Nélio Lopes, Innovnano maintenance technician, won the car of Colombo's Prize 2014.
32-year-old Nelio Lopes was taken by surprise. He was finishing his holidays in Algarve when the Innovnano factory director called him and asked him to come back to Estarreja for a meeting. In truth this was a ruse: the Innovnano maintenance technician had won the Colombo prize and the real reason, as known by the CUF Executive Committee and directors, was to hand over the keys to this car.
“I said yes, no problem. I thought that they needed me to explain a bit more about the work I had done”, he simply stated with a smile. With the keys of the car in his hands he continues: “I think that my wife knew what was going on because she persuaded me to end my holiday and come here.”
Although he worked on this innovation for some months, like all great ideas, the idea that won him this prize was simple! When reviewing the process stages of Innovnano’s patented Emulsion Detonation Synthesis powder manufacturing system, he realised that there was a lot of manual labour involved and so he started to think as to how he could improve and increase the work efficiency.
The idea that won him this prize was simple, despite Nelio Lopes having worked on this for some months. When he started putting the functions into action along with the detonation reactor he realised that there was a lot of manual labour and so he started to think as to how he could improve and increase the work efficiency.
As his first suggestions were well received he didn’t stop there. He submitted an idea to the Colombo Project where he decided to attack up front the subject of copper contamination in the end product, substituting the copper conductor with aluminium in the bridge manufacturing. The idea was tested with success which allowed the reduction, and in some cases the elimination, of chemical contaminants from powders synthesized by the EDS process.