Developing new markets and growing the customer base are two key aspects of Scott Rhodes’ corporate plan for Precision Products. With almosttwo decades of experience in systems engineering, including roles in the automotive and aviation industries, the new Precision Products managing director took charge from January this year and he has clear ideas of how he will take the company forward.

"Precision Products has developed well over the last few years," he says, "and today we have a substantial share of the two-stroke piston ring market. Our customers include most of the world’s major marine engine builders and we have significant business in the after-market with originalequipment manufacturers and independent dealers for both two and four stroke engines. However, I see various areas which offer scope for us toexpand, including building up direct relationships with engine manufacturing licence holders in Asia especially."

The company is also looking to build on the success of its research and development programme, which includes developing new coatings andevaluating the potential for using high velocity oxy-fuel (HVOF) spraying on larger position ring types.

Mr Rhodes explains that whilst the company is best known for its high-quality piston rings, Precision Products is also specialising in the manufacture of high-end metallic seals, which he describes as ‘a massive market’, and its business is expanding in the production and supply of special seals for valves, compressors and hydraulic equipment in various industrial sectors. These include tailor-made products for the wind power industry, rail locomotives and industrial gas turbines.

Precision Products operates as an independent supplier of piston rings and metallic seals, a characteristic which Mr Rhodes says brings clarity toits growth strategy and flexibility to work in partnership with others. "We are also an Indutrade group company, but our owners have a strategy ofallowing their 200 or so group companies to operate autonomously and in a decentralised manner," he says. "Being part of the group also means we have a solid financial base.

"We are small enough to be very flexible in machining precision components and that is why the big engine firms like to deal with us – they are assured of a high quality of service and a quick response."