The UK equine market is an incredibly dynamic and developing industry. The British Horse Society estimate that 6% of the UK population have ridden a horse in the last year with the equestrian industry thought to be worth around £3.3 billion annually. Sovereign Horseboxes are a top tier UK manufacturer of bespoke luxury horseboxes, bringing together cutting-edge innovation, increased functionality and a genuine passion for the Equestrian industry. Each horsebox is meticulously handcrafted to meet each of the customer’s requirements, and their friendly and professional customer service is a hallmark of their service.
Sending large packets of data to the ground from an aircraft or even a satellite is not at all straightforward. The spectrum of radio frequencies is over-subscribed and there is just no room for the extra radio traffic. That is a potential stumbling block for the many new businesses being set up to exploit advances around satellite- derived data technology and unmanned aircraft surveying or similar applications. Laser technology, proven in cD and DVD players, offers a solution. It lends itself to higher speed data transfers than radio waves and is not subject to radio frequency (rF) spectrum licensing. Yet keeping a laser beam fixed on a drone flying at 10 metres per second and being buffeted by air currents poses difficulties. A team of engineers based at Airbus Group Innovations in Newport, South Wales, has been trying to overcome the problem, working with Oxford University on project Hyperion, funded by Innovate UK. Installing a laser on the aircraft is impractical because of size and weight constraints. However, the team proved they could establish a data connection using a programmable reflective lens to steer the laser beam on to a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) and then ‘bouncing’ it back to the ground. Project leader Yoann Thueux explained: “A modulated retro-reflector on the UAV encodes the data before the beam is then reflected back, transformed into an electrical signal. We use infrared light, which is invisible, safe, and travels further than visible light.” The really clever innovation was using a solid-state technology to steer the beam so accurately that it could maintain the data link connection. Yoann added: “The laser beam pointing has to be very accurate in tracking a device measuring no more than 50mm square on a moving uaV more than a kilometre away. We have tested this to 1.2 kilometres. With more laser power, we could go to longer distances. “We have had very good results. this laser technology is limited by weather conditions and we’re not suggesting it will completely replace low data-rate rF communications for control and safety. However, this technology will allow you to download a massive amount of data when you have good visibility.” This case study was originally published in Innovate UK: Aerospace SME case studies, 2015 and is reproduced here under the Open Government Licence v 3.
The 2008 recession changed the way financial instituitons are regulated, with the introduction of tougher regulations and financial reporting requirements. KnowCo's solution is a smart software tool, enabling fast compliance and minimising risk.
The Board of a Regulatory Body of approximately 60 people was struggling to keep track of multiple projects and the associated costs, necessary to understand the progress of high-risk and high-value projects. The organisation had a history of using external consultants to build systems to enable reporting to the board on major projects. Unfortunately, the systems were not working as they should. Staff lacked confidence in the systems and were using disparate methods to provide project reporting to the Board. Staff were cynical about further initiatives, and were concerned that management would impose a new system from the top down. Merielle Ghali was asked to lead an internal project team to improve oversight of all projects, large and small scale. A combination of: A consultative, collaborative approach that involved asking individuals what did and did not work in prior systems Analysis of processes and day to day working practices led to the development of a new solution. The new solution blended Prince 2 project management methodology with bespoke processes geared towards the needs of the organisation. The Board received regular highlight reports detailing project activity, along with Risks and Issue registers. Merielle built a Programme Office (PMO) using in-house staff to implement the new system, and support colleagues. This ensured buy-in across the organisation. The new solution was delivered within three months, from inception to business as usual. Individuals benefited from the visibility of project push and pull points, which the Board were able to see across all projects to make the right decisions.
Prederi was personally commissioned by the MD of NHS Hertfordshire CSU to be acting Finance Director and deliver a full output based review of the entire CSU service which assessed the true drivers of cost, the actual unit activity cost and the profit and loss making customers. To then use this information to help them better run their business.
Our latest case study aboard the luxury ‘My Mosaique’ yacht, analyses the performance of the XCommNet internet bonding service in an environment where many internet providers find it difficult to perform and achieve their optimum output. This case study highlights not only the performance of XCommNet throughout this project, but also its adaptability and flexibility to perform in challenging circumstances. The My Mosaique yacht required fast and secure internet to ensure smooth operation during business meetings and discussions at a leading international corporate event and the below report provides a detailed overview into how XCommNet achieved this.
This case study describes a long-running partnership (about seven years) between the then Director of Global Workplace Innovation at an international corporate, and the founder of The Smart Work Company Ltd. They co-created a learning network for senior executives and workplace experts. This met the needs of both the client (to identify themes for further research) and network members (personal development).
Applying chrome-based coatings has proved a very effective way of protecting aerospace systems and components from corrosion over the 40-year life of a typical aircraft. Unfortunately, these ‘hexavalent chrome’ compounds also cause cancer and are prone to damage the respiratory system, kidneys, liver, skin and eyes. The process is being phased out from 2017 under European REACH (registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemicals) legislation. That poses particular problems for smaller companies who lack the resources and scientific knowledge to research and develop alternatives – and it’s often their employees who need protecting most. The Challenge So 3 years ago Innovate UK offered up to £2 million funding for companies throughout the aerospace supply chain to get together to address the issues. The engineering and physical sciences research council was a co-founder of the project, which involved 17 partners, including 3 universities. The project aimed to: Establish new, common test methodologies for surface protective coatings Identify and demonstrate hexavalent chrome-free surface protection systems Improve science-based understanding of the coatings, surfaces and how to optimise them Set up a knowledge management and dissemination system The Consortium Rolls-Royce led the successful consortium exploring chemical processes that might offer alternative and viable ways to provide similar anti-corrosion properties. Among the participants was Birmingham-based SME Ashton & Moore, who started in the aerospace industry through applying coatings to fighter aircraft components during World War II. Dr. Keith Tucker, managing director, said: “Hexavalent chrome is in about 80% of things that we do. We hold approvals for 27 different prime contractors. If they don’t want their supply base to be drastically reduced, we must coordinate our efforts to find a common solution. “As a relatively small company with 100 people and a turnover of £3-4 million we don’t have the budget to do this kind of in-depth scientific research. “The project was really good because it kept us up to date with everything the primes were looking at. the sooner we know which way they are going to go; the more time we have to react.” Everyone appreciated that if they could point the way to new protective treatments and design practices, the UK would be in a strong position to influence international standards – and win global business. As hoped, with companies of all sizes supported by high-calibre academic thinking, a number are collaborating on allied topics. The aerospace industry has to apply very stringent safety considerations to any new or substitute technology. Brian Norton, managing director of Indestructible paint at Sparkhill in Birmingham, outlined the problem: “There are 8,000 parts in a car, but 3 million in an aircraft. It doesn’t matter too much if a car rusts. But if you get a rusty plane … well, there are no lay-bys at 35,000 feet. “To change a design concept is very difficult. And aircraft are built from such things as an aluminum body, a magnesium gearbox on an engine, steel and alloy turbine parts that spin. each of those uses a different chromate. “if you see a new airbus before being painted, it’s green. that’s strontium chromate. the project has dealt with strontium chromate paints and primers – and hard chrome plating on axles too.” Bryan Allcock, of Monitor coatings, based in North shields, Tyne and Wear, said the project had achieved all its major milestones: “As a business, we are more enlightened than we were before – on the legislation and the available alternatives. “Do we have a definitive solution? We’re probably a bit way off that yet. But that was never an objective of this project, which was to move things forward, put the REACH legislation into perspective from a technical and commercial point of view. “Without Innovate UK, it definitely wouldn’t have happened in the same way and it would have taken a lot longer. We are unpacking a piece of legislation, trying to find a technical solution, and you need to be incredibly focused and coordinated.” The consortium partners were: Rolls-Royce plc, Agusta Westland, Ashton & Moore, BAe systems (operations) Ltd, short Brothers plc, Ge Aviation systems, Goodrich Actuation Systems Ltd, Granta Design Ltd, Indestructible paint Ltd, Meggitt Aerospace Ltd, Messier Dowty Ltd, Monitor coatings Ltd, Poeton Industries Ltd, Aero engine controls. The academic partners were the universities of Loughborough, Manchester and Southampton. This case study was originally published in Innovate UK: Aerospace SME case studies, 2015 and is reproduced here under the Open Government Licence v 3.