Drives & Controls Magazine November/December 2022

November/December 2022 10 The Welsh drives-maker Invertek has appointed Mike Carman to the new role of executive business development manager for the HVAC-R sector – an area where the company has seen significant growth in recent years through its dedicated Optidrive Coolvert HVAC drives. Carman has been with the company for six years. Invertek has also appointed Justin Peters as factory sales manager to lead its global sales team. Peters has more than 25 years’experience of the drives industry, including more than 12 at Invertek, which is part of Sumitomo Drive Technologies Emea group. Dr Chris Harris , former CEO of the axial motor developer Yasa, has been appointed CEO of Evolito, which he spun out of Yasa’s aviation division in 2021 to focus on axial-flux motors for electrical fixed-wing and eVtol (vertical take-off and landing) craft. Evolito claims its motors are smaller, lighter and more robust than any competing technology. It is offering complete electric powertrains including motors, power electronics and batteries following its acquisition of the UK battery-maker Electroflight earlier this year. Harris is also a non-executive director of Yasa, which Mercedes-Benz acquired in 2021. Dale Croker , managing director of KSB UK, is the new President of the British Pump Manufacturers Association (BPMA), following a two-year tenure as vice-president. This follows an extended four-year term in office by the previous president, Richard Harden of Stuart Turner who agreed to stay in the role for a second term following the disruption caused by the pandemic. Croker’s tenure coincides with several uncertainties affecting the pump sector, from supply-chain issues and skills shortages, to the rising cost of energy, the changing legislative landscape, and the onset of recession. n NEWS THE INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS supplier Eriks has invested £21m in its UK business, mainly on a fulfilment centre in Oldbury that has expanded its product range, as well as slashing its delivery times from an average of four days, to a day or two. Opened after 18 months of development and testing, the Fulfilment Centre of Expertise (FCE) includes a 11,000m 2 warehouse with one of the most advanced management systems in Europe. It has 21 automated vertical lifts, each 12m high, more than 400m of high-speed conveyors, sophisticated scanning and weighing systems, and IT infrastructure with real-time monitoring based on Industry 4.0 principles. The warehouse has 50,000 flexible locations – a 500% increase in capacity compared to Eriks’ previous facility in Halesowen. It can store 11,200 Euro pallets and there has been a 22% increase in racking space for pallet-mounted parts. For small parts, the high-speed conveyors are helping to achieve a 110% increase in productivity and a 30% reduction in pick times. A product or part can be picked every 21 seconds. The faster supply service offers the option for customers to consolidate deliveries or request deliveries on specific dates. They are also kept better informed on the progress of their orders. “Our goal was to create an industrial fulfilment centre that sets new standards for our sector,” says David Gillies, Eriks UK and Ireland CEO. “Following this huge investment, we are now able to achieve levels of accuracy, speed and service that have never been seen from an industrial distributor. “The FCE and its vast warehouse space will enable us to provide customers with an unrivalled range of specialised industrial products and services, all controlled through dynamic warehousing systems,” he adds. “We are now able to pick and pack thousands of components every day with total accuracy and dispatch them so the customer receives them faster than ever before.” Being able to ship goods straight to customers from the FCE, or from a growing number of strategic supply partners, rather than via Eriks’ regional service centre network, will result in significant time savings. The FCE is also the UK headquarters for Eriks’ UK and Ireland operations and includes more than 1,100m 2 of energy-efficient working areas. As well as investing in the FCE, Eriks has also spent millions of pounds updating its technical services, with improvements to its engineering sites in Cardiff, Southampton and Chesterfield and to its product technology centres in Barnsley and Warrington. The engineering sites focus on servicing, repairs and upgrades to pumps, motors and geared drive equipment. “With our new digital infrastructure, connected technologies and smart algorithms, the FCE is the launchpad for the next stage of Eriks’ development, so we can keep pace as the industry transforms faster than ever before,” says Gillies. “We are passionate about the success of UK manufacturing and this multi-million pound investment means we are ready to set new standards for our customers and sector through our unique combination of skills, knowledge and infrastructure.” Since 2009, Eriks has been part of the family-owned SHV business, which has 56,750 employees in 73 countries. The headquarters of both Eriks and SHV are in the Netherlands. Eriks’new Fulfilment Centre of Expertise has boosted its automated storage capacity by 500% £21m investment slashes Eriks’ delivery times to a day or two