Vehicle transmission specialist Xtrac, whose energy-efficient gearbox designs are helping to ‘influence radically different technology for future road cars’, has won a Queen’s Award (in the Innovation category) for its development of an Integrated Lightweight Electric Vehicle (ILEV) gearbox range, under the direction of CEO Adrian Moore (pictured).
Xtrac previously won a Queen’s Award in 1992, less than a decade after it was founded to serve the motor-sport industry, which it continues to do.
Nowadays, the company also supports the automotive mainstream with its energy-efficient transmission systems for hybrid and electric vehicles. It has also joined the UK motor-sport industry’s efforts to help tackle the Covid-19 pandemic by repurposing parts of its factory to make components for the Ventilator Challenge UK.
Meanwhile, Leamington Spa-based Drive System Design (DSD) has won a Queen’s Award (in the International Trade category) in recognition of its sustained growth — achieved by serving a growing portfolio of global vehicle manufacturer and Tier One suppliers, as well as by continued expansion overseas.
Managing director Mark Findlay said: “Drive System Design has worked strategically to expand its global reach, focusing on the future needs of the automotive industry and its customers, and evolving its capabilities to address the challenges arising in the rapidly changing industry.”
DSD has achieved substantial year-on-year growth in the past three years, with overseas sales rising from £2.1 million to £5.4 million. The company, which has experienced 500% growth over the last decade, expanded its Michigan-based US subsidiary — Drive System Design Inc — with a $2 million investment while achieving its double-digit annual growth target.
Castings specialist Grainger & Worrall has been recognised for its pioneering ‘Next Generation’ castings work with a Queen’s Award (in the Innovation category). The company’s CEO, Matthew Grainger, said: “We are exceptionally pleased, especially as it is the third time we have received a Queen’s Award; it underlines our on-going commitment to be a global leader within our industry.
“The progress we have made towards establishing Next Generation castings has very much been a team effort, and the Award comes as a welcome bright spot of good news, when so many of us have had our lives and work disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The company has developed Next Generation castings in response to the challenges faced by the global transport industry in terms of reducing emissions and fuel consumption.
Mr Grainger concluded: “The automotive market is moving towards more-complex and structurally sound castings; this is particularly the case in high-performance aluminium alloys. Our Next Generation innovations deliver real benefits for component suppliers in reduced cost, improved efficiency and rapid turnround.”