Mullingar company for award

A Mullingar robotics company is hoping to go all the way at the finals of the National Enterprise Awards.

Robotic Drive Services was unveiled on Sunday as one of eight national finalists chosen for the awards scheme, which recognises the outstanding achievements of the country’s small businesses.

Ken McNevin says he and fellow founder Stephen Nolan are really looking forward to the national final at Dublin Castle on Tuesday. He’s surprised and delighted by the company’s success.

“It’s great. At the start we didn’t think we’d make it through so many rounds. Now we’re really looking forward to the night.”

To his surprise, the fact that the company has such a specialised product didn’t hamper their progress through the county and regional rounds.

They buy robots from a company in Sweden and custom-adapt them to suit the needs of big-name clients such as Pepsi and Xerox.

The smallest robot they make weighs around 100kg and can lift about 5kg, while the largest one on their factory floor weighs upwards of two and a half tonnes and can lift up to 500kg.

“We’re well pleased,” he says and mentions other successes the business has been enjoying in recent weeks.

Robotic Drive Services has taken on two new staff and has just been made a strategic partner for international electronic engineering giants ABB.

Since they set up in 2005, the company has increased its turnover to €1m and hopes that new contracts this year will see that rise to between €1.4 and €1.5m.

McNevin says their success in the venture is partly due to the support of Westmeath County Enterprise Board and adds that a new business plan has revitalised the company.


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