Most industrial manufacturing processes offer scope for potential R&D claims even if they are not considered “high-tech”
Improvements in production processes.
Even if the end-product itself is not improved, if there is a development in the production process which makes the production process appreciably cheaper, faster, more environmentally friendly etc then there is likely to be a potential claim.
Our principals have successfully filed over 2000 claims across a range of sectors, we can quickly work with you to identify the potential for any claim.
What you need to know:
Regulatory Constraints – There Is Still A Need For A Technological Advance
If new regulatory constraints (e.g. the banning of a toxic product which was previously allowed) requires a change in the production process or the use of an alternative material then that in itself is not qualifying R&D.
E.g. replacing a banned substance with a known alternative is not qualifying R&D even if your production or production process had to go through some testing process to ensure compliance.
However, if it was not widely known how to apply the new substance, what the optimal production temperatures were, or the length of time for application of the material, leading to some experimentation being needed to determine these optimal process parameters, then there is a good chance that the project will qualify.
I have bought a new highly advanced piece of equipment for my factory – does that qualify?
Just purchasing a new piece of equipment and using it in the way that it was designed and intended to be used is unlikely to qualify – however advanced and sophisticated the machine.
However, if you are using the first of a kind machine or if you are using the machine in a different manner or on different products from what the manufacturer intended then there could be a claim opportunity.
For example, in the furniture making industry, installing a state of the art 5 axis CNC cutting robot in itself would not be qualifying R&D. If, however, the robot had been designed and developed to cut soft pine and it was not widely known how to optimise the cutting parameters for hardwood oak and you had to undertake experimentation with different cutting blades, cooling fluids and cut profiles then such a project is likely to be qualifying.
In our experience, this is an area that is often overlooked in manufacturing R&D claims and can have a considerable impact on claim value.
For example, if you have been developing a new production process and during the development of the process you have had to scrap materials in the course of experimentation then these costs can be considered as consumable R&D expense.
In many cases where a client is making a claim for the first time they may not have kept accurate records of consumable wastage specifically for R&D purposes – in such cases we have developed methods of fairly estimating the consumable costs in order to make a legitimate claim which could be justified under HMRC scrutiny.
In the course of our work we have prepared claims for just about every conceivable manufacturing sector including:
- Plastic injection moulding
- Plastic extrusion processes
- Plastic vacuum forming processes
- Furniture Manufacturing
- Metal casting processes
- Spark erosion processes
- Chemical etching processes
- Automotive manufacture
- Boat building
- Powder processes
- Paint spraying
- Tarmac and bitumen processing
- Fabric and textile processing
- Concrete mixing processes
- Metal polishing processes
- Manufacture of musical instruments
- Cosmetics production