Q and A with Astute Group’s Rich Ford

Posted: 3 June 2024 | | No comments yet

Global Railway Review interviewed Astute Group’s Rich Ford, covering their global offices, adapting to a harsh environment and teaming up with other organisations.

rich ford astute group

Astute Group is a global technology supplier, spanning Asia, America and Europe, where are you looking to expand next?

We pretty much cover the globe; we have two offices in the US and one in Mexico, an ever expanding operation in Australia and increasing activity in India and the APAC locations. It is in Europe, however, where we have seen a more recent expansion and an increase in offices, the operations in Germany, France and Iberia are perfectly positioned to support the rail sector in those regions. We are keen to expand our current offices. Poland and Eastern Europe is certainly an area in which we want to grow activity and offers exciting opportunities for us. 

How does Astute impact the global rail industry?

We have the infrastructure to expand into this sector, and, with SynQor and other partners, we have the technical capability to offer solutions to multiple applications in the rail sector, from lighting and charging to tickets machines and braking systems.

What is Astute’s link with SynQor and what could it mean for rail?

SynQor is a manufacturer of dc/dc converters that are able to run off the train’s supply, providing a protected and usable power source for multiple applications. Their products meet the approvals required by the rail industry such as EN50155 which makes them easy to implement. SynQor design and manufacture for the MIL/Aero sector as well as rail so reliability and efficiency is key, as well as continuity of supply over the life of a product – they rarely obsolete products, which means 20+ years of supply and support is invaluable.

astute group

How important is it to Astute to be able to supply to harsh environment applications?

Our core business is the MIL/Aero sector where products are tested to the limit in terms of shock, vibration and temperature. This is also a requirement for the rail sector so the product lines with which we partner have to meet this criteria. Testing for MIL/Aero is very stringent and arguably harsher than rail in some respects, transients are common place which means the modules we provide have to withstand multiple events and still survive, in this respect rail is equally as harsh and possibly more so. For this reason it is critical for Astute to partner with manufacturers that are suited and able to cope with these harsh environments.

How comprehensive is Astute Group’s offering for the rail industry?

Our offering in this sector is ever expanding, Astute are constantly looking for new partners to grow our capability to supply into the sector in which we are successful. Rail is relatively new for us so our offering is innovative and expanding, but with partners in power conversion, renewables, and interconnect and semiconductors, we expect our offering to grow quite rapidly.

Click the link here to register for Astute Group’s “Power Partnership” webinar series. Follow Astute Group on LinkedIn to keep updated.

Related organisations


Related people