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Case Study: Cutting and Wear Resistant Developments Ltd

Base on an Interview with Jill Macdonald.

Cutting and Wear have been at the leading edge of drilling tool technology for over 20 years, supplying the world’s drilling industry with “Arocoy” hardfacing materials and integral stabiliser bodies.

With a constant emphasis on training, the company won the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement, and manufacture to BS 5750 Part 2 ISO 9002 Quality Assurance Systems.

The organisation’s Senior Managers had been aware for some time that Cutting and Wear possessed a wealth of skills and business opportunities but had never found the time to exploit or evaluate them. Scimitar was seen as a vehicle to look again at these opportunities and a way of providing a systematic approach to innovation.

Thus the company decided that Managing Director Mark Russell, Sales Director Jill Macdonald and 2 Senior Managers would join the Scimitar Programme

According to Jill Macdonald, the team particularly enjoyed the creative idea generation systems employed on Day 3 of the programme. This session employs mental triggers to stimulate the individuals’ abilities to visualise creatively new business opportunities. As Jill later remarked, “It was remarkable how realistic the ‘strange’ idea s later became”.

After the idea generation exercises 280 new business ideas were identified out of the company’s model, with 12 subsequently short-listed for development.

One spin-off benefit for the company was to identify, through the modeling exercise, additional areas of expertise and skills that they had available but which they did not commercially exploited. This prompted them to be included in an oil industry year book under more headings than previously; this resulted in a 10% rise in enquiries.

One of the ideas that came to reality was for a more efficient method of applying the abrasive pads onto drilling and cutting equipment. This new approach, the Quick Tip Stabiliser Hardfacing Systems, halves the time taken to hardface drilling and cutting equipment, while still guaranteeing precision cutting and drilling. So new was the concept that the idea was protected by patent before its launch at an international exhibition in mid December 1994.

The company expect sales over £250,000 from single product.

Three more products/services have been identified by the company for future development and the company expects to launch these in the near future.

In the opinion of the company’s Senior Managers Scimitar had a highly beneficial effect on the business for the following reasons:

  1. It provided a systematic approach to both the generation of new business   concepts and their commercial development.
  2. These systems are reusable. Once implanted in the company they are available to be reused and therefore allows the company the opportunity to practice continuous innovation.
  3. The Programme enabled the company to generate a potential world beating new product in the field of hard-facing technology, which should have a very beneficial impact on the company’s bottom line profitability.
  4. Scimitar increased participating individuals’ confidence in their own creative abilities.
  5. The Programme also had a positive effect on team building within the company and brought Senior Managers closer together. As evidence of this, one Scimitar team member, Andy, who had recently joined the company, was made much more quickly aware of the company, its Senior   Managers and the company’s potential.

 Thus the company found the Scimitar to be both a beneficial and enjoyable Programme to attend. However, it did involve a lot of hard work and involves a significant time input from Senior Managers.


Quick tip: revolutionary way of hard surfacing drill developed on the Excalibur Programme

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