See how commercially focussed advanced research, product development and batch manufacturing facility, CBM, is using state-of-the-art technology and accessible software programmes to work across the U.K. and the world from its base in Swansea, Wales.
Learn how one-to-one business support from Superfast Business Wales has helped CBM become more effective, efficient and focussed.
Ashley Bryant, Design Director
CBM was established as an advanced research, product development and manufacturing facility. The intention is to turn that research into products, services, that side of things that actually apply the research.
Alongside that, we’ve got commercial offerings which fall into three main areas. One is product development so we can take an idea from a blank piece of paper right the way through to manufacture.
We manufacture in-house so advanced manufacturing. We’ve got 3D printing in-house both in polymers and metals, and we manufacture in titanium which is surgically implantable.
3D printing technologies which you might have heard of like stereo lithography, otherwise known as SLA and then we do small batch manufacturing as well.
The third area is our medical department. They develop bespoke medical devices. We work in the human and the veterinary market and they can produce anatomical models so we can scan data and produce 3D printed anatomical models in medical-grade materials. We can produce surgical guides and we can produce surgical implants.
I’ve got a lot of experience, as the whole team has. We work with anything from a lone inventor to lots of SMEs up to corporations; locally, Wales-wise, UK-wise and we can and do occasionally work with companies around the world and clients around the world.
We can share our desks via broadband, we can work remotely with clients.
On a day-to-day basis we obviously use email and we use spreadsheets, in fact we use spreadsheets as quite a big part of our marketing campaign.
But because of our industry we’ve got some fairly top-end FDA approved software to manipulate the medical products. We use 3D CAD software and that’s all networked together so because we’re also ISO9001 we run a quality management system, the whole process is about efficiency and about making sure we get a quality product out of the door. And to do that we’ve got to be in control of all this data. We share that information outside of our office with the world.
It’s a digital world and we have to share them with manufacturers so the things we produce in our 3D CAD go to the manufacturer to be turned into tooling to make plastic parts, for example.
And then the speed comes in, because in the early days it was all very slow. Clients expect quick responses now. Rapid prototyping is part of what we do. People expect a rapid response.
Superfast Business Wales were running an e-marketing event. At the end of the event I publically commented that I was impressed with the presenters’ knowledge; it was up to date and we actually came out feeling like we’d learnt something. But it went but beyond that.
One of the members then came into CBM here and he looked at what we we’re doing and then produced a very comprehensive document on how to become more efficient, where we might be lacking and suggested some methods of marketing, some software that we might use which we then went and tried out.
Off the back of that I think we’re probably more efficient, we’re more effective, and we’re more focussed.
I genuinely came away quite impressed that I learnt something and we’ve actually changed our system in line with that.