As a trade association, the BGA, or British Gear Association, works to promote the commercial and technical interests of our members. Those members include distributors, manufacturers, academics and other bodies that are involved in the UK’s Power Transmissions industry.
We strive to raise the profile of the Power Transmissions industry and the individuals and companies who operate within it, whilst also creating a platform for them to share ideas and findings. Members and non-Members are invited to request assistance and information, as the association’s permanent team and other members are on hand to help as much as possible.
The BGA speaks on behalf of our members and the industry on a whole on a national and international level, boosting recognition for those involved amongst the government, media and other relevant industries. To that end, the BGA is well-represented on British and International Standard committees, providing the Chairman of the British Standards Institution’s MCE/5 Committee on Gearing and the Chairman to ISO TC60 sub-committee SC1.
The BGA’s mission is to secure and enhance the mechanical Power Transmission industry, To achieve this, we provide:
- Technical information to the industry as required and to liaise with academia jointly to influence standards both nationally and internationally.
- Marketing information by collaborating with recognised world wide authorities.
- The Government with a lead Association which uplifts the image and importance of the industry.
- Training and education for the industry.
The British Gear Association was formed in 1986, replacing the previous British Gear Manufacturers’ Association. The remit of the newly-formed BGA was to broaden the appeal of Membership whilst also providing an organisation that could unite both the manufacturers and users of gears, gearboxes and transmission elements and provide a mutually beneficial platform to help grow the UK’s mechanical Power Transmission industry.
By mid-1989, the BGA had appointed a full-time Chief Executive and staff operating out of headquarters at the Engineering Employers Federation in Birmingham. In 1993 the headquarters moved to Burton on Trent.
In 1998, a full-time Technical Executive was appointed by the BGA in response to increasing technical co-ordination commitments relating to knowledge transfer, best practice activities and an expanding ISO role.
2016 saw a renaissance for the BGA including a move to their current home at Newcastle University.
The BGA is headed by an Executive Council comprising of elected representatives from member companies. There are also various committees that are responsible for technical, commercial, educational and training matters.
European Co-Operation – EUROTRANS
The BGA is a Member of EUROTRANS, a federation of national associations of gear and transmission element manufacturers in nine European countries. From 1990 to 1993, the EUROTRANS President and its Technical Commission Chairman were BGA Executive Council Members
EUROTRANS has forged close links with the Industrial Affairs Commission of the European Community in Brussels and with ORGALIME, the European Metal Industries Association and the American Gears Manufactures Association (AGMA).
Areas with which the Economic Commission is concerned include:
Collecting and disseminating gear and transmission statistics
Monitoring unfair competition and dumping
Conditions of sale
Harmonisation of the European national engineering standards for the design and manufacture of gears and transmissions
Members regularly provide statistics based on economic indicators such as inflation, employment and investment prevailing in their own countries.
EUROTRANS aims to:
Examine the economic and technical problems relating to the mechanical power transmissions industry
Protect the common interestsof Members internationally
Promote the industry world wide.
EUROTRANS does this through its three functional arms. The General Assembly acts as the overall custodian and promoter of the industry. The executive work is done mainly by the Economic and Technical Commissions. Member associations are represented on all three bodies. The President of the General Assembly is an elected position.
BGA’s links with EUROTRANS proved their value in 1992 when a campaign was waged to persuade the US President not to impose import restrictions on gears and gearing products. A petition arising out of a US Trade Commission Survey on “The Competitive Position of the American Gear Industry” (presented to the US Department of Commerce by the AGMA under Section 232 of the US Trade Expansion Act of 1962) had claimed that foreign imports were a threat to national security. At stake in Britain was the potential loss of £100 million per year of gearing exports.
A special Working Group, which was chaired by the EUROTRANS President/BGA representative, employed an American lawyer to contest the petition. A successful outcome was reached when the Department Of Commerce decided not to take the matter further.