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London-based Robert Grace Architecture is using a visually appealing linear slide system from Hepcomotion to automate the opening and closing of large and heavy sliding doors.

The doors — a double door weighing 2.5 tonnes and a smaller one weighing 1.5 tonnes — form part of an extension to a historic house in London that opens onto a private arboretum. The structure is built on the site of an old, stone-walled orangery. 

The weight of the doors dictated motor-driven actuation but the chosen mechanism had to be extremely unobtrusive and operate almost silently.

The resulting Hepcomotion solution comprises five Driven Linear System (DLS) units with geared motors and two Utilitrak systems to guide the top of the doors. To ensure they could operate in all weather conditions, they were specified in corrosion-resistant material.

Key benefits of product application

  • The DLS’s slideway is hardened and precision ground and the system’s double-row cap-sealed bearings ensure long life and low maintenance — making it particularly suitable for this architectural application.
  • Utilitrak provides the companion guides for the glass doors; these are lightweight U channels and are commonly used for applications where low cost, easy installation and minimal maintenance are the primary objectives.
  • The Utilitrak systems are designed to offer high reliability in a sleek and compact design.
  • According to Robert Grace, as this was a very prestigious project, it was essential to hide the mechanisms and switching; to this end, he said, the Hepcomotion products were ideal.

Designing a unique engineering principle and making it a commercial success is quite an accomplishment.  Developing that concept and embracing complementary technologies to the point where the business becomes a world leader in its field takes that achievement into a different league.  HepcoMotion has achieved both and in 2009 celebrates 40th year of trading.   

Today HepcoMotion is one of the world’s foremost innovators and manufacturers of linear motion technology.  And this can be attributed to the important tenet – continued investment in its people processes and products.  This has allowed the company to grow even at times of economical difficulty.  

Although its range of individual, linear motion products remains an important part of its business the growth area for HepcoMotion in recent years is in specials and assemblies.  Almost one fifth of its shop floor space is devoted to assembly and the company has invested heavily in flexible manufacturing to ensure that even last minute changes can be accommodated to customer specification.  

Constantly re-assessing its strengths against changing market demands continues to provide HepcoMotion with the momentum for business growth.  The culture of ongoing investment has certainly worked well throughout its first 40 years and will continue to underpin its business in the decades to come.

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