The ability to deliver motor laminations thinner than a piece of paper has helped a Birmingham manufacturer become part of an exciting new £500,000 project designed to prove the feasibility of a new electric machine.
Brandauer, which currently employs 45 people at its factory in Newtown, has taken its place in the UK-ALUMOTOR consortium, led by multi-industry engineering consultancy Ricardo and partners Aspire Engineering, Global Technologies Racing, Phoenix Scientific Industries and the University of Warwick.
The specialist in pressings and stampings will bring critical capability to the development of the stator and rotor used in the electric motor, using its micron capable toolroom, wire electric discharge machines (WEDM) and design and engineering consultancy facilities.
Fifteen engineers will be working on the project – which is backed by the Driving Electric Revolution Challenge Fund through UK Research and Innovation – and will be involved in developing low volume parts that will be used to fine tune processes, technologies and achieve the high volume UK manufacture of a next generation electric machine design.
“Our ability to manufacture to microns is proving a very attractive commodity to some of the major OEMs and technology partners looking to establish an electrification supply chain in the UK,” explained Mark Parsons, the recently appointed Innovation Project Manager at Brandauer.
“This project is all about working towards an electric machine that can be built in high volumes and our role will be to produce laminations that deliver the magnetic field to power the motor.
“Our growing reputation for delivering precision tooling solutions that can be adapted to high volume stamping of 0.1 mm thick materials sets us apart from other European press workers.”
He continued: “We are focussing on the ‘design for manufacture’ and expect to produce multiple iterations of the components until we arrive at a rotor and stator combination that delivers the demanded motor performance while still being scalable to series volumes.”
Richard Gordon, Head of Research and Development at Ricardo, said: “We have long been known for industry-leading innovation, R&D and manufacturing excellence, which is helping global transport manufacturers drive cost out of electrification.
“This award of funding from the Driving Electric Revolution Challenge fund is significant. It will enable our consortium to continue to support the mass adoption of electrification by making it more affordable, contributing to the green bounce back with an environmentally sustainable design and establishing the UK at the forefront of the global electric revolution.”
The latest project with Ricardo is the third funded collaboration Brandauer has secured in recent months, following on from innovative projects with Jaguar Land Rover and Saietta to deliver an e-machine stack line and Axial Flux Traction motor respectively.
The company, which received a Queen’s Award for International Trade last year, will aim to make the most of the £1m funding boost to cement its position in the electrification supply chain both domestically and in key international markets.
Rowan Crozier, CEO of Brandauer, concluded: “There is a real opportunity for UK SMEs to stake their claim to be part of the electrification movement, but we have to be bold, invest in the right technology and be prepared to collaborate.
“This appears to be a winning formula for our business, and we are confident it will lead to high volume work in an international electric motor market that is expected to be worth £28.5bn by 2025.”