Manufacturer’s R&D investment heats up
Nearly £2m has been invested in R&D, IT infrastructure and technology by a Birmingham-based designer and manufacturer of thermal management systems.
Grayson Thermal Systems, which employs more than 250 people at three sites in the city, is looking to capitalise on a 25% surge in orders and increasing demand for its zero emission vehicle solutions that are helping buses, coaches and trains make a successful transition.
Heading the new capabilities is the installation of its first in-house thermal chamber that allows the company to perform validations and product demonstrations at extremely low and high ambient temperatures.
This gives customers, including CaetanoBus, Emoss and Škoda, the confidence that the systems will perform to the design specification before they begin fitting them to their vehicles/applications.
Matthew Hateley, sales manager – Europe at Grayson Thermal Systems, said: “R&D and continued investment in the latest manufacturing facilities is so important to our business and gives us the ability to compete with international rivals all over the world.
“We are dealing with some of the largest companies in on-highway, off-highway and rail sectors and our role has been to listen to the challenges they face and then, in turn, deliver thermal management solutions that overcome these issues.”
He added: “A significant investment has been made on acquiring an in-house thermal chamber and this is a real gamechanger. We can now test the performance of our products from -20 degrees, right up to 50+ degrees and this has helped accelerate thermal validation programmes significantly compared to when we had to outsource.
“This is a critical piece of equipment for our New Product Development (NPD) programme as it will also give us the opportunity to optimise existing systems and deliver new opportunities across a variety of key markets.”
Grayson Thermal Systems, which serves 280 customers in more than 32 countries across the globe, launched its third generation Battery Thermal Management System during 2021.
This ‘plug and play’ technology helps to regulate the temperature of electric vehicle batteries, providing optimum temperature control that is critical to their function and operational life.
Hateley added: “We have recently started production of reversible heat pump technology, which incorporates passenger heating, passenger cooling and battery thermal management from a single system – essentially this is a complete vehicle thermal management system (VTMS).
“To complement this VTMS product, we are manufacturing driver cabin reversible heat pump units, offering heating as low as -20°c and air conditioning up to 35°c. This latest development can be packaged as a roof mounted system or beneath the dashboard, which also provides windscreen demist function too.”