Tyrone Fabrication Fusion Project recognised as an Exemplar of Innovation
Engineering company, Tyrone Fabrication (Ltd), based in Ballygawley, has been awarded ‘Exemplar’ status by InterTradeIreland. The award recognises exceptionally high levels of innovation and collaboration between a company, a graduate and Dundalk Institute of Technology as part of InterTradeIreland’s FUSION programme.
The company, which produces a wide range of advanced steel equipment enclosures for the transportation, communications and power supply industries, was one of five SMEs recognised by InterTradeIreland at an event held in Carton House in Maynooth. Between them, the five FUSION Exemplar companies have reported sales of more than £1.5M and savings of over £65,000 during their FUSION projects, with projected sales of upwards of £5.75M and savings of £466,000, over the next three years.
About the FUSION Programme
InterTradeIreland’s technology transfer and innovation programme, FUSION, partners companies north and south with a third-level institution, in this case Dundalk Institute of Technology and provides them with the specialist expertise of a high calibre graduate, who works directly in the organisation, to deliver a new product or process improvement project. Through FUSION, Tyrone Fabrications employed graduate, Dominic Mullins and benefitted from the services and support of Dr. Fergal O’Rourke of Dundalk Institute of Technology. The collaboration enabled the development of a range of Hybrid Power Units, aimed at providing a constant power supply to telecoms base stations, especially in remote locations.
How FUSION helped Tyrone Fabrication
The main outcome of the FUSION Project was the development of renewable energy based power systems for the telecoms industry. Referred to as Hybrid Power Units, the project successfully integrated solar PV, wind turbine, diesel generator and battery storage capabilities to ensure a constant power supply to telecoms base stations. The team designed and developed a new electrical enclosure suited to the instillation environmental conditions and optimised to incorporate the different power sources. An online monitoring portal has also been developed to monitor remote installations.
The result being that the company is now in a position to offer a number of solutions to the market. Along with acquiring a portfolio of a variety of different renewable energy solutions for the telecoms industry, the company has gained the knowledge to conduct site analysis for various renewable energy technologies. This has strengthened the company’s sales ability for these products
Discussing the benefits of FUSION, Michael Montague, general manager at TFL, explained:
Without the assistance from the FUSION project, we would not have had the time or resources to be able to dedicate a full time member of staff to R&D and successfully bring this project to market. In addition, we simply didn’t have the necessary skills or in-house expertise to turn the initial idea into reality. This has been a rewarding experience for TFL and will generate a significant increase in revenue for us in the future, along with additional efficiency savings for our business. In addition, by employing Dominic on a full-time basis, it created another new and vitally important job role within the company. We have no hesitation in encouraging other local companies to apply for the InterTradeIreland FUSION programme and take advantage of the opportunities it offers.
Dr. Fergal O’Rourke, Academic supervisor, DkIT, highlighted the benefits to the academic institution:
With regard to the knowledge centre benefits obtained from the Fusion Project, it was proposed initially that this project would inspire a number of case studies, student projects, new teaching materials, etc. Since the commencement of this Fusion Project, student projects and case studies in the area of resource assessment of renewable energy technologies, battery charging technology, renewable energy technology performance assessment, to name a few, have been conducted. Importantly, it is intended that the results of some of the student work undertaken will be published in international journals.
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