Valeport Company Background
Established in 1969, Valeport designs and manufactures instrumentation for the oceanographic, hydrometric and hydrographic markets, with a worldwide customer base that includes the environmental, defence, oil & gas, renewable, construction, dredging and civil engineering sectors.
Key to our reputation for supplying high quality, reliable instrumentation is our philosophy of retaining all aspects of the development and manufacturing processes in-house. Our riverside premises in the picturesque town of Totnes in the southwest of the UK houses all our facilities for designing, CNC machining, environmental testing, assembly, calibration and servicing of all our instruments. This philosophy gives us complete control over every aspect of our products, allowing us to provide our customers with the right tools to do their jobs, with minimum fuss and maximum confidence.
In 2011, we recognised that a combination of this philosophy and our consistent growth meant that we were outgrowing our premises on the bank of the River Dart in Totnes, so we embarked upon the most significant step so far in Valeport’s history. In September 2013, the stunning Reade Building was completed; situated next door to our existing site, the 16,000ft² (1,600m²) 3½ storey building more than doubles our workspace, and houses our entire production facility with a fully equipped CNC machine shop, state of the art calibration laboratory, and two floors of ESD protected assembly workshop.
With half our staff now situated in the Reade Building, our existing 12,000 ft² (1,200m²) facility can now be utilised more efficiently, allowing us to further expand our R&D, sales and service capabilities as well as maintaining a second calibration laboratory dedicated to service and recalibration.
We firmly believe that by continuing to invest in our capabilities and facilities, and by having complete control over every aspect of product design, development and manufacture, we will continue to provide our customers with the high levels of quality, performance and service they have come to expect from us.
Valeport is a 100% family owned business; there are no external investors, and no shareholders outside Charles Quartley’s immediate family.
Whilst it is of course arguable that outside investment in a business is appropriate under certain circumstances, we feel that it is now one of our great strengths that we do not answer to anybody other than our customers. Of course we are obliged to act in the best interests of our shareholders, but we firmly believe that this is best achieved by putting the needs of our customers first.
This philosophy of always asking ourselves “what would I want if I were the customer” is at the heart of virtually everything we do.
- Introduction of 12 month service warranty on any Valeport product, no matter its age or history. Send it back for a service every year, and the warranty never runs out.
- Exclusive use of titanium as standard in virtually all subsea products, in order to eliminate corrosion issues associated with lower cost metals.
- Creation of anti-static environment for all storage, assembly, test, calibration and R&D areas within the premises to virtually eliminate electronic faults.
- Investment in our own CNC machine shop for production of all mechanical components, ensuring total control over quality and supply.
- Every product, both new and serviced, is pressure tested before dispatch so you can be confident it will perform in the field.
- Investment in stock to significantly reduce lead times on standard products, without relying on external factors over which we have no control, such as “Just in Time” supply chains.
One of the fundamental principles on which Valeport is built is the notion that we have to be in total control of all aspects of the business, from design through manufacture to test, calibration and service.
With the exception of certain bought in, industry standard sensors, everything we do is designed in house.
This policy requires a diverse range of skills in our R&D department, including CAD/CAM mechanical design, analogue and digital electronic design, a variety of programming languages including VHDL, C++, Delphi, VB and others for both embedded code and PC software, not to mention specialist knowledge in specific fields such as acoustics, electromagnetism, conductivity and radar.