A partnership between a specialist motorsports manufacturer and a design and commercialization business will result in the fast-tracked development of an advanced six speed gearbox for the racing world.
Pfitzner Performance Gearboxes (PPG) has been teamed with Innovact Consulting as part of a $50,000 innovation voucher grant from the South Australian State Government.
PPG Business Development Manager Richard Sanders said the grant will allow the company to develop a new six-speed gearbox for motor racing.
"It's enabling us to get new products to market quicker, and letting us enter into export markets that otherwise wouldn't have been obtainable," said Sanders.
"The main thing we're getting out of the grant is taking a product from the initial concept design, taking it through research and development, and then to full manufacturing and engineering. Ordinarily, to do that, there's significant time and cost."
Commercialization, industrial design and engineering specialists Innovact Consulting will be assisting PPG through the entire process, which Sanders says brings a "degree of professionalism that is difficult and costly to obtain" to the project.
Andi Stevens, Senior Industrial Designer at Innovact, said the project has been a lot of work, though the grant makes the process much more fluid for PPG.
"Now the cars are getting so powerful—some are putting out 2000 horsepower. You're squeezing it all into the standard gearbox housing. There's a lot we're helping them with—six configurations, all the 3D, all the drawings, development and stress testing. It's a big project," Stevens said.
"We're in there to assist them accelerate the product to market. Without a grant it's all off the top, and they might not see returns on that investment for up to 12 months."
Innovact also hopes to help mentor a young engineer within PPG, to fill their current role with the company internally. Manufacturing and Innovation Minister Susan Close said the innovation voucher, part of the South Australian Government's Manufacturing Works program, helps connect and support SMEs around the state.
"The collaboration between Innovact and Pfitzner is a great example of how the voucher program is working for team designers and manufacturers," Dr Close said.
"The six-speed gearbox project exemplifies the State Government's strategy to support local manufacturers to transition to high-margin products that target profitable niche markets."