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    NAA Business Excellence Member News: Torotrak awarded TSB grant to integrate KERS into a manual gearbox in Lotus-led consortium, and separate grant for Supply Chain Project

    Torotrak has been awarded a Technology Strategy Board grant to develop a new application of the Flybrid KERS technology for integration into a manual gearbox, in collaboration with lead technology partner Lotus Cars Limited

    The award has been made under the Technology Strategy Board’s Low Carbon Vehicles Integrated Delivery Programme 10: ‘Building an Automotive Supply Chain of the Future’, to a consortium (“the Consortium”) also including Productiv, the industrialisation specialists.

    The project is valued at £4.3 million to the Consortium members and will be part-funded by the Technology Strategy Board grant, with a value of works undertaken by the Group directly of approximately £0.7 million over the course of the project. It will run for approximately 24 months from its commencement in the second quarter of 2014 and will see the lightweight, race-proven Flybrid KERS technology installed into one of Lotus’s signature performance road cars.

    The development of the system which integrates Flybrid KERS into a lightweight car, shows continued progress in Torotrak’s strategy of delivering production ready technology for the mass car market. This grant-funded project aims at developing the UK-based supply chain for low carbon automotive technologies, and helps Torotrak become further engaged in the UK automotive supply chain.

    Lotus will lead the project, providing donor vehicles, development support, and purchasing Flybrid hardware to test the installation. Flybrid will design, develop and manufacture bespoke flywheel KERS hardware for integration with the Lotus manual transmission. Productiv will offer production support throughout design and development. There will also be a number of key subcontractors working closely with the Consortium on transmission integration and optimum control implementation.

    Torotrak has also been awarded a separate Technology Strategy Board grant, under its competition ‘Building an automotive supply chain for the future – IDP10’. The award relates to the development of an optimised supply chain for manufacturing discs and rollers, key components of Torotrak’s leading variable drive transmission, engine boosting and kinetic energy recovery systems for vehicles. The project, ‘The Supply Chain OptimisatioN of TrAction drive Core Component Technology’ (“S-CONTACCT”), has a total value of £3.8 million and will be significantly funded by the award of £2.4 million from the Technology Strategy Board. The value of work undertaken by Torotrak directly will be approximately £2.6 million.

    Torotrak will lead the three year project, commencing on 1 April 2014, which will form an innovative supply chain and which engages two centres from the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, including The Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC).  The other consortium members are Tata Steel (TATA) and South Wales Forgemasters (SWF). A project Steering Committee will include a global automotive Tier 1 and Productiv (lead partner of the Government and Industry funded Proving Factory), as well as the consortium members and support by a UK OEM.

    The anticipated outcome of S-CONTACCT will be a supply chain for the components with steel optimised for the production process, specifically for innovative cold rotary forging and enhanced grain flow hot forging processes, an end-to-end manufacturing process, new process models and tools to optimise the supply chain and a detailed factory model including equipment specifications and supply chain for manufacturing the components.

    European Regional Development Fund Northern Powerhouse
    Partners Department for Business Innovation and Skills Finance Birmingham