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UK news: February 2013


New business targets safety and explosion-proof markets

A new business targeting the safety, explosion-proof and medical markets in the UK and Ireland has been set up by Stephen Hill, formerly general manager of steute’s UK subsidiary. He has formed the business in partnership with steute and a Dutch company called forTop, with Hill holding a 30% stake and his partners holding 35% each.

The new business, called forTop Automation and Energy Control UK, will have exclusive UK rights to several ranges of products including: steute’s safety switchgear; light curtains from Reer in Italy (previously sold in the UK by OEM Automation); steel enclosures from the German manufacturer, Lohmeier; Atex encoders from Scancon in Denmark; and Atex wireless safety systems from the French firm, Jay Electronique. Others may be added to the list but Hill (above) wants to keep the business focussed.

“We don’t want to become a supplier/distributor of every industrial automation brand, like the rest,” he says. “We just want to support and focus on these main brands.”

forTop UK will operate from new premises in the Malvern Hills Science Park, housing sales, marketing and technical support functions. Products will be shipped directly from the Netherlands with a typical lead time of three to four days. Hill has taken on an internal salesman and is looking for an external sales person as well.

Hill predicts that forTop will be a “significantly” bigger business than steute was on its own in the UK.