Warwick Electrification Programme puts firm on road to £3m of new work

Posted on 17 Oct 2019 by Jonny Williamson

PP Control & Automation is reaping the benefits of an initiative designed to get the supply chain ready for new opportunities.

PP Control & Automation (PP C&A), which already works with many of the world’s largest machine builders, is one of the first participants of the Ready 4 Electrification Programme run by WMG, at the University of Warwick.

Warwick Electrification Programme - Power socket of an electric car. Close up - image courtesy of Depositphotos.

Image courtesy of Depositphotos

A feasibility project that assesses how ready PP C&A is to enter the automotive electrification arena has already been completed, identifying barriers to overcome and, importantly, opportunities where it can transfer its technology and engineering expertise into the marketplace.

Information gained here has already been used to successfully approach and secure work for two customers involved in niche vehicle manufacture, with PP C&A supplying electrical box builds and cable assemblies, as well as using its design for manufacturing experience to support standardisation in order to reduce variety and complexity.

Tony Hague, chief executive of PP Control & Automation, explained: “There is such a groundswell of movement towards reducing emissions in the automotive sector that we knew it was a market we had to try to get involved in and electrification appears to be doing most of the driving.

“As an SME, we don’t have the immediate available resource to research into such new and complex vertical market sectors. That’s where WMG comes into the equation.”

CROP - PP Control & Automation (PP C&A) Factory Floor - 2019

Image courtesy of PP C&A

With feasibility completed, a strategic project with WMG is currently being finalised which would help PP C&A gain a commercial advantage in the sector.

Already, the business has secured two new contracts with niche vehicle manufacturers with another reportedly in the pipeline.

WMG’s Ready 4 Electrification programme is supported by the WMG Centre High Value Manufacturing Catapult and provides assistance to support companies of all sizes to make the most of opportunities in electrification.

The initial support is awareness sessions followed by part-funded feasibility studies to help firms develop their EV roadmap and to provide masterclasses in key disciplines, including batteries, motors, power electronics and supply chain capability.

From there participants can benefit from a strategic project that will deliver action plans around collaborative R&D, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and Internships, with manufacturers also able to access technical support with production processes and rapid prototyping.

CROP - PP Control & Automation (PP C&A) Worker - 2019

Image courtesy of PP C&A

Simon Garwood, Innovation Manager at WMG, commented: “The UK has a fantastic opportunity to lead the world in vehicle electrification, but we can only achieve this vision if industry taps into the vast academic expertise and research at their fingertips.”

Ready 4 Electrification has reportedly visited more than 50 firms and is currently completing in-company pilot feasibility projects. In total, it has the capacity to support over 200 businesses between now and 2020.