The collaborative partnership between Anglia Ruskin University and Phoenix Product Development Ltd. utilised formal knowledge transfer as the mechanism to refine and improve an existing prototype for the Propelair® toilet system. The target outcome was to improve both mechanical and financial performance of the target unit, leading to improved environmental performance and increased potential market appeal.
The project successfully levered Anglia Ruskin University’s expertise in Mechanical and Electronic Engineering, Finite Elements and Fluid Dynamics via the Department of Computing and Technology. By embedding these new capabilities into the working practices of the SME the project has delivered a lasting strategic change which will deliver ongoing improvements to their efficiency and profitability.
Alongside the business growth focus of the project, improved environmental sustainability was a key aspect of the methodology for delivering this outcome. The following environmental initiatives have been successfully implemented at Phoenix Product Development Ltd:
• Sourcing of a new, smaller battery component of the air flush system. The company will experience reduced battery purchase costs and optimised performance, leading to reduced costs and reduced environmental impact. Overall improved environmental performance of the product is likely to create demand amongst customers for whom such issues are a priority.
• Research and development into a volume driven controller to reduce flush times and water volume to minimal levels required to achieve the desired outcome. This modification will reduce running costs for the customer, therefore increasing the appeal of the product in comparison to competitors and leading to possible increased market share.
• Research and development into a pressure driven controller that will increase the efficiency of the unit’s operation and will reduce running costs for the customer, therefore increasing the appeal of the product in comparison to its competitors and leading to possible increased market share.