How we work with industry
As a modern civic university, LJMU is delivering solutions to overcome the challenges of the 21st Century. Here are just some ways the Faculty of Engineering and Technology are supporting this objective.
The Faculty of Engineering and Technology's collaboration with local, national and international industrial partners is critical in fulfilling the University’s core mission to serve “its people and communities, at home and further afield; enriching the lives of those they work with and acting as an anchor institution in the City of Liverpool”.
The Faculty of Engineering and Technology (FET) has set up a dedicated departmental resource as part of LJMU's strategy and mission. This plays a unique role in fusing industry and academia together to promote value-added engagement and help strengthen the culture of innovation within the University and the Liverpool City Region.
The projects contained within the Faculty bridge across a number of technology areas, with renowned expertise in digital technologies and low carbon solutions. The projects unite in their technology-focused approach of helping solve the challenges facing industry - transferring cutting edge technologies, solutions and know-how from LJMU’s highly experienced innovations teams and academics to the businesses they support.
The dedicated delivery teams consist of experts across cutting edge technology, skills, funding, investment, commercialisation and the adoption of new technologies, complemented by the knowledge that lies in FET, with access to over 200 active academic staff and researchers, and world class advanced technology facilities.
This valuable resource supports industrial collaboration to ensure maximum impact for our industrial colleagues whilst supporting the vision of developing talented graduates as part of the workforce of the future.
Other ways we can work with you
Access and facilities
As well as our expertise, it is also possible to gain access to a range of our world-leading facilities for training, innovation, research and development.
Knowledge Transfer Partnership
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships or KTPs, enables businesses to bring in new skills and the latest academic thinking to deliver a specific, strategic innovation project through a knowledge-based partnership.
Here at LJMU we will help you recruit a suitable graduate, who is known as the Associate. Although the Associate will be employed by the University. They will work at your company for the duration of the project.
The scheme which is part grant funded by Innovate UK can last between 12 and 36 months, depending on what the project is and the needs of your business.
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships in the Faculty of Engineering & Technology
You can find a couple examples of our previous KTP’s here:
And more information on the government funded scheme can be found on GOV.UK.
If you would like to discuss how you can work with the Faculty of Engineering and Technology on a KTP please contact Professor Andy Ross, A.D.Ross@ljmu.ac.uk
The Horizons project is a flagship innovation support project in the Liverpool City Region dedicated to supporting SMEs across the Liverpool City Region who want to improve their competitiveness and productivity.
Low Carbon Eco-Innovatory - creating a low carbon economy in the Liverpool City Region
The Low Carbon Eco-Innovatory (LCEI) works with SMEs in Liverpool City Region from a variety of sectors and industries. From aluminium smelting to biotechnology; from maker spaces to safari parks, together we create innovative low carbon goods, processes and services. Our collaborative approach partners companies with leading university academics, researchers and students to make a real difference in their industry, in the region and across the world.
We work with local SMEs through focusing on their specific challenges and identify opportunities for them to benefit from low carbon development and support. This collaborative research and development approach brings benefits in profitability and strategic decision making for the businesses and economic and environmental benefits for the city region and beyond.
Some of our past projects
Digital Innovation (LCR 4.0, LCR 4.0 Start, LCR 4.0 Holistic, CW 4.0)
Since 2016, the LCR 4.0 programmes (European Regional Development Fund) have been providing hands-on, practical support to local businesses to adopt digital technology for economic growth. The projects have won numerous prestigious awards, including being named by the Financial Times as one of the top 100 global digital influencers. Since the inception of the first project, services have constantly evolved based on demand-led needs from industry, with the legacy of the projects focusing on:
First of a kind project supporting the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies in LCR through innovation interventions and the development of smarter products, processes and services.
Providing business support for recommendations and developing strategies for adopting and implementing digital solutions for accelerating the digital journey.
Providing cross-sectoral digital innovation support to help organisations increase productivity, digitise operations and supply chains.
Providing innovative support to help organisations adopt Industry 4.0 technologies, and develop smarter products, processes and supply chains within Cheshire and Warrington.
Clean Growth UK - we're driving clean and green business innovation
Clean Growth UK catalyses clean and green innovation through access to university expertise and facilities, commercialisation and investment support. We help businesses develop clean and green products, services and processes through access to expertise and facilities at our three regional university hubs.
LoCal-I - working with businesses to create low carbon goods, processes and services
The Low Carbon Lancashire Innovation Project (LoCal-i) supports the development of low carbon goods, processes and services, through innovative collaborative research with small and medium sized enterprises based in the Lancashire region.
LoCal-I provides businesses direct access to the latest student expertise and cutting edge facilities at Liverpool John Moores University. The R&D projects undertaken all have the common aim of identifying opportunities for low carbon development which ultimately brings about economic and environmental benefits for businesses and the wider community.
The collaborative projects delivered as a part of LoCal-I are done so through a range of interventions, which are undertaken by dedicated, graduate researchers. These include short, focused one-month projects and internships through to three-year R&D programmes.
The Project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and is delivered in partnership with Lancaster University and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.
Liverpool Immersive Experience Lab - we can help with your usability research
LIVE Lab provides cutting-edge facilities for the development and delivery of usability research through immersive, virtual, mixed and augmented reality technologies.
Eco-I NW - Supporting a low carbon economy and a green recovery in the North West
Eco-I North West offers businesses support to develop their ideas and innovations through their world class academic expertise and cutting-edge technology.
From collaborative research and development right through to delivering commercialisation strategies, Eco-I NW and Liverpool John Moores University can assist your business to realise the low-carbon potential in your products, processes and services.
Maritime Super Skills
The Maritime SuperSkills project offers local employers in the Liverpool City Region the opportunity to upskill their workforce and invest in their future through the development of degree-level apprenticeship standards. The standards are linked to a set of key occupations of importance to regional growth. Partly funded by the European Social Fund (ESF), the Maritime SuperSkills project is led by Liverpool John Moores University and supported by Mersey Maritime, Port Academy Liverpool at Hugh Baird College, Wirral Metropolitan College, The Engineering College and Northern Logistics Academy.
The project enables maritime-focused employers to come together in trailblazer groups to identify, map and develop degree-level apprenticeship standards for the maritime sector. Employers are increasingly seeing apprenticeships as the best way of recruiting and developing staff with the high level specialist skills necessary to grow their business. The costs of training and assessment are met by the employer in the case of levy-paying organisations and the government in the case of those below the threshold.
Digital Innovation case studies
Beverston Engineering is a world-class manufacturer, specialising in the prototyping and manufacture of state of the art engineering components for a wide range of clients throughout the aerospace, oil and gas and pharmaceutical sectors. Based in Knowsley, Beverstons’ key drive is to retain and grow its global reputation as a market leading manufacture of safety and accuracy critical components. The teams commitment to excellence is widely recognised, with the team holding the highest accreditation and customer approval from companies such as United Technologies Corporation, Rolls Royce, Pattonair and ChargePoint Technology among many others.
Owner and Managing Director, Mr Rod Wah continuously pursues a winning innovation strategy and has kept a close eye on recent industry developments around the subject of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” (4IR). It has become increasingly clear to Rod that 4IR represents a paradigm shift within this market, and subsequently a key opportunity for Beverston to continue growing both its global reputation and its revenue through early adoption. Rod and his team, approached LCR4.0 with the intent of helping to map the 4IR technology landscape and understanding how best Beverston can move forward to adapt to the changing wave that 4IR brings to the market.
LCR 4.0s key delivery partner, Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) engaged with their academic and technical staff to understand which 4IR technologies would be most suited to early adoption and deployment by Beverston. Working closely with Rod and his senior management team, LJMU were able to develop a package of work, concentrating upon technologies which could have significant impact upon component accuracy improvement and waste reduction within the CNC manufacturing process.
As part of that process LJMU staff also investigated possible mechanisms Beverston could use to facilitate adoption and financing of any potential developments.
The LJMU team discovered a number of potential technologies which could help achieve the envisaged business goals however to-date no current system existed within the market that could be bought ‘off the shelf’.
In response to this, the team dug further into ascertaining whether such a solution could be researched, developed and deployed in line with expectations and resources.
A custom Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) system was subsequently conceptualised, utilising the combined knowledge of LJMU and Beverston – a system that has potential to offer step-change improvements in-line with Rod’s vision of the full capabilities that 4IR can bring to Beverston.
Given the highly intensive R&D nature of the project, it was agreed that a Knowledge Transfer Partnership would be the most suitable vehicle to act upon and deliver this concept.
A full KTP application was subsequently successfully developed and awarded between Beverston and LJMU – cementing a 36 month long partnership between the 2 organisations.
“I first heard of Industry 4.0, 4IR and Internet of Things at a launch event by LCR4.0. Initially I did not understand what it was all about and how it would benefit my business. But after a period of time of exposure to more information and meetings with the LCR4.0 team, it dawned on me how big this could be to improve efficiency in my business. LCR4.0 partnered me with Liverpool John Moores University and we are now at the beginning of a 3 year project to adopt 4IR principals, to be project managed by a Knowledge Transfer Partnership candidate”.
- Rod Wah, Owner and Managing Director for Beverston Engineering.
Working into the future
Beverston have already begun recruiting for the position of associate, and are soon to welcome them into the Beverston team.
The team is confident that, with support from LJMU and other partners, they will be able to deliver upon their vision of an IIOT CNC system, which will enable them to offer extensive early adopter advantages over their competitors and continue their strong year-on-year growth.
Indeed, Rod and his team are already looking ahead towards developing an extensive roadmap of 4IR adoption, with a view to creating one of the UKs first dedicated 4IR departments – a truly visionary ambition and aim that reflects an exciting future for Beverston.
Data Performance Consultancy
DPC is an Information Technology Consultancy company providing Data Audits and Forensic Analysis; Digital Transformation Management; Rapid Application Development; Application Programming Interface (API) Incubation; Web Application Security and WASP.
Brian Bishop (CEO) commenced working on Social Value as the cornerstone of the Smart City concept in 2010 with the formation of The Data Performance Consultancy Ltd.
Brian wanted to build on the relationship already established with staff in the Faculty of Engineering and Technology at LJMU and was aware of the support available through LCR 4.0 which would help him create a smart procurement platform delivering cost savings with evidenced backed social value – WASP (Workflow Analytics Social Procurement.)
The original concept evolved as a result of research conducted by Brian and his team at DPC and the current Smart Cities project is to build a Smart Social Value Procurement Platform (WASP – Workflow Analytics and Social Procurement) with an embedded collaborative social value framework so as to improve service levels and reduce costs within a community (city, town, village). In parallel DPC will develop a perspective of how the public sector can procure and manage their smart applications and services from existing and new suppliers.
By improving the procurement process and replacing systems using DPC’s Smart Procurement Platform the measurable outcomes will help drive direction for economic growth within a locality.
LJMU and FET have supported DPC to successfully secure £50,000 Innovate UK funding through the First of a Kind competition.
Working to the future
DPC will continually work with LCR 4.0 to identify further funding and investment opportunities in order to develop the Smart Platform to the next phase. Brian Bishop quoted:
“The support we have received from the LCR 4.0 team has been fantastic. For many years we have been trying to ensure key stakeholders understood the benefits of our smart procurement platform.
We lacked the required expertise to develop funding strategies and applications that would clearly articulate our ideas into competitive funding proposals.
I am delighted to say that with help from LJMUs commercialisation team through the LCR 4.0 project, we have successfully secured funding from Innovate UK which has allowed us to progress our technology in a timely fashion. Without this support we would still be trying to raise funds.”
Greenbank Sports Academy
Greenbank Sport Academy (GSA) is part of the wider Greenbank Project, a Liverpool based registered charity which is both owned and run by disabled people.
Greenbanks’ mission is to help people with disabilities to access physical education, sports and recreation facilities. They have become an invaluable member of the local community by enabling local residents to take advantage of offerings such as school holiday clubs, sporting events, specialist sport coaching, training facilities for elite athletes, accommodation facilities, a gym and sports hall – all provided on a not for profit basis.
GSA sought to develop a user friendly sports wheelchair which could be used to play power hockey and wheelchair football – which they have since named as ‘The Equaliser’.
GSA has extensive knowledge within this space and knew a similar chair had already been developed in America, but crucially this chair had only been developed with wheelchair football in mind – preventing the effective dual-use of the chair for both sports. GSA created their first prototype but this was quite heavy and bulky, so they approached LCR4.0 to see what solutions they could offer.
LCR 4.0 delivery partner, LJMU subsequently engaged with their academic and technical staff to find potential paths to improvement. Working closely with the academy, LJMU were able to develop a package of work which focussed upon digitally modelling the Equaliser to discover whether modifications to both materials and design could lead to reductions in weight and increase ease of use.
LJMU staff and students also suggested a range of performance test utilising LJMUs engineering in-house facilities, focussing heavily upon motor and battery components.
The LJMU team discovered a number of potential iterative design improvements that could be made to the Equaliser and with Greenbanks’ guidance, worked to implement these improvements directly upon the prototype.
A suitable alternative lightweight construction material was also discovered which have led to the potential for large weight savings for the chair (making it more manoeuvrable, transportable and easy to use).
Analysis of the Battery and motor performance is still ongoing, with an aim to release further updates prior to the creation of the next Equaliser prototype.
Working in to the future
GSA have already begun integrating the LJMU led improvements into their next Equaliser iteration. The team is confident that, with further development support from LJMU and other partners, they will be able to take the Equaliser from prototype to real-world product.
The team is already looking ahead to partner up with a suitable manufacture right here in the UK. With the recent design/material improvements it is hoped that the Equaliser could be sold for as little as half the cost of current chairs available on the market- opening the potential for the Equaliser to benefit the lives not just for the disabled people of Liverpool but also those around the world.
LCR 4.0 Holistic
Founded in 1972 Central Group is a family owned business with strong vision and values. Based in Liverpool Knowsley Business Park South Central Group have an established customer base in the Utilities, chemicals, metals, paper, food & beverage, oil and gas and renewables markets providing competitive, value for money solutions across all sectors. The company provides fats, workable and innovative solutions utilising extensive experience in motors, pumps, drives and alternators.
Following an introduction to the LCR4.0 Holistic team at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) a consultative support process via a combination of digital diagnostics and readiness level assessment which resulted in a range of support opportunities centring on supporting the company to develop servitisation vs current break and fix business model solution.
Central Group took advantage of the digital innovation support from LCR 4.0 Holistic which resulted in identifying academic skill base in condition based monitoring and targeted funding from the LCR High Growth Innovation Fund to develop / commercialise advanced condition based monitoring solutions.
A prototype IOT condition base monitoring solution has been identified and needs to be scaled up and commercialised as part of a servitisation business model that Central Group can offer their customers. Predicted benefits from the High Growth Innovation Fund are increase overall net profitability of 25 % per annum and creation of 6-7 jobs. The support provided by LCR 4.0 Holistic has helped to identify expert skill base in condition based monitoring and secure innovation funding which ultimately will improve productivity, customer service levels and profitability. Central Group will now put a plan in place to upscale & commercialise the IOT condition based monitoring solution as part on the Innovation funding project.
"Our partnership with LCR4.0 Holistic has been a real eye-opener and has given us the means to offer a servitisation business model to our customers which will improve asset operation up time & also save costs. I would recommend anyone wishing to develop a servitisation business model to take advantage of what it has to offer."
- Shaun Sutton
Business Owner of Central Group
Hi-Tech Steels Services
Hi-Tech Steel Services Ltd (HTSS) provides steel cutting services specifically processing of strip mill products for customers in the Automotive, Construction, Domestic Appliances and Energy sectors in UK & Europe. HTSS has recognised a change in customer demand for a more digital approach to steel processing following an increase in requests for laser cut materials and flat sheet metal products.
Following an introduction to the LCR4.0 Holistic team at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) a consultative support process via a combination of digital diagnostics and readiness level assessment which resulted in a range of support opportunities centring on high-value steel cutting processes to improve productivity, energy efficiency, environmental impact and customer services levels.
HTSS took advantage of the improvement opportunities which resulted in agreeing to support a digital demonstrator project to digitalise a flat sheet metal blanking line. LCR 4.0 Holistic designed, resourced and managed the digital demonstrator project with added support from external accelerator partners providing hardware integrator and remote access software & data storage / display expertise.
The enhanced on-site digital capability captured critical operational data which was feedback in real-time to the management team via a dashboard giving insights into line utilisation, electrical energy consumption costs and environmental carbon footprint impact.
The demonstrator was able to quantify the blanking line non-production time which has already identified line utilisation improvements via better job order planning, sequencing and minimising set-up time, resulting in an additional 2842 metres of flat sheet steel processed per week ( effectively an extra coil per day ), using 10 % less energy & carbon foot print.
The support provided by LCR 4.0 Holistic has helped to digitalise & monetise the blanking line facilitating more informed shop floor and management team decisions which ultimately improve productivity, customer service levels and profitability.
HTSS will now put a plan in place to commercialise the digital demonstrator via a permanent installation focussing on the quick win areas to minimise payback time and maximise return on investment.
"Our partnership with LCR4.0 Holistic has been a real eye-opener and has given us the means to increase our factory efficiency and also save costs. I would recommend anyone in manufacturing to take advantage of what it has to offer."
- Ian Gorman
Managing Director of Hi-Tech Steel
Rose Lane Dental Technology
Digital technology is a rapidly evolving tool which enables Rose Lane dental practice to increase the volume, complexity and types of dental restorations to patients and clinicians.
The Dental Laboratory is dealing with technologies at TRL 6-9 dealing with digital workflow equipment and products that are producing saleable goods to other dental practices on a local and national basis. An established database of clients includes the onsite Dental Practice, long-standing nationwide clients and subcontracting laboratories.
Following an introduction to the LCR4.0 Holistic team at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) a consultative support process via a combination of digital diagnostics and readiness level assessment that resulted in a range of support opportunities centring on subtractive milling asset productivity and energy consumption monitoring to improve productivity, energy efficiency, environmental impact and customer/patient service levels.
Rose Lane Dental Technology took advantage of the improvement opportunities which resulted in agreeing to support a digital demonstrator project to digitalise a Subtractive Dental Restoration Milling machine.
LCR 4.0 Holistic designed, resourced and managed the digital demonstrator project with added support from external accelerator partners providing hardware integrator and remote access software & data storage display expertise.
The enhanced on-site digital capability captured critical mill spindle operational power consumption data which was fed back in realtime to the laboratory management team via a dashboard giving insights into line utilisation, electrical energy consumption costs and environmental carbon footprint impact.
The demonstrator was able to quantify the subtractive milling machine non-production time which has already identified machine utilisation improvements via better dental restoration job order planning, sequencing and minimising set/load up time, resulting in an additional 14 dental restoration units per week, using 10% less energy and carbon footprint.
The support provided by LCR 4.0 Holistic has helped to digitalise & monetise the subtractive milling machine facilitating more informed laboratory management team decisions which ultimately improve productivity, customer/patient service levels and profitability.
Rose Lane will now put a plan in place to commercialise the digital demonstrator via a permanent installation focussing on the quick win areas to minimise payback time and maximise return on investment.
"Our partnership with LCR4.0 Holistic has been a real eyeopener and has given us the means to increase our dental laboratory efficiency and also save costs. I would recommend anyone managing a dental laboratory to take advantage of what it has to offer."
- Andrew Lenden
Manager of Rose Lane Dental Technology
Brainboxes is a local family owned small business established in 1984 developing, manufacturing and supporting their own core communication device technologies, including Edge Controller, Ethernet Switch, USB, Serial Cards, Ethernet to Serial, Remote I/O plus cables & power supplies. The company has received recognition from The Electronics Industry awards 2020 for Best Customer Service and Excellence in Innovation.
Brainboxes and High Tech Steels were invited to join a cross sector Digital Supply Chain workshop organised by LCR 4.0 Holistic, key objectives were to identify potential LCR Digital Accelerator Partners and identify Practical Demonstrators to De-mystify what Digital Supply Chains are all about.
Following consultative support process via a combination of digital diagnostics and readiness level assessment of High Tech Steels Services (provider of steel cutting services specifically processing of strip mill) as a customer of digital supply chain technology resulted in identifying Accelerator Partner opportunity via application of Brainboxes Digital Communication Device technologies. The main value proposition impacts identified were improving productivity, energy efficiency, environmental and customer services levels.
Brainboxes took advantage of the accelerator partner opportunity which resulted in agreeing to support the digital demonstrator project to digitalise a flat sheet metal blanking line at High Tech Steels Services. LCR 4.0 Holistic designed, resourced and managed the digital demonstrator project together with support from Brainboxes as an accelerator partner providing machine monitoring diagnostics, digital communications hardware, electronics integrator and on-site commissioning / start up expertise.
The enhanced on-site digital capability captured critical operational data which was fed back in real time to the HTSS management team via a dashboard giving insights into line utilisation, electrical energy consumption costs and environmental carbon footprint impact.
The demonstrator was able to quantify the blanking line non-production time which has already identified line utilisation improvements via better job order planning, sequencing and minimising set up time, resulting in an additional 2842 metres of flat sheet steel processed per week (effectively an extra coil per day), using 10% less energy and carbon foot print.
Key feedback from the Digital Supply Chain workshop and Digital Demonstrator Project with HTSS was key customers of digital technology require the support of Digital Accelerator partners to guide them through the key stages of installation and implementation through to full scale production.
The combined support provided by LCR 4.0 Holistic and Digital Accelerator partner Brainboxes has helped to digitalise & monetise the HTSS blanking line facilitating more informed shop floor and management team decisions which ultimately improve productivity, customer service levels and profitability.
"Our partnership with LCR 4.0 Holistic has helped to identify customer needs quickly as a Digital Accelerator partner providing digital communications technology to increase efficiency."
Bio Products Group
An IOT Sensor-Based Solution To Detect Early Signs Of Blockages
Bio Products Group is a Warrington based family-owned SME business established in 2015. Its mission is to become a leading product disrupter by creating sustainable, recyclable hygiene products for use in everyday life. This means they carefully design and manufacture products (Bio Pipe, Bio Pad, and Bio Hose) that can stand the test of time and, where possible, be 100% recycled.
The technology they use has been proven scientifically proven to improve the physical characteristics of the plastic surface enabling the prevention of the adhesion of bacteria, which forms a slime that attaches to the surface of the pipe, grows, and blocks the drains causing water leaks, which is very costly from a maintenance, operational and health and safety aspect in a supermarket environment.
Bio productions group requires C&W 4.0’s support to test and evaluate the efficacy of their technology and to find a method to monitor their pipe’s performance. The support from C&W4.0 will help Biopipe to reduce time/product to market and increase productivity and efficiency.
CW 4.0 team at Liverpool John Moores University worked with Bio Products Group to scope out the challenges into practical steps and identified the academic expertise within the School of Engineering knowledge base at LJMU to address the challenge. A sensor-based IoT solution was proposed with the aim to detect early signs of blockage within the pipe.
An undergraduate student was appointed, and the project had successfully developed a prototype setup with YF-S201 water flow sensor to measure the flow rate and volume within the pipe. The system was integrated with a microcontroller pushing the data into the cloud allowing the pipeline to be monitored both in situ and remotely.
This setup has been tested successfully in the lab at LJMU with real-time waterflow data analysis and IoT interface display. This work under CW 4.0 scope provides the company with a solution that can effectively evaluate the performance of its products, it also allows Bio Products Group to be able to carry out a comparison study between their product Bio pipe and a standard plastic pipe, providing evidence to help them reduce the time-to-market and open up new global markets.
CW4.0 team also assisted Bio Products Group with their prototyping development via assessing LJMU’s digital fabrication workshop. A prototype model was manufactured using 3d printing technology that significantly reduced the cost and the time required during the designing phase of the company’s product development.
"This is the first time we have worked with a university to help develop a solution to enhance our business and its products further. The CW4.0 at LJMU has been fantastic every step of the way; they clearly understood our business and the products we create and put forward a new innovative prototype that will help further prove the concept of our drainage system.
"Utilising the expertise at LJMU has been eye-opening; most of our work has been completed in-house or sub-contracted to private companies, and we’ve felt isolated at times due to the nature of our work. Having access to the students and staff to talk about our business, our journey and bring together all that knowledge has been a perfect partnership; they have opened us up to areas and networks I thought were impossible for an SME like ours.
"Most trials of our drainage system can take 1-2 years before go or no go from the customer, and most of the data we accumulate over that time can be biased towards the product.
"Our challenge to Dr Yong was how can we prove the concept of our product quickly and with independent, unbiased data. With Dr Yong’s in-depth knowledge of sensor technology and together with the graduate student, they put forward an idea of how this type of technology can help us achieve our goal. This type of tech was not something we had considered before, and going through the process has been very insightful, and I am excited to try the finished prototype in a live environment and evaluate the results.
- Robert Stuart
Biopipe Products Group
CableJog are an SME established in 2003, based in Warrington, Cheshire. They design, manufacture, and market low voltage cable testing equipment for the audio, lighting, video, and network sectors. Their products are a mix of handheld or rack mounted products depending on the application.
CableJog wishes to expand their product range into multi cable testers with optional cloud capability for remote testing and data collection through appropriate software interfaces. The new products will have the capability to measure cable characteristics, such as current, resistance and high voltage insulation, in real time.
The CW 4.0 Team at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) have collaborated with CableJog, to deliver the new circuit designs and provide digital solutions to accurately determine and measure these cable characteristics.
This approach will enable CableJog to design, development and manufacture new products for growing markets, particularly multi pin connectors, such as the industry standard Socapex 19 pin connectors, used in industrial and entertainment industries.
The project has made use of the significant Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE) capability at LJMU, to design, build and test the required digital solutions. These solutions were delivered as a Group Project by a Team of Final Year EEE Masters Students which included extensive research of circuit designs and sourcing of suitable components, meeting client specifications and target costs.
It is expected that the results generated by the Project will assist CableJog to bring innovative multi-cable testing products to the market. This has the potential to open new markets for them leading to an expected increase in turnover, profitability, and overall growth for the company.
From the Student’s perspective: “this was a challenging and rewarding project, as it gave us experience with working with a client before graduating and going into industry. Furthermore, the project allowed us to improve both our teamworking and organisational skills through the planning of weekly meetings and development of the Gantt chart to track any progress made”.
Finally, this CW4.0 project may enable further industrial links to LJMU academics, to develop collaborative opportunities and unlock expertise within the research environment, that can be used to develop future digital solutions.
Calon Associates Ltd is a Runcorn based SME, specialising in products for advanced lighting controls, smart building controls and connectivity solutions. They design, develop and supply a range of lighting, forecourt and building controls for the commercial, retail, transportation and education sectors.
The company offers a niche range of flexible and configurable products in the form of ‘building blocks’ that can be combined and configured in many different ways to serve a wide range of application use cases.
One of the challenges Calon identified was the need for a system that can aggregate emergency light test records from various resources, either a large number of buildings or different parts of a very large building. Typical systems to perform regular testing of emergency lights and keeping test records are limited in scope to a single building or part of a building. The system that Calon wanted to develop would allow an organisation, such as a university, to demonstrate regulation compliance across all different buildings that it occupies with the data being accessible within a the cloud platform, according to various criteria.
Calon had developed its digitisation aspirations in the form of a roadmap for the next few years, but as is commonplace, where to start is always a difficult decision, especially with limited resources available. The CW 4.0 team at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) worked closely with Calon to identify the challenge area and required skill sets, prioritising which areas from their digital agenda would give maximum impact to the business in the short term. The CW4.0 team then helped Calon to build a sustainable partnership with key academic expertise in computer sciences at LJMU to continue on the digital journey.
The CW4.0 team at LJMU developed a bespoke action plan for Calon to priorities the tasks and the mechanisms to embrace digital technology. Phase I of the support engaged undergraduate final year students in Computer Science and Mathematics, helping Calon to shape the challenge into achievable deliverables. The focus was on developing an online application that can receive logs of emergency lighting test records and faults, store this information in a database and provide a means for users to visualise the data.
Further support is planned to support Calon on industrial digital innovation through connections to solution providers alongside investment and funding strategies to accelerate the uptake of digital technology.
The CW4.0 project will enable further industrial links to LJMU academics to develop collaborative opportunities and unlock expertise within the research environment that can be utilised to enhance the market competitiveness of Calon’s products and services.
Endo Enterprises Ltd
Endo Enterprises Ltd (Endo) are a Warrington based SME who develop and market environmentally aware solutions for water treatment, infection control and energy efficiency. A privately owned company, Endo Enterprises’ head office and distribution centre is based in a dual-purpose facility in the Gemini Business Park, Warrington.
Their business is primarily built on the experience and passion of their most important asset, their staff which include a senior management team of Industrial Chemists, Mechanical Engineers, and highly experienced business leaders.
Their product range has gained worldwide recognition and accreditation from many global organisations including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Endo have adopted a business approach that encapsulates the idea of corporate sustainability. This is not limited to creating a ‘green strategy’ but takes into consideration every dimension of how their business operates socially, culturally, and economically. They also aim to improve their company’s prosperity and longevity through transparency and proper employee development.
EndoTherm and EndoCool are two heat transfer modifier fluid additive products, developed and manufactured by Endo, which are used for space heating.
The CW 4.0 Team at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) have collaborated with Endo Enterprises, to support in the testing and validation of data, which will enable the development of new markets for existing products and the development and validation of new products for growing markets, such as Heat Pump based systems.
The project has made use of the BRE test houses at LJMU to validate and therefore make deployable the building modelling tools being developed by Endo Enterprises.
LJMU has provided dedicated and controlled access to the 2010 Test House at their Byrom St Campus, to validate and therefore make deployable, the building modelling tools Endo Enterprises wishes to use to develop and validate current and future products. This has included the following support measures:
- Supporting the building of the virtual twin of test house.
- Provide validation test data from the test house during a pre-installation period and post EndoTherm installation period.
Endo has advised that this support and access to dedicated facilities by the C4.0 team, will increase the confidence in new simulation development tools. This will help them evidence the performance of current and future products for potential customers and regulatory bodies thereby supporting their efforts to gain acceptance in new markets such as domestic heating. The work may also be used to validate other future applications, such as Heat Pump based heating and cooling systems. The validation test data generated from the virtual/digital twin will be used as the basis to validate and develop new markets for current and future products.
Further support is planned to undertake some market analysis with the aim of mapping out alternative potential markets for heat transfer modifiers.
Finally, this CW4.0 project will enable further industrial links to LJMU academics, to develop collaborative opportunities and unlock expertise within the research environment, that can be used to develop future space heating-based technology, as well as the potential to reduce the Carbon Footprint of domestic and industrial premises.