BMT | Innovation Sprints

Who are BMT?

BMT Defence Services Ltd delivers independent complex engineering and design capabilities for UK and international defence customers.

They are able to tackle the most complex design and systems issues and their naval platform concepts and expertise position them as a leading independent centre for defence engineering design, support and technical services.

BMT Defence Services is a subsidiary of BMT Group.

The Business Need

BMT approached 4c to design, develop and facilitate their Bluebook Challenge, an innovation sparked off within the organisation to solve their customer’s problems in new ways. This initiative was about taking ideas and inspiration from staff across the organisation and developing solutions to interesting problems.  Open to everyone across the organisation, the challenge was split into four parts:

The Launch – staff were briefed on the concept and rules of the challenge and the specific engineering problem they had to solve.

The Pitch – In their teams, staff had to present their ideas including how they researched, developed and created their design. Two teams were selected to go through to the next stage.

The Workshop – The selected teams each spent a week working with 4c Design in their Glasgow workshop, experimenting, refining and testing their ideas.

The Trials – The final concepts were presented and tested in front of a panel of judges. The winning team won £5,000 and a week away from the day job, where they were able to develop their ideas in 4c’s studio and workshop.

Our Activities and Deliverables

This process energised the staff at BMT. Employees spent evenings and weekends collaborating in teams that spanned the organisation’s departments. Bluebook sparked the most talented members of the organisation into action. They enjoyed solving engineering problems in creative new ways and, as such, BMT has hit upon a way to tap into the imagination of its staff across the board.

By partnering with 4c, BMT were able to build their concepts quickly. We were able to work together through testing and prototyping, combining the skills of our own engineers and use of our well established workshop, with the in depth marine knowledge held at BMT to allow the product to take shape.

The Result

Historically, product development combined brilliant engineering minds and hands on prototyping. Over the years, the ‘hands on’ approach has been superseded by computing capabilities, as design and technology brought professional engineers out of the workshops and into three dimensional and numerical modelling of the computer age.

However, through Bluebook, BMT have struck upon an innovative, and ultimately very successful, method of bringing back the excitement of ‘practical engineering’. Bluebook has reinvented building, making, testing, modelling and prototyping – putting the fun back into engineering.

By reaching out to all the creative minds in their organisation, they were able to tap into a vast bank of knowledge. By combining that with 4c and benefiting from our guidance, expertise, engineering workshop and product design engineering principles, the winning concepts were turned into reality incredibly quickly. We’ve worked hard and played hard during this partnership and we are really excited about the potential BMT’s Bluebook Challenge has created for a new era of engineering process.

4c are the best example of trying to merge the product ‘design’ process with practical engineering I’ve seen. Most of the design agencies I come across can only handle the small human-interaction product, not the large practical engineering problems. 4c can do both – which is quite unique.

Mark Steel – Business Development Manager BMT Defence

Capabilities Utilised

  • Innovation Sprints
  • Business development
  • Concept development
  • Industrial design
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Rough prototyping
  • Field trials
  • Design for manufacture