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Teesside University helps engineering company make substantial savings

An engineering firm is being helped to save hundreds of thousands of pounds thanks to a research project with Teesside University.

Mech-Tool Engineering Ltd, based in Darlington, is taking part in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) to investigate ways in which its manufacturing processes can be made more efficient.

Mech-Tool designs and manufactures products that protect people and plant from blast, fire, and heat hazards.

The project has already identified a number of ways in which systems can be made to operate more effectively and is carrying out a review of all the processes throughout the company.

Over the past few years, Teesside University has worked with Mech-Tool Engineering on several projects and has helped the company address some of the challenges it has faced within its business.

The KTP began in August 2013 and KTP associate Barry Moore, a Teesside University BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering graduate and PhD student, began working at the company. 

The impact of this project contributed to Mech-Tool winning the Lombard Award for Best Small to Medium Enterprise at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ Manufacturing Excellence Awards 2014. The company acknowledged the achievements of the project and offered a management position to Barry.

He has been supervised by Dr Ruben Pinedo-Cuenca, a project manager at Teesside Manufacturing Centre in the School of Science & Engineering. The centre has a long track record of delivering successful KTP projects and commercial consultancy relevant to industry needs. The interventions have led to transformational results with businesses achieving significant savings and increased revenues.

KTPs typically last for two years and are a collaboration between a university and a company. They are part-funded by Innovate UK to help businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills.

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Photograph: KTP Barry Moore, centre, with Keith Bell of Mech-Tool and Ruben Pinedo-Cuenca, academic supervisor, Teesside University.

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