UWE experts to help high-tech Bath engineering firm

Issue date: 04 October 2005

Issue date: 04/10/05

Bath engineering manufacturers Polamco Ltd is set to benefit from the input of technical expertise from the University of the West of England. The family-owned business, employing 90 people, already has a well-earned reputation for designing and manufacturing high-precision components for important industries such as aerospace, military communications and mass transportation. It runs a sophisticated manufacturing facility on the western side of Bath, including a modern, highly-computerised machine shop.

However, the company is looking to improve competitiveness against low-wage global rivals by reducing the time needed for machining equipment to be changed over from one batch of components to another. The link between the company and UWE’s School of Mechanical, Manufacturing and Aerospace Engineering is designed to improve manufacturing efficiency.

Project supervisor Farid Dailami said his team would be exploring innovative ways to increase the speed of setting-up times, ensuring that batches of components are made even more efficiently and idle-times are minimised.

“We are keen for Polamco to use its high-technology equipment even more productively, and this will help solve the problem of lost capacity,” said Farid.

UWE and Polamco have just been awarded a government-supported Knowledge Transfer Partnership to fund a graduate engineer to investigate the latest machine set up reduction techniques in collaboration with the University’s Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences.

Polamco’s Production Director John Stephenson said:

“This two-year partnership gives us the opportunity to build on work the company is already undertaking with the West of England Aerospace Forum under its continuous improvement programme. We are very excited at the potential outcomes of the project although we recognise there is a lot of hard work ahead of us.”


Editor’s notes

• UWE’s Knowledge Transfer support for industry is managed by the Centre for Research, Innovation and Graduate Studies. For more information on Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, contact Clare Rowson on Clare.Rowson@uwe.ac.uk or visit http://www.uwe.ac.uk
• Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are supported by the Department of Trade and Industry. They offer companies the opportunity of a three-way link with a University and a recent graduate to work on a specific project that will benefit their profitability. Projects can last from between 18 months and 3 years, and companies can recoup up to 60% of the salary and related costs. For more information visit http://www.ktponline.org.uk
• The West of England Aerospace Forum champions the interests of all aerospace and defence companies in the South West region, particularly the 600 plus small and medium size enterprises that help make it an area of global excellence. Visit http://www.weaf.co.uk for more information

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