Garage Door Systems Ltd & UUJ/Amfor collaborate to win 2014 Innovation Award

Garage Door Systems Ltd lifted the highly coveted Innovation prize at this year’s Ballymena Borough Business Excellence Awards, Thursday 30th October at the Tullyglass hotel. The company won the award for the delivery of a new pedestrian side hinged entrance door project. On the night the judging panel commended Garage Door Systems for its collaboration with the Amfor facility (Advanced Metal Forming Research) at the University of Ulster (UUJ) to deliver this significant project. The Amfor facility at UUJ is at the forefront of materials characterisation and modelling for the sheet metal forming industries and provided Garage Door Systems with a plat form to challenge traditional manufacturing technologies by applying science to the art of metal forming.

Speaking on the night Peter Doherty (MD, Garage Door Systems) commented:

“We were tasked with the delivery of a potential project back in 2012, and at the time we truly didn’t appreciate the significance of the opportunity. We were extremely fortunate or lucky at the investigative stage to get an introduction to Dr Alan Leacock from UUJ/Amfor and we looked at the project which aimed to deliver an initial contract in excess of £500,000 per annum, which we went on to win. Through the engagement with Dr Alan Leacock and his team at UUJ/Amfor our business has been radically overhauled and transformed with modern production methods being introduced and new ways of thinking injected into what was in many ways a traditional manufacturing business. The combined lab facilities of traditional and special purpose test equipment at UUJ/Amfor are unique within the UK and exceptional in the rest of the world and without exposure to this support and assistance we would never have realised the true potential of this exciting opportunity.”

At a recent launch of the project the Ballymena based company updated it was creating 17 new jobs as part of a £2 million investment supported by Invest Northern Ireland. The family-run business, which manufactures and installs a range of made-to-measure garage doors for the domestic and professional markets, is now in its 20th year of trading and now employs 47 staff locally.

Commenting on the investment during a visit to the company, Invest NI’s Chief Executive, Alastair Hamilton, said: “The success has been driven by the quality of its products and service as well as a focus on innovation. This investment will help the company achieve its objective of growing sales in the Great Britain market.”