Lynch Windows and NWRC win Fusion Project Exemplar Award

By Aoife Curran

Lynch Windows and North West Regional College (NWRC) are celebrating after being awarded the prestigious InterTradeIreland ‘Fusion Project Exemplar Award’ at a gala event hosted by InterTrade Ireland at the Corrick House Hotel in Co. Tyrone.  

The cross-border collaborative project was recognised as delivering exceptionally high levels of innovation and collaboration between Buncrana-based company Lynch Windows, InterTradeIreland Fusion graduate Lauren Bradley and the NWRC Business Support Centre through its Technology Innovation Manager, Dr. Fergal Tuffy, and Philip Devlin, NWRC Engineering Technical Consultant.

Fergal explained: ‘’We first had an enquiry from one of InterTradeIreland’s Fusion advisors, Niall O’Somachain, who covers the North West, outlining that Lynch Windows were looking to develop new projects. I met Gavin Cullen, Project Manager at Lynch Windows and Gavin outlined the vision that he and Pat Lynch, the owner, had for new products to help them grow the business.”

‘’You could see the potential that they had based upon their high-calibre clients and the quality of their products. After assisting them to write the successful Fusion project application, we recruited a high-calibre design graduate Lauren Bradley to deliver the project.’’

Phillip Devlin, Engineering, Technical Consultant at NWRC BSC, who supervised the project said: ‘’We worked in collaboration with Lauren and Gavin at Lynch Windows to develop the new highly efficient roof-light system.  We helped Lauren and Lynch Windows design a new window in 3D CAD and we made prototypes of it at the college. We also conducted 3D CAD finite element analysis stress test simulations in the College and advised them on the manufacture.

‘’It’s great for us to link up with SMEs in Donegal in the Republic of Ireland as it provides a linkage to other companies and working with SMEs supporting them in business.  Also, what we have found is that certain other companies that we have worked with through the Fusion project, we have linked the businesses together so we are enhancing trade between the North and Southern Regions.’’

Commenting on the business benefits to Lynch Windows, Project Manager, Gavin Cullen added: ‘’The InterTradeIreland Fusion programme has been beneficial to us as a company. We’ve got a member of staff who is very efficient and very good at her job and for me personally, it’s been a learning curve in terms of professionalism, how the interview process goes, now the whole taking on a graduate and showing them the ropes. 

‘’In terms of the business, I believe the roof-light will be a really good asset and a really good seller, a selling point for us. We are doing quite a lot of bespoke glazing roof-lights at the moment and think adding this to our portfolio will really help the business. 

‘’Our business has seen tremendous growth since the Fusion programme was initiated almost two years ago. We have also added two new extensions to our premises during the time of the project, we have grown from 12 staff to over 30 in 2.5 years and our turnover has also increased dramatically.’’

Lauren Bradley, Senior Designer at Lynch Windows and former InterTradeIreland Fusion graduate added: ‘’My Fusion project was to design a residential roof-light system for the more modern home. Before we had the roof-light system we outsourced all production for the roof-lights. So by bringing one in-house, we were able to control design, control time, control costs and it was more effective for us. 

‘’We designed a roof-light that allowed us to be future proof, it’s very modern and it has got one of the lowest u-value on the market. The Fusion programme also let me meet up with Philip from the North West Regional College where I had full access to all of their 3D printing and all of their computer suites, anything that was needed for the project.

‘’Philip also got a 3D print done of the prototype before we went to mass production so that we could ensure we had the correct design. Fusion is a good programme, it’s a good way to get into industry and helps you to get your foot in the door for 12 to 18 months.”

For more information about Lynch Windows visit, https://lynchwindows.ieand if you are interested in the Fusion programme contact the NWRC’s Business Support on 048 71 276170.

Fergal Tuffy and Philip Devlin from North West Regional College are pictured with Margaret Hearty from InterTradeIreland, graduate Lauren Bradley who is now a full-time employee with the company, Lynch Windows Managing Director Gavin Cullen and FUSION Programme Consultant, Niall O’Somachain.