Our Leadership

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Key Plant Automation leadership


Founder / Chairman

Kevin started his career in the gas and oil industry. He then moved into the welding and positioning sector, and managed a sales team, gaining invaluable knowledge of the industry. He subsequently founded Key Plant and was involved in every aspect of the business, from the general running to the design and manufacture of new product lines and all aspects of research and development.

Kevin has been the motivation behind the growth and expansion of the business over the years and has managed to build an impressive team of people who are highly respected within the industry.

Key Plant Automation leadership

Jon Grigg

Managing Director

Jon joined Key Plant in 1994 after finishing University.

Originally based in Liverpool, the company at that time specialised in rental and used equipment sales, with some small be-spoke manufacturing.

During the early years, Jon was instrumental in helping the company expand its sales into Northern Europe and in later years into Asia and North America.

Jon has travelled extensively over 25 years of working at Key Plant and has covered all aspects of the business, from purchase & sales ledger, finance and pay roll, shop floor and on-site installations, customer pass-offs, design and technical support, commercial distribution and business strategy. 

Jon is a shareholder in the business and responsible as the Managing Director for the day to day running of the business. 

Key Plant Automation leadership

Steve Grindey

Director of Engineering and Service

Steve joined Key Plant in 2001

Responsible for Engineering and Product Development, Software Development, Engineered and Designed Solutions, Electrical and Machine installation, Site Services, Customer Technical Support.

Steve oversees testing of the equipment at our factory and on site commissioning. Steve has travelled extensively, commissioning fully integrated systems worldwide.

Steve began his working career in 1990 at Bode Positioners in Leek, as a mechanical apprentice moving onto electrical control, incorporating 16th edition reg’s. Roles included working on sites across Europe and around the world installing individual machines or full systems to suit the customers requirements. Moving on to running projects with various companies inc ABB, Marconi Marine, BAE Land Systems, Bombardier, Rolls Royce and many more.

Steve is an industry leader in Positioning and Automation Equipment.

Key Plant Automation leadership

Ross McCrorie

Commercial Director

Ross joined Key Plant in 2021

He is responsible for all commercial activities & growth within Key Plant Automation and our North America subsidiary, Key Plant USA in Houston, Texas. Ross brings with him 27 years of knowledge, expertise and experience in weld automation, engineering, sales and service.

Starting his career as an apprentice serving engineer at Mathieson Welding, Ross studied and achieved his ONC and HNC in electrical and electronic engineering. He then moved to TPS-Fronius Ltd, as service engineer, and worked on the installation of hot wire cladding machines. Whilst at Fronius he progressed into a demonstration role, before successfully managing & building a weld automation division within the company which was strongly focused on hot wire cladding requirements.

After 10 years at Fronius, Ross joined the company Red-D-Arc as their business development manager, before quickly becoming the UK country manager. Prior to joining us here at Key Plant, for the last 6 years Ross held the position of Vice President of Red-D-Arc Europe/Middle East.

Ross has a degree in Business and Accounts.

Key Plant Automation leadership

Craig Parkes

General Manager

Craig joined Key Plant in 2016

Responsible for Managing Key Accounts and Technical Projects. Craig has successfully negotiated, installed and project managed large engineering and welding projects in both public and private sectors, with main focus on the defence and MOD sector. Craig has the ability to work alongside the customer and manage their needs and requirements at every level, to ensure a successful customer pass off and on-site installations.

Craig set out on his working career at Sandvik Stainless Steel where he began as a Electro/Mechanical apprentice trained at ONC and HNC Electrical / Electronic Engineering. During these 8 years Craig gained invaluable hands-on experience in welding various MMA, MIG, TIG applications.

Craig then worked for TPS Fronius in the UK for 11 years where he gained extensive experience as a Service and installation engineer, Demonstration & Application Engineer and Field Sales. Following on from Fronius, Craig worked for himself and has continued in the welding industry working as a Country Manager for Red D Arc before joining Key Plant.

Key Plant Automation leadership

Andy Parton

Technical Operations Manager

Andy joined Key Plant in 2005

Responsible for Product Sales, Special Automation Projects, Spares and Customer Support, Product Development, Software Development, Contract Review, International Freight Logistics, U.L./CSA Certification Updates and Inspections.

Educated 1990 – 1994 at the of University of Bradford, UK studying Chemical, Biochemical and Process Engineering. Previously employed by Akzo Nobel’s research headquarters in Arnhem and Bode Positioners, at our Key Plant facility in Leek. His role involved export customs procedure, licences/permits, letters of credit, trade finance and contract review. To support this roll Andy undertook a course run by the Institute of Export in London and obtained a Diploma in International Trade and Sales Contract Law.

Key Plant Automation leadership

Jesper Hansen

Global Technical Sales Manager (Renewables)

Jesper joined Key Plant in 2022.

He is responsible for leading and growing Key Plant’s hard automation solutions in the renewables / wind energy sector. With a career spanning four decades, Jesper brings to the Key Plant team a wealth of expertise, knowledge and experience in the production of wind towers and monopiles.

Jesper began his career in the wind tower market in 1992, at Rønde Svejseteknik as a service engineer, in his native Denmark. Through the years, Jesper continued to expand his knowledge within the industry, whilst also building his understanding of various welding methods (MIG/MAG, TIG, SAW etc).

After 10 years working in a service engineer role, Jesper moved into the world of technical sales.

In 2012 he joined Blaaholm, as Technical Sales Manager. After 10 great years at Blaaholm / Enabl, Jesper joined Key Plant. Jesper has had a working relationship with Key Plant for over 22 years, working on many wind farm projects together.

Jesper has extensively travelled the world, helping the biggest wind tower manufacturers optimise their production throughput with his innovative, forward thinking prowess.

Key Plant Automation leadership

Tony Tedeschi

UK Sales Manager

Tony joined Key Plant in 2022

Tony is responsible for supporting and growing our standard Key Plant weld automation, pipe fabrication equipment, and Cloos robotic welding offerings within the UK & Ireland markets, both on sales and rental.

Tony started his career as a Sales Engineer with PCT Group Middle East, based out in Dubai, covering the UAE and Caspian region. His primary focus was welding consumables, and mechanised welding, cutting and lifting equipment – within the role, included the demonstration of equipment to new and existing customers. After six successful years in the UAE, Tony moved back to Scotland, to carry out the same role for PCT Group UK. The following year, he moved on to the position of Regional Sales Manager with Gullco International UK, in the welding & cutting automation division. In this role Tony was tasked with overseeing the UK, Benelux, Spain, France and Portugal markets where he worked directly with distributors carrying out product training, demonstrations and business development.

Tony continued his weld automation focus in shipyard and offshore construction companies, joining WB Alloy Welding Products Ltd in Glasgow. In his role at WB Alloys, he progressed to special projects, on-site solutions, K-Tig welding and setting up distributors in Europe for WB Alloys range of products. Seven years later Tony joined TAG Pipe Equipment Specialist (SFE Group) as the Area Sales Manager, covering the UK & Europe, where he worked with end-users and distributors.

Key Plant Automation leadership

Nick Hill

Fabrication and Production Leader

Nick joined Key Plant in 2011

Responsible for all aspects of Welding, Fabrication, Robot Welding, Weld Inspection, Plate Preparation and Cutting. Nick is heavily involved in CNC Machining, programming and is hands-on in all areas of Machining and Fabrication and is the Production Team Leader. Nick is responsible for Weld Maps, implementation of Welding Procedures and CLOOS Welding Robots.

Nick joined Key Plant from JCB as a Welder Fabricator. During the first few years Nick was heavily involved in Jigs and Fixtures and up-scale manufacturing for volume production in the Key Plant Weld Shop. Nick was responsible for the set up and installation of the CLOOS Robots and is a trained programmer for Robotic welding. During this time, Nick was promoted to Lead Welder and later to Welding Team Leader. Nick is a coded welder and whilst working at Key Plant has qualified by TWI as a Specialist Diploma IWS in welding in 2018. He currently holds the position of Weld, Fabrication and Production Team Leader.

Key Plant Automation leadership

Mark Plant

Manufacturing Key Supply Chain Manager

Mark joined Key Plant in 2011

Responsible for General Production throughout the factory, liaising with department Team Leaders ensuring the manufactured product is despatched on time. Mark is responsible for Key Supply chain and specialising in steel production and purchasing of raw materials.

Mark began his working career at British Coal where he began as a Mechanical apprentice trained at ONC and HNC Mechanical Engineering. During these 10 years Mark gained invaluable hands-on experience in welding and fabrication. After leaving Bristol Coal, Mark set up his own business in sub-contract Fabrication specialising in Water Treatment. After 20 years Mark decided to join the Key Plant team as mechanical engineer and later moved into production management, a role he still is successfully undertaking.

Key Plant Automation leadership

Sharon Hughes

Production Manager, HR and HSE

Sharon joined Key Plant in 2012

Responsible for Day to Day running of the office environment. Sharon’s primary roles involve Administration, Human Resources, Health & Safety and Supply Chain of Bearings, Gearboxes and Mechanical Power. Sharon is highly qualified across these areas and brings experience and expertise in the day to day running of the business.

Sharon has worked exclusively within the supply chain of engineering and automotive sector since she left school. Throughout her working career Sharon has been very hands on and brings a highly technical background. Sharon has global import and export experience specialising in Bearings and Mechanical Power Transmission.

Key Plant Automation leadership

Rob Dawson

Financial Controller

Rob joined Key Plant in 2020, to head up the company’s finance team, as Key Plant’s growth in recent years combined with the opening of the new North America operation required the new role.

A Certified Chartered Accountant leaving college in 2008, he had been working as an accountant and auditor within private practice, managing a large portfolio of clients. Working with clients in an array of industries of varying sizes, Rob has been involved in many aspects of his client’s businesses and from all stages of a business lifecycle. Rob has gained valuable insights and skills required to run a successful finance function and picked up many other invaluable skills of commercial business.

The move to Key Plant is one that Rob can focus his knowledge and skills into one business and be a part of the continued growth and success of Key Plant for many years to come.

Key Plant Automation leadership

Matt Rushton

Marketing Lead

Matt joined Key Plant in 2019, to lead the company’s marketing drive as Key Plant expanded its North America operations with the opening of our new facility in Houston, Texas.

Highly proficient in graphic design and a certified CIW Web Design Professional, with an extensive knowledge in digital marketing practices. Matt has been involved in the design and print, web, and marketing industries for over 15 years. His ties with Key Plant going all the way back to 2005, where he designed one of the company’s product brochures.

Matt’s key responsibilities include website management, social media management, seo management, print, web and video content design, company literature design, lead generation marketing strategies and analytic research.

Key Plant USA

Houston, Texas.

Key Plant Automation leadership

Michael Keith

Director of Automation (North America)

Michael Keith started his career working at his family’s shipyard in Palatka, FL as a Welding/Fabricator, which has been owned and operated by his family since 1960. He took his welding and supervisor experience on to Fisher Barton in Fountain Inn, SC where he was a welding supervisor over 32 employees. He helped Fisher Barton implement lean manufacturing and ISO 9001.

In 2001 Michael went to work for Machine and Welding Supply in Greenville, SC as a Welding Specialist. Wanting to get back to his home state Florida, in 2008 he went to work for Airgas as an Automation Specialist. Where he consulted and engineered automated integration solutions, install, training and service of Hard, Flexible and Cutting equipment.  

In 2019 Michael started with Key Plant as the NA Director of Automation, responsibilities to start up the Americas Houston location, grow distributor base, customer consults to offer the right automated solution to optimize throughput, oversee US location engineering, integration, installs, sales and service.

Michael holds Advanced Welding Technology/AAS degree, AWS/CWS certification. He has held certifications in all the following: AWS/ASME – GMAW, FCAW, SMAW, GTAW and SAW.

Key Plant Automation leadership

Peter Wery

Global Technical Product Manager (Pipe Segment)

Joined Key Plant in 2016

Responsible for Managing Pipe Segment globally, Peter is responsible for all aspects of pipe preparation, pipe cutting and pipe welding. Peter manages product development, sales, rental and service both directly and through our global distributors. Peter’s experience is invaluable as he is an industry leader with over 25 years experience in the-field. The Key Plant pipe segment range includes pipe supports, pipe stands, end prep machines, pipe clamps, pipe conveyors, PWS and PPC welding systems. Pete is heavily involved in Tooling development both standard and special purpose tooling production for all types of special material together with onsite and robot welding.      

Peter began his engineering career in 1994 as a Senior Technical Project Manager in Belgium. During 19 years until 2013 Peter gained invaluable experience in all aspects of engineering, welding, installation and after sales service in pipe preparation, automotive and automation. Peter has travelled globally and has worked overseas, throughout North America, Asia and Europe.  From 2013 to 2015 Peter worked as a technical Manager in oil and gas sectors throughout Europe. Peter joined Key Plant in 2016 as Global Technical Product Manager specialising in the Oil and Gas sector.   

Key Plant Automation leadership

Sayer Hendricks

Integration and Service Manager (North America)

Sayer began his career sweeping the floor, working cattle, and operating machinery for the family trucking and ranching business in 1990. The knowledge and skills obtained there led to a job as a professional diesel mechanic, specializing in heavy truck and agricultural equipment electrical and electronic systems and shop foreman after graduating technical college.

Sayer made an easy transition to working as a millwright and rigger in 2003, which brought him to Houston, Texas from rural Utah in 2007. Sayer seamlessly moved into welding machinery repair, which; coupled with a deeply rooted love for machinery made weld automation a perfect fit. Sayer progressed in Weld Automation for a combined 13 years, as a diesel technician, electric technician, field service technician, crane operator and finally National Automation Project Manager, until joining Key Plant in early 2020. 

His certifications include: Certified Diesel Technician, Volvo/Mack/GMC electrical/electronics, Kubota Diesel engine service and overhaul, Sullair Compressors, Mutiquip Power Generation, Lincoln Electric/Powerwave, Arc Products, and Miller CST.