A WEST Cork infrared heating solutions company has won a national research award for industry and university collaboration. Ceramicx Ltd, based at Gortnagrough, Ballydehob, was presented with the Collaborative Research Impact Award through the Knowledge Transfer Ireland initiative.
The award was made in recognition of the company’s successful partnership with Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and its research into the nature of Infrared heating and Infrared science.
The award specifically recognised the Herschel machine test instrument that the company developed and launched in Düsseldorf, Germany in October 2013.
Company director, Dr Cáthál Wilson, said that the company was up against Intel Ireland, Microsoft Ireland, Croke Park, C&F Group, DCU and Dublin Institute of Technology so their category presented ‘a very tough field.’
He confirmed that Ceramicx Ltd has grown by an average of 15% each year for the last seven years and that their win would encourage future development and research.
In fact, a new 2,200sq m extension is currently underway and will lead to the construction of a clean room laboratory and a new office block.
When it is finished in January 2018, the company will be opening the factory to the local community and schools for an information day about what Ceramicx does.
Ceramicx Ltd currently employs 60 people, but the expansion will create new jobs for welders, electricians, fabricators, and engineers in the mechanical, electrical and manufacturing disciplines.
Dr Wilson said the company – which exports 99% of its products – also has apprenticeship programmes coming up.
There will be opportunities for engineers and engineering tradespeople, particularly people who live locally, or who want to return to the local area.
An assistant professor in Trinity College Dublin and an active member of Skibbereen Chamber of Commerce – Dr Wilson paid tribute to his parents, Frank and Gráinne Wilson, who established the company and ‘had the vision and commercial commitment to take their latest project forward.’
He also acknowledged his colleagues at Ceramicx, noting ‘all the hard work that underpins the evolving success of the Herschel.’
And he confirmed that the company is currently building infrared ovens.
These will be used in the making of the new GM Corvette door panels, as well as infrared solutions and ovens for industrial applications in the aerospace and packaging industries.