Following a successful week at the Hanover Fair, plans to increase exports to China for UK specialist torque sensor manufacturer, Sensor Technology, have advanced. Sensor Technology of Banbury has always sold overseas and over the last few years has had a definite strategy of building up its export business significantly.
As Sales Manager Mark Ingham explained: “It is unrealistic these days to be a manufacturer and not address the world market. Trade is global and we have got to be competitive in every region. We take stands at international exhibitions like Hanover partly to meet new potential new users, but also to find possible new overseas distributors.”
At Hanover this year Sensor Technology confirmed new distributors for China, and Portugal, plus several other possible distributors. All of these new distributors will sell Sensor Technology’s wireless torque sensors and load cells, and it seems highly likely that the Chinese arrangements will also quickly lead to new business for the company’s wireless helicopter hook load monitors.
The torque sensors work by measuring the twist in a drive shaft under load, which is monitored by a radio frequency (RF) pick up so that there is no need for complicated hard wiring and delicate slip rings. The load cells also use wireless (RF) technology to transfer load data to the control system, and this concept is reconfigured for helicopter cargo hooks so that load data is displayed to the pilot in the cockpit. A hard-wired system would require a cable to pass through one of the aircraft’s body panels and drilling the necessary hole would mean the craft would have to be recertified for airworthiness.
Ingham continued: “Hanover was very busy this year and the fact it has helped us accelerate our move into China could be very, very significant. Torque and Load measurements are very useful in most machinery and plant. Our products are robust, versatile and easy to use, so I expect we will soon be addressing many different market sectors across China – all of which are developing at substantial rates.”
He went on to say that he expects that entering the Chinese markets will be similar to when Sensor Technology first signed up a distributor in India – a lot of initial interest, and sales building slowly at first but more rapidly as familiarity grows.
“Industry in both China and India is growing rapidly and they often adopt new technologies more easily than well developed regions which have legacy technology issues to address,” observed Ingham. “Also both regions use helicopters a lot, probably because their road and rail networks do not reach into all areas, so we are hopeful of a sustained demand for our monitors.”
Currently Sensor Technology exports more than 60% of its production, and this figure is increasing on a year by year basis. Ingham explained that the next part of the plan involves looking for more distributors in Eastern Europe and South America.