ITP Group, based in Rugby, Warwickshire, has sold what they believe is the world’s largest co-ordinate measuring machine to the Beijing Space Authority.
The agency will use the machine, which is the size of a house, to measure its satellites.
Founder and managing director of ITP group, Dick Turpin, says: “Doing business with China is different and the culture is interesting – it’s still common for people to smoke in meetings, for instance. There is a reverence for age and experience and a focus on hospitality. I quickly learned that I was better relying on sketches and models than on interpreters.
“Building a machine for Chinese satellite maker might seem a bit unusual, but these large scale multi-function CMMs are suitable for any automotive, aerospace or nautical application where traditional machine tools are too cumbersome or inaccurate. I am proud to say that it has been designed and built entirely in Rugby using local expertise.”
Xu Shuxia, who led a recent Chinese delegation to ITP’s factory, says: “We know the expertise for creating these machines is in England and that’s why we ordered from ITP.”
The Chinese space industry turning to Britain’s expertise is another sign that British manufacturing isn’t dead, and that we can continue to compete on international markets.
Tips for SMEs exporting to China
Be aware of the business culture
Formal dress is appreciated, exchanging business cards is important and you should be prepared to engage in a lot of small talk before getting down to business.
Consider import restrictions
Some products are embargoed from being imported into China, and regulations exist which make it difficult to import others. You should also look into whether your goods will be subject to import taxes.
Industrial espionage and intellectual property infringement can be a problem in China. Be sure to take legal advice about the validity of your patents and other copyright issues.
It’s worth getting hold of a Chinese registered website, which will increase your visibility on domestic search engine Baidu.
The government department responsible for international trade can give you advice and put you in touch with the right people to make your exporting a success.
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