Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SOLVE (new machine tool for SimultaneOus pLate beVElling on all material types)
Reporting period: 2016-06-01 to 2016-09-30
Our end-customers are increasingly preoccupied with reducing downtimes and increasing productivity and we have historically worked with them to help ensure our products meet their requirements. With this in mind, we have identified a new opportunity in the market to develop a new bevelling machine, SOLVE, that can decrease bevelling times by 50% compared with current market offerings while maintaining a strong and sharp cut and increase safety.
Following the approval of our Phase 1 project presented in February 2016, our team has carried out from June till September a complete feasibility study in order to analyse the key areas of the project. On the technical and industrial side, we have further worked on the mechanical design and on the control strategy (electronics and control software). The plan for the next development steps has been detailed, considering as well the preparation for industrialisation. On the commercial and business side, we have studied in detail our target market in order to prepare SOLVE entry strategy. We have also performed a freedom to operate analysis, which is required to check and validate the innovation of our product. Financial forecasts and return on investment have been drafted in order to evaluate the growth and profitability of the SOLVE project for our company.
Firstly, technically, further calculations, designs and component selection for the application were carried out to optimize the mechanical subsystems and overall structure, along with the electronic components and associated control software. Following these developments, a preliminary risk analysis has been conducted to ensure that no issues have been left aside and thus that future development and industrialization will be with a low and controlled risk. Our team has prepared a complete Execution Plan for the developments of SOLVE (from TRL6 to TRL9), covering tasks, planning, budget, risk analysis and organization.
Commercially, we have focused on the machine tool and bevelling machine market which has allowed us to further prepare our marketing and align our pricing strategy. A complete freedom to operate was performed to search for existing Intellectual Property rights that could infringe with our technology. This analysis has confirmed the novelty of the SOLVE technology and the absence of existing thread for its commercialization.
Financially, several scenarios have been detailed, leading to consolidated financial projections (revenues, commercial margin, return on investment) for the 2018-2022 period with highly positive turnover increase.
Of the bevelling operations, it is important to note that our machine can process material thickness up to 100mm (common technologies are limited to plate thickness below 80-90mm) and is compatible and easily adaptable to all types of cutters and bevel shapes, another advantage of the machine as today most of the technologies available provide only 1-2 bevel shapes, meaning that manufacturers have to use 2-3 machines to address their needs.