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Game, set and match ... Yorkshire sports equipment firm gets stuck in

Connect, no. 129, March/April 2004, p.6

The 'Bigminton' shuttlecock developed by Echelon Sport
The 'Bigminton' shuttlecock developed by Echelon Sport

Through the Joining Forces Yorkshire and Humber technology transfer programme, Barnsley-based Echelon Sport has found a solution to a development problem on a novel product.

Echelon sport, one of the world's leading shuttlecock manufacturers, is in the early stages of creating 'Bigminton', a scaled-up version of badminton. Using bigger and heavier shuttlecocks, Bigminton is ideal for the park or beach where windy conditions can be a problem for some games.

Echelon felt that their methods for assembling the outsized shuttlecocks could be improved, so the company sought free technical advice through the Joining Forces programme. TWI is running the programme from their Sheffield base.

Echelon Sport asked TWI experts how best to attach the large shuttlecock's nylon flights to the polymer foam nose. A free, two-day product and process review (PPR) followed which concluded that a hot-melt adhesive will provide a strong yet cost-effective joint. Simple dispensing equipment can be used to place adhesive in a recess in the nose and the flights inserted before the adhesive solidifies. The process is fast, equipment inexpensive to buy and run and operator training is minimal.

Further information on the activities and benefits of the Joining Forces Yorkshire and Humber technology transfer programme for small and medium-sized companies is available from Richard Smith at TWI's Yorkshire Technology Centre. E-mail:

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