Drives and Controls Magazine
Chinese firm buys UK’s Trio Motion for £15.5m
Published:  14 February, 2017

The Chinese automation and robotics manufacturer Estun Automation has bought the long-established British motion control specialist Trio Motion Technology for £15.5m in cash.

Estun plans to combine Trio’s motion control capabilities with its own AC servo technology to transform itself from a component supplier to a provider of a high-end motion control systems. It says that this will help it to compete directly with European and Japanese motion specialists. It also hopes to increase its share of the "huge" Chinese market.

Trio, based in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, will also serve as an r&d centre for Estun’s motion control technologies.

Trio’s portfolio includes: motion controls (branded Motion Coordinators); robot programmers; software; HMIs; and I/O expansion modules. It sub-contracts its manufacturing, allowing it ramp up production quickly to fulfil large orders. It has subsidiaries in the US, China and India.

Trio was founded in 1987 by Chris Backhouse, Roy Bamforth and Kevin Gilliland, who saw a need for powerful, yet easy-to-commission, motion controls. The following year it released its first product – a drive-controller for DC servomotors. It was one of the first examples of motion controls being integrated with drive electronics.

Trio's product portfolio includes motion controls, HMIs, software, I/O systems and robot programmers.

The company’s latest controllers can handle up to 128 axes and more than 125,000 of its Motion Coordinators have been sold.

Estun, founded in 1993, already has subsidiaries in India and Turkey. It manufactures AC servodrives and motors, motion controls, electro-hydraulic servo-pump systems, industrial robots (including six-axis articulated arms, four–axis palletising machines, Scara robots, Delta robots and linear systems), CNC systems, and “smart” manufacturing systems. It has more than 100 patents registered in China and elsewhere.

Estun purchased Trio via its Dynacon Industrial subsidiary.