From visual tool control to electronics & cyber security!

Silverstone Technology Cluster

10th September 2019

As the STC celebrates reaching 100-plus members, the variety of companies being attracted by its offering has been further highlighted by the services provided by three of its most recent subscribers: Coplan, Ducathen and CYSIAM.

From the aerospace and pharmaceutical industries to automotive and Formula 1, Coplan Control, in Milton Keynes, is a leading provider of visual tool control (VTC) and specialist protection solutions.

In short, it designs and cuts high density foam to provide bespoke protection for tooling and high-value parts and equipment.

But it goes further: it even manufactures custom products – such as protective matting and covers when engineers are working on high-value manufacturing assemblies – to ensure protection for the component being worked on. Think, for example, of jet engines worth millions of pounds…

“We have a library of tens of thousands of tools meaning we can provide solutions for just about any tool imaginable,” explains Coplan MD Paul Mazaher.

He adds: “The STC appealed because of the support it gives SME sized businesses like ours but also because, for us, the organisations that sit within it are ideal in terms of the potential for us to help from a problem solving perspective and potentially becoming partners to those who work in similar industries.

“We’ve been members for less than six months and really like the STC’s proactive approach. The networking side is very interesting and there’s real benefit in being able to exchange business cards with the right type of people.”

South Northants based Ducathen – a start-up launched by electronics/firmware design engineer Steven Borley – provides electrical engineering consultancy to businesses of differing scales.

Steven’s previous experience means he is able to apply his skills in a wide variety of areas from medical devices to wearable electronics and industrial sensors.

Steven says: “My background means I am not related to any particular sector which can be a bonus.

“I help my clients put their products into production – I suppose I take some areas of complexity away from them while their engineers concentrate on the bits they are good at.”

He continues: “A lot of opportunities come through word of mouth or networking which is what the STC is very good at – joining was a simple decision. It is in favour of people supporting one another.”

Meanwhile, CYSIAM operates at the heart of one of modern day’s most relevant and critical topics for the high-tech sector – cyber security.

Based at the Cranfield Innovation Centre, the company has a strong military and secure government pedigree.

“Our team have a combination of technical and commercial defence and national security backgrounds. We deliver our services to small to medium size business at a price point they can afford”, comments Chief Technology Officer David Allan.

“We work with businesses looking to comply, for example, with GDPR, or gain Cyber Essentials accreditation to pursue government contracts, or those that just need to understand their cyber-risk profile in the context of the latest threats.”

Within four months of becoming a member, David has already presented at one of the STC’s special interest group events (Autonomous, Connected, Electrified & Shared) where he shared the stage with the likes of Heathrow Airport’s Head of Innovation Steve Armitage – see separate story.

David enthuses: “We’re all technically curious by nature and experience, and are delighted to be part of a technology cluster that is recognised as a strong brand and shares our values on innovation and collaboration.”

“We’ve already met some great people with very interesting backgrounds and we’ve been able to share and test some of our own ideas for future development.”

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