University boffins aim to increase firm’s turnover by a fifth

Laser 24 has joined forces with the University of Essex Picture: ANDY ROSE

Laser 24 has joined forces with the University of Essex Picture: ANDY ROSE - Credit: Archant

A laser cutting company has joined forces with Essex Business School as part of a new government-backed growth strategy.

Laser 24, based in Wickford, south Essex, will be working with University of Essex experts from the Colchester-based school.

They will be helping the firm to streamline its processes, increase efficiency and upskill staff through a Management Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

MORE – Metal cutting firm scoops crisis grant to upgrade machineryThe collaboration - aimed at improving the firm’s management practices and innovating what it does – is Essex’s first Management KTP.

Lead academic Dr Juneho Um is aiming to help increase turnover by up to 20% and equipment efficiency by 90%. He will be working closely on the project with Essex Business School colleagues Dr Chaminda Wijethilake and Dr Amir Homayounfard.

Just 18 Management KTPs have been awarded in the UK across 140 universities and this is the first funded in the East of England and London.

The company has heavily invested in the most powerful lasers in the country and is the only laser cutter in the region to house two super high-speed lasers.

Managing director Ian Summerfield, said: “The chance to work closely with academics will offer opportunities to strengthen the company to a level we could only dream of before.

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“The scope and range of the project is mind-blowing and addresses all the flaws we have highlighted as hindering our growth.”

Dr Um said he hoped and expected to achieve an increase in turnover of up to a 20% and a 90% improvement in overall equipment efficiency through a paperless and integrated information system.