Innovative product development
Loughborough University’s Department of Materials has advanced expertise in polymerisation processes, spanning formulation and additive development, manufacturing and recycling technologies.
A two-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) allowed specialists from the Department to work with REPL International – a leading manufacturer of cable products for electricity utilities world-wide – to enhance the company’s technical capability and knowledge of polymeric formulations.
For two decades, REPL enjoyed positive growth by focusing on sales and marketing while developing an effective worldwide distribution channel for its products.
Keen to address the issue of increasing global competition, the company wanted to reposition itself as an innovator, and enhance the durability and functionality of its products. This required advanced technical capability, but their in-house expertise in this area was limited.
During the course of the KTP, REPL successfully developed its in-house R&D around polymeric formulations and enhanced its manufacturing capability – raising its global profile as one of just a handful of companies able to create certain compounds.
The new materials have provided REPL’s customers with significantly advanced products with greater longevity – giving the company a considerable competitive edge.
In addition, the project enhanced the knowledge and skills of REPL’s workforce, leading to improved procedures and methodologies to support future developments.
Some of these innovations are helping the company to improve margins and efficiency by reducing the cost of certain processes while improving product quality. All of which, they predict, will positively impact turnover and profit.