Web Page sponsor Oxley Developments
Oxley Group Ltd
Oxley specialises in the design and manufacture of advanced electronic and electro-optic components and systems for air, land and sea applications within the military sector. Established in 1942, Oxley has manufacturing facilities in the UK and USA and enjoys representation worldwide. The company’s products include night vision and LED lighting, data capture systems and electronic components. Oxley has pioneered the development of night vision compatible lighting. It offers a total package incorporating optical filters, equipment modification, cockpit and external lighting along with fleet wide upgrade services including engineering, installation, support, maintenance and training. The company’s long experience of manufacturing night vision lighting and LED indicators, coupled with advances in LED technology, has enabled it to develop LED solutions to replace incandescent and fluorescent lighting in existing applications as well as becoming the lighting option of choice in new applications such as portable military hospitals, UAV control stations and communication shelters.
26 May 10. Forge Europa is one of a cluster of solid-state lighting companies that have sprung up in south Cumbria to exploit the energy saving benefits of solid-state lighting (SSL) based on light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Forge Europa works closely with research scientists, such as Cambridge University’s Prof Colin Humphreys, who is developing extremely energy-efficient and long-lasting LED lights, based on the semiconductor gallium nitride. These can operate for 100,000 hours, compared with 1,000 hours for a conventional light bulb. In the UK, where lighting accounts for 20 per cent of electricity consumption, widespread use of LED lighting could cut the need for eight power stations, says Prof Humphreys. The energy saving potential of LED lights has not been lost on development bodies, such as the North West Development Agency (NWDA) and Furness Enterprise. They regard the 15 Cumbrian companies, with a combined turnover of £51m and 663 staff, as a critical growth point in a sub-region that has lost most of its traditional manufacturing industry in the past 50 years.
“One of the problems is that the political parties in Britain seem locked into the idea that energy efficiency equals loft insulation,” says Stuart Klosinski, Furness Enterprise’s industrial development manager.
“No one in the UK is focusing on LED lighting to the extent they are in the US, Korea and Australia,” says Mr Klosinski.
Recent experience in the wind turbine industry has shown how difficult it is to establish a local manufacturing and supply sector in the UK, once production becomes firmly established overseas. The NWDA and Furness Furness Enterprise has recently published “Lighting the Way
for Britain”, which argues for public-sector help by broadening the use of LEDs in areas such as street lighting. Local companies, such as Forge Europa, Marl International, Oxley Developments, Lumiere, McGeoch, and SH Lighting already provide LED lighting for the defence, transport, medical, office, industrial and public sectors. Cumbria’s solid-state lighting sector dates back to 1942 when the UK Ministry of Aircraft Production moved Freddy Oxley’s radar business from southern England to Ulverston to avoid enemy bombing in the second world war. Since then, Oxley has continued as a supplier of defence-related electronics. But Cumbrian lighting companies, such as Forge Europa, which has a staff of 30 and revenues of £6m, are minnows compared with lighting industry giants such as Osram and Philips.
“One of the reasons we are working with the cluster is because some companies feel threatened by competition from larger lighting companies,” says Joe Flanagan, head of the energy and environmental technologies sector at the NWDA.
“At the mome