Enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs
Take a look at the case studies below to get an idea of the type of work we do and who we work with.
Product design and testing
Rad Wraps offer a world first in radiator covers. Set up in 2012 after many years of design and development, Rad Wraps offer a radiator cover at a lower price than the average box covers and can be applied in seconds. It has an expanding group of customers based throughout the UK.
LJMU provided access to facilities to research and test the efficiency of the product, making comparison between the Rad Wraps product and the existing MDF covers and assessed the impact on heat transfer. Thermodynamic simulation was used to confirm the results from the lab test.
These tests have provided Rad Wraps with a report from the University to back up claims about the product being more efficient than the traditional MDF cover.
Brimark Signs Ltd.
Brimark Signs have expanded their business and moved to new premises. LJMU provide advice on suitable heating systems, lighting and other clean technologies for their new building in order to create a sustainable environment and reduce energy costs. The company identified the best way to achieve these targets and were able to select between different options based on the efficiency and budget.
LJMU carried out thermal simulation to test various types of heating systems, solar panels, LED lights and rainwater harvesting to help the business make the right decisions.
Baltic Creative CIC
Baltic Creative CIC was established to provide creative space that meets the varied needs of the creative and digital sector and is playing a major part in the regeneration of the Baltic Triangle. One of their key objectives is to promote a sustainable and environmentally responsible cluster. Support is available in tandem with studio accommodation to help new creative businesses to establish and develop themselves and to promote networks for collaboration.
LJMU carried out 3-D thermal modelling, provided advice and consultation on how to improve the thermal condition of the building and where to find suitable funding to help towards the cost. As a result of the support from LJMU, Baltic Creative invested in an intelligent heating and lighting control system.
Minta offer expert technical advice and assistance at the design stage of high quality temperature measurement applications. Following over 10 years of knowledge and expertise built up in the aerospace sector, the business diversified into medical sensors and established a sister operation, Minta Medical, in 1988. This area of the business has continued to develop state of the art devices for use in pain management and for highly accurate temperature measurement.
LJMU carried out a carbon and energy assessment for each business, prioritising measures to reduce carbon. All of which was set out in an environmental policy and communicated to various stakeholders including Rolls Royce.
With the help of LJMU, both Minta Instrumentation and Minta Medical are now carbon neutral.
Process control and monitoring
LJMU conducted a laboratory based feasibility study and investigation on using microwave sensors for polymers to detect size distribution and impurities in samples. An analysis and reporting on the outcomes was provided and feasibility of using microwave heating for rotomoulding was also carried out.
The support has saved time and costs and it will also help them to improve their business relationship with their clients by supplying an accurate and high quality service.
Ames Goldsmith is a major supplier of silver based products and refining services to various industries such as electronics, medical, mirror, photographic and biocide. It is also a leading supplier of silver oxide to the battery and ethylene oxide catalyst industry.
The company identified the potential of using sensor technology to assist in the identification of size distribution and impurities in various samples. This would enable them to improve the efficiency of their business testing facility and their product quality.
LJMU conducted a feasibility study and investigation on the use of microwave sensors for silver based products to assess size distribution and impurities in samples. As a result they are now working on identifying the potential of using sensors for the identification of size distribution in aqueous solution. It will be a step change for them because the company will then be able to substantially improve their manufacturing process and reduce the costs.
Waste and waste water management
RainCatcher Products and Services Ltd.
RainCatcher Products and Services Ltd. manufacture, design and provide rain and grey water collection systems for commercial and domestic use. RainCatcher approached LJMU to develop bespoke software for rainwater harvesting system which has now been integrated into their website for customer use.
LJMU designed the software to enable clients to work out their saving and payback time when considering a rain water harvesting system.
Valley Field Environmental Services Limited
Valley Field Environmental Services Limited offer a wide range of environmental products manufactured by Kingspan Environmental, a division of Kingspan Group PLC. Their technical team provides system checks and start-up support, ensuring installations are fully operational and working from day of completion.
LJMU provided assistance with technological development of a new product, App. Development and integration of technology with feasibility testing, modelling and simulation.
Valley Field has assessed the micro water turbine and demonstrated great potential to increase its power output. The company is currently developing a physical scaled down model to test the efficiency considering the environmental impact of this new product. This will help the company to move forward with the technology and take it to market.
Ongoing student projects
Marlan Maritime Technologies
Through recent development of Marlan’s radar platform for tracking inter- and subtidal morphology, the company has identified a business opportunity that reveals morphology over the area from coastal lowlands to coastal waters.
The project aims to explore the use of digital photography to determine coastal morphology above the high tide shoreline, and to track changes due to prevailing hydrodynamics (tides, waves, sea-level rise and storms). This will give Marlan a full spectrum of tools for monitoring coastal change and provide coastal stakeholders with critical information on when and where to intervene to prevent catastrophic flooding.
Halliday Funeral Supplies Ltd.
Halliday is one of the largest manufacturers of coffins and caskets in the UK, producing over 26,000 coffins and supplying timber products to over 110,000 funerals in the UK annually. As a business it has a very strong commitment to building robust environmental and ethical policies and procedures, such as environmentally sustainable sourcing of wood and investing in biomass boilers to use its wood waste.
The company now aims to take the quest for environmental sustainability into its manufacturing operations, to make it one of the most environmentally sustainable coffin manufacturers in the UK.
Knowsley Safari Park
Knowsley Safari is one of the UK's premier visitor attractions consisting of an animal safari and house, theme park and restaurant. The safari recognises its impact on the environment and wishes to lead by example by eventually becoming the worlds’ first truly zero carbon safari. Considering the full life impact of its operations and processes.
They wish to achieve this aim whilst still operating as a commercial business, therefore any new plans or procedures must be economically viable. This research will create a framework that the safari can use to achieve this goal.
Urban Splash is a property developer that works with world class architects and designers to restore old buildings, build new homes and create sustainable communities. One of its most recent projects is called HoUSe; a series of new prefabricated houses with exceptional environmental qualities. This research will test the full environmental qualities of these developments and in particular focus on the creation of a new model and framework to assist in creating truly cost effective zero carbon developments.
Urban Splash wish to explore the options to create zero carbon developments that are economically viable. This research will create a new model and framework that Urban Splash can use to achieve this goal.