KTP Is The Driver For Success
Morgan Motor Company Ltd is a family-run business, which has been in operation since 1910. The company specialises in the design, manufacture and distribution of traditionally crafted exclusive sports cars into the high-value performance market sectors.
The Worcester-based firm recognised that the company needed to accelerate the product development cycle. In order to implement these changes the company turned to Birmingham City University’s Technology, Engineering and the Environment (TEE) faculty for a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Project.
In 2000 the company launched the Aero 8. Series I and Series II were later launched in 2004. The new vehicle marked a departure from the company’s traditional sports car design and arose from the need to enter new markets. The complexities of the Aero 8 demanded a significant increase in the company’s design and analysis capabilities which would develop this and future new vehicles.
The successful Morgan KTP projects focused on the Aero 8 model’s entry into the demanding North American market. The project/partnerships embraced detailed design and component analysis as well as whole vehicle testing. To achieve the production target, with demanding price and profitability objectives, the KTP Associate, Matthew Welch, helped Morgan’s team compress development lead-times and costs. Compliance with technical and legislative requirements was also achieved.
In particular the KTP project developed computer models which enabled solutions to be found; by pinpointing key noise and vibration sources. As well as multiple major and minor component developments which were successfully completed, wider benefits were accrued through the skills and techniques introduced to and embedded in the company. They related not only to vehicle development, but also to production processes and led to a second KTP. which benefited all aspects of manufacturing. A complementary third KTP project addressed the need to develop an in-house capability for concept design, visualisation and refinement and contributed to the rapid development of new vehicles with high customer appeal. Following the success of these KTP programmes, a twelve-month Knowledge Base Partnership addressed the development of a common vehicle platform. Currently, two further KTP programmes, which combines the relevant expertise of Oxford and Cranfield Universities with BCU in partnership with Morgan, are developing the powertrain for a low-emission hybrid sports car.
- An opportunity to extend its design/development department in both capability and resource as a result of the KTP. Skills now included CATIA v5 CAD and analysis; staff have received training to ensure proficiency in new design tools.
- An ability to prepare and manage vehicle testing. Access to a Coordinate Measurement Machine (CMM) proved to be valuable, specifically in providing the company with justification to invest in a CMM.
- Implications of new designs on manufacture have been addressed, essential for the company to meet.
To introduce the latest technologies to our rich heritage of skilled craftsmanship we need highly competent partnerships. Birmingham City University has proved an excellent supporter, collaborator and source of expertise. We value their contribution most highly.” -Corporate Strategy Director, Morgan Motor Company Ltd