The project involved three graduates working with Corus Europressings, a medium-sized Cardiff company that specialises in high precision metal pressing.
Run as part of the UK Department of Trade and Industry's Knowledge Transfer Partnership scheme (formerly known as the Teaching Company Scheme), the project was led by Professor Duc-Truong Pham in the Manufacturing Engineering Centre, in the University's School of Engineering, which provided academic support and expertise.
Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, it has received a "highly rated" award in the DTI's annual assessment of programmes throughout the UK.
The project led to the implementation of new systems and procedures which have had wide-reaching benefits for the company. The introduction of a vision system greatly improved part inspection; staff can now devote more time to value adding activities following the introduction of a computerised quality management system; a co-ordinate measuring machine, providing fast, repeatable measurements, has had a significant impact on production, and a noise management system has improved the staff working conditions.
The University's Knowledge Transfer Partnership Centre manager Paul Thomas said: "The sum of these new systems has led to improved project management techniques and production processes and considerably raised the company's profile. As a result, Corus Europressings has retained its existing customers and managed to attract new ones."
He added: "The graduates gained considerable industrial experience and enhanced their engineering skills. Clair Petheram is now employed as the company's Project Engineer, while the others are pursuing engineering management careers elsewhere."