Silverteam has appointed Bearing Traders Ltd (BTL) as a distributor for Hitachi Drives and automation equipment across the northern Home Counties, the North East and North Wales.
Traditionally BTL has focused on power transmission and driveline equipment, but its expansion into motor and control technology has been well received, with the first sale of an inverter being a 75kW version of the new SJ700.
Gary Hughes, BTL's MD, comments: "Strategically, we realised that our market is changing and we need to offer our clients a wider range of products and increasing levels of technical support. They need a one-stop-shop for both equipment and support, so we decided to add drives, PLCs, etc to our portfolio."
Technical staff are regularly visiting Silverteam for training in the new equipment and Hughes says if growth continues at its initial rate that he will be recruiting more engineers by mid-2008.
BTL supports a wide variety of industrial sectors across its different seven branches. Its High Wycombe HQ, for instance, has always been active in the food and furniture industries; Wrexham, Hartlepool and Bishop Auckland are all finding that the traditional heavy industries of their regions have diminished in size, but there i snow a greater reliance on distributors than in-house stock.
Hughes states: "Those branches are also serving start-up industries encouraged by regional development boards. These can be very diverse and often have demanding needs that we have not come across before.
"However, we know that they are likely to be very long-term customers and to become mainstays of the local economy, so every stop is pulled out to help them.
"In fact it was this sort of challenge that helped us realise that our market is changing, that we need to offer a wider range of products and greater technical back up."
And with a branch in Uxbridge, near the centre of the UK film industry, BTL engineers have also become quite expert at special effects. "A few years ago I worried that the rise of computer-generated imagery would sink our involvement; but in fact it has encouraged more special effects, most of which are part-CGI, part-mechanical. So we are doing more film work than ever."