Lancaster University

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Engineering department awarded for helping Kendal company 'turn around'

12/11/2002 11:45:45

The University's Engineering department and Kendal based business, Ducker Engineering Ltd have been recognised for their successful TCS Programme, and were presented with an award by Lord Sainsbury, Minister for Science and Innovation, at the TCS Awards 2002 event in London on 5 December 2002.

Ducker Engineering is a significant employer in Kendal. Prior to the TCS Programme it was experiencing very difficult trading conditions. It had a mature and declining market for its existing product range - work wear garment drying and handling equipment - used in commercial laundries. Drastic action was needed to save the business and it came in the form of engineering postgraduate and TCS associate Elton Xhemali.

Using the company's existing skills and the Elton's expertise resulted in a brand new product - The Revolution, a continuous hand towel- processing machine, brought from concept to customer trial in less than nine months.

Elton Xhemali, the TCS Associate, said;

"Joining Ducker Engineering at such a difficult time was a steep learning curve for me, especially in terms of commercial awareness. The fruit of our labour, the 'Revolution', has been so successful that we will be exhibiting it at an international laundry equipment trade fair in the USA in August 2003. I now have a permanent post with Ducker Engineering as their Chief Design Engineer, as well as pursuing an M.Phil postgraduate degree with Lancaster University."

Lisa Crossley, Managing Director of Ducker Engineering, explained;

"The TCS Programme revolutionised our business position and safeguarded its future in Kendal. This year, for the first time in four years, we are actually able to forecast a profit. We are now reaping the benefits of our earlier investment in the TCS Programme. In the first quarter of this year we have doubled our export turnover."