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  • Writer's pictureBarry Michael Aldridge

Investigating Flotec’s Core Values. Part One: Innovation.

Founded in 1995 and having recently become an employee-owned trust, Loughborough-based Flotec is a leading supplier of hydraulic, pneumatic and pipeline products.

Flotec provides its products and services to a wide range of industries including rail, automotive, agriculture, pharmaceutical, power, plant, waste, and general manufacturing.

This series will delve deeper into each of the Flotec core values, how they define the businesses strategy and its ongoing trajectory.

Flotec Core Values: Innovation

The First Flotec Core Value.

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

Flotec further bolsters its commitment to innovation with the following four points:

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

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

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

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

To understand Flotec’s commitment to innovation, analysing its work within the rail industry provides plenty of case studies as to how the SME makes this vision a reality.

The Flotec Rail Division’s mission statement describes clearly and concisely its primary objective:

“To be a trusted and leading supplier of reliable hose and engineering solutions to the rail market.”

As an official innovation partner with Angel Trains, collaboration is a major formula for developing innovative engineering solutions.

Flotec Core Values: Innovation

Conventionally, for a spark of innovation to ignite, there must first be a need for it.

In the case of diesel multiple unit (DMU) trains, a common fleet efficiency issue is an occurrence referred to as ‘Return to Idle’ (RTI).

This engine cooling complication typically occurs in warmer months when debris and contaminants such as pollen clog up the radiator which, results in the train drastically slowing down (especially on steep inclines) and at worst, grinding to a complete halt.

The effects to the rail network and those who rely on it are late arrivals and possible cancellations, causing substantial service disruption.

To keep the train’s radiator and its engine cool, traditional fans only work in one rotation, making them ineffective in preventing system blockage and engine overheating.

Through many years of hefty stakeholder collaboration, R&D, trials, and testing, Flotec recently introduced its Variable Pitch Fan to the rail market.

Flotec Core Values: Innovation

Flotec’s Variable Pitch Fan rotates on its own axis to change the pitch and reverse through the cross position, which prevents offending contaminants entering the engine system and keeps it cool, helping DMU train fleets to operate more efficiently.

The first commercial fleet upgrade took place in 2020. This initial project was successfully completed for operator, Transport for Wales.

Subsequent fleet upgrades have been completed for East Midlands Rail and Northern.

Flotec Core Values: Innovation

The Variable Pitch Fan is a shining example of Flotec continuously investigating and finding new ways of doing things for the better, to help train operators reduce downtime, improve efficiency, and enhance the passenger experience.

Important to realise is that this technology can be used on a wide variety of heavy-duty applications, some of which include:

  • Tractors, combines, sprayers, and other agricultural machines that work in fields with high levels of dust and crop residues.

  • Excavators, loaders, and other construction machines that work in sites with high levels of dirt and debris.

  • Tipper trucks, haulers, loaders, and other mining machines that work in mines with high levels of dust and rocks.

  • Forestry machines that work in areas with high levels of leaves and branches.

  • Rubbish trucks, compactors, shredders, and other waste management machines that work in landfills with high levels of waste and debris.

  • Tanks, armoured vehicles, trucks, and other military machines that work in combat zones with high levels of sand and shrapnel.

Flotec can support industries of many kinds with its Variable Pitch Fan innovation.

Flotec Core Values: Innovation

For more information about Flotec and its award-winning Variable Pitch Fan, click here.

To find out more about Flotec’s complete product and service offerings and how they can benefit your industrial applications, call the team on 01509 230 100 or visit

Make sure to keep an eye out for part two of this series, where we will be examining Flotec’s commitment towards belonging, empowerment, ownership, and accountability.

Flotec Industrial Limited

Unit 8, Pavilion Way, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 5GW

Tel: 01509 230 100

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