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UK fluid power bodies form motion control alliance

23 March, 2015

The British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) and the British Fluid Power Association (BFPA), which incorporates the British Fluid Power Distributors Association (BFPDA), have agreed to form an alliance aimed at providing their members with a stronger, more consolidated voice.

They say that the new UK Motion Control Alliance (UKMCA) will deliver “significant” benefits for members, including cross-fertilisation of training initiatives, more influence over inappropriate regulation, broader technical support and enhanced business networking opportunities.

BCAS and the BFPA say that the term “motion control” represents both the activities of their current members, and those of related parties, such as organisations with a focus on drives and controls, mechatronics, sensors, automation and robotics.

They add that the UKMCA will be open to other trade bodies or institutes that “exhibit sufficient synergy with the existing members”. The aim is that the Alliance will evolve with future market trends.

“Both the BFPA and BCAS are successful organisations in their own right, with a collective membership well in excess of 400 companies,” says the BFPA’s director and CEO, Chris Buxton. “Together we can offer our members and the wider industry more added-value services and a stronger, more coherent voice amongst the regulatory community.

He adds that the name, UK Motion Control Alliance, “recognises both the core synergies between our respective organisations and the major commercial and technological trends in the market ­– particularly towards general motion control.”

In a letter to his members, BCAS’ executive director, Chris Dee, says that “for some years, it has been our view … we should seriously consider working more closely with other associations and societies in related and similar technology sectors. The benefits of doing so are both widely recognised and potentially very significant.

“This view is also very much in tune with Government efforts to encourage greater co-operation between representative bodies – epitomised by the publication of the Heseltine report, Leave no stone unturned’ – in trying to improve efficiencies in the British industrial sector.

Dee: alliance embraces trend towards integrated motion control technology in all of its guises

Over the past couple of years, BCAS has held discussions with several organisations with similar aspirations and member profiles to its own. The BFPA was one of those organisations.

“For some time it has been felt that synergies between BCAS and BFPA have been sufficient to merit exploration of a closer working relationship in delivering what are highly synchronous services to our respective members,” Dee explains.

He says that the new alliance “not only provides greater strength and significant benefits for our respective members and other companies operating in the industry, but also embraces the growing technical trends towards integrated motion control technology in all of its various guises.

“Inevitably, aligning two successful, high-profile organisations is not without its challenges,” Dee says. “Concerns regarding individual brand integrity and governance have to be accommodated but the Memorandum of Understanding upon which the Alliance is based accounts for such concerns and ensures that both organisations retain their own individual identity and structure.

“We are confident that as the relationship develops, more opportunities to act in tandem for the ‘common good’ will emerge and the benefits for our respective members will continue to evolve and grow,” Dee concludes.

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