"The next James Dyson" Steven Lindsey turns his eye to UK manufacturing through partnership between Lontra and Shield Group engineering

Jessica Morris
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UK manufacturing has failed to return to pre-crisis peaks (Source: Getty)

The entrepreneur who has been hailed "the next Dyson", Steven Lindsey, is trying to breathe new life into the UK's struggling manufacturing industry.

Lindsey's company, Lontra, has entered into a knowledge sharing agreement with Shield Group engineering, one of the UK's largest manufacturers. It will combine Lontra's clean-sheet compressor design and world-class research and development facilities, with Shield Group’s state-of-the-art technology and manufacturing techniques.

The first joint project will focus upon the manufacture of an industrial compressor, based on Lontra, designs to address a global market worth £22bn.

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Lindsey was compared to legendary British inventor James Dyson by the Carbon Trust, a private company that helps organisations reduce their carbon emissions. The Trust hailed Lontra's blade compressor, which helps business operations deliver cut energy usage by over 20 per cent.

Lindsey aims to increase innovation in the UK's struggling manufacturing industry to help it compete on the world stage. The latest figures show UK manufacturing growth remained 4.4 per cent below pre-crisis levels in August, despite the broader economic recovery.

British manufacturers' woes have been compounded by the weak Eurozone economy, which is the UK’s main export market, as well as the strength of the pound.

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"Shield Group engineers will be able to provide us with invaluable input into streamlining the design of our product, improving the consistency of parts to further improve compressor reliability, and lowering the overall cost of production," Lindsey said.

"This will give Lontra’s compressor an even greater competitive edge, with its proven efficiency and reliability joined by even lower production costs and simple assembly and maintenance."

Chris Shield, of Shield Group, added: "Recent reports have focused on UK manufacturers losing out to emerging markets but this is not a foregone conclusion.

"We have demonstrated that we can outperform emerging markets on price by using smart machining techniques and investing in the latest machining technology."

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