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Portishead’s Q5D completes £1.8m LiveWire project

20 April 2023
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Q5D, the Portishead-based manufacturer, and its partners have announced the completion of its LiveWire project.

The £1.8 million Innovate UK-funded project was focused on automating the manufacture of wiring for aerospace systems, combining the knowledge of large aerospace companies with the technical capabilities of UK SMEs and academic institutes to make lower cost, higher quality and lighter components.

Q5D, which makes 5-axis, additive manufacturing robots for wire harness and printed electronics automation, will shortly be launching a product for the aerospace, automotive, medical, industrial, and consumer sectors.

“Wire harnesses are critical in many designs, from electric vehicles to aircraft to consumer electronics, but most of this production is manual and labour intensive,” said Simon Baggot, CMO, Q5D.

“Q5D’s robots automate those processes, enabling manufacturers to cut costs, reduce waste, and develop products with more complex wiring. For example, in the car industry, precision wiring can enable carmakers to add more features and differentiate their products.”

Read more - Bristol-based Q5D Technology announces $2.5m seed investment

Automation also ensures that manufacturers are less reliant on low-cost overseas labour, meaning OEMs and contract manufacturers can ‘reshore’ production in their native market.

This makes them less vulnerable to the supply chain disruption, such as that caused by the COVID pandemic and the war in Ukraine, both of which have constrained the ability of European car makers to meet their market demands.

Reducing supply chain distances also reduces the carbon cost of shipping, leading to significant environmental benefits.

Q5D recently opened new facilities in Portishead which bring together core operations from design and engineering to manufacturing and testing.

The company won a £15,000 Innovate UK EDGE grant to access the resources and facilities of the Catapult Network, which was secured with support from Innovate UK EDGE Funding Specialist, Adele Reynolds.

“Adele’s been brilliant at helping us to identify grant opportunities” said Rachel Eggington, COO, Q5D, “and her support was instrumental in helping us to secure a Catapult grant.”

Q5D is now working with the Catapult Network to develop new printed electronics materials for the aerospace industry as it looks to transition away from silver.

“That project will give us scope to partner with aerospace companies on pioneering new technologies.

“We also worked with Innovate UK EDGE’s Stephanie Fox to secure an IP Audit grant, which has helped us to strategically map out our IP goals and then secure a further IPO grant to act on the audit findings.”

“It’s given us a huge amount of confidence and a clear direction of travel as we develop new technologies and re-approach our investment community.”

“Overall, Stephanie’s been brilliant at understanding our challenges and identifying the specialist support we need. She’s been able to build an extended team around us that can help deliver expert knowledge and skills.”

Read more - Pioneering Bristol start-ups set for new heights thanks to MyWorld


Sam is the Regional Editor of Biz News, responsible for both Hampshire and Dorset.

A new recruit to journalism, Sam started writing for the Business Magazine as a freelancer in May of 2022 after completing his degree in English at University College London. His passion for local businesses and ability to tell a story soon caught the attention of the publication’s management team and have led to his meteoric rise.

Sam, who lives in central Reading, takes a particular interest in technology, gaming and food and drink, having been a chef before starting his degree.

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