Family-owned Reliance eyes growth in industrial spares

A Cork-owned family business in existence for almost a century has showed how, from humble beginnings, it became an Irish industry leader in maintenance, repair and operations (MRO).

Reliance Bearing and Gear Company is the largest technical distributor of MRO spares for all industries in Ireland, with three branch locations and a combined warehousing space of 40,000 sq ft.

It exclusively represents many world-leading manufacturing brands, and the agriculture industry accounts for half its business.

Reliance, which is a fourth-generation Cork family-owned business that started out from the back of a Model T truck in 1921 by Horace Rhodes-Kenworthy, held an open day for customers at its base in Eastgate Business Park in Little Island, Co Cork, yesterday.

His great grandson, Peter Creighton, is managing director today.

Having diversified over the decades as business changed and evolved in Ireland, Reliance is also a leading provider of automation and robotic solutions with a unique range of solutions dedicated to assist manufacturers to become more efficient and productive.

The Reliance sales team consists of seven external technical sales engineers and 12 internal customer service team representatives. Collectively, the staff of Reliance represents over 1,000 years experience.

Mr Creighton said: “We have 40 excellent staff whose ability and aptitude for educating and training to respond to our customers’ needs means we’ve been able to evolve as Ireland has evolved. We adapted when Ireland became more agricultural, and when Ireland’s landscape changed towards the end of the 20th century with a lot of traditional manufacturing leaving, we turned to the likes of bio-pharma needs.”

Because the needs of the bio-pharma industry became bigger, Reliance became known for robotics and automation. A stated company aim is to also continually introduce beneficial new technologies to both manufacturing and agricultural sectors.

It has partnered with Australian company Bare-Co as the exclusive distributor for Bare-Co power take-off (PTO) shafts, guards and spares in Ireland, which has established itself as one of the new standards for PTO safety. Reliance will also distribute in Europe.

At its open day, Reliance had a demo van equipped with a range of newly developed components from Japanese giant SMC. Pneumatics specialists were on hand to discuss the vast array of products SMC manufacture. There was also a range of working robotic demos on display with in-house automation engineers.

Mr Creighton said: “We value our customers above all, it was great to see so many.”


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