2016 is a monumental year for Warwickshire based Smallfry as they are celebrating their 45th anniversary.
Founded by Tim Fry – the man behind the iconic Hillman Imp and Anthony Smallhorn in the heart of the UK car industry in 1971 the company has adapted and continued to thrive.
In 2016 it’s easy to forget where Smallfry has come from through the changes seen in the UK over the last 45 years. In 1971 Rolls Royce were privatised due to financial problems, the first ever postal strike lasted for 47 days, unemployment reached a post –Second World War high of nearly 815,000, Dennis Gabor won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his invention and development of the holographic method, and Edward Heath was Prime Minister.
In 1979 Tim Fry and Anthony Smallhorn were awarded the Prince Philip Designers Prize for the Series 5 Sea Truck for the Rotork Marine Ltd. The award celebrates how designers improve daily life by solving problems and they still design products with the same mindset.
Steve May-Russell – Smallfry MD joined the company in 1985, working less and less with the struggling Automotive Industry. From here Smallfry started working with businesses in different industries.
From designing a range of hair care products for Boots, Lawnmowers for B&Q, and working with Universities such as Imperial College London and Oxford University. Smallfry is one the UKs leading Industrial Design Consultancies with a strong Pedigree of designing products that are successful not only in the UK and Europe but in the USA and the rest of the world.
When asked which product Steve May-Russell is most proud of he said “Without a doubt the Universal Articulated Dock”. “The UAD started as a benchtop demonstrator following research by the Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery at Imperial College and Smallfry worked closely with them to establish appropriate geometry and degrees of freedom required to make the arm intuitive to use whilst retaining minimal restriction to the surgeons field of view and operating envelope. The importance of design is often overlooked in the academic world but the Hamlyn Centre really sees the importance”. The UAD has become Imperial College London’s first fully CE marked product and forms part of a larger development programme that is set to revolutionise endoscopic procedures.