Friday, 03 Aug 2012
Growing hi-tech Bristol firm looks for global growth abroad
Third Dimension, based in Filton, manufactures and exports the GapGun, a non-contact, handheld and automated precision measurement tool that can be used to measure gaps, welds, seals, scratches and many more during the manufacturing process, in a wide variety of industries.
With a network of distributors already up and running in North America and Western Europe, the company is now turning its attention to developing export markets in China, Eastern Europe, Mexico and South America, with help from UK Trade and Investment (UKTI).
Third Dimension’s Chief Business Development Officer, John Kane, said: “We were aware, as a small, growing company, that we wanted to stretch out to new export markets and the best way of doing that was to draw on the expertise of other people.
“UKTI were excellent in helping us to identify suitable markets and potential overseas partners.
“We also found the events and exhibitions run by UKTI to be extremely helpful, such as an event we attended last year in China which could result in orders worth around £100,000.”
UKTI International Trade Advisor, Brian Cooper, said: “With help from UKTI, Third Dimension are not only developing new markets but also looking systematically at their coverage in existing markets.
“They are appointing additional sales distributors where certain regions of the world are currently under-exploited. The long term objective is to obtain a significant market share in each of the target markets for this product rather than simply having a sales presence in a region.
“This involves appointing and supporting additional pro-active sales distributors.”
Third Dimension was founded by Dr Tim Monks in the early 1990s.
The origins of the product lie in the earliest stages of Tim’s career. After completing a PhD in electronics he started working as a contractor with an engineering technology firm when he was invited to come up with an electronic metrology device.
When he invented the concept of combining a laser and a camera in a handheld device, the client decided not to pursue the project but Tim felt that it was too good a concept to shelve and started Third Dimension to develop the product himself.
Precision engineering has always been dependent on physical measurement devices such as vernier callipers and the feeler gauge because they are cheap, simple to use, tried and trusted.
However, as Tim explains: “In the modern manufacturing world, companies want more. Manual callipers and gauges are always open to interpretation and manufacturers these days are far more vulnerable to the risk of not being able to prove the efficacy of their work.
“Since its conception, the GapGun has developed almost out of recognition, in terms of both hardware and software, but the fundamental concept remains the same,” says Tim.
“We provide a full auditable trail of every single product that is measured, removing risk by proving the quality of manufacture. Saving huge amounts of time and cost, we help to provide our clients with a return on investment that is typically less than a year.”
If you are based in the South West region and are interested in developing your business overseas please contact:
UKTI South West International trade Team
Tel: +(0)845 60 60 969
In partnership with: