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Manufacturing firm set to get a lift thanks to University of Northampton partnership

Date 23.08.2019

A manufacturing company is on course to save time and money thanks to a collaboration with the University of Northampton.

Burton Latimer-based vehicle platform manufacturer, Versalift, signed up for the University’s Business Innovation Grant (BIG) scheme to develop a new automated process.

BIG enables organisations in the county to work with the institution’s academics, students and facilities, with the aim of developing new products, processes, services, gaining new insights or generally developing business.

Versalift mounts lift platforms to vehicles, which are used to keep operators safe when working at height. In order for the platforms to work safely, stability calculations are produced, based on the weight and spare payload of the vehicle. These calculations are carried out manually, which is time consuming for the company.

Versalift is working with Engineering Lecturer, Mohammed Ghaleeh, to devise a new automated process. If successful, the project would potentially save 20 per cent of Versalift’s project engineering budget, allowing it to generate sales drawings more quickly and reduce time from sales quotation to order.

Tom Johnson, Versalift UK Engineering Manager, said: “The vehicle lift platform conversion sector is small and it can be difficult to hire design engineers who not only have the academic capability, but fully understand the legislation and standards. Through this relationship, Versalift is developing a talent pipeline that will benefit both parties.”

Mohammed, added: “The University benefits from this relationship as it enables our students to practise mechanical design on a practical, real-life scenario. Students have the opportunity to develop working relationships and spend time on site and this could lead to industrial work placements and summer internships.”

The latest round of BIG grants has ended, but the next one is planned for September.

Pictured from left are Versalift engineering manager Tom Johnson, University of Northampton Engineering Lecturer Mohammed Ghaleeh, student Connor Copsey and Versalift design engineer James Heminsley.