The continuing expansion of both product line and customer services has prompted Nottingham-based Pafec Ltd to set itself a three-year target for becoming a publicly quoted company. According to chairman and managing director Dr Richard Hensell, however, Pafec enthusiasm for a Stock Market flotation was diluted by the October 1987 crash. In addition Dr Hensell, who was awarded the OBE in the New Year Honours List earlier this month for services to export and industry, said that the company is wary of sacrificing its independent status. Pafec will not be forced down the path of other computer-aided design companies who have become a small section of somebody else’s larger group, he warned. Born as a Nottingham University-based research group in 1964, Pafec Ltd was created in 1976 as a private finite element analysis company, employing seven staff. In 1978 it entered the graphics field with the launch of its DOGS design product. It now describes itself as as Europe’s largest independent software house, and claims 350 employees, 40 agents and 20,000 users scattered across the world. In the fiscal year ending July 31, 1988, its turnover stood at UKP14m, with profits hovering at UKP250,000; both figures are expected to rise in line with the market this year. Primary areas of current activity include the development, marketing and support of software for 2D and 3D design, manufacturing, engineering analysis, and geographical information systems. In addition, Pafec offers a range of mapping and digitising services on a bureau basis. Dr Hensell was in town for the launch of the company’s new image scanning capture system, Raven. Pafec claims that the new Raven system can scan an AO drawing in less than 90 seconds at resolution of 400 dots per inch. Other benefits include its handling of both raster and vector formats, hardware independence enabling it to front-end any computer-aided design system, and inbuilt, programmable intelligence for greater automation. The system will be offered in the UK for between UKP50,000 and UKP100,000; the latter price includes a Sun Microsystems Inc Sun-3/160 Unix workstation.
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