Belfast Telegraph

Japanese company's links with Queen's University pays off

By Claire Weir

A Japanese firm with a base in Co Antrim has slashed costs thanks to a three-year link-up with Queen's University.

Ryobi Aluminium Casting manufactures aluminium die cast products for the European automotive market.

The company used around £460,000 of support from Invest NI to collaborate with the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queen's University Belfast to cut down on the overall cost of each of its castings.

John Hughes, managing director of Ryobi Aluminium Casting, said that the link-up has enabled the company to develop knowledge and expertise in new areas which will have long-term benefits.

"The enhancements we've made to our processes as a result of this research and development project have not only created cost savings but put us in a stronger, more competitive position to target higher volume and longer term projects across Europe."

Dr David Thornhill, senior lecturer at Queen's School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, added: "The company has reduced its energy consumption by about 750 GJ per year, which is the same as the power consumed by about 50 domestic homes.

"Our collaboration on this project clearly showcases the commercial benefits of university-based research."

Carol Keery, Invest NI's director of research and development, urged other businesses to explore how collaborative opportunities could be used to complement their activities.

£460,000

The amount of money that Invest NI put into the collaboration

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