Business and Engineering Apprentices Working Together to Succeed

28 Sep 2021

Once again the MarchantCain apprentices have demonstrated their capability and ingenuity.

Recently the fab four, Joshua Booth and Jemma Chauhan, engineering apprentices,  Katie Stanbrook, HR and Kayleigh McKenna, Business Admin,  entered the IMeche Apprentice Automation Challenge. The challenge was for the apprentice team to design or improve an everyday home or garden device. This consisted of coming up with an innovative design, bringing the product from conceptual stages, through to creating a business case and producing a prototype to demonstrate how the product would be taken to the market.

Part of the challenge was to manufacture a product that addresses key challenges in today’s society in areas such as: energy efficiency at home, corporate social responsibility and the circular economy.

After carrying out some research in relation to the gardening industry, the team figured another key issue was water waste, so they focused their solution concept on the prevention of overwatering. Their ‘Direct Water Spray Robot’ is an innovative device with several features that ensures convenience for gardeners and enhances the general health of the plant, while helping to elongate the life of the plant, meanwhile reducing human interaction and carbon footprint.

After submitting their business case which included a detailed design specification, manufacturing process, marketing plan and product designs, they made it through to the final of the IMechE competition which was held at the Manufacturing Technology Centre on Friday 17th September. All this, with minimal input from the 'grown ups'.

During their time at the event, they took part in the Lighthouse Challenge, which they won! This was followed by a site tour, a reception and an opportunity to network with other apprentices before the Awards Ceremony where they were awarded third place out of 16. This a great achievement for our apprentices, an excellent opportunity for them to work together on their first project, hopefully out of many more to come.

From left to right: Kayleigh, Josh, Katie and Jemma and Robot