The knowledge connection for business

Client: Viltra
Knowledge Provider: Queen's University
Sector: Advanced Manufacturing and Advanced Materials


Viltra Wastewater Technology, formerly known as AWP Environmental Ireland Ltd, was established in 2002 and is based at Newry

Viltra Viltra The company provides wastewater treatment services to commercial and domestic customers including consultancy, design supply and the installation of sewage treatment systems. The main wastewater treatment product is offered in different configurations from an individual single tank arrangement to a combination of three tanks depending on the level of water contamination. Colm Gribben, Managing Director of the company, was visited by member of staff from the Regional Office, Queen’s University Belfast in August 2008. The visit was a promotional visit for the Connected programme and also used as an awareness vehicle for the Innovation Voucher scheme and other funding programmes.

About the Case

During the visit to the company it was indicated that there was the potential to improve the design of the treatment plant and that it would be desirable to have a study undertaken to enhance the design and improve the performance. Subsequently, the company applied for and was awarded an Innovation Voucher to enable a study to be carried out. The agreed objective of the project was to investigate the conceptual re-design of the wastewater treatment system and produce an overall improved design. The two issues which the company wished to have addressed with the new design concerned manual handling and installation improvements.

About the Knowledge Provider

Operating for over 40 years the Northern Ireland Technology Centre (NITC) is a technology and innovation centre, bridging the gap between academic research and commercial production, to meet industry’s needs. As one of Queens University’s primary links with industry we are a self-financing unit affiliated to School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, recognised as one of the foremost contributors to NI industry from the Universities. The NITC activities include working with leading OEM’s as well as with local SME’s, on projects focussing on Design, Engineering and Manufacturing. The NITC has built local and national credibility by putting at the forefront our ability to work with, and deliver innovation and real value to industry within the tight timeframes that companies demand, breaking down the barriers that may have previously existed with industry/university collaboration in the past.The NITC has built up a team of engineers and designers who bring a wealth of experience as well as great enthusiasm to all projects whether large or small. We are strong advocates of real collaborative working and partnership with our customers, believing this delivers the most effective results from idea to implementation.

The Results

The project work was carried out by the Northern Ireland Technology Centre (NITC) which is an industrial unit at Queen’s University Belfast. NITC worked with the company and created a new innovative design for the treatment system. This new design addressed the manual handling and installation issues flagged up by the company. The company accepted the proposed changes and implemented the new design. As a result of these changes the installation process has been simplified and the company is able to ship product to clients without the need to supervise the installation on site. The company has continued to work with Queen’s University on other projects. In one of these the company was helped by the Design Development Programme which is sponsored by Invest NI and managed by Queen’s University to develop a new branding for the company. Viltra Wastewater Technology was developed out of that programme. A further project is in place to have research work carried out by the University.

“Our original wastewater treatment system required specialist installation techniques, but working with Queen’s University has enabled Viltra to market a much more user friendly product and one that can now be sold directly from builder’s merchants”. Colm Gribben, Wastewater Environmental Technology.
Knowledge provider contact details
Northern Ireland Technology Centre
Queen's University Belfast
Cloreen Park, Malone Road
Belfast. BT9 5HN

T: 028 9097 5433
F: 028 9097 4332

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