Latest collaborative projects proof of innovation within STC
13th December 2018

 

KWSP’s and TotalSim’s work together on the Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub is just the latest example of how more STC member companies are now collaborating to achieve major results.

While the SSEH is TotalSim’s project, fellow Brackley firm KWSP has transferred its skills from motorsport to help supply  the facility’s ‘main attraction’ – a highly complex wind tunnel for use by athletes such as cyclists, runners and skiers – under the Sports Aero Solutions Ltd banner).

The Hub, inside a new 26,000 sq ft building at Silverstone Park, is due to open in Spring 2019.

Both KWSP and TotalSim sit on the STC Board. KWSP MD Kieron Salter commented: “Collaboration has to come naturally and be intuitive and I would encourage people not to be afraid of it or be too protective.

“Collaboration is not for every cluster; it seems to work best in an industry that’s about innovation and the STC has absolutely got innovation running right through it!

“A lot of it is realising where all parties IP is but collaboration has contributed massively towards KWSP’s growth.” He added: “for example KWSP has little interest in running an aerodynamics or CFD business – that’s TotalSim’s thing. We though are able to deliver the engineering and manufacturing technology for realisation of the CFD development so we and TotalSim complement each other well.

“It’s like building a top football team – you’re pulling together people with slightly different skills to make the best team possible.”

Other collaborations to have caught the eye of late include those involving fellow STC member businesses voxeljet, Total Control Pro, Delta Motorsport and Uniti.

3D printing specialist voxeljet (Milton Keynes) is now using a bespoke tracking system developed for it by Total Control Pro (Northampton).

voxeljet MD James Reeves explained: “It was through the STC that we got in touch – we’d never collaborated with anyone locally before but we will do it more now. “STC is bringing together like minded people and cultures which didn’t know each other before. It’s helping to break the ice with potential partners so you can establish trust and from there begin collaborating.

“We’ve found Total Control Pro have provided exactly the right level of scale for us – just what we needed. We now have an online system that means we can show we deliver the right part to the right people on time. It means better scheduling and traceability for hitting our ISO9001 target.”

And added TCP’s Strategic Director Dolores Sanders: “When Northamptonshire County Council supported us to create five local showcase smart factory applications, we were excited to share the opportunity with local manufacturers. However given the noisy media hype about Industry 4.0, we were challenged with reaching companies that would like to take advantage of the opportunity.

“The solution we found was to turn to the STC.  As a member, Pim (van Baarsen, its CEO) started to share what we were doing with other members and invited us to networking events and opportunities to hear from local manufacturers as to the challenges they face. 

“Voxeljet was one such company with whom we connected and jumped at the chance to have a supported programme, to experience the return on investment that digitisation of shop floor processes can offer.”

Elsewhere vehicle electrification and hybrid technology specialist Delta, based at Silverstone Park, is now expanding into the world of autonomous vehicle design with two collaborative projects – one with F1 car designer Gordon Murray’s company Gordon Murray Design. Both projects have attracted significant investment from Innovate UK.

Also at the business estate are Swedish electric car company Uniti and battery specialist Danecca. Uniti has announced it will build its new car, the One, at a fully digitalised production plant it is constructing there while Danecca will oversee development of the vehicle’s powertrain.

Uniti’s Vehicle Development Director Sally Povolotsky enthused: “Engineering is going through a period of disruption. It means if we can collaborate together then we can hit the market harder and faster and win significant gains over the opposition such as other countries and continents.

“Quite rightly, the STC is linking people up to promote awareness and opportunities. Collaboration is, after all, a catalyst for accelerating innovation. 

STC CEO Pim van Baarsen said: “Collaboration is something the STC is a great supporter of and these latest projects show just how it is able to benefit companies within the cluster.

“Furthermore they reflect the very exciting activity that is going on every day in offices, workshops and meeting rooms inside the cluster every day of the week.”

 

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