• Barry Michael Aldridge

Innovation in Motion | A Flotec Rail Story

Updated: Mar 24

The Flotec Mission for Rail is to be a trusted and leading supplier of hose and engineering solutions to the market.

Flotec has a story to tell.

A gem of a company nestled deep within the County of Leicestershire UK; Flotec is proving precisely how valuable the SME community is, specifically within the rail supply chain.

Flotec achieves this by addressing the 4 C’s Challenge of: COST (reduction), CARBON (reduction), (increased) CAPACITY, (improved) CUSTOMER (satisfaction).

SME Flotec continues to innovate, adapt, evolve, and expand.

In 2020, Flotec celebrated twenty-five years of business where, it has historically supplied hydraulic, pneumatic and pipeline products and services, to a mix of industries in need of this offering.

Approximately ten years ago, Flotec entered the realms of rail.

Part One. I is for Innovation.

The Strapline:

Innovation in Motion.

What does this strapline mean? It explains that when train fleets and track maintenance machines fitted with a Flotec engineering solution are in transit or operation, innovation is (quite literally), in motion.

Flotec’s value-added service provision helps to keep the rail sector moving.

What is Innovation?

To truly fathom this question, we need to understand the fundamental basics of ‘innovation’.

Flotec has ensured to make ‘innovation’ a major theme of its core values:

1. To continuously investigate and find new ways of doing things for the better

2. To develop, create and invent unique solutions relevant to the task in hand

3. Where appropriate, to apply existing ways of doing things to a new market

4. Where appropriate, to modify existing assets to perform better

5. Where appropriate, to radically transform and disrupt markets for the better

Let us examine innovation further:

Regarding how to apply existing ways of doing things to a new market, chat bot integration is already in use within airports.

Gatwick Airport recently introduced GAIL, a chat bot capable of providing up-to-date flight information with real-time notifications, details about available shops at the airport and places to dine.

Train stations and the wider rail sector could and can, integrate this technology.

Secondly, how do we modify existing assets?

Academic teaching will tell you about the evolution of the Boeing 747 aeroplane. In simple terms, the existing plane looks not much more visually different to when first designed.

However, over the years, all kinds of components have advanced (from internal HVAC, seat coverings, through to self-guidance systems and so forth).

New and existing train fleets as well as yellow plant assets, also come in to play.

The Flotec objective is to deliver innovative rail modifications between scheduled overhauls and help towards reducing costly downtime whilst enhancing train fleet and machine efficiency.