Design Engineering
Showcase 2021

Enterprise X - Fossil Works Projects

Tags
Product Design
Business Development
Manufacturing
Fluid Dynamics
DFMA

Project Details

Student
Matthew Ryan
Team
Founder / CEO / R&D / Sales - Own Business
Supervisor
Dr Eva-Maria Kirchberger
Role
Founder / CEO
Sector
Retail and Consumer Goods
Links
Portfolio
Company Instagram

Archery has experienced a steep uptake since the pandemic, despite the closure of clubs and lack of accessibility to younger users. That lack of accessibility opens a huge market opportunity, estimated at 10 million potential customers in the UK who have never been able to access archery.

Fossil Works Projects recognised a large underserved market segment, developing a novel product portfolio aiming to revolutionise “Urban Archery”. It is a safe, easy-to-learn sport for anyone, anywhere to try archery without fear of damaging property or injuring people, using proprietary technology designed by Fossil Works Projects which guarantees safety.

Fossil Works

Demonstration of Design Engineering Thinking and Skills

I have built a successful supply chain, working to a Just-In-Time production method to optimise stock management and storage requirements. The products have gained IP protection in the form of UK Registered Design Rights, and patent applications in the near future. The standard to which these have been produced has meant that I have had zero returns or complaints during operation, suggesting that by following the business plan outline, I have managed to balance the customer value, price-point and manufacturing quality in a way that satisfies while maintaining high profit margins. I had expected to simply focus on the manufacturing side, practicing my workshop skills and gaining a greater understanding of materials, production and engineering principles. Instead, this placement has also offered opportunities to practice technical and personal communication in professional environments, extensive coaching in business management and a greater understanding of market segmentation techniques. It’s the first time I've seen a holistic Design Engineering process from start to finish, concept ideation through to business expansion. Throughout, I’ve tapped into almost every aspect of Design Engineering taught at Imperial and attempted to maintain high standards within my business by following professional codes of conduct and engineering conventions.

Materials to be used in the Shrike Expert, using engineering grade alloys with minimal reliance on materials such as plastic. User feedback from focus groups requested a reliance on high quality material “feel”.
An image of Brand Founder with a model of the Shrike Combat taken as part of a shoot for the upcoming feature in Airsoft International Magazine.

I’ve applied engineering skills and knowledge in the design and manufacturing stages. Producing products to a standard that customers are happy with, with a manufacturing process that has considered the materials and processes used to be simple and efficient.

This has included coming up with my own processes for batch manufacture and production schedules.

I’ve taken responsibility for a company. I was the sole employee, and If I wasn't working, the business was not earning, or generating interest. So I’ve had to plan my time, schedule work accordingly, including around my military commitments. Particular example was my three week training exercise in July. I had coincided this with a period of awaiting feedback from Beta testers before manufacturing a larger batch. This period would have had very little hands-on work for me to do, so I managed to overlap it with a time when I was not available.

I have had to work and communicate with a variety of individuals, from customers, to technicians to commercial directors of large European companies. This has required differing degrees of personal, technical and professional communication across a variety of means.

Finally I’ve complied with the college regulations, particularly those for workshop and Covid safety throughout the summer period.

One of the first batch of Shrike Combat models that sold in July 2021. Shown with the customer-designed packaging in the background, that was the result of an online competition
An exploded diagram of the Shrike Expert model. Designed to be modular, with scope for upgrades and new components to increase duration of the customer life cycle.

Summary

I have founded and led Fossil Works Projects, building the business and manufacturing products. The Shrike has sold over 50 full systems, and 60 additional accessories during the first 6 months. We have had zero returns or complaints, and a swathe of positive reviews on various platforms. This is a combined sales value of £12,150, with a licensing deal worth up to £100,000 in progress with Europe’s Largest Archery retailer.