Our history

Explore nearly 50 years of Control Techniques.

1973

Company founded as KTK

Ken Briggs, Trevor Wheatley and Kevin Curran worked together in the 1960s at Mawdsley’s, an engineering firm in South West England that was involved in the rapidly emerging drives business. The three men felt their firm wasn’t innovating fast enough and decided they could do better working for themselves. In 1973 the trio established their own drives manufacturing company; KTK, which stands for Ken, Trevor and Kevin. Ken was responsible for product design, Trevor for sales and Kevin, who had a qualification in business administration, was responsible for business management.

1979

KTK on the move…

In 1979, KTK moved to the small Mid-Wales town of Newtown, due to an offer of rent-free factory space from the Mid Wales Development Corporation. The company has been based in Newtown ever since.

1980

Big in every way

We’ve never been afraid to stand out with promotional materials. Where others played it safe, we went in a different direction. This spirit has been evident in numerous campaigns over the years, from our wrestler friends shown here, to our partnership with the World’s Strongest Man, Eddie Hall.

1985

KTK becomes Control Techniques

In 1985, KTK changed its name to Control Techniques, and the firm embarked on a string of world-beating products – all developed out of its research and development facilities in Wales.

1986

Mentor: the world's first fully digital DC drive

As Control Techniques grew, so did the company’s network, developing close relationships with customers led to a wave of product innovation. In 1982, the world’s smallest drive was invented, and in 1989 the world’s first digital DC drive, the Mentor was created. This was the start of a whole family of Mentor drives, going up to the present-day Mentor MP, arguably the world’s favourite DC motor drive.

1989

Commander CD flux vector AC drive

In 1989, Control Techniques created the world’s first practical flux vector AC drive. The role of the Commander CD is to control the speed of AC electric motors which are used for a host of applications from pumping, mixing and conveying to driving small machine tools and fans.

1991

Expansion!

The showpiece for Control Techniques’ manufacturing was the Mochdre printed circuit board plant in Newtown. The purpose designed plant, which employed 90 people, was built in 1986 as a 10,000 sq ft facility, which was extended to double the size almost immediately, to include a module assembly plant.

1995

The birth of Unidrive

Unidrive was the world’s first truly universal AC drive – a single product for all applications. It enabled all motor control requirements to be catered for in a single, compact product: sensorless vector open loop, flux vector closed loop and high performance brushless AC servo.

1996

Opened a state-of-the-art R&D facility

In 1996 the Control Techniques built The Gro, the ultra-modern research & development headquarters in Newtown, Wales. The Gro remains the HQ for Control Techniques to this day.

2000

Fast and furious Formula 1 gearbox rig

Jaguar Racing is at the forefront in this respect. The team invested in a large 160 kW inverter-based gearbox test rig. Built at Control Techniques, the gearbox test rig and the associated motors became a part of a suite of advanced testing facilities at Jaguar Racing’s prestigious F1 headquarters. The rig is used to simulate the on-track conditions gearboxes routinely encounter during F1 races. This includes load on one wheel only or simulating the over-run condition when the wheels drive the engine.

2014

Green light for new tech lab

To ensure business growth and development Control Techniques commissioned works to begin on a new engineering lab at the company headquarters that would house around 35 highly skilled research & development engineers. The new, industrial scale facility would enable the company to expand its offer through the development of new products and technologies.

2017

Joined the Nidec Group

Nidec, the world’s biggest motor brand, is our parent company and we’re proud to be part of it. Our shared visions of passion, enthusiasm and tenacity guide us on our collective journey to be the best.

2018

Digitax HD – minimum size, maximum performance

The Digitax HD range brings ultimate performance to high dynamic applications, where high peak torque is required for fast acceleration. With a drive width of 40 mm, costs can be reduced by maximising cabinet space. The drive comes in 3 functional variants to support all common industrial and is flexible to accommodate any automation architecture.

2020

Empowering innovators to move the world, one revolution at a time

We’re Control Techniques. We’re obsessed with drives. And we’re working with equally obsessed engineers. The kind that aren’t happy with one-size-fits-all. They need something different. Drives that are so flexible, they can be used as a base to build even better things.

2021

Introduction of specialist drives

Control Techniques launched a Specialist series of industry-specific drive technologies. Pump Drive F600 and HVAC Drive H300 build on our company’s five decades of drives expertise, delivering precise, dependable flow control.