Charles Williams explains why Staffordshire University is the go-to resource when looking to bring innovative ideas and talent to their business.

Company overview

Promtek is a Stoke-based electrical engineering firm that offers a range of process automation technology and instrumentation for specialist ingredient handling processes of all sizes. Working with companies that manufacture products such as biscuits, animal feed, fire extinguisher powders, and more, it was essential that the right materials and quantities were used.

Charles Williams, Director of Promtek, has been keen on working with Staffordshire University to find new ideas and talent to bring into their business. Williams saw robotics as a great opportunity to increase the accuracy of their day-to-day work and joined the SAMPID project.

Funded Business Support

Promtek accessed the business support: "Staffordshire Advanced Manufacturing, Prototyping and Innovation Demonstrator" (SAMPID).

Promtek had a great interest in investing in how their business could benefit from automating operating processes through the use of robotics however, lacked the resources to do so.

By tapping into funded support through our university prototyping and product development programme, Promtek could access specialist robotic equipment and technical support.

They benefited from MSc in Robotics and Smart Technologies student, Shruti Chakraborty who, with guidance from an expert academic, worked with Promtek on a three-month placement to support the delivery.

Project Outcome

Williams says that the project’s success and development are all down to Shruti’s impeccable expertise and approach to robotics. Having the access to the university’s skills, talent, and innovation processes, Promtek resulted in the development of a scoop that could be controlled by a robot. The scoop was designed to help staff weigh out ingredients with better accuracy and protect them from handling ingredients that could be potentially harmful to them.

This project is fully funded by Staffordshire University and the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020 and offered completely free of charge to each participating business.

Being part of the project allowed us to accelerate our thinking to prove the viability of a new concept for our business. By using the university’s robotic arms, we have been able to test a new process and encouraged us to further develop this type of advanced manufacturing for our customer base.

Charles Williams, Director, Promtek

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