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Manchester drives repairer wins a Queens Award

21 April, 2016

The Manchester-based repairer of variable-speed drives (VSDs), Northern Drives & Controls (NDC), has won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in recognition of its growth and commercial success in international trade.

NDC employs 40 people at its two main UK sites, in Manchester and Slough. Its diverse and skilled workforce – which includes 12 nationalities speaking nine languages ­– has been a key to the success of its international strategy. The company supports an international network of distributors from Manchester.

“We are delighted to have received this prestigious award in recognition of our international growth,” says NDC’s managing director, David Griffin. “The focus of our international strategy has been on building up a network of strategic partners around the world to act as distributors of our service.

“We provide our international network with dedicated support, alongside an in-depth training programme,” he adds. “This has helped to ensure that we have maintained our reputation for excellent customer service and our record for first-time repair success during a period of rapid international growth.”

NDC started life in 1987 as a repair service for the electromechanical market in the North West of England and later expanded to service the emerging electronic and automation market. In 1999, it acquired McCall's Electronics in Hampshire, which became its southern service centre.

Further growth and the establishment of research and development capabilities led the company into other markets, including the repair of VSDs. The costs of replacing a VSD with a new one made by the OEM can be considerable and NDC began reverse-engineering drives to see if they could be repaired and remanufactured at a lower cost. It 2011, it opened its ServoLab, which repairs servo and spindle motors.

NDC's managing director David Griffin: "delighted"

NDC has established an apprenticeship programme, and currently has two apprentices undertaking training, making up 5% of its workforce.

Having expanded rapidly in Europe and penetrated markets in the Middle East, Australia and America, NDC’s current target is to develop further in Australia and America and to expand into the Far East and China.

Winners of the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are visited by a Royal representative and are presented with a crystal bowl as a mark of their achievement. They are also invited to attend a reception at Buckingham Palace.

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