Lontra, the British firm behind the revolutionary Blade Compressor®, has partnered with Shield Group Engineering, one of the largest manufacturers in the UK, in a knowledge-sharing agreement.
The partnership will work to refine prototyping and manufacturing techniques to ensure the most competitive component design for the global market place. The first joint project will focus upon the manufacture of an industrial compressor based on Lontra designs to address a global market worth £22bn.
The agreement has been formed in response to heavy competition from overseas firms, with the EEF voicing concerns over the decline in overseas orders for UK manufacturing services due to competitive pricing in foreign markets and a strengthening pound.
The UK invests just 1.1% of GDP on R&D compared to 1.6% across the EU and 2% in Germany.
But through superior manufacturing techniques and a network of global partners – which includes Japanese machine tool builder Yamazaki Mazak Corporation, the collaboration between Lontra and Shield is hoped to provide British manufacturing with a vital platform for international growth.
Shield Group Engineering has invested heavily in the best technologies to beat overseas competitors to win UK contracts to manufacture and supply components to the likes of Jaguar Land Rover; Caterpillar; Aston Martin, and JCB.
The announcement brings together Shield’s innovative and high value added manufacturing techniques with Lontra’s best in class clean-sheet compressor design and world-class R&D facilities.
The partnership further cements the reputation of the Midlands area as a key manufacturing hotspot in the UK, revealing the importance of local business collaboration as Britain looks to restore its global dominance within the sector.
Founder and CEO of Lontra and designer of the Blade Compressor, Steve Lindsey commented: “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to partner with Shield, we located our research headquarters in the Midlands to benefit from proximity to such world-class organisations.
“Shield Group engineers will be able to provide us with invaluable input into streamlining the design of our product, improving the consistency of parts to further improve compressor reliability, and lowering the overall cost of production.
“This will give Lontra’s compressor an even greater competitive edge, with its proven efficiency and reliability joined by even lower production costs and simple assembly and maintenance.”
Chris Shield of Shield Group, added: “Recent reports have focused on UK manufacturers losing out to emerging markets, but this is not a foregone conclusion.
“We have demonstrated that we can outperform emerging markets on price by using smart machining techniques and investing in the latest machining technology.
“Made in Britain continues to mean something, and [this] partnership is a key step in getting it back on track. Lontra’s superior compressor design combined with our state-of-the-art technology and manufacturing techniques is a world-class partnership.”