A good friend of mine works at Bury-based electrical equipment suppliers Cudis CPN. The firm is quite big and well known worldwide, for its range of electrical equipment. This year they have been nominated for the ‘Best in Class Award – Technology’ category at the ‘Made in Bury’ business awards, which is a well-deserved achievement. Their sister company (Rowe Hankins), have also been nominated, for two awards no less, in the ‘Best in Class – Family Business’ category, and the ‘Best in Class – Manufacturing & Engineering’ category. So quite a year for the Manchester firm!!
The awards event will be held on the 20th November, with celebration dinner held at the Drill Hall in Bury – personally, I think the location looks fantastic judging by the image below, and cannot wait to attend. It is a black tie dress code, with ball gowns for the Ladies, and will run from 7pm until 1am, with plenty of live entertainment and good food! Tickets are £60+ VAT and available here if you’re interested. They are also promising ‘surprises’ during the night, so I would guess that means a celebrity appearance or perhaps some prizes to be won on the night.
To be in with a chance to win, organisations have had to be nominated in writing by another company or member of the public. There is then a committee that decides which companies are short-listed, to proceed to the event dinner on the 20th. The short-listed organisations will also be invited to a ‘meet and greet’ on the 17th ctober to present to the judges and display more information abut why they feel their company should win.
My friend Michael (from Cudis), believes they have a good chance to win. Cudis are known for their consumer unit products and items such as the ‘3 phase distribution board‘. Over the last few years, they have been taking a great approach to innovating what might seem ‘standard’ electrical products. The innovation that has got them short-listed for this award is called the ‘Lumo illuminated consumer unit’. A consumer unit is a very common piece of electrical equipment, used in most houses and work premises. It is basically the fuse board as most of us know it! See this video to recognise what we’re talking about:
Now compare that old looking one, to this from Cudis:
The Lumo illuminated consumer unit is very clever though. We have all been in that situation at least once, where the fuse trips. You then have to stumble around in the dark looking for the fuse board, and if you’re lucky, you get to use the light from your mobile phone. (Because if you’re like me, you have no idea where the torch is, even when the lights are on!) Cudis have looked at this issue, and come up with a very simple, yet brilliant fix. They have added in-built LED lights to the panel, powered by a small battery, so even in the dark it is easy to see what you are doing, and you can have two hands available. Obviously this is ideal for everyone, but especially the elderly, or those who have their panels in dark, inaccessible places, such as under the stairs!
The Lumo has proved very popular so far and was centre-stage at the recent ‘Elex’ event that Cudis attended. It was also ‘highly commended’ at the 2013 Electrical Industry Awards, which is a great achievement in itself. Cudis CPN’s Managing Director Jason Hallam (great guy), said this at the 2013 Electrical Industry Awards:
“The Lumo illuminated consumer unit is an innovative and unique product solution which is why it will take centre stage on CPN’s Elex stand this year. The response from contractors and wholesalers is that there is an obvious requirement for Lumo and that it brings clear benefits for users in certain sectors, especially where the elderly or visually impaired may be required to reset a circuit breaker – we’re looking forward to getting in front of customers and telling them about the solid added value proposition the Lumo offers to those wanting to improve system maintenance.”
The Lumo is available in 3 different sizes, and up to 22 different configurations, which apparently makes it suitable for the majority of needs. I’m really pleased that Michael and Cudis are getting the recognition they deserve as they have been very diligent in their approach to research and development, something a lot of companies miss. Innovations like the Lumo prove that even though a product is taken for granted and seen as at it’s peak, an improvement can always be made – and more often than not, it is a simple tweak with enormous benefits.
You only have to look at the world’s top companies to realise R&D can play a major role is success and growth – take Apple as an example. Their R&D budget is huge, and they openly admit they no qualms about spending as much as is required, because the end result fully justifies itself.
Cudis are up against these other Bury based companies:
- Computer Troubleshooters (Manchester) Ltd
- Fluid Digital
- Lex Business Equipment Ltd
- Lone Worker Solutions Ltd
- PC Edutech Ltd
Whilst I wish them all good luck, I really do hope Cudis win as I feel they deserve it to cap off an extraordinary year! I hope to see you at the event too!