Wilson Benesch (United Kingdom)


The institution

Wilson Benesch (WB) is a high-end loudspeaker, turntable and audio products manufacturer based in Sheffield, UK. The company was established in 1989, benefitting from over 25 years as a prominent name within the global high-end audio market.

Famed for its application of advanced materials science, Wilson Benesch has become synonymous with the application of composites, specifically carbon fibre, within the high-end audio sector. The company was one of four within the UK to be the first to apply carbon fibre manufacturing methods, alongside Lotus Cars and two MoD subsidiaries. Possessing a comparatively unique standing within the industry, Wilson Benesch designs and manufactures nearly all the components for its products in house. This is the result of significant reinvestment of profits in R&D and manufacturing capabilities and has enabled the company to progress propriety technologies, especially through milestone government supported funding grants, with the resulting acquisition of significant intellectual property. Current ongoing R&D centres around the application of emerging materials science for the improvement of performance in drive unit technology and cabinet construction.

Since its formation, 95% of the company’s output has been exported, resulting in recognition across the globe, with numerous products receiving prestigious accolades from independent reviewers. Currently fundamental markets include China, Russia, USA, Germany and UK. Diagnosed emerging markets include Asia, specifically centered in China.

Main tasks in SSUCHY

As a SME company with specialty in high-fidelity audio system; Wilson Benesch provides manufacturing and assembly capability for production of text samples and prototyping of functional components for integration into subsystems for testing.

The company chose is A.C.T. Monocoque as a benchmark. Introduction of and replacement with novel materials within this existing moulding tool, with subsequent testing of components have enable comparative datasets to be generated.

Commercial application of novel design outcomes would include the retrofit integration of components into existing products through direct replacement of the A.C.T. monocoque, with scope for the development of new product for emerging markets through the production of large-scale panels. Existing routes to market (distribution and dealer networks) would be exploited. Using expertise and insight gained through the project, all instances of current petroleum-based manufacturing materials and processes would be reevaluated, with the view to replacing all petrochemicals from finite sources with sustainably sourced alternatives.

Significant infrastructure and equipment

WB manufactures and assembles almost all product components in-house. Therefore, the  company possesses diverse manufacturing technologies, including: resin transfer moulding (RTM) and processing systems; CNC mills and lathe for manufacture of proprietary componentry and tooling; and 3D CAD/CAM design software; have enabled innovation and refinement of product designs for the high end audio market. A significant body of knowledge and expertise exists within the company, bolstered by an extensive network of multidisciplinary collaborative links with academics, engineers and scientists at UK universities, the A.M.P. and private consultancies, all specialists within their respective fields.

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