Welsh SME turns to supercomputing in its quest to save the planet

09/02/15
From left to right: Martin Boughtwood, CEO, Deregallera; Karen Padmore, Operations Director, HPC Wales; Rick Hillum, CEO, HPC Wales

A Caerphilly based engineering SME has partnered with ourselves to support the research and development of new materials that will make better use of the planet’s resources. 

With nearly 200 years of combined experience, the team at Deregallera Ltd has designed and developed a wide range of products, from large under-water drives to lightweight digital motor drives and high efficiency wind turbine generators.

Deregallera’s aim in partnering with ourselves is to grow the theoretical modelling side of the business with the ultimate aim of creating a rapid development environment that uses theoretical and experimental methods to accelerate the creation of new materials.

With access to supercomputing technology, the business is now able to run in a few days, a large number of computational simulations of proposed new materials to inform the understanding of the characteristics and to focus the next round of physical experimentation – a step that would have taken many months of experimentation to complete without access to HPC Wales’ services. 

The business was founded and is led by Managing Director Martin Boughtwood, who has a strong background in mechanical engineering, electronics and automotive systems. 

With the backing and support of Welsh Government, the firm quickly outgrew their offices in Port Talbot, expanding from a team of three to over 15 highly skilled staff within three years. 

Boughtwood has combined practical experimentation and product development in a new purpose built laboratory with theoretical modelling of newly synthesised materials, to give his business the upper hand in driving forward ambitious plans for growth. 

Boughtwood said:

“We design and synthesise new materials in house.  There is a requirement to carry out many physical experiments on these materials to identify their properties and understand why they behave the way they do under varied circumstances.  In understanding these properties, we are able to refine and synthesise superior materials that can be used to create products which perform better whilst remaining safe, reliable and cost effective.

“Modelling materials on a computer will help to shape our physical experimentation which is a complimentary activity rather than a replacement to traditional practices. With support from HPC Wales, we are now able to do everything under one roof, which will help us to create the best possible materials in a vastly shorter time frame.

 “Gaining access to the system was seamless and we are now looking to work with the HPC Wales team to upskill our staff in using the system, along with taking on new recruits to support the additional projects we are now able to embark on due to increased capacity.”

Professor Rick Hillum, CEO of HPC Wales commented:

“Helping SMEs gain access to state of the art supercomputing technology, training and support is what we are here to do, and this is a perfect example of how valuable our offering is to Welsh businesses. 

 “Deregallera has achieved a huge amount in a very short space of time, and I am confident it will go on to achieve even more with their utilisation of our HPC services.”