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UK start-up will produce soft-starts for Hitachi

16 July, 2014

A British start-up company specialising in energy-saving technologies has signed a deal to produce a range of soft-starters for Hitachi Power Solutions in Japan. Under an initial five-year agreement, Cornwall-based Suresense Technologies will manufacture the soft-starts for Hitachi, which will market them globally under its Prohestar brand.

A Hitachi senior engineer, Mr Niizuma, says that the deal “will give us a great opportunity to enter the energy-saving market with a new, yet well-respected, product”. He adds that the agreement will help Hitachi to increase its global sales of motor controllers because of its “highly innovative power-saving function. That is important for us moving forward because of the global demand for energy-saving devices.”

According to Suresense managing director Ian Hambly, “the testing and, indeed, development of our technology incorporated within the Prohestar range is a fantastic endorsement of our technology and our value proposition.”

The Suresense soft-starts are based on technology that was previously sold under the Powerboss name by Somar International. Suresense, which Hambly set up two years ago, acquired the intellectual property to the Powerboss products after Somar got into financial difficulties.

Suresense has refined the technology, which it now markets under the Integra brand, and is developing it further. At present, it is producing the soft-starters in ratings from 2.2–800kW, 240–690V, and is planning to expand the voltage ratings up to 1.1kV. It is also developing a communications interface for the products.

In addition to producing the soft-starts for Hitachi, Suresense is talking to other potential partners, resellers and customers. Some of these discussions involve using the technology for specific applications.

Hambly: a fantastic endorsement

The Integra soft-starts are designed to reduce the energy consumed by fixed-speed AC motors operating under variable load conditions. Suresense says that they will also extend the lifetime of the motor through heat reduction.

At present, Suresense employs ten people at its site in Perranporth, Cornwall. Hambly expects to take on more staff and is looking to raise investment to expand the company further.

As well as producing the soft-starts, Suresense also develops and sells other energy-saving products, including sensor systems, high-bay lighting, and energy management systems.

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