Teknatool, an Auckland-based company with its origins in manufacturing wood-turning machinery, had always seen expansion into the US market as the way to obtain a larger, global slice of their business.
All the talk of a current financial downturn and expansion challenges has not deterred them from maximizing on the global opportunities available. They realised that if they were to see expansion over the next few years, they would have to look at other developing areas of technology. Teknatool discovered a market opportunity in the new breed of energy-efficient electric motors (DVR).
Due to the global financial downturn, it became apparent that a small company would be able to take advantage of the availability of specialised electronic and engineering skills, discounted rates for premises and the availability of good labour in the United States. This has allowed the Kiwi company to establish a full US facility, serving North America and Canada.
Part of the core strategy was the investment into the research and development of the innovative DVR Motor, developed by the Teknatool R&D team in New Zealand, with the assistance of Callaghan Innovation.
The DVR Motor is a totally new breed of "intelligent" electric motors that thinks for itself and allows the attached machinery to function in its most effective and productive manner, often with built-in safety features that are not available in traditional motors.
Designed in such a way that it lends itself to a multitude of applications, the DVR motor has a versatility that makes it a technological leader in its field.
Their recent presence at AWFS (Association of Woodworking and Furniture Suppliers) in Las Vegas resulted in enquiries from many major companies and manufacturers.
Bringing this innovation from New Zealand to a global market has attracted interest from a broad spectrum of manufacturers. A regional office has been set up in Florida to manage the US requirements and a new European regional office is planned for early 2014.
Nathan Stantiall, Teknatool's General Manager NZ and Head of R&D, remarked, "The ability to engage in additional research and development, and focus on the DVR technology, proves that we are being taken seriously by some of the big global names. My aim now, is to support the expansion in to the US and develop our new European Offices. What was a single product, is now becoming a versatile product range."
Teknatool has attributed its success to the support it received from New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE).
Roger Latimer, Chairman of Teknatool remarked: "By involving NZTE, we have been able to open doors that previously would not have been accessible to a small NZ company. This is undoubtedly gave us the breakthrough we were looking for and has provided Teknatool with some very positive enquiries from major, worldwide brands stealing a march on the competition and placing us in the enviable position of market leader."