A maker of landfill gas detectors used to prevent house explosions will be increasing production after being helped to design a new simpler product.
Geotechnical Instruments, based in Leamington Spa, exports 76 per cent of its £6 million annual sales and has a 95 per cent market share in the UK.
The firm, which employs 90 staff, has been given technical assistance by Innovation-Direct at the University of Warwick to improve its GA 2000 landfill gas monitor.
The monitor, about half the size of a laptop computer, is used by companies in the environmental sector and the Environment Agency to measure gas emitted from bore holes and landfill sites.
Roger Riley, new product introduction manager for Geotechnical Instruments, said: "Much of the gas measured by our equipment is methane and if that migrates underground into buildings and cellars there is the risk of an explosion with serious consequences.
"The detection and measurement of gases is vital." Geotechnical Instruments decided they had to make changes to the product to improve the manufacturing process and servicing schedules and drastically shorten the manufacturing time.
Mr Riley approached Innovation-Direct, which is part of Warwick Manufacturing Group, which helps companies of up to 250 employees to get their products right before large scale investment commences.
The results have cut the number of parts needed by half from 400, while there has also been a 75 per cent reduction in assembly time 15 to 3.5 hours.
Mr Riley said: "The new version of the landfill gas monitor extends the life span of the product and with assembly costs down it is expected to add significant benefits our bottom line.
"The reduction in production time also means we can respond quicker to customers' requirements while the detectors are more reliable because there are few things to go wrong.
"We hope this will lead to improved sales in future."
Brian Miles, who heads the Innovation-Direct team, said: "The client did not want to make a huge financial investment and the actual changes were low risk. But over a nine month period the input of the people involved at Geotechnical totalled four or five working staff years.
"We used a tried and tested approach comprising team training, product analysis and the generation and assessment of ideas."