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Transmission distributor demerges from Indian partner

22 October, 2013

The original owners of the power transmission distributor, Distag, which joined forces with the Indian manufacturer Pix Transmission in 1999 to form Pix Europe, have bought back their share of the business and set up a new company to distribute Pix products in the UK and Ireland. Pix will continue to sell its products in mainland Europe through PIX Transmissions Europe.

The new British business, called Distag QCS (UK), will distribute Pix belts and hoses exclusively in the UK and Ireland, along with related mechanical, hydraulic and engineering products. The new company is keeping the former Pix locations in Ipswich, Cardiff, and Lisburn, and most of their staff.

The new business will be run by Joe and Sheila Deacon, who founded the Distag Group 25 years ago, along with co-director Stewart Booth. The business development manager is Nigel Rose, who was one of Distag's original employees.

Distag originally specialised in agricultural belts and chains, and was a pioneer in selling Chinese-made standard and bespoke transmission and engineering components in the British Isles. The company started to work with Pix in the early 1990s, and joined forces with the Indian manufacturer in 1999, to form the joint venture, PIX Europe, which grew rapidly over the following decade.

In 2004, Pix Europe opened a new office and warehouse in Germany and three years later bought its UK hydraulics partner, Flexequip, adding locations in Lisburn and Cardiff, and providing the manufacturing know-how for hydraulic fittings to complement Pix’s own hydraulic hose, which had become a major growth area.

At the same time, the Distag Group continued to evolve, with operations in Ireland, the UK and China offering products such as transmission belts, pulleys, bushes, chain and sprockets, hydraulic hose and fittings. It also offered the ability to produce bespoke engineering products  (machined, forged or cast), and to provide outsourcing.

Distag QCS co-directors (from left) Stewart Booth, and Sheila and Joe Dixon

“The de-merger is a kind of natural progression – the two companies helped each other to grow,” says Joe Deacon. “Now they have different agendas and priorities – PIX, understandably, want to concentrate on their core belt and hose products and growing their brand; while we have many other products and market sectors we want to grow our presence in. We also have a very well developed infrastructure in China, which we want to bring much more to the fore.

“We will fill a unique space in the UK market,” he adds. “There are many national distributors specialising in bearings, and one or two who major on PT metal goods. We aim to offer a full range of PT products, hydraulic hose, fittings, and assemblies, as well as bespoke engineering products.”

PIX Transmissions Europe will handle the distribution of belts and hoses in mainland Europe, using an expanded warehouse in Paderborn, Germany, as its distribution hub. 

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