The Company's History
Mr. Derek Nicholson, the "Grandfather of Stairlifts"
On a visit to MediTek in 2010
MediTek‘s life started back in 1989 with two enthusiastic mechanical engineers and a unique design concept: the two founders were Derek Nicholson and Kevin G. Strafford-Price, and their idea was to replace the cumbersome high voltage drive mechanism of existing stairlifts with a much safer and flexible low-voltage, battery-operated system.
Whilst Derek later moved on from designing Acorn stairlifts and finally retired in 2009, Kevin has remained the heart and driving force of MediTek from the outset. Both of the founders had been associated with the stairlift industry for several years and were therefore ideally placed to understand what was needed to revolutionize the product.
The concept of battery operation took time to develop fully, and it was not until 1994 that the Meditek Company was finally incorporated to design, manufacture and distribute the Sika range of stairlifts thereby bringing a whole new set of engineering and safety standards to the Industry. A manufacturing facility was set up in the north of England to design and build these machines, but this soon became far too restrictive, and new premises were bought nearby to provide a much greater product output.
1995 saw the introduction of the Integrated Continuous Charging System (ICCC), which enabled the internal batteries to charge, and continue to be charged regardless of where the lift was ‘parked’ on its rail. This remains a key feature of all Meditek products.
A heavy-duty stairlift capable of safely carrying a 350 lb payload was then introduced the following year ; no other manufacturer at that time was able to match this performance.
In 1997, a specialized Stand and Perch model was introduced, further enhancing the Company’s ability to “move people up and down stairs”.
Following its policy of continuing product improvement, MediTek then manufactured the first power control system incorporating a digital diagnostic display. The principal advantage of this is to enable remote fault diagnosis and remedy to be carried out by phone without the need for expensive call-out charges.
In the year 2000, an ingenious Automatic Power Folding Hinge track was released that eliminated the need for unsightly external wiring by concealing everything within the track itself. A powered folding platform was also added for use in locations where space is restricted at the head of a stairway.
With its ongoing commitment to safety, MediTek then further improved its design by incorporating an all-round collision protection facility into the carriage assembly. This feature ensures that, should the carriage meet with an obstruction when in motion, power will be switched off and the stairlift stopped until the obstruction is cleared. Even today, no other stairlift manufacturer offers this level of protection.
With sales expanding world-wide, branches were established as far afield as Perth, Australia, and in 2009 a subsidiary was set up in Raleigh, North Carolina, to serve the USA dealer network. As sales have continued to grow, so has the Company, and a further expansion into a new UK factory was made in 2013 at a cost of over one million Pounds.
Now, in 2016 the Company continues to innovate and to revolutionize the stairlift marketplace. Our pledge from the beginning has been to provide a safe, reliable and affordable stairlift for the mobility-impaired to enjoy: in addition, we have aimed to provide the best state-of-the-art stairlift that money can buy. We believe firmly that we have achieved both our pledge and our aim.