Paul Collins

Design Pro Ltddesign-pro-logo

Topic:

Expanding energy horizons

Synopsis:

The move toward green energy is something we must now all get on board with. Expanding our energy horizons means a change in behaviour, both in how we run our businesses but also how we can directly get involved in developing exciting new energy concepts.

Key Takeaways:

  • By remaining flexible and innovative the company is now heavily involved in the commercialisation of small scale, river turbine devices
  • We recognise that the global energy crisis is something that affects us all and we need to adapt our way of thinking to be more open to upcoming opportunities that the inevitable shift toward green energy is going to bring
  • Many businesses could be perfectly suited to becoming a much needed partner or supplier for a unique renewable energy project but just haven’t considered this, it’s time to start looking at the exciting opportunities green energy is bringing and how we can get involved
  • DesignPro Ltd is a leading provider of machine build and precision automation services

Submission:

DesignPro Ltd is a leading provider of precision automation and machine build services. Established in 2004 in west Limerick the core functionality of our business over the past 12 years has been designing custom machines mostly for large multinationals and blue-chip companies. A core value that we pride ourselves on is our commitment to remaining innovative and flexible. We work across a large variety of industries, everything from automotive, cosmetics, food and medical device. Our diverse portfolio of projects and flexible approach in providing unique solutions to client’s needs has distinguished us in the marketplace. In June 2015, we moved to a 110,000ft² building, 36,500ft² of which we have now completely overhauled and is operating smoothly. We have a staged plan of development for expanding out through the building over the next few years; 2017 will see us grow to 56,500ft².

As the company grows, so is our range of services and projects. We have aligned ourselves with market leaders in the provision of high end solutions – especially with the focus upon the smart factories of the future. A key decision over the past few months was becoming a system partner integrator for Kuka Robotics in Ireland – a company at the cutting end edge of this technology.

In 2014 we were approached by a local company GKinetic Energy Ltd who wanted us to draft and build a 1:4 scale of an innovative tidal turbine. The design and concept was completely unique and since then we have also built and helped deploy a full scale 10kw river turbine device which was tested in a purpose built facility. We are now invested in seeing this device reach full commercialisation and in January of this year we successfully secured H2020 Phase 1 funding to expand out on our business plan and progress the project within the company.

Next year we intend to take a 25kw device to France and conduct more detailed testing for a minimum period of 6 months – then followed by a 60kw device in the same test site but also redeploying the 25kw device to another site in another region of the world. We refer to these devices as utility scale – ranging up to 100kw. In the background, further development is ongoing by GKinetic Energy Ltd on larger scale devices – up to 1MW.

All of this is necessary to help us reach our goal of having a full range of hydrokinetic river devices on the market by June 2019. At this stage we are looking at various different technologies and the how they can benefit the device going forward. Most businesses are well aware of the energy incentives and funding available to physically make a business more energy efficient but not as many businesses are considering how they could be a perfect fit as a partner or supplier to an innovative renewable energy project.

The technology development is just one piece of a complex business model for ensuring these concepts and designs reach the market. Sales, installation, maintenance and R&D activities are all necessary stages that many businesses could be in a prime position to provide but just haven’t considered. The move toward green energy is something we must now all get on board with. Expanding our energy horizons means a change in behaviour, both in how we run our businesses but also how we can directly get involved in developing exciting new energy concepts.

About Paul Collins:

Paul Collins is the owner and Managing Director of DesignPro Ltd (www.designpro.ie), a leading provider of custom machine-builds and precision automation services. Established in 2004 and now based in Rathkeale, Co. Limerick, the company has won numerous awards including ‘Overall Winner of the National Enterprise Awards 2013’ and ‘Best SME at the Limerick Chamber Regional Business Awards 2015’. With over 16 years of personal experience, Paul has extensive knowledge of design, engineering and automation practices and has worked with some of the biggest Multinationals in the industry including BorgWarner, Nestle and Boston Scientific. Staying true to their core values of being innovative and flexible, in 2014 DesignPro took on a very unique renewable energy project for the design and build of a small scale, river, hydrokinetic turbine. In January this year the company was successful in receiving H2020 funding to support this project which is progressing very well and successfully demonstrates how a company can expand its energy horizons.

About Design Pro:

DesignPro Ltd is a leading provider of precision automation and machine build services. Established in 2004 in west Limerick the core functionality of our business over the past 12 years has been designing custom machines mostly for large multinationals and blue-chip companies. A core value that we pride ourselves on is our commitment to remaining innovative and flexible. We work across a large variety of industries, everything from automotive, cosmetics, food and medical device.

 

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