A KTP project with Dando Drilling

A KTP project with Dando Drilling

Image Credit: Dando Drilling

The University of Brighton have recently completed our KTP project with Dando Drilling International, an exciting project that has generated lots of new knowledge and processes within the company and provided some great case studies for my teaching. We’re also in the process of publishing some of the innovative developments from the project so academic benefits are well on track.

The project has of course had its share of ups and downs; there have been times where the company has had all hands on deck to deliver an order on time and times when I’ve been super busy with marking, but overall the great fusion between the academic and company staff has delivered great solutions.

Dando are based locally in Littlehampton and are the only designers, manufacturers and sellers of water and mineral drilling rigs in the UK - they’ve been going for over 140 years! The project set out to implement new design processes and to improve supply chain management to optmise their products – a very exciting project with a very impressive company.

We were really keen to work with Dando because of their clear expertise in engineering design, keen enthusiasm for innovation, relatively close proximity to the University, and all-round approachable nature. They were keen to work with us because they wanted to bring in some fresh thinking, draw on some engineering design expertise and supply chain integration knowledge which they could apply both internally and to their own supply chain.

The key outcomes in the project have been:

  • The development of a bespoke Dando Design Data Management system (D3M) to support, track and respond to the internal flow of design and decision data. This has been extended throughout the company and is linked with the company’s Materials Requirement Planning (MRP) software. It’s also being tailored to work with suppliers, to allow for the most impactful integration of the supply chain.
  • An insightful supply chain analysis of key suppliers to see what changes the company can make to their relationship with their suppliers in order to have the most impact on the flow of information and the streamlining of processes.
  • The operations tracking analysis – since there are many logistical balls to juggle at one time on any one order, the operations tracking has helped to support internal decision making and identify sticking points which has streamlined internal processes and speeded up time to delivery.
  • The KTP Associate’s Conference in June was a great chance for us all to get out of the office, network with others, making some great links with companies who can help me with my teaching, in addition to helping Dando get feedback on their software. It was also a great chance to show off our wonderful KTP Associate, Jugal Desai, and for him to realise how much we value him.

The impact on the company has been significant, with turnover and profit increasing during the project and very healthy projections going forward as implementation continues. This has come about from increased sales, reduced stock levels, less wastage through utilisation of D3M and reduced costs of production.

As for the University, in addition to teaching resources and pending publications, several student projects were undertaken to add value to the KTP and 2 of the project students joined the Dando Design team on a permanent basis when they graduated!

All in all, it’s been a very stimulating project which has met the objectives of all three partners. The team have been committed to making it work and it has all been driven by our exceptional KTP Associate (Jugal), who has pushed everything forward right from the outset. The Associate really does need to be a driven, well organised and capable individual and we consider ourselves very lucky to have found Jugal. If the Associate isn’t a good fit for the company, and isn’t a real go getter, then I doubt that the KTP would work as well. If the Associate however is a dynamo, and they fit in well, then I think that’s the key ingredient to a successful project!

The project team consists of Jugal Desai, Design Operations Engineer and KTP Associate, Erik Dalley, Operations Director and Company Supervisor, Martin Fitch-Roy, Managing Director and KTP Chairman, Gina Fitch-Roy, Finance Director, Dr Mark Jones, Faculty Academic Director, Dr Kaiming She, Senior Lecturer in Hydraulics, Coastal and River Engineering, and Dr Derek Covill, Senior Lecturer in Engineering and Product Design.

Dr Derek Covill is a Senior Lecturer in Engineering and Product Design at the University of Brighton.

Are you involved in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership? How has your experience been? Join in with our KTP month and share your stories with us online, tweet us @NCUBtweets using the hashtag #KTPMonth.

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