Drive for success
Encocam Ltd, a provider of leading engineering solutions, continues to drive new ideas and innovations forward in line with market trends and customer demand
The parent company of eight brands, Encocam celebrates 30 years in operation in 2018 as a manufacturer and developer of solutions for energy absorption, automotive safety testing, composite panels and interior design through to motorbike distribution. Proud to be at the forefront of innovation, the forward-thinking company continues to enhance its product offering and has recently invested in the expansion of its site in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. Here, the company has increased the number of testing facilities it has in place, as well as cutting edge milling equipment, five-axis machines and 3D printers. This state-of-the-art facility is complemented by an ever-increasing number of employees and a strong engineering team that focuses on the delivery of market-leading solutions.
Having made these strategic investments, Encocam has ensured the ongoing growth and success of the organisation in all eight of its divisions, with the automotive market, handled by the division Cellbond, remaining a particular success over recent years. An innovative company centred around product initiatives and the introduction of new technologies that are developed in close collaboration with customers, Cellbond boasts an extensive portfolio of products and services such as energy absorbers, crash test dummies, crash test barriers, knee ligaments and head forms.
With major success achieved overseas and the company playing an integral role in Cambridgeshire’s employment and growth, Cellbond was presented with the Queen’s Award in 2017. “Cellbond is all about the constant delivery of products that the market needs, and we are dealing with highly progressive customers in the car industry. It is truly a constantly evolving industry with a lot of pressure to keep up with these developments. Because of progressive developments such as driverless vehicles and electric cars within the market, our customers rely on us to provide the products and services they need as the process of vehicle development really isn’t cheap! Because Cellbond has always been at the forefront of our customer’s requirements, we have, in turn, enjoyed consistent organic growth,” says Mike Ashmead, Founder and Managing Director of Encocam.
He continues: “With more than 90 per cent of our products exported from here in the UK and the fact we have enjoyed year-on-year growth, we achieved the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade. We look at the global market, what it needs and how we can work with the customer and get involved with new product development for crash test dummies, for example. This area has been a great opportunity for us.
“We have traditionally been involved in making the barriers that the cars are tested against, however the growth for us has been happening in the market since 2012 when we saw an opportunity to reach the same customers wanting barriers as a supplier for crash test dummies,” Mike continues. “Crash test dummies give us an exciting challenge as they are sophisticated, highly technological products, full of electronics and basically represent a person sitting in a car while our barriers are at the other end, so we are ultimately covering both ends of a crash.”
To remain at the forefront of the crash test dummies market, a large proportion of Encocam’s product and development team focuses on the enhancement and modernisation of these products. “If you say the cost of a dummy is £100, the cost of the electronics is £70, which means a lot of sensors and parts! As a manufacturer of the physical dummy, we have to put these sensors inside it and for this to be done successfully we have a lot of know-how on integration. The crash test dummies create an exciting environment for our engineers as they enjoy a challenge such as this,” notes Mike.
Alongside the development of crash test dummies and the thriving success of Cellbond, the company has also made significant steps into the motorcycle market as Herald Motor Co., for which it is developing new models that will comply with the latest Euro 4 legislation. “We don’t want to just take what is out there on the market, but also influence this. We have a team of engineers working on a first model and we are looking at how to develop the brand as it’s not just a motorcycle, but a lifestyle,” says Mike.
Although the future looks full of opportunities for further growth, Encocam remains cautiously optimistic in the face of the uncertainties surrounding Brexit. Despite these fluctuating developments, the company is seeking to increase capacity and capabilities in the UK in line with market demand, as Mike comments: “We are looking at how to use the space we already have and how we can expand to increase capacity. To get the most out of our space we need to invest heavily, which in turn will ensure that our UK capability thrives. We need to react sooner rather than later and be pragmatic about where we take things from there. We are still looking at developing the business with further locations on the Continent to support our needs to attract talent from the EU to the business and support the UK development plans.”
With expansion plans in the pipeline and ongoing innovation taking place, the company aims to continue investing in its systems while also boosting its online presence and supporting customers with e-commerce facilities. “We want to make it easier for customers to work with us, whether they want to find information easily or require a more hands-on approach. The ethos of Encocam is about being close to our customers and understanding their needs so we can support them in the best possible way. While supporting customers, we will constantly innovate and evolve so we can be the most efficient we can be and keep the dialogue going,” Mike concludes.
Products: Crash test dummies, automotive crash test barriers, energy absorbers, composite panels, motorcycles and more