Speed Plastics – a high frequency welding manufacturer – has proven it has the right bedside manner for innovation by working with a local university to tackle bed sores in the developing world.
In collaboration with De Montfort University (DMU), graduate Ben Smith has completed a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project to develop cost effective pressure ulcer relief solutions for Third World countries.
Speed Plastics specialise in high frequency welding of flexible plastics. One of the key products it manufactures is a pressure relief mattress range for its sister company Rober.
The two-year KTP project looked at ways to reduce the manufacturing costs of Rober’s pressure relief mattresses so its suitable for the developing world. It also looked at expanding the product development capabilities within Speed Plastics.
A KTP, or Knowledge Transfer Partnership is a UK-wide programme, overseen by Innovate UK. It aims to identify innovative solutions to help businesses grow, whilst encouraging research activities and collaborative working. The outcome is often increased profitability through improved quality and operations, increased sales and access to new markets.
Speed Plastics and Rober are determined to ensure that its ulcer prevention technologies can be accessed by healthcare providers around the globe, even from the poorest of countries.
Speaking about the programme, Ben said: “The technology developed in Chesterfield has the potential to stop millions of people from getting pressure ulcers as they are cared for in hospital. We want to make sure that everyone, no matter where they live, has access to pressure relief equipment and the KTP was the first step in doing this.”
Now the KTP is complete, Ben will be joining the Speed team as Product and Innovation Manager and hopes that he can play a valuable part within the company as it goes from strength to strength.
David Terris, Senior Lecturer at De Montfort University, said: “This KTP project has been a great success. The work undertaken by Ben for Speed Plastics is of real social significance and will have a big impact on medical provision in emerging markets. The KTP scheme has provided excellent training and support to Ben, accelerating his transition from recent graduate to highly valued member of the Speed Plastics team”