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Why Use Linear motors

Our People

Chairman — Alan Foster

Alan has been a LIM design engineer since 1975 and was a founding director of the business in 1979.

An experienced and practical engineer, Alan has amassed a vast wealth of knowledge on all the aspects of the technical and commercial usages of LIMs. Alan has custom designed LIMs, control systems and architectural aspects of applications for many customers across a huge variety of industrial and commercial uses including roller coaster launchers, baggage handling and conveying systems, personal rapid transit systems and medical equipment.

Managing Director — Neil Foster

Neil re-joined the business in 2008 having spent the previous 9 years working in a large, global company dealing with high volume daily operations and long term, large scale project management. Whilst not an engineer by training; Neil's role still encompasses technical elements and directing the technical team's work on product development and innovation. Neil is responsible for the businesses commercial operations, liaising with valued and new clients as well as formulating the strategic vision for the business. The overall management and development of the staff and the manufacturing facility is also an integral part of the role.

Technical Director — Steve Colyer

A thorough, exacting and practical engineer, Steve has worked with electrical and electronic control systems for LIMs and other special purpose electromagnetic equipment since 1975 giving him unique knowledge and expertise in both LIM and their system control design.

Steve has been involved in all the varied industrial and commercial LIM applications that Force has produced over the last 15 years and has extensive experience of application implementation, control system testing and automated data collection systems. Steve is responsible for the design and maintenance of our own rigorous QA system ensuring our products perform to specification the first time and every time.

Production Director – Martin Howdle

Martin joined Force Engineering as an apprentice but quickly rose to the role of Production Manager and we still use many of the production techniques and processes implemented by Martin during this time. He left the business in 2000 to set up his own engineering company but was a welcome and frequent visitor. In 2009 he spent 6 months helping us re-evaluate and streamline our production processes, establishing a more robust and efficient manufacturing capability. Martin rejoined Force as Production Director at the start of 2010 with responsibility for all aspects of manufacturing and his drive towards lean and efficient manufacturing with optimised product flow enables us to offer high quality production quickly and respond to our customers needs for either, or both, high volume or prototype production.

Project Engineer — Matt Dickinson

Matt joined the company in 2009 having graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Matt's mechanical knowledge is boosting our product design capability and development giving Force an even wider skill-base. Matt is managing customer facing design development programs and is also responsible for ongoing internal IT system harmonisation.

Production Staff

We have dedicated production staff, all trained and skilled in manufacturing LIMs to our exacting standards. A small number of staff focuses on the specialist areas of production whilst the majority are multi-skilled working on varying elements as our manufacturing requirements change.

Academic Consultants

Prof. Fred Eastham

Prof. Eastham has been actively engaged in the field of machines research for over 50 years, and is widely regarded as one of the leading experts in the field of linear machines. A Fellow of Royal Academy of Engineering and former Pro-Vice Chancellor of Bath University, Prof. Eastham is an Emeritus Professor of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at Bath University. He is still engaged to lecture at seminars and conferences across the world.

Dr. Denis Edwards

Before joining the University of Sussex, Dr Edwards was a development engineer in the Medium Machines Engineering Department at AEI (Rugby). Following research on induction motors and linear reluctance motors, he joined the Sussex team working on a NASA project for electromagnetically assisted launching of spacecraft, where he worked on the modelling and design of the levitation and propulsion systems. He has written user documentation for Infolytica Corporation, specialists in design and analysis software for electromagnetics.