Research and development – industry’s road to success

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Manufacturing flexibility has never been as important for industry as it is today. In a world of interconnected devices and smart factories, the ability of a manufacturer to innovate and adapt to its customers’ requirements is vital. For many manufacturers, the road to innovation starts with research and development (R&D).

 Here Andrew Keith, engineering director of power resistor manufacturer Cressall Resistors, discusses the role of research and development in the manufacturing industry.

I joined Cressall Resistors full-time in 2009, after completing two summer placements with the company during my university studies.  Back then, the existing standard product range catered for most applications. Five years later, the R&D demands have skyrocketed. To respond to the industry need, many manufacturers find themselves investing in their research, design and test capabilities.

 Many of the products Cressall manufactures are made in small batches for specific customer requirements. The ability to develop, manufacture and support bespoke solutions puts Cressall at a significant advantage in the market. However, the conditions are more competitive than ever and to ensure our solutions are price competitive, we have to be able to explore through simulation and testing all design possibilities.

Developing our in-house R&D capability allows Cressall to adapt its product range, meaning that when a customer gives us their product specifications, it’s likely that we already have a close fit. Expanding the product range isn’t the only positive outcome of having an onsite R&D facility. Here are the five advantages you need to be aware of when considering R&D.

Global success

Manufacturers with constant R&D investments have a higher chance of succeeding in the global market. To attain the best professional advantage, investment in R&D comes hand in hand with processes such as market development and new business processes.

Innovate and flourish

Manufacturers should be firm about what they plan to accomplish with their business. The most successful businesses are always innovating. They are always finding new ways to build up their competitive advantages. R&D is necessary in boosting the vision and objectives of a business, so companies should never be reluctant to take action toward innovation.

Cressall’s testing facility provides the means to carry out impulse tests of up to 400,000 Volts. This facility is allowing us to explore the limits of existing designs.

We can make refinements to designs and change the materials we use to extend the limits of the technology we have already developed.

Better business outcomes

There is a solid relationship between the amount of effort put into research and development, and the way a company performs. Companies that use R&D investment as the main driver for progress are inclined to achieve better outcomes for investors and overall be more innovative than their competitors.

Cressall has recently invested in a temperature regulated water circulation system that can be used for developing our water cooled resistors. The continued success of the innovative water cooled EV2 resistor has merited investment for further development. We have a development program in place which is based on feedback from the market place. As a result we are looking to create smaller designs with lower pressure drops as well as reducing cost.

Economic growth

R&D is recognised as an important factor in economic growth and balance. R&D can easily lead to highly valued technologies, strategies and designs for your company that could be the origin of potential value when considering sustaining a competitive advantage.

Tax credit

Qualified R&D projects allow manufacturers to defray relevant costs with the help of the Research and Development Relief for Corporation Tax. This option allows a business to reduce its tax bill. Small to medium size businesses also get tax credits in cash disbursed by HM Revenue and Customs.

The build of Cressall Resistor’s R&D facility is ongoing. Earlier in 2015, the space was opened and since then, we have focused on bringing in major test equipment. The test area facilitates for thermal testing of Cressall’s naturally ventilated or water cooled resistors and lightning impulse testing up to 400kV for high voltage equipment.

If you’d like to find out more about the advantages of R&D, get in touch with Cressall on www.cressall.com

VENTURE APPOINTS NEW DIRECTORS TO LEAD COMPANY GROWTH

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Venture Lighting Europe has announced some new strategic changes to its management structure with a number of newly appointed directors.

The company has appointed three new directors, Paul Mettham, Yvonne Savage and Chris Alexander and promoted Phil Croker to senior management in order to reinforce Venture Lighting Europe’s business success and company growth.

Over the last eighteen months, Venture has successfully moved into the quality LED luminaire market whilst maintaining its established position in HID technology. The new management changes are designed to build on this success and increase innovation and product development in LED and drive more sales for a greater market share.

INDESIT INTRODUCES A NEW STYLISH AND EFFICIENT COOKER HOOD

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Indesit, the major domestic appliance manufacturer that prides itself on developing products that make the busy family’s life easier, introduces a brand new cooker hood, part of the Aria built-in cooking collection.

Today’s modern family is busier than ever, and as a result, requires an extractor that can do the job without hassle and fuss. The new angled black glass Indesit Aria 60cm cooker hood, the IHVP 6.6 LM K, is designed and engineered to give users more room in the kitchen when cooking, and boasts a powerful extraction rate of 658 m3/hr.

PERSPEX® SWEET PASTELS – WHAT’S YOUR FLAVOUR?

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Introducing the yummiest colour range from the Perspex® brand that showcases Spring/Summer colour trend: Perspex® Sweet Pastels

– If this doesn’t tickle your taste buds, we don’t know what will!

This newly developed cell cast acrylic sheet collection is made up of eight vibrant pastel colours, available now on a global scale via the Perspex® acrylics’ existing distribution channels. The launch aims to emphasise the brand’s diversity, along with their passion for pigment and adept ability to forecast colour trends.

Outdoor Living with the Benefits of Indoor Comfort.

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Screening is playing an increasingly central role in the management of light and the reduction of thermal gain in building design. In addition to traditional HVAC solutions, the use of screens can vastly improve interior climate and occupant comfort, and reduce environmental impact.

The use of natural forces to provide light, heat and cooling is an important and progressive building approach. Increasing trends for outdoor living coupled with a warming climate are placing additional demands on architects to deliver sustainable and passive design strategies.

Gaia wet underfloor heating allows homeowners to retire in style

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Specialist retirement home developer, Beechcroft, has installed Gaia wet underfloor heating throughout a new scheme in the village of Theale, Berkshire.

The new development comprises an exclusive collection of 27 one, two and three-bedroom apartments plus five new two- and three-bed townhouses. On the first day of the scheme’s official launch, in February 2016, more than 40 groups of people flocked to the showhouse and six of the new homes were reserved immediately.

Trespa Creates A Perfect Match For Every Architectural Vision

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Trespa International B.V. is a leading global producer of innovative and inspirational façade solutions, turning architectural ideas into lasting reality. With its headquarters in the Netherlands, Trespa manufactures high performance cladding panels for building projects around the world.

Since its founding in 1960, Trespa has worked closely with architects, designers, installers, distributors and end users globally. With unique insights into key market challenges and demands, Trespa passionately delivers innovative, aesthetically pleasing and high performance solutions for a wide range of architectural needs.

Inspiring stories

The UK currently has the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals in Europe, at less than ten per cent. When we consider Latvia, Bulgaria and Cyprus are leading the way with nearly 30 per cent, it’s time for the nation to up its game. National days, such as National Women in Engineering Day (NWED) now exist to help raise the profile of women in engineering and focus on the array of career opportunities available in the industry.

Luckily, the UK has its fair share of role models when it comes to engineering. Here, Anna Sleziak, senior process control engineer at systems integrator, Boulting Technology answers questions about her career progression as a female engineer in the UK and how she thinks NWED is inspiring those at the start of their working life.

Launch of hydroponic urban farm to give food businesses competitive advantage

The launch of groLOCAL’s hydroponic urban farm is giving businesses an opportunity to cut down on expenses and offer customers something different with home grown herbs, spices, and micro-greens. For large scale grocery, food chains, and healthy food providers, leasing a groTAINER could prove to be the competitive advantage they’ve been looking for.

The food market has become increasingly crowded but the groTAINER means that it’s possible for businesses to grow highly nutritious produce at just a fraction of the cost of buying from suppliers. The yield of the groTAINER gives firms lots of scope, with the option to sell produce directly to consumers or to include them in the preparation of meals and snacks, giving them a unique twist.

Plentific Announces Instant Booking Service

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London startup Plentific.com, a rapidly growing home services marketplace, has announced a new feature that will allow customers to book home improvement jobs with just a few taps on their phone.

This new service lets customers skip the drawn-out processes of searching for potential tradesmen, comparing quotes and haggling for a fair price just to book a minor home improvement job. Nobody wants to spend hours finding a plumber to fix a clogged sink!

ORGANOWOOD® MAKES TIMBER CLADDING SUSTAINABLE

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Organowood®, a leading sustainable wood protection specialist, is fast becoming known as having the ideal solution to protect and strengthen all types of timber cladding. With strong sustainable and aesthetic qualities, OrganoWood provides architects, professionals and end users with an environmentally friendly and durable wood protection system that ensures longevity, without using harsh chemicals.

OrganoWood is a tried and tested ecological alternative to pressure treated finishes, producing products that offer aesthetically pleasing and sustainable results. Featuring three leading products – OrganoWood® 01 Protection, OrganoWood® 02 Repellent and OrganoWood® 03 Cleaner – the system provides a wood protection treatment that protects and aesthetically enhances external timber cladding from the exterior elements.

“Wood is a strong, reliable and attractive material that can be innately damaged using chemicals”, comments Michael Nicholls, Sales Manager at OrganoWood UK. “We are pleased to offer an environmentally friendly wood treatment system that complements and enhances the wood’s natural and sustainable properties, without using substances that are classified as hazardous or harmful.”

The Contract Zone Is Coming

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The Flooring Show continues to grow going into its 55th year, and for the 2017 edition, will be introducing ‘The Contract Zone’.  Featuring a central display of the latest trends and innovations in the contract flooring sector, and surrounded by exhibition stands, which will host key brands, this latest development will be one not to miss for architects, interior designers, facilities mangers, developers and contract managers.

Located in Hall Q of the Harrogate International Centre, this exciting new area is supported and sponsored by the Contract Flooring Association, who will also be running a Demonstration Zone with a specific focus on contract flooring in the same Hall. Also located in Hall Q will be the Trends Hub, once again curated by Scarlet Opus, and a specific seminar area, which will host CPD certified seminars, giving visitors from the contract sector a chance to add to their professional development.

Stone Show outing for Ceralsio and CRL Quartz

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CRL Stone will be making its debut appearance at The Natural Stone Show this April, as it showcases its new ranges of quartz and porcelain surfaces.

Fabricators, architects, designers, developers and retailers visiting the three-day show, held at London’s Excel, can visit Stand AA1 to see the new collections and to learn about the many advantages that quartz and porcelain offer on all types of applications.

Drawing on its 20 years’ experience in the stone industry, CRL Stone offers more than 60 colours and finishes of porcelain and quartz surfaces. CRL Quartz is a highly durable engineered quartz stone, available in 32 colours, with a polished finish and in thicknesses of 20mm and 30mm. The extra-large slabs measure up to 3200 x 1650mm. Enabling designers and architects to respond to interior trends while meeting the demands of modern living, CRL Quartz is non-porous, stain, scratch, heat and shock resistant.

Ceralsio porcelain is a beautiful, hard-wearing and versatile range, available in 27 colours and three thicknesses – 12mm for a slim worktop, 10mm for floor tiling and 6mm for wall cladding. With its many benefits including a strong resistance to wear and tear, scratch, stain and ultra-violet, Ceralsio is suitable for interior and exterior use.

SWECO CLAIMS BREEAM UK ASSESSOR COMPANY OF THE YEAR AWARD HAT-TRICK

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Leading engineering, environmental and design consultancy Sweco UK has been named as the  BREEAM Assessor Company of the Year. This is the third time Sweco have won this prestigious award for the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for master planning projects, infrastructure and buildings.

BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) has recognised Sweco for a third time due to the consultancy’s ability to consistently achieve the highest BREEAM ratings for its projects over a 12-month period, resulting in some of the most sustainable and user-focused buildings.

BREEAM is the internationally recognised measure of sustainability for buildings and communities and is used in over 70 countries. More than 530,000 certificates have been issued under BREEAM on more than 24,000 projects around the world, and over 2.2 million buildings and communities are registered for certification.

Wool Talks – Be Informed About Wool

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WEDNESDAY 15TH MARCH

11.00am – 12.30pm    Wool Style Arabella McNie – curator and stylist (Wool House 2013 and Focus 2016). Bridgette Kelly – Interior Textiles Director at The Campaign for Wool. Designer – Design Matters with Giles Kime, Interiors Editor of Country Life and Roger Oates, designer and founder of flatweave brand Roger Oates Design.

2.15pm    Wool Uncovered Bridgette Kelly – Interiors Director for the Campaign for Wool Learn about the amazing assets of the world’s best carpet fibre.

3.30pm    Wool Care with The WoolSafe Organisation – Dr. Ágnes Zsednai Nothing maintains its appearance better than wool – learn how to care for wool carpet.

THURSDAY 16TH MARCH

10.30pm    Wool Care with The WoolSafe Organisation – Dr. Ágnes Zsednai Nothing maintains its appearance better than wool – learn how to care for wool carpet.

11.30am    Colour Trends with Jessica Light One of the UK’s last passementerie weavers, who offers bespoke design and colour-matching for both the fashion and interior market and her clients have included Burberry and Vivienne Westwood. Jessica is also a trends consultant, sitting on the global and European forecasting panels for Mix/Colourhive and working with Dulux Colour Futures.

1.15pm    Wool Uncovered Bridgette Kelly – Interiors Director for the Campaign for Wool Learn about the amazing assets of the world’s best carpet fibre.

2.15pm    Colour Trends with Jessica Light

Welsh Slate set to unveil new look at the Natural Stone Show

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The Lagan Group company will introduce new branding at the exhibition.

A new-look Welsh Slate will exhibit its full range of architectural products at The Natural Stone Show at ExCel London from April 25-27.

Welsh Slate (stand P67) will use the show, which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary as the only UK exhibition and conference dedicated to natural stone, to unveil new branding to bring it further under the umbrella of its parent Lagan Group.

While the natural material quarried by Welsh Slate has a 500 million year pedigree, its properties lend itself to a peerless range of contemporary interior and exterior design applications.

Available in a wide range of colours and finishes, Welsh Slate is particularly popular for heritage and historic projects, most recently featuring as flooring for a refurbished gallery at the Georgian British Museum.

Other design applications for Welsh Slate, which is as durable as it is beautiful, include cladding, walling, paving, worktops and counters, landscaping, sawn scants, cills and copings, fire surrounds and hearths.

Welsh Slate roofing is also widely used by architects in the UK, again particularly on historic and heritage projects, and is exported to all four corners of the globe.

NEW SUMMER COLLECTIONS AT THE MANCHESTER FURNITURE SHOW

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The arrival of Spring means that exhibitors at The Manchester Furniture Show, (16 – 18 July 2017, Manchester Central), are already in full swing with their preparations for the show.  Returning this year with new exhibitors, showing more new ranges, the event promises to be a must-see for any buyer looking for items to furnish and decorate interior spaces.

Growth of manufacturer recognised at national design impact awards

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Sealant and adhesive manufacturer Polyseam has achieved the ultimate design accolade for the rebrand of its GRAFT product range.

The Yorkshire-headquartered company and its branding agency The Engine Room were both presented with a gold design impact trophy at the glittering DBA Design Effectiveness Awards in London.

But the GRAFT project also went on to scoop the ultimate recognition of the evening when it was announced as the Grand Prix winner of winners at the end of the night.