an engineering apprenticeship is really for them. It also gives us a useful insight into what interest and skills they might naturally have, and if working for Alltube will be for them. [Read more…]
Summer is always a bit of a weird time in manufacturing. To start with you have the constant pressure of staff rotation to deal with. People with children quite naturally want to take their holidays during the school holidays and, as this is usually most of any workforce, there is an annual juggling act to make sure that you have the right people around when you need them. [Read more…]
When it comes right down to it, most business, and indeed most things in general, are pretty simple at heart. In our case, we are called Alltube because basically, we make tubes. It seems a pretty easy equation; people want tube, we give to them. [Read more…]
Recently I was at an event. The type of event doesn’t really matter but it was one of those business gatherings. During a lull in the day I was having a cup of tea and chatting to someone when the inevitable ‘what is it you do’ question came up.
I explained that we were tube and pipe manipulators and fabricators and that we also produced hydraulic and pneumatic hose assemblies amongst other things. There was a pause and then the person I was chatting to said something that I have heard many, many times. He said
“So you work in quite a small specialist market then?”
This is a common misconception about what we do. I can see that from outside of the industry we could seem to be working a very small market but in actual fact you would be amazed at the range of customers we have.
As consumers we tend to see the whole of the final product and don’t give much regard to the individual components within it. So for example while you’re driving in to work tomorrow and you see a construction under way the chances are that the construction vehicles contain some of our hydraulic or pneumatic hose assemblies. The pipe and tubes we create will possibly be used in the final construction of the building itself. So the construction and building industries are part of our portfolio.
Further along you may see large agricultural machinery working in the fields. Again here we may well have provided components for both the machinery and later the manufacturing process that gets the food to the supermarket for you.
As far as the transport of the food to the supermarkets goes; well we could be there again somewhere in the build of the vehicles. In point of fact the automotive industry is one of our biggest consumers across our range. This includes the railway infrastructure where we may have provided products for the initial build and to replace those where the wear and tear of high-speed transportation has taken its toll. Shipping, mining and many other markets also use our designs and fabrications.
This brings us to the after market sales area. Many of our products are specifically designed and packaged for retail. This means complete kits and appropriate packaging for the client.
Of course before they reach the market a large percentage of our fabrications need to be designed to very specific client specifications. There is rarely a one size fits all solution so we need to design from scratch. This often involves working very closely with the client to ensure critical systems have exactly the right specifications for the build.
So, yes, we are very specialised in that we are experts in our field, but the markets we work with are far from limited and as we expand into Europe, that market is still growing.
Welcome to the first of our blog articles.
There is always a problem with beginnings. What to write about is a constant issue. So let’s start at the beginning.
The chances are that if you are reading this you are probably familiar with what we do and who we are but, just in case you have come to us from another source, let me just recap.
Alltube is based in Daventry (which is roughly in the centre of England) and amongst other things we are tube and pipe manipulators fabricators. We also produce hydraulic and pneumatic hose assemblies and a range of other services.
In fairness, we are pretty good at doing what we do. That’s not a surprise though because there is a wealth of experience here and we have been supplying clients large and small for over 20 years. Just to blow our own trumpet, I think it’s our knowledge and attention to our customers that keep us so busy. Looking back, I can think of numerous times when we have been presented with seemingly impossible requirements and managed to find a way to fulfill them. We are reliable, knowledgeable, and we see all our customers large or small as important. So, perhaps we are allowed the occasional moment of self-congratulation. As I said, we are good at what we do.
From where I am sitting I can hear the bending machine working amongst the general noise of the floor. If you have looked at our video you will see it in action. I am always impressed to see it producing piece after piece of perfectly formed pipe. Surrounding that machine are people handcrafting, finishing and dispatching all sorts of bespoke small and high volume jobs. The mix of human craft and machine precision is needed to produce the high specification requirements of our clients.
So back to this article then – what is it that we can tell you about the work we do here and the wider context of our business area? Well, clearly any news and interesting bits of information from inside our business would probably be of interest. So if anyone decides to climb Kilimanjaro dressed as a panda we will let you know.
We would also like these articles to be interesting and informative about other issues. So we will be scanning the news and writing about anything we feel of interest relating to the local, national and international engineering and fabrication business.
Beyond that we would like to throw it open to you. Is there an aspect of our industry you would like to know more about or some related subject you would like us cover? If so drop us an email, and we will see what we can do.
For the moment I will wrap this article up because we all play our part here and I can hear from the floor that one job has finished and another is being set up. I know this is a big roll out, so I am off to make myself useful.