The business engagement team and scientists at the University of Birmingham have been working with precision engineering and equipment manufacturing company, Glassworks Hounsell (GWH), on a number of mutually rewarding projects. Approximately 80% of GWH’s manufacturing activity is in the glass industry, either associated with the melting of glass or the supply of the raw materials ‘delivery system’ (batch charger) to glass furnaces.
With the help of the University, who have provided knowledge and expertise in thermal modelling and advanced materials, GWH have been looking at developing a more environmentally friendly and cost effective batch charger. Improvements and alternatives to the current designs are being explored, as are the overall concepts of the Charging system. The University was also able to secure the funding for the delivery of this project through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP). Further collaborative work has now been identified that will involve modelling, and evaluating, the existing and any further designs of the batch charger.
GWH have also placed two University of Birmingham students at their premises. One is looking at modernising the technical specifications, operational manuals and customer documentation and the other has helped to re-design a standard roller bearing that has been exhibiting high failure rates.
Further, the University recognised that the company could benefit from R&D Tax Relief, resulting in GWH receiving a £30k corporation tax refund.
Technical Director, Glassworks Hounsell
“We are very pleased with the differing ways that the University of Birmingham has been able to support and guide us in the areas of our business where we have neither the capacity nor the resources.”