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‘The clarification of a journey we have been on for more than a decade’: Manufacturer aims at overseas markets as it marks milestone anniversary

FROM AN AUTOMOTIVE and engineering consultancy to one of the world’s leading manufacturers of power-dense electric motors and inverters, Milton Keynes-based Helix is marking the 25th anniversary of its former brand Integral Powertrain.

The Helix brand, introduced last year, builds on the company’s heritage and almost 15 years in electric motor and inverter design .

Its new Shenley Technical Centre pictured above, at Shenley Wood, which opened last year, is a key part of Helix’s plans to becoming a global electric propulsion powerhouse with facilities around the world. Helix is targeting emerging requirements in sectors including aerospace, marine and commercial and off-highway vehicles, while continuing to serve its traditional high-end automotive and motorsport markets.

Integral Powertrain was established in 1998 and from 2009 developed a manufacturing capability at its former facility in Bletchley suitable for short production runs of motors and inverters. The company was named Business of the Year at the 2019 Milton Keynes Business Achievement Awards for its technology that helped power the world’s pioneering hybrid-electric hypercars. That spirit remains in X-Division, where Helix engineers are developing tomorrow’s technology.

Chief technical officer Andy Cross pictured right joined IP in 2000 and has seen its Integral e-Drive division transformed into Helix, launched as a new corporate brand in 2022 including a new website and logo.

“For me it is all about the shift from consultancy to product-focused company,” he says. “It is the clarification of a journey we have been on for more than a decade and I am super excited to see us strengthening the brand and targeting new sectors.”

The Helix brand embodies the company’s unique motor and inverter offer, based on Scalable Core Technology that defines three levels of electric propulsion unit application, all suited to full-scale production. Scalable Core Technology includes bespoke manufacturing techniques, designed and implemented in house.

Helix machines are helping designers and OEMs explore new opportunities in markets far removed from IP’s reach 25 years ago. Helix offers full scale motor and inverter manufacturing capability based on almost 15 years in high-end electric propulsion system engineering.

“Electrification is so exciting and so fast developing,” says Darren Cairns pictured left, director and Helix’s chief executive. “I do not think anyone anticipated it would grow at the rate it has  but Helix is perfectly placed in the market. We have never had such a strong order book or so strong a pipeline for new business. We are ready and we intend to own this space.”

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