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KTP Partnership judged ‘outstanding’

21 January 2016

Nicole Ayiomamitou
Nicole Ayiomamitou, ‎Corporate Optimization and Analytics Manager at Panalpina, explains her work to Dr Franck Lacan, Research Fellow in Additive Manufacturing at Cardiff University’s School of Engineering.

A Cardiff University partnership which helped global logistics and freight forwarding company Panalpina develop innovative ways of helping customers anticipate supply chain demand has been graded ‘outstanding’ by UK Government

Three years ago, Panalpina and Cardiff Business School teamed up to work out how to create more efficient business inventories. The resulting Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) proved so successful that it has now been renewed and expanded to focus on new manufacturing technologies such as inventories restocked by 3D printing.

The new two-year project, with double the investment from Panalpina, aims to help Panalpina’s customers identify the right products to switch to manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing.

The existing partnership was recently judged “outstanding” by Innovate UK. The project’s lead researcher, Nicole Ayiomamitou, has also joined Panalpina from Cardiff University to help roll out the 3D printing application globally.

Nicole said: “The partnership has produced some very exciting results. We have taken real inventory data from Panalpina and developed a unique product life cycle algorithm based on leading-edge mathematical thinking. As a result, we now have a new application that allows us to forecast the demand of a company’s products and plan its inventory accordingly.”

Paul Thomas, Business Manager with Research, Innovation and Enterprise Services at Cardiff University, said: “We are delighted that the Panalpina and Cardiff University KTP has been graded "Outstanding" by Innovate UK. We have a long and successful history of collaborating with companies through the KTP scheme. Over the last 40 years, the University has put together more than 200 KTPs with both small and global organisations, adding tangible value to industry and the UK economy.”

Panalpina has now begun to offer its new forecasting capabilities to customers and will continue to refine the model as the pool of available inventory data continuously increases.

Professor Martin Kitchener, Dean of Cardiff Business School, said, “We have built a very strong relationship with Panalpina over the years through KTPs and Panalpina’s sponsorship of student excellence awards. The partnership brings benefits not just in terms of sponsorship and funding, but by providing ‘real life’ case studies for use in our postgraduate courses and offering researchers a taste of the business world.”