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31 December, 2018 - 17:18 By Tony Quested

Zettlex senses further international success

Cambridge sensors company Zettlex has entered the International Trade Champion category of the Business Weekly Awards after another strong year of export success.

In a year where this Queen’s Award winner has starred at Buckingham Palace, another crown is clearly within its compass. Indeed, Zettlex is a power behind many thrones as a provider of sensors that stand the most rugged examination on earth and in space.

In an outstanding 2018, the Foxton-headquartered innovator received planning consent for a major expansion of facilities and won its second Queen’s Award.

Zettlex reveals that 87 per cent of company revenues are now derived from international trade. The company now exports to 52 countries and international trade revenue CAGR has reached 31 per cent in the last five years.

Earlier this year Zettlex was granted planning permission to construct a 21,000 sq.ft. technology centre at its site in Foxton. The purpose built, state-of-the-art facility will house the company’s design studios, R & D labs and operations centre.

Mark Howard, Zettlex managing director, told Business Weekly at the time: “The UK – and Cambridge in particular – is a great place to recruit bright, talented people and so it’s no surprise that we’re expanding our engineering and operations here. A lot of work has gone in to the design of our Faraday Technology Centre and we were delighted to receive the news that planning permission has been granted.”

Zettlex continues its rapid worldwide expansion and now produces tens of thousands of sensors each year. Uses of the technology include general industrial, medical equipment, robotics, oil & gas, aircraft and space rockets.

The company‘s second Queen’s Award for Enterprise came in April in recognition that Zettlex had grown to become the world’s leading provider of position and speed sensors for harsh environments. 

Howard said: “We were delighted to win the prestigious Queen’s Award for a second time. Our technology is increasingly used as a critical component in some amazing machines such as surgical robots, submarines, satellite communications and space rockets. 

“We’ve grown 60 per cent over the last year and continue to see strong demand from all sectors and territories – notably North America and the Far East. I must say a big thank you to all our staff who have worked so hard for this success.”

Heidi Allen MP

Heidi Allen, MP for South Cambridgeshire, was swift to embrace the company’s success. She said: “Zettlex continues to power from strength to strength, flying the flag for British innovation, manufacturing and export. 

“I am so proud to represent South Cambridgeshire, a constituency where exemplary high-tech businesses flourish. Congratulations once again to everyone at Zettlex, we take our hats off to you!”

Zettlex is part of Celera Motion – a motion control business of Novanta Inc. (NASDAQ: NOVT) and operates globally, with offices in UK, USA and Germany – plus a network of international agents.

Zettlex sensors use non-contact, inductive technology. Rather than the bulky transformers of traditional inductive sensors, Zettlex sensors use printed circuits. This enables compact, accurate, lightweight and robust position sensors with no contacts, no delicate parts, no maintenance, no hassle – just accurate measurements – all day, everyday.

Zettlex position sensor technology uses a unique inductive technique. The basic position sensing principles are similar to traditional inductive proximity switches or measuring transformers but rather than wire windings or spools, Zettlex position sensors use printed circuit boards. 

Enter the awards

Award categories range from startups and disruptive technology to engineering excellence, social enterprise and international trade. 

The University of Cambridge, through Judge Business School and Cambridge Enterprise, is again backing four categories to honour the best graduate businesses, the leading women entrepreneurs, individuals who have contributed most over a lifetime to furthering the Cambridge brand, and to ‘Dontrepreneurs’ – university personnel that have commercialised science or technology that has changed the world.

The invitation-only Business Weekly Awards presentation dinner will be held at Queens’ College, Cambridge, on Wednesday March 20 2019.

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