Romax Technology has received a Grant for Research and Development (GRD) from East Midlands Development Agency (emda) to further develop its hybrid technology. The eighteen month funded project aims to develop specific and unique technology comprising engineering services and software solutions for advanced energy flow analysis, applied specifically to hybrid electric vehicles.
In the current economic downturn, fuel efficiency is a key focus for automotive manufacturers and global Governments are backing developments in this area as a way of turning round the fortunes of the automotive industry. Policy is being developed that will see hybrid vehicles play more of a leading role in the future of the automotive industry.
Currently the complexity of hybrid vehicles acts as a hurdle, preventing more OEMs becoming involved in this industry and manufacturing fuel efficient vehicles. The technology Romax will be developing throughout this project will help OEMs overcome these complexities. It will enable achievements in the optimisation of energy flow and vehicle driveline efficiency; quick and accurate comparison of different vehicle driveline configurations and operating strategies as well as supporting economical and effective design and optimisation processes up front leading to more fuel efficient end products.
"We believe this represents innovative and cutting-edge technology and a world-first," explained Barry James, Engineering Manager. "As part of our developments, we will carry out a comprehensive physical validation to prove and demonstrate the applicability of the technology against measurements from vehicle. This will ensure the accuracy and robustness of the analytical methods involved and will give strong credibility in the market place where the tools will be promoted. Our validation capabilities could also form a useful service for automotive manufacturers."
Romax has already developed the unique methodologies for analysing and understanding energy flow, energy distributions and efficiencies. When applied to the complex structure of hybrid vehicles, this will provide information on driveline energy distributions and operational changes that are not available simply through measurement or the analysis methods offered by competitors.
"Our technological developments will lead to a powerful and optimised design. In order to achieve this, development of our analytical methods into a professional service package together with an extensive test and validation programme is necessary to ensure the quality of our product. With the funding support we have received from emda we are now able to progress our research and development in this area," explains Barry James, Engineering Manager.
This project will not only safeguard 5 full time jobs but it is also expected that a number of new positions will also be created in the future. Securing this support will greatly assist Romax in making the final leap with their innovative technology and contributing to the future growth of their business, John O'Reilly, emda's Business Support Director, added:
"Research and development is vital to a company's long term success. The Grant for Research and Development makes it more affordable for many businesses in the East Midlands, allowing them to cost effectively develop innovative products and stay ahead of the competition.
"The development of hybrid technology will be vitally important to the future of the automotive industry and we are pleased to be able to support Romax with this cutting edge project."
The GRD is funded by emda and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The aim of the GRD is to help businesses carry out research and development work that will lead to technologically innovative products or processes. It is aimed both at individuals planning to start up businesses in the region, and at established small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).