One of the UK’s leading designers and manufacturers of cooling and HVAC products to the transport sector has sealed a string of new contract wins that has seen it take sales past pre-Covid levels.
Birmingham-based Grayson Thermal Systems
, (GTS) which was founded in 1978 by chairman Graham Hateley, has bounced back from the pandemic after securing more than £8 million of orders from customers including ABB, Solaris, Skoda and Wrightbus.
The company’s ‘generations of knowledge’ has been pivotal to this growth, with its new innovative Battery Thermal Management System (BTMS) proving extremely popular with its core bus and coach market, as well as recent expansion into off-highway, commercial vehicle and rail sectors.
Group turnover has now risen to £32 million and more than 40 new jobs have already been created, with a further 12 positions currently available across engineering, operations and administration.
Matt Hateley, European sales manager at GTS, said: “Like many manufacturers, Covid-19 caused a fair bit of disruption to day-to-day activities and a temporary drop in sales, but what it did give us was the opportunity to accelerate new innovations, focus on product R&D and improve our manufacturing capabilities at our three sites in Birmingham.”
“Our customers were also keen to spend some of their downtime exploring new thermal management solutions for their vehicle range and this action is definitely paying off with 25% growth since pandemic restrictions eased in early 2021, with a multi-million-pound pipeline of opportunities to take advantage of in 2022 and beyond.”
He continued: “With COP26
still fresh in the mind, zero-emission mobility is on everyone’s minds and how we can ‘heat and cool’ EVs in an energy-efficient and cost-effective way are two questions we believe we already have the answers to. This includes driveline components, such as batteries, electric motors, hydrogen fuel cells and HVAC systems for passengers and drivers.
“We had products developed and installed on a number of vehicles being showcased at COP26
, including the Hydroflex train launched by Porterbrook, the UK’s largest owner of rail rolling stock.”
GTS, which serves 280 customers in more than 32 countries around the world, has recently launched its third-generation BTMS. This ‘plug and play’ technology helps to regulate the temperature of EV batteries, providing optimum temperature control that is critical to their function and operational life, not to mention reducing overall vehicle life costs.
Developed at the firm’s R&D facility, the modular deigned BTMS can be specified to deliver active cooling, passive cooling and heating, with all of the hardware, pump, condenser, fan and compressor packaged neatly into one compact unit.
The product is offered in two options; the standard BTMS can be used in up to 45°C ambient, while the high-ambient BTMS is suitable for up to 50°C and can be packaged in a number of locations on the vehicle, including rooftop or into the chassis/body.”
Mr Hateley added: “We initially developed BTMS technology in 2015, but our knowledge and learnings over the years have allowed us to create modular systems that meet our clients’ desire to accelerate the change to zero-emission technology.
“Our R&D team has worked to optimise weight and performance with our fine-tuned GEN3 BTMS so that it would deliver the performance required for use in bus and coach, off-highway and commercial vehicles. We have also focused heavily on developing bespoke BTMS units for the rail sector.”
He concluded: “The latter is a new market for our business, but we have a strong order book and pipeline from train OEMs. As the electric and hydrogen revolution starts to gather pace in rail, our products will deliver efficient operation of the train throughout the life of the rolling stock.”
GTS will be flying to Stuttgart this week in a bid to showcase its BTTMS and other associated technology at the Battery Show Europe 2021
(30 November-2 December). The company can be found on Stand 6-650.