Bond Display CabinetsThe company wanted to improve their product range of refrigerated display cabinets for UK supermarkets and meet new energy standards to increase sales
Lacking the expertise within the organisation, they formed a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with LSBU.
The driving force behind the project was KTP Associate Samir Barve. He began by securing new CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) software. CFD allows prototype designs for cabinets to be created in a virtual test room and get results back in just a few hours. Without CFD it could take up to a month to wait for results and the whole process would be far more expensive.
Matt Longhurst, company supervisor at Bond said: "Before the CFD, designing cabinets was a long-winded process. We had to rely on trial and error, making prototypes, testing, re-testing…now we can go in and test something straight away that has been proven by the CFD software."
An in-house test facility was also developed that allows the company to test its own designs without having to use external agencies, allowing greater flexibility for modifications in design and testing processes.
Many UK supermarkets still buy their refrigerators abroad, but the carbon footprints of bringing the cabinets back into the country are huge. Matt believes the new approaches instilled in the company following the KTP could begin to change habits. "Meeting the design and price specifications of our customers will encourage them to buy British and hopefully further increase our customer base."
Following the testing phase, five new cabinet designs were developed. This led to £560,000 worth of new sales and a pipeline of sales worth £3million, as well as a broadened customer base.
"We now have the theory and qualifications to match our experience. The KTP has changed the way we do things. We now have a proper plan and approach that we inherited from the LSBU academics on the project. "The project went so well that Bond has taken on another KTP to improve company knowledge of safety, operations, optimisation, and the design of integral display cabinets operating on Hydrocarbons.
KTPs are programmes that encourage collaboration between universities and businesses in the UK. KTPs involve three parties: a university, a recent graduate and a company – including small, medium and large companies, charities, not-for-profit organisations and the public sector.
Part-funded by the government, KTPs provide unique benefits to all three parties; the university as a whole, the student associate and the business. LSBU apply their knowledge and expertise to important problems facing businesses, identifying new research themes and undergraduate and postgraduate projects. The results are often published in high quality journals and conference papers. Recent LSBU graduates are able to enhance their employability and skills and get the opportunity to earn a full salary. The company gets the qualities of an outstanding graduate partially paid for and the expertise and technical support of the university – who work in close connection with all parties. Read more about KTPs.
Streamlining the new product development process at Bond Display Cabinets.
Bond Display Cabinets - infographic (PDF File 93 KB)