Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Going global

Accutronics is a UK developer and manufacturer of custom rechargeable batteries for professional applications. The business runs a global operation from its HQ and manufacturing facility, near to the city of Stoke-on-Trent in the West Midlands. Set up in September 2009, Accutronics has around 80 employees and its battery products are exported to over 30 countries across Europe, North America, Africa and the Middle East. Rob Phillips, managing director of Accutronics, offers advice to companies considering exportation.
custom rechargeable batteries
Rob Phillips discusses custom rechargeable batteries at Compamed

Exporting enables us to reach the majority of our potential customers, the vast majority of whom are not based in the UK, rather than limiting our business to our own backyard. We target specific product application market sectors, such as Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) of portable medical devices, chosen to match our capabilities as a potential strategic supplier. We then research who these companies are and where they are based.

For any business considering exporting, my advice is to think big and look into it properly and personally. The worst that can happen is that you end up with a wiser, wider perspective on your business sector and decide in a well-informed way not to proceed. More likely, you will open up much greater potential growth for your business.

Carry out desk research, but then travel and investigate your potential future markets directly. Industry events, such as conferences and exhibitions, are a great opportunity for further research.

In November we exhibited at Compamed in Dusseldorf, Germany, a leading trade fair for the medical industry which hosts 700 exhibitors from 40 countries, and runs alongside the huge Medica exhibition on the same trade fair site.

For UK firms active in the medical equipment market, the sheer size and scope of this event is in a different ball park to UK-based trade fairs. Quite simply it needs to be experienced to be believed. I'd suggest attending an event like this and assessing whether you want to invest in an exhibition booth next time.

Depending on your sector, there may be some potential barriers, but if you have a good product or service that you believe in, then in our experience buyers are very interested in giving you a chance, regardless of your HQ location. In our industry sector, we successfully export to over 30 countries without using agents, distributors or any other export partners. Today, export makes up 95% of Accutronics’ sales turnover.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Accutronics €100,000 Test Equipment Investment

Accutronics has further reinforced its battery test facility capability with the recent installation of over €100,000 worth of new test equipment from the US based equipment manufacturer MACCOR. The introduction of the new equipment allows Accutronics to further accelerate development of higher voltage and higher power smart batteries such as its new 'CMX series', launched in November 2014. "This new equipment allows us to monitor every aspect of a battery's performance" said Carl Banks, product support engineer at Accutronics, "we are able to rapidly test multiple charge and discharge scenarios and pass the data to our customers quickly, shortening development time and reducing costs".
The new MACCOR system is able to charge smart batteries at the voltage and current requested by the smart battery itself, which can then be discharged at up to 600W, usually based on a profile which replicates the customers application and therefore ensures the battery is being tested in a way which matches how the customer will use the battery.
The Accutronics CMX series of seven batteries and three chargers have been specifically designed to power the next generation of medical devices - they are available with an option of 14.4V or 28.8V output and in three different mechanical configurations, discharge rates of up to 300W are possible. Each CMX series battery contains sophisticated fuel gauging electronics which constantly monitor the available capacity of the battery whether it is being charged, discharged or stored. This capacity information is relayed to the host device as either a capacity measurement or as a runtime prediction. In addition, CMX series batteries contain active protection circuitry to prevent them from being over charged, over discharged or over loaded - this enhanced level of protection ensures CMX series batteries remain safe if abused.
"Accutronics is committed to investing in the very latest test equipment" said Mike Allen, Technical Director. "The purchase of the MACCOR is the most recent manifestation of that commitment and will ensure Accutronics continues to lead the market in battery design and manufacturer."
Neil Oliver
Technical Marketing Manager