Partnership leads to innovative new product line for Sandon Global

The University of Manchester has partnered with north west SME Sandon Global Engraving Technologies Ltd to embed expertise in surface engineering of advanced materials, resulting in a groundbreaking new product line.

Embedding expertise

Established in Runcorn in 2004, Sandon Global is an award-winning manufacturer of anilox rolls and cylinders, which are high-precision engineered ceramic coated cylinders with laser engraved microscopic cells to transfer ink onto printing plates in the printing industry.

Through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), part funded by Innovate UK, The University of Manchester's Department of Materials collaborated with Sandon Global to develop and embed expertise in surface engineering of advanced materials. 

Through careful selection of the process and parameters, we have managed to improve the microstructure and mechanical properties of Sandon’s existing coating. As a result, its products have achieved a better performance.

Dr Aleksey Yerokhin / Senior Lecturer in Surface Engineering of Materials, The University of Manchester

Standing out from the competition

Working closely with Professor Allan Matthews and Dr Aleksey Yerokhin, experts in surface engineering at Manchester, Sandon has been able to differentiate itself from the rest of the market competition through the development of a coating that is more resistant to wear, eliminates scoring, and enhances the quality and precision of printing.

Dmitry Bogachov was recruited by the partnership as KTP Associate to lead development of the work, and be conduit for the transfer of knowledge from the University to Sandon. As a result of his work on the KTP, Dmitry has been recruited by Sandon to lead its research and development activity.

Sandon has utilised the partnership to introduce innovation to a market that had been largely stagnant for more than 30 years. The KTP has presented an opportunity for Sandon to expand globally – taking a whole new product line to market that offers significantly enhanced performance.

One of the key outputs of the project was that we embraced the idea to become a truly innovative company. The opportunity to expand globally is very much there for us now.

Stephen Ellis / Group Business Director, Sandon Global Engraving Technologies Ltd