Transfer knowledge, boost your business

 

Here at Brickfab we believe in the value of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs).

These are schemes that bring together businesses, universities and recent graduates known as KTP Associates. The scheme lasts for two years with the Associate being embedded in the host company, fully supported by an academic team with specialist skills in the chosen field. They are especially prevalent in the fields of science and engineering, where students get the chance to both ‘learn on the job’ in the old fashioned sense, and contribute their energy, skill and enthusiasm to the betterment of the host company.

Let’s look at our own experience. We have welcomed three KTP associates into our business over the last ten years, the first specialising in product design and implementing three dimensional computer aided design (3D CAD).

The second focused on the introduction of lean manufacture principles by redesigning our factory layout and introducing automation which has allowed the 3D CAD designs to go directly to Computer Controlled Machines (CAM) on the factory floor. This CAD–CAM interface leads to big increases in productivity. We were delighted to receive an independent assessment of this KTP as ‘Outstanding’ for the quality of the work involved; the good news is the associate has recently joined Brickfab as a Product Design and Development Engineer.

The third KTP, which is currently on-going, is looking at New Product Design Processes (NPDP) and aligning these new products to our customer needs.

Each time we let these gifted individuals run schemes within our business (the kind of schemes that management often don’t have the time to truly indulge in), we’ve enjoyed a doubling of turnover and a doubling of our staff numbers. Yes – you read that right – we’ve repeatedly doubled in size as a company just by allowing some truly out-of-the-box fresh thinking into the way we work.

Our design capabilities make us better able to respond to customer needs, while the CAD we supply them with makes it easier for them to incorporate our brick specials and chimneys into their housebuilding designs. Further to that, our lean processes have led to truly dramatic improvements in how we work as a company, and we’re confident that you’ll never see as clean and precise a brick fabrication facility as ours in the whole of the UK.

More information about KTP Partnerships can be found at www.ktp.innovateuk.org

Our partner KTP establishments can be found here:

University Of Glamorgan

Cardiff University School of Engineering

Cardiff University Business School

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