ENGINEERING EXCELLENCE AWARD – THE WINNER:

Company Masonry Support Systems Ltd (IGMSS)

University Partner Queen’s University Belfast

KTP Associate Emanuele Scarabino 

Funding from Innovate UK/Invest NI

Project summary: Ground-breaking design of a calculation suite for designing masonry support systems.

The challenge: looking to increase both market share and profitability through improved design of its core masonry support façade system, IGMSS wanted to focus on product quality and company productivity.

The solution: After completing over 250 physical structural tests and merging these results with theoretical analysis, the KTP Associate, Emanuele Scarabino, created a bespoke mathematical model capable of designing masonry support façade systems delivering predicted deflections within 0.1mm with 98% confidence. The Partnership believes this is the most sophisticated model of this nature in existence for the design of masonry support systems. 

The ability to predict physical behaviour with such accuracy has transformed product design with material savings of over 25% and remarkable improvements in efficiency. 

  • In just over 60 seconds this model delivers the output of 9000 man hours and eliminates human error. This has resulted in significant increases in efficiency, quality, and confidence in the delivered products and improved customer satisfaction. 
  • The Associate further simplified the model, reducing the number of variables from 14 to just 4 by introducing “temporarily constant parameters”. This model can analyse a total of 1.4 million permutations with just 4 variables delivering the optimum solution with high accuracy. 
  • Associate created a bespoke automatic solver (written in C++) that would act as a user-interface and provide digital security to this valuable IP. 

This KTP has kick-started a culture of innovation within the company, with IGMSS currently undergoing large investments to enhance and improve the flow of information and the quoting process. IGMSS plans to replicate these changes throughout the whole Keystone Group.

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