Strathclyde & Scottoiler: a KTP in operation
The University of Strathclyde and Scottoiler, a Scottish SME.
Scottoiler was established over 25 years ago when its founder, Fraser Scott, developed the Scottoiler chain lubrication system for use on motorcycles.
The system enables the chain on a motorcycle to be cleaned and lubricated while the engine is on, instead of removing the chain. This significantly reduces chain wear and improves performance, such as fuel economy.
Strathclyde’s ongoing relationship with Scottoiler led to two initiatives in 2011: first, Scottoiler wished to diversify its product range and reduce the product development lead-time in both creating new designs and enhancing existing designs.
Secondly, BMW had expressed an interest in Scottoiler’s award-winning product the eSystem, a mechatronic lubricant dispensing system. This presented Scottoiler with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for growth and the company wished to demonstrate the potential of integrating their eSystem with BMW products.
Three previous KTPs between the University and Scottoiler helped the business grow:
- in 2001, a project focused on product diversification and modernisation using advanced computer aided design (CAD)
- five years later, a KTP project developed a mechatronic design methodology to expand the company’s product family, which led to the award-winning eSystem
- in 2010, a KTP project applying mechatronics’ principles to generate marketing information was used to promote new systems globally. This project has contributed to international marketing expertise with the aim of increasing market penetration and transforming the company from a £1 million to a £10 million turnover company
Stephen Hood, Production & Research Development Manager, Scottoiler, said:
Collaborative projects with Strathclyde University have produced numerous positive outcomes, ranging from process development and improvement to new product development and subsequent commercial success.
In 2011, a Research Exploitation Partnership was established to investigate the benefits Scottoiler’s eSystem could bring to BMW.
The team established a chain lubrication modelling and simulation system, which laid a foundation for development and prototyping of a mechatronic testing kit. This system was used to identify the benefits of the eSystem product for BMW motorbikes, which was pivotal in opening up business development opportunities.
The KTP asociate
Rachel Tramschek, Research & Development, Scottoiler.
Rachel had already worked in a prototyping environment before joining Scottoiler. As a keen motorcyclist herself, she relished her involvement in product development in this industry.
Benefits for Rachel:
- involvement in Scottoiler product development
- experience of using advanced CAD
- experience of working closely with company supervisor, academic supervisor, company inventor and other members of staff
- development of time management skills
- attended four training modules and additional training courses on CAD system use and web design
- new product development
- continued employment with Scottoiler
- development of three new products for Scottoiler, increasing turnover significantly
- BMW selected Scottoiler as an equipment supplier and is exploring the potential of deploying the eSystem as its standard chain automatic lubricant dispensing system
- Scottoiler and Strathclyde’s Department of Design Manufacture and Engineering Management (DMEM) have secured further funding (an EC Framework 6 programme) in partnership with Siemens in Germany
- the KTP Associate on the project gained permanent employment as a Senior Designer and a Design Engineer in Scottoiler’s Research & Development Department
- established long-term working partnership between Scottoiler and Strathclyde
David Nash, Vice-Dean (Knowledge Exchange), Faculty of Engineering, University of Strathclyde, said:
The knowledge transfer partnerships have provided learning opportunities that have benefitted Scottoiler, the company’s personnel and the KTP associates.