Tuesday, August 9, 2016

News: Revolutionary runflat developers expand on the AMP

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Runflat CBR, a company commercialising technology pioneered on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, has taken 4,700 sq ft of office space at Building 3, the newest office development at the UK's premier advanced manufacturing park.

Runflat CBR was established by Richard Lust, an engineer with nearly 30 years' experience designing "runflat" technology. Runflat tyres include self supporting technology which means it is able to support the weight of the vehicle even when they are punctured. Unfortunately, the distance that can be driven on a runflat, in addition to its performance, is limited.

Working alongside other companies based at the AMP Technology Centre, including engineers at Performance Engineered Solutions; 3D printing firm Materialise, as well as the neighbouring Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), the project has developed a feasible solution as to how an insert could incorporate a bead lock system, a lock that secures the tyre to the wheel and ensures the two rotate together.

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By incorporating a bead lock system, the driver will be able to maintain good drivability (steer, accelerate and brake efficiently) on not only one, but even all four deflated tyres.

The company has now moved from the Technology Centre into a specialist workshop and office space at Building 3, ahead of a recruitment drive and the mass-manufacture of the Runflat CBR product from the end of 2016.

Richard Lust, founder of Runflat CBR, said: "This corner of South Yorkshire is a melting pot for invention. I wouldn't have been able to make the concept a reality without the talent and original approach of others based here at the Technology Centre and the wider Park.

"We have now patented our revolutionary technology and we are looking forward to sharing it with users across the globe from our new facility."

A production model was developed specifically for its test partner, Volvo Special Vehicle Operations, following a direct requirement from the British Ministry of Defence. In parallel with this development, the company is developing special tooling in conjunction with its main component supplier, Materialise.

Design and development will continue through a range of sizes and types of runflat systems covering all types of vehicle including off-road and heavy trucks. Future projects may include systems for motorcycles and aircraft.

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Already 50% let, the new 32,000 sq ft state-of-the art building is part of the park's incubation space. Landowners, The Homes & Communities Agency (HCA), which took on the assets from Yorkshire Forward, expect that the £4.2m building will provide innovative SME companies from the initial centre the opportunity to expand into larger premises, as well as attracting high technology companies from further afield.

MetLase, the joint venture between Rolls-Royce and Unipart Group, has already taken 10,000 sq ft in the new centre.

Paul Taylor, director at Creative Space Management, said: "Runflat CBR is a prime example of the type of business which can thrive and grow on the park; a cutting-edge concept taken to the next level with a little help from the brilliant network of advanced technology specialists we have based at the AMP."

Runflat CBR website

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