Software specialist Radan Computational celebrated its 30th anniversary as a leading supplier of CAD/CAM solutions for the sheet metalworking sector during October. At an informal ceremony at its Bath headquarters, managing director Chris Aston recorded the company's growth from a two-man operation in 1976 to its current position as a 75-strong international group with subsidiaries in France and Minneapolis, USA.
Since its establishment by two former lecturers at Bath University, Tony Billett and Martin Swainston, Radan has focused its activities on providing integrated design to manufacturing software solutions for sheet metal customers.
The company's original Radraft and Radpunch products were developed on Tektronics 4054 / 4052 series machines and were subsequently ported to UNIX environments in the mid 1980s. Radan's first 3D products were released in 1990, with all products ported to Windows PC operating systems five years later. This period also saw rapid growth in the company's export business with the appointment of several overseas distributors during the 1990s.
Radan introduced its new generation Windows-based products in 2002 and, a year later, the company became part of the Planit Group, which today includes leading engineering software houses: Alphacam, Jobshop; and most recently, Edgecam.
"With more than 15,000 Radan licences in use around the world, we are currently enjoying the most successful period in our history," says Aston. "All product development continues to be undertaken at our Bath headquarters and, by focusing on providing a ‘one-stop shop' for all our customers' needs, we have established an enviable position as the dominant supplier within the UK sheet metal sector.
"Direct sales to the home market account for around 65% of our business. We also collaborate with a number of international machine tool manufacturers who supplement our export sales by supplying Radan software as part of their own manufacturing systems."
According to longest serving employee Rod Bennett, who joined the company in 1985 as a support / help desk engineer, Radan's commitment to customer service has remained a constant throughout. "We always strive to provide a complete package of services to our users, which is one of the reasons that up to 70% of UK customers hold maintenance contracts with us," he says. "It's an approach that undoubtedly helps to boost user base numbers and underpins the development of our latest generation sheet metal CAD/CAM solutions."
Chris Aston agrees: "These are the cornerstones of the company's success. Almost 25% of our staff are devoted to software development, with a further 40% in customer support and technical services. We aim to build on the strength of our first 30 years to continue our growth in the future - particularly in the Far East and other rapidly emerging markets."
Contact: Emma Tyreman