Companies in South Yorkshire are proving first-hand that there are lucrative benefits to be had by working collaboratively. One such example involves Runflat Systems Ltd and Performance Engineered Solutions who are pooling resources and knowledge to provide a more enhanced solution to industry needs.
The two companies, based on the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham, are collaborating on a project developing a new vehicle run flat insert system. At the most basic level, run flat inserts provide a deflated tyre with a platform to run on so the vehicle can continue a reasonable distance on it.
Unfortunately, the distance that can be driven on a run flat, in addition to its performance, is limited. One reason for this is that a feasible solution as to how the insert could incorporate a bead lock system had not been discovered. This is where the beads of the tyres are pushed into the wheel which prevents the tyre spinning around the rim.
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. Moreover, this new system will be lighter, easier to fit, give great performance, whilst maintaining the average price of run flat inserts. This level of run flat ability has been the wish of police, Home Office, military and similar fleet vehicle operators for decades.
Testing carried out at the Structural Testing Centre on the Advanced Manufacturing Park has proved the concept at 2 tonnes per wheel. The success of this project is strongly based upon the great relationship between the two companies and their respective network of contacts.
Manager of Runflat Systems Ltd, Richard Lust, who developed the new concept, said: “Current run flat insert technology is based on 20 year old concepts and military systems are basically the same as the first commercially available products that came into service in 1943. Runflat Systems Ltd is a research and development company looking at innovative ways to bring new concepts, methods and materials technology to the run flat industry. Our aim is to bring the run flat insert into the 21st Century and provide users with the performance they desire but currently cannot achieve.”
Performance Engineered Solutions Ltd is a leading high performance engineering design business delivering cutting-edge solutions to multiple sectors. The company’s portfolio includes projects for the automotive (sport & commercial), aerospace & defence, marine, medical, electronics and sports equipment industries, to name but a few. Performance Engineered Solutions prides itself as being flexible in that they can work independently or immerse themselves in partner businesses – adding design & engineering to their product or service portfolio.
Dan Fleetcroft, Engineering Design Director, said: “We are collaborating with Runflat Systems Ltd bringing not only engineering design expertise to the project, but also knowledge of the latest manufacturing technologies, product development tools and perhaps, as importantly, where to access them. Our relationship with the AMRC highlights how valuable our engineering partnerships are as their Structural Testing Centre have the exact capabilities and experience we require to deliver the laboratory test for evaluation of the product.”