Manufacturing of Reliable Transducers and Instrumentation

P. J. Smith, C.Eng., MIEE Director at RDP Electronics, announces the development of new techniques to achieve the transducers that will be required

  • Founding Directors Peter Smith and Richard Garbett
    Founding Directors Peter Smith and Richard Garbett

IEN Europe: RDP Electronics specializes in the manufacturing of transducers and instrumentation worldwide. Can you give us an overview of your company and products?
P. J. Smith: RDP was started in 1966 by three young Engineers employed at the time in the Aerospace Industry. At the time Transducers of most types available to-day were not commercially available and it was necessary for the Company to develop their own devices. It became obvious that there was a growing demand in research and industry for these products and this provided the impetus to start a specialised Company in this new and growing market. Transducers for measurement and control of Position/Displacement, plus supporting Instrumentation were those used extensively in the Aerospace Industry at that time, but seeing a rapidly growing need in all areas of research and manufacturing it was decided to start by manufacturing these products with a view to extending the range of products by factoring load and pressure transducers at a later date.

IEN Europe: What are the requirements of the ISO 9001:2000 standard? How did you get this certification?
P. J. Smith: The ISO 9001:2000 standard is designed to ensure that products are manufactured to a high standard of reliability, accuracy and consistency and requires the recording of any errors or failings within the Company in relevant reporting documents. Quality meetings are held at regular intervals and the Company is monitored by The British Standards Institution, the controlling authority, to ensure ongoing compliance.

IEN Europe: Your range of products includes signal conditioning electronics, load cells, pressure, torque, and displacement transducers. What is your leading product range? Which are your primary target industries?
P. J. Smith: RDP's leading products are Inductive Displacement Transducers (LVDT's) and the associated Electronic Instrumentation and these are used very widely in Research and Industry, many of them for very specialised applications. The market is so wide and varied that it would be difficult to nominate any particular area of use.

IEN Europe: What are the main features customers look for? Do the needs change from one market to another?
P. J. Smith: Customers are of course looking for reliability and accuracy in a variety of environments including very high and very low temperatures, high radiation, sea submersibility, very high pressures, high shock and vibration and sometimes a combination of several of these. New requirements seem to evolve as Research and Industrial users all push the boundaries to achieve better results.

IEN Europe: How do you distribute your products and services across Europe?
P. J. Smith: RDP sells its products throughout Europe and the world mainly through Distributors aided in recent years by the RDP Website,

IEN Europe: Does RDP offer application advice and technical support?
P. J. Smith: RDP has always recognised the importance of providing technical support to its customers and potential customers through its internal Sales Engineers who are all highly qualified and experienced in the field of measurement and control giving them the ability to analyse the customers problem and recommend the best solution.

IEN Europe: What are the main developments the measurement industry will go through in the future? Are you planning any strategic undertaking in the coming years?
P. J. Smith: In order to sustain an ever increasing world population and the demand this will impose in many areas of production it will be necessary to push the boundaries in measurement technology in terms of accuracy, reliability and the ability to perform consistently in ever increasingly hostile environments. New techniques will be developed using computer techniques to achieve the transducers that will be required. With regard to future strategy, the Directors and their advisers will be continuing to develop and implement the strategy for succession and the future structure and development of the Company. Elisa Campo