IMI Truflo Marine Company History

Specialist Nuclear Valve Manufacturers

IMI Truflo Marine

IMI Truflo Marine are one of the great British engineering success stories based in the heart of Birmingham. I’m proud to have been the lead in their marketing and re-branding efforts, preparing them for their next chapter.

Part of IMI plc’s IMI Critical Engineering group, IMI Truflo Marine design and make high-integrity ball valves for the civil nuclear and defence marine industries. Truflo Marine, as they were initially known, are proud to have worked on valve solutions for HMS Dreadnought, the UK’s first nuclear submarine and also the installation of valves on some of the first nuclear power stations to be commissioned in the British Isles that are still in service over 40 years later.

Over the last half-century, IMI Truflo Marine have accumulated a wealth of experience in providing high integrity valves and actuators for use in critical and severe service applications. IMI Truflo Marine maintain a huge database of valves and spares kits supplied for critical and severe applications over the past 40 plus years. The biggest benefit of such a large, specialised database, is that IMI Truflo Marine can produce new kits for obsolete parts and have an amazing library to refer to when creating new bespoke items.

Great Working Relationships and High Standards

On a personal level, I loved the atmosphere at IMI Truflo Marine. The business is well organised and I was amazed at how everything was so clean. I’ve never been anywhere as clean as this, and would never expect such attention to detail in a factory environment.

A big reason behind this attitude and high standards is that finished products have critical nuclear and marine applications. They are build to last and endure in severe conditions where failure is not an option.

To maintain such high standards, IMI Truflo Marine really invests in lean organisation and management techniques, seeking continual improvement. The working environment is regularly checked for safety and there is a constant effort on the part of all employees to keep improving standards.

Contact Details

Truflo Marine Ltd
Westwood Road
B6 7JF

T: +44 121 327 4789
F: +44 121 327 4132

IMI Truflo Marine Company History

1962 – Established as a producer of valves for naval marine and oil & gas production
1994 – Owners Charles Baynes plc decide Truflo Marine should focus on the naval marine industry
1994 – Truflo Rona support the oil and gas industry formerly supplied by Truflo Marine
2002 – Charles Baynes plc, renamed FCX International plc, Truflo Marine renamed FCX Truflo Marine
2005 – FCX International plc sell Distribution Divisions, but retain Truflo International group
2006 – IMI plc bought the Truflo International Group in a deal worth £113m
2006 – Truflo Marine are added to IMI plc’s Nuclear division
2013 – IMI Severe Service Award winners
2014 – Truflo Marine become part of the IMI Critical Engineering group
2016 – Truflo Marine complete re-brand to become IMI Truflo Marine
2016 – IMI Truflo Marine win Best Innovative Idea for Exploitation award

Producing Ship and submarine valves since 1962, IMI Truflo Marine have a rich history, yet have always operated from the same site in Witton, Birmingham, since Wilmot Breedon established the original company in 1962.

Originally, Truflo Ltd made valves for the oil and gas market as well as for the naval marine market. In 1994, then owners Charles Baynes plc decided that Truflo Marine should focus on the naval marine industry. Charles Baynes plc was renamed FCX International plc, and quoted on the London Stock Exchange until a management buyout in July 2002 created a privately owned group of primary flow control distribution and manufacturing companies in addition to a Truflo International group.

The Distribution Divisions of FCX International’s primary flow control distribution and manufacturing group were sold off in 2005, but the Truflo International group remained to focus solely on the specialist manufacture of valves, instruments and related flow control products.

In May 2006, the international engineering business IMI plc bought the Truflo International Group in a deal worth £113m and Truflo Marine became part of the Nuclear division of IMI plc. IMI is a dynamic, worldwide engineering company delivering innovative solutions to leading customers in clearly defined niche markets.

Today, Truflo is part of IMI plc’s IMI Critical Engineering group, having completed its re-brand in 2016 and is very much a low-volume producer of highly specialised valves and solutions for some of the world’s most safety critical applications.

High-Integrity Valve Supplier

Truflo Marine’s pioneering work on HMS Dreadnought, the UK’s first nuclear submarine, was the beginning of a series of innovations for Britain’s Royal Navy and many other navies worldwide. The list now includes state-of-the-art Astute Class, described as “more complex than the Space Shuttle”, as well as the Vanguard and Trafalgar Class submarines.

IMI Truflo Marine now proudly leads the World in the design, manufacture and supply of submarine and ship valves, with over 100,000 valves currently in service with over 20 navies worldwide.

The first valves IMI Truflo Marine supplied to the nuclear industry were installed in Britain’s Heysham 2 and Torness nuclear power plants in 1975. Since then, IMI Truflo Marine have supplied thousands of valves to nuclear power generation customers across the world.

IMI Critical Engineering Specialist Valve Producer

Due to the highly specialised and bespoke nature of producing valves for the latest nuclear submarines and critical valves on nuclear power stations, IMI Truflo Marine found themselves both in IMI plc’s Critical Engineering group and as a specialised valve producer within that group.

Engineering Design Excellence

IMI Truflo Marine’s highly experienced team of design engineers are experts at providing custom-made solutions to suit the specific needs of their customers. To back up their bespoke design expertise, IMI Truflo Marine also have a highly trained team of manufacturing staff and vigilant quality assurance team, who ensure that the products supplied have been manufactured to the highest possible standards, fully tested and validated, and come complete with detailed documentation providing full traceability.

Continuous Improvement

IMI Truflo Marine are committed to achieving the highest standards, maintaining that high-bar through continuous improvement. ISO 9001 and 14001 accredited, IMI Truflo Marine put these accreditations to good use very day, building on old systems, to deliver consistent small changes to improve quality and/or efficiency.

Rather than just achieving ISO accreditation for a certificate to hang on a wall and numbers to add into email signatures, IMI Truflo Marine are constantly learning from what they did yesterday and improving on it today to make a better tomorrow.

IMI Severe Service Award

At the end of 2013, Truflo submitted an entry to the Severe Service Awards Process. Severe Service being the IMI platform to which Truflo were part of at that time, before becoming a brand under the Critical Engineering umbrella.

In March 2014, IMI Truflo Marine won award in recognition of their outstanding commitment to the IMI Way. IMI Truflo Marine had greatly impressed the Severe Service Awards panel and Managing Director Clayton Manley, was presented with a trophy at the Severe Service Leaders Conference.

The award was presented for work undertaken in Continuous Improvement and work in support of the IMI Way, particularly IMI Truflo Marine’s continued commitment to their community partners John Taylor Hospice & Support our Soldiers.

Valve Innovation Award

One of IMI Truflo Marine’s latest successes involves a knowledge transfer partnership with The University of Birmingham. News of this partnership was also on published on Truflo’s website. The old Truflo Marine website has now been shut down and re-directed to IMI Critical’s website.

The story of IMI Truflo Marine’s knowledge transfer partnership was about Dr Catalin Pruncu, the man who developed a revolutionary hard-seated ball valve for the company.

Best Innovative Idea for Exploitation 2016

Dr. Catalin Pruncu and IMI Truflo Marine won the 2016 award for ‘Best Innovative Idea for Exploitation’, a national award run by the University of Birmingham and sponsored by Forresters that aims to encourage British companies to develop new ideas and exploit them for commercial advantage.

IMI Truflo Marine’s winning entry was an innovative ball valve initially designed to isolate the power station’s core in the event of an emergency. The valve designed has a hard metal seat in order to withstand high temperatures exceeding 600°C. The valve has been designed as part of a project in partnership with the University of Birmingham. Under the supervision of IMI Critical’s Valve Doctor, Tony Hill and Dr Karl Dearn from the University of Birmingham, Dr. Catalin Pruncu has been developing the ground breaking metal-seated ball valve to have a reduced torque factor when compared to similar valves, resulting in reduced wear, delivering excellent reliability, performance and safety.

British Nuclear Industry Expansion

The civil nuclear industry in the United Kingdom is set to expand with several new-build projects on the horizon. This is an exciting time to be in the civil nuclear industry and IMI Truflo Marine aim to engineer GREAT solutions to aid industry growth. “Competitions like these are really good because they provide a platform for new ideas, encouraging innovators to release even better products into the competitive nuclear market” said Dr Pruncu.

The United Kingdom is well-known for creating new innovations, but is less well-known for exploiting those innovative ideas. Open to UK companies of any size, the ‘Best Innovative Idea for Exploitation’ competition aims to improve the UK’s competitiveness by supporting companies that have innovative ideas and are looking for ways to commercialise them.

Judging And Awards

Applications were judged according to potential for commercial viability, likelihood of success and benefits to the partners involved. After presenting a strong, well-researched proposal, IMI Truflo Marine picked up the award’s winning prize of £5,000 and invaluable Intellectual Property advice; including patent and trademark attorney support.

IMI Truflo Marine Project Schedule

Now that the research phase has been completed and the necessary Intellectual Property protections are now under way, work on the project is moving forward in earnest with a completion date set for December.

The planned schedule for completion is as below:

  • July – IMI Truflo Marine commission valve prototype build
  • September – prototype valve testing (high temperature pressure and cycling tests)*
  • November – prototype design evaluation
  • December – completion of prototype ball valve

*The current plan for testing includes only pressure and cycling tests conducted at high temperature in order to provide practical validation of the product. Once the prototype valve has been completed and approved, the valve can be tested in accordance with customer requirements including seismic, shock, fatigue, noise and fire testing amongst others.

IMI Truflo Marine see this award as the continuation of their commitment to innovation and will seek to find more ways of providing great solutions for companies in the nuclear power industry. Once complete, the ball valve will become part of IMI Truflo Marine’s growing nuclear range.

Health Safety & Environmental Policy

IMI Truflo Marine Were awarded ISO 14001 accreditation in 2008. This accreditation covers all environmental aspects of the manufacturing processes and extends to the environmental impact of IMI Truflo Marine’s routine operations.

ISO 14001 accreditation is a way for IMI Truflo Marine to pro-actively identify and nullify any potential environmental risks that may arise as part of their normal business practices, before any negative impact arises.

IMI Truflo Marine also aim to to create the safest possible environment for all staff, visitors and non-employees whilst in the workplace. IMI Truflo Marine meet or exceed all health and safety laws and regulations and have a record of zero Lost-Time Accidents (LTAs) since they started keeping records over 15 years ago.* All employees, visitors and non-employees understand their health and safety responsibilities and adhere to our expectations, which are to:

  • Immediately report any potential unsafe or harmful situations
  • Identify and address risk in operations and associated hazards to provide safe working conditions
  • Monitor and investigate accidents and near misses to identify root causes and prevent further occurrences
  • Align company operations with good health and safety practices
  • Communicate and seek advice from the relevant regulatory authorities or IMI group risk management
  • Use opportunities for health and safety to improve and ensure the safety of our products to our customers

Corporate Social Responsibility

Often referred to as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), IMI Truflo Marine take their responsibilities to the environment and the communities in which they operate very seriously.

IMI Truflo Marine maintain high standards of responsibility, placing particular emphasis on ensuring the management of social, environmental and economic issues is aligned and integrated with the overall management of the business.

As part of the IMI group of companies, IMI Truflo Marine follow the group ethos, which is a guiding light to help all employees consistently demonstrate their commitment to The IMI Way. Every employee is a leader and works towards a guiding set of values that exemplify how they should all behave.

The IMI Leader lives the IMI values of Integrity, Excellence, Innovation and Collaboration. Every single day, the IMI Leader will:

  • Connect
  • Learn
  • Improve
  • Deliver
  • Lead

Charity Work

Business plays an integral and influential participant in society and IMI Truflo Marine recognise this, taking steps to encourage and support projects and activities that strengthen the communities in which their employees live and work.

IMI Truflo Marine demonstrate their support for charitable work and employees’ involvement in in their local communities, with a commitment to:

  • Supporting registered charities in the community in which we operate, with the aim of giving people/communities opportunities they may otherwise not have. Our corporate charity is Acorns Children’s Hospice
  • Supporting our employees in efforts to raise money or become involved with charities or the local community
  • Connecting with the wider community
  • Where possible, retain a direct link between the business and the causes supported
  • Encouraging staff to recommend special causes which are directly related to their own lives

As a result of these commitments, IMI Truflo Marine have been able to support primary schools, local football teams, choirs and other inspirational causes, all less likely to secure donations through national campaigns. The great benefit of this is that IMI Truflo Marine are able to retain a healthy emotional connection between their business, its employees and the wider community.

New Manufacturing Facility

IMI Truflo Marine staff at site of new facility

At the end of 2020, IMI Truflo Marine announced that they would be leaving their current site on Dulverton Road in order to occupy a new, state of the art facility that will be constructed nearby.

“The new facility will not only create a world class manufacturing facility for our customers, our employees and our stakeholders but will also serve as a centre of Engineering excellence to support our market.” – Mark Bloxham, Managing Director at IMI Truflo Marine

Construction is now underway as of January 2020.

*during the time I was working at IMI Truflo Marine until September 2016