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Company Profile: Linking the customer to innovation

01 December 2008

Driven by intellectual property, miniature power transmission specialist, Rotalink takes known technologies and repackages them in fresh and novel ways. The company makes innovative use of modern materials and technologies, and implements manufacturing and purchasing strategies that help to keep down costs for customers

Rotalink is a supplier of miniature power transmission systems and controls. It supports a global network of technically demanding customers and operates a flat management structure that ensures short lines of communication, encouraging empowerment and ownership among its professional staff. This flexible approach involves understanding the customer's needs in terms of specification, cost and timing, and providing easy access to technical and commercial support by telephone or in person.

The company has achieved a great deal of success over the years, thanks to its willingness to adapt to changing market conditions. According to managing director Melvyn Hazell, the steps that the company has taken focused on a corporate plan to equip it for the 21st Century. The development has been underway for more than five years, and has resulted in the company moving from the position of 'local outfit' to one that addresses a worldwide customer base.

You have to be global, as Mr Hazell explains. "The benefit of being associated with global players is that we find that they take us with them." The fact that manufacturing takes place in the Far East and in the UK serves to underline this philosophy.

Perhaps one of the main reasons for this global success is Rotalink's responsiveness to customer requirements. Mr Hazell notes that, unlike much larger corporations, his company 'can - and does', negotiate on the spot to satisfy specific customer requirements. Unlike many other organisations, where many people may need to be contacted (resulting in just as many contracts being drawn up), a Rotalink engineer can enter full negotiations with the client as appropriate. "OEMs find it very easy to work with us, and often do", adds Mr Hazell, who is particularly proud of Rotalink's innovation strengths.

With the ability to take known technologies - along with today's materials - and repackage them in fresh and novel ways, the company has achieved significant and pioneering developments - aptly illustrated by the recently launched Red Drive. This dc motor controller - complete with motor, gearbox, and encoder - requires no complex programming. The Flowchart Logic programming approach, selected by Rotalink, enables the user to get started in less than two hours of self-training to configure all parameters associated with rotational or linear movement.

The benefits of the system don't end there, however. Red Drive significantly cuts time to market, as it makes the production of prototypes an extremely simple process, with any necessary tweaks achievable in moments. A chip option is also available for full system integration. Red Drive was recently successfully installed on a peristaltic pump application, but the technology is suitable for a wide variety of machine automation projects, including vending machines and many more.

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