R&D Success Cuts Costs At Schrader

A high-tech local manufacturing company is on course to cut production costs by over £700,000 following research and development (R&D) support from Invest Northern Ireland.

Schrader Electronics Ltd, based in Antrim and Carrickfergus, designs and manufactures devices which monitor vehicle tyre pressures whilst a vehicle is in motion.

This then displays the information through the vehicle's instrument panel, alerting the driver to a low tyre condition and helping the driver to optimise fuel consumption by maintaining correct tyre pressure.

Invest NI helped the company to invest almost £1m in a programme of research and development to identify ways in which the current technology could be advanced to make the devices more price competitive, whilst retaining full functionality.

Schrader developed an innovative technique to integrate the pressure and motion sensing functions, previously performed by two separate components, into a single sensor.

Schrader has now put into production a refined version of its tyre pressure monitoring device which incorporates this new and innovative technology.

The refinement generates a saving per unit of seven pence and, with around 10 million units of this type shipped each year, the company expects to cut production costs by upwards of £700,000.

Additionally the company is in the process of acquiring Intellectual Property Rights to this new technology.

Graeme Thompson, Finance Director of Schrader, said: "We recognise that advancements in research and design can result in real and significant savings when multiplied over our high annual volume of production.

"With Invest NI's help, we have reduced the number of components required for our tyre pressure monitoring devices whilst retaining all the functionality that has made us the market leader, particularly in the US.

"Indeed, the market is continuing to grow, with safety legislation in the US mandating tyre pressure monitors on all new cars, and many European car makers following the US lead."

Commenting, Carol Keery, Invest NI's Director of Innovation, Research and Technology, said: "By investing in R&D and dedicating resources to identifying improvements in their products and processes, Schrader will deliver a significant boost to their competitiveness.

"This will help them even better exploit the international markets in which they already have a strong foothold and increase their ability to attract new clients.

"Invest NI's new Corporate Plan for 2008 to 2011 sets out the need for an increased focus on high value-added activities which will help to increase the productivity level of the whole economy.

"This kind of investment by Schrader demonstrates that innovation delivers real bottom line improvement, and Invest NI can help companies of all sizes to adopt similar practices."


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

26 November 2020
NI Water Announce 10-Year Plan To Plant 1 Million Trees
As Northern Ireland's second biggest landowner, NI Water has launched an ambitious 10-year plan to plant at least 1 million trees. The initiative has been undertaken as planting trees improves water quality, captures carbon, mitigate floods and enhances the natural environment.
26 November 2020
NI's First Ever Clean Air Strategy Launched
With some 800 deaths per year associated with air pollution, Northern Ireland's first ever Clean Air Strategy has been launched by Environment Minister Edwin Poots.
25 November 2020
Concerns Raised Over Sickness Absence In NI Public Sector
Public sector leaders must be empowered to address levels of sickness absence in the Northern Ireland public sector, Alliance MLA John Blair has said, following a report on attendance in central and local government.
06 May 2021
Human Rights Commission Challenges Law On Offenders Rehabilitation In NI
The Human Rights Commission is challenging the current law on the rehabilitation of offenders in Northern Ireland. The current law prevents any convictions of more than 30 months in prison from ever becoming spent. The full hearing will be heard remotely at 10.30am on 6 May in the Judicial Review Court, Belfast.
29 April 2021
New Guidance To Be Issued For Visiting NI Care Homes
New guidance for visiting care homes in Northern Ireland is currently being finalised. The guidance is expected to be published imminently to allow preparations to be made in care settings and will take effect from next week. The new guidance will include a new approach to supporting safe and proportionate increased visiting in care homes.