The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) has led to sales increases and cost savings for Weir, and has been classed as ‘outstanding’ by an independent panel.
From 2014 to 2017, Weir Valves worked with Professor Rakesh Mishra from the University of Huddersfield on a project to “design, develop and launch a new range of products for multiphase, multicomponent flow applications.” The professor oversaw the research aspects of the project and supervised a postgraduate student who was embedded with Weir Valves. The research was used to help improve the design accuracy of valves that are often used in the oil and gas industry.
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are projects that are part-funded by the government-backed body Innovate UK. The 2014 to 2017 project is going to be used as an exemplar illustrating the potential of KTPs.
“We found that we can have the same performance with a smaller valve following the research findings, meaning economies of scale and reduced manufacturing costs,” said Professor Mishra in a press release.
The company reports that the project has resulted in a 640% boost in sales for valves in multiphase applications.
A previous effort between the company and the professor was able to help embed complex flow knowledge into valve designs and augment valve performance.
Weir is now planning a third KTP with the university to develop ‘SMART valves’, which use integrated sensors to estimate the remaining life of a product. The company hopes that this will lead to cost and operational savings for manufacturers and end-users. This project has been backed with £211,000 (€238,000) split evenly between Weir and Innovate UK to be used over three years.