Talking Product Development at SciTech Daresbury

Ben Ritherdon at NW university Fair

Our MD, Ben Ritherdon was invited to speak at the NW University Fair last Thursday (23rd March) about the work we’ve done with Manchester University in recent years.

Building a collaborative relationship

Paul Treloar from Sci-Tech Daresbury asked Ben how Ritherdon & Co Ltd had first got in touch with Manchester.  We first got to know Manchester through the University’s Knowledge Exchange Team.  They introduced us to Prof Yong Wang in the School of MACE (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Civil Engineering).  We needed to model the behaviour our passively safe (crash-friendly) cabinet before testing and Prof Wang’s group had developed a model for vehicle impacts with structures which we could use.   Ritherdon and Manchester developed a good relationship by working together on the passively safe cabinet project and we went on to do a KTP (Knowledge Transfer Partnership) together.

Output from the KTP

We also discussed the impact of the KTP on Ritherdon.  This has included identifying and carrying out the appropriate performance testing for our products (such as our passive fire protection range and our new Atlas pole retention socket).  The performance of several of our products has been improved and their designs optimised (for example reducing our retention socket weight by 30%).  The KTP also helped us develop more engineering skills in-house.  This means we can improve what we offer our customers, which is what we call Clever Metalwork.

Opportunity for local companies

The NW University Fair is an annual event, hosted by Sci-Tech Daresbury.  It gives tech companies the opportunity to meet lots of universities from the northwest (I think I counted nine or ten) and talk about collaboration.  This can be anything from student placements, to help with graduate recruitment, to KTPs.  It’s certainly worth bearing in mind that we all have a huge source of technical knowledge and expertise in our local universities.
Thanks to Sci-Tech Daresbury for inviting me.

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