Technical Assistance for Small Companies
Invest NI’s Technical Advisory Unit (TAU) manages the Technical Development Incentive (TDI) scheme. The scheme can assist small companies with technical problems or issues relating to product development, or production and process operations.
Areas that are considered for support include investigating new technologies or processes, product & process problem resolution, product approval & compliance, quality/integrated management systems, Intellectual Property and improved product design & performance.
Projects between £1,000 and £10,000 are considered. The level of support offered is up to 50%, with a maximum of £3,000 available.
NC Engineering in Hamiltonsbawn successfully used the TDI scheme to assist with an acoustics expert to reduce noise emissions from their new 1.5 tonne dumper truck, giving the product and company a considerable market advantage over the competition.
NC Engineering (Hamiltonsbawn) Ltd April 2008
NC Engineering is based in Hamiltonsbawn, Co Armagh. Established in 1975, the company designs and manufactures a wide range of machinery for the agricultural and construction sectors. In addition to sales throughout the UK and ROI, the company exports to Continental Europe, Scandinavia, North America, Japan, Iceland and Papua New Guinea.
The product range includes:- Dump Trailers; Low Loaders; Precinct Sweepers; Road Sweepers; Slurry Separators; Slurry Pumps; Slurry Tankers; Pulse Jetters and Dumper Trucks.
NC Engineering has been developing a new 1.5 tonne dumper truck for use by the construction industry. The company faced a significant technical challenge before the product could be launched. To develop a market advantage over their competitors NC Engineering had tried a number of approaches to reduce the noise level of the dumper truck. But, after exhausting all available options, they needed to identify and engage outside expertise to provide a solution.
Following advice from the Invest NI Engineering and Business Services Division, NC Engineering contacted the Technical Advisory Unit (TAU) at Invest NI in December 2007, to seek help in finding a solution to the noise problem.
The TAU identified a company with specialist knowledge of acoustic engineering in the materials handling sector capable of working with NC Engineering to audit and analyse the noise issues affecting the dumper truck and to provide an effective solution. NC Engineering used the financial support from the recently introduced TDI scheme to assist with the costs involved in this work.
“The Invest NI TDI Programme helped us in two important ways. Firstly it introduced us to a specialist resource who quickly helped us to resolve our technical problem and secondly, it provided us with financial assistance to offset the costs of the solution. This will help us to launch the 1.5 Tonne Dumper Truck in the UK and ROI markets in summer 2008. We also intend to apply the knowledge we have gained through TDI support in the development of future NC Engineering products.”
David Wilson, Design Engineer, NC Engineering.
For further information on Invest NI’s Technology Incentive Scheme please contact either Ian Wilkinson or Colin Graham at 028 90 239090.