The SME team from Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) has been working with Barkley Plastics for the past year in a collaboration that led to increased turnover for the Birmingham-based company of more than half a million pounds and the creation of three jobs.
The WMG team, based at the University of Warwick, aims to encourage SMEs in understanding how new technology, processes and ideas can be implemented to develop products and services. Companies can access three areas of support: Experience-Led Innovation, Polymer Innovation and Digital Innovation.
As a result of its work with WMG, Barkley Plastics has used optical microscopy testing to assess the validity of its patented in-mould welding, used 3D printing facilities to create prototypes for a handheld razor, load tested a step stool project and investigated a process for manufacturing interior trim components for Bentley Motors.
Maurice Cassidy, technical director at Barkley Plastics, said: “It is imperative that firms continuously evolve and innovate. Access to support and equipment has been invaluable to us on our journey to create new and exciting products for our clients. Other companies in the region should look at what is possible in the new facility. It has worked extremely well for us.”
Dr Mark Swift, head of SME Programmes at WMG, added: “The success of the partnership with Barkley Plastics highlights the great potential we have to help companies grow. We are delighted that our research capabilities can be applied to help industry, particularly manufacturers in the West Midlands.”