Smiley Monroe is the global market leader in the production of Hot Spliced Conveyor Belts and CNC Cut Rubber Parts for the mobile crushing, screening & recycling sector and have just been named among '1,000 of the most exciting SME businesses in the UK’ by London Stock Exchange Group.
Assessment of Need
To facilitate the expansion of the company into new markets, a Knowledge Transfer Partnership project was proposed to bring expertise and knowledge into the company.
Smiley Monroe’s KTP project centres on the development of new products and services as well as the improvement of existing offerings. A greater materials understanding, by accurately defining strengths, stiffness and other properties will enable the business to enhance existing products and develop new products to an even higher standard.
Belfast Metropolitan College were approached to utilise their expertise in thermoset curing and process improvement. In addition, the equipment at Belfast Metropolitan College’s e3 campus would provide the basis for the development and analysis of novel curing techniques
Thanos, the KTP Associate is currently undergoing an extensive materials testing phase using the knowledge at Smiley Monroe and academic mentors at Belfast Met.
The project has been running for 18 months and has seen impressive results delivered:
- Curing times have been reduced over 50%
- Shift patterns have changed to give a better overall output and quality
- Over 240 tonnes of waste a year is being reused and recycled
- New testing methods for products are being established
The KTP process brings further benefits to all those involved. The KTP Associate, Thanos has completed a leadership and management qualification and other CPD activities with the objective of achieving full-time employment following the projects completion.
Belfast Met have been able to develop novel teaching materials and examples for current and future students. At the completion of the project, it is anticipated that a widespread materials and processing knowledge will be present. This knowledge will be applied in the design, manufacturing and commercial exploitation of new products for Smiley Monroe.