Expansion of additive manufacturing capabilities.

KW Special Projects Ltd expand their additive manufacturing department with the help of Transport iNet.

ERDF 2007-2013 logo

The Company

KW Special Projects Ltd operates within high performance engineering sectors – designing, manufacturing and supplying complete solutions. Their services are applicable to aerospace, automotive, historic car restoration, medical, healthcare, high performance sports engineering, defence, FMCG and converting industries.

What they do

The company are specialists in a range of materials, manufacturing and automation technologies including:

  • Composites – high performance carbon fibre reinforced plastics and thermoplastics that are used extensively in aerospace and motorsports and can be exploited by new industrial applications.
  • Bespoke machine design and automation solutions, including robotics.
  • Digital Fabrication and Additive Manufacturing: using processes including 3D printing (Additive Manufacturing) industrial inkjet, functional fluid, discreet material placement and digital software processing.
  • Ink Jet technology for industrial automation and production processes.
  • Systems Integration for Beckhoff PC Control and Automation technology

The Challenge

KWSP wanted to expand its existing additive manufacturing department. This department supplies end use and rapid tooling solutions into the motorsport and automotive supply chains.

This is an innovative solution using additive manufacturing (3D printing) to manufacture end use parts and rapid tooling solutions in ABS, ULTEM and SR30 materials. This allows complex parts to be manufactured in carbon composite materials quickly and cost effectively reducing lead times to manufacture, reducing development times and product life cycles.

The company saw that the market for 3D printed prototype parts was increasing dramatically within the automotive supply chain and wanted to be well placed to take advantage of the opportunities this presented.

The Solution

The company applied for and was awarded an ERDF capital grant towards the purchase of a Stratasys Fortus 400mc production manufacturing machine. The process of manufacturing using SR30 soluble core tooling is unique to the Stratasys Fortus machine.

The Outcome

As a result of the Transport iNet LUMINATE ERDF Grant KW Special Projects Ltd have increased the turnover in their Additive Manufacturing Department and are more able to keep up with demand.

The resulting expansion in the department lead to additional resource requirements for technical support and supervision, to manage the production workflow and the technical innovation; an increase in the amount of administration activities; and an increase in the engineering and CAD support for the manufacturing process. This has secured and increased employment with new positions created for an FDM Technician and Office Assistant and the conversion of a Graduate Engineer to an Additive Manufacturing Engineer.

Key impacts have been new service, growth in turnover and increased in-house capacity.

"We have had grant funding from different agencies in the past. The Transport iNet team provide a good level of support and I found the speed with which our application and claims were processed was excellent.”

Sophie Kilmister, Operations Director, K W Special Projects Limited
About the client

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KW Special Projects Ltd
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