A Sarnia manufacturer of civil defence equipment has developed what it believes is the latest silver bullet for law enforcement agencies and the military.
Lamperd Less Lethal has adapted a munition with a new mold-injected nylon section instead of aluminium to reduce the potential for injury.
The nose of the less lethal projectile munition is made of a flagship material developed for Lamperd by Western University. Meanwhile, the design of the nylon section was done in collaboration with Lambton College’s Bluewater Technology Access Centre.
“The nose is designed to collapse on impact,” but still deliver enough energy “to push somebody down to the ground,” said Barry Lamperd, CEO of Lamperd Less Lethal.
The Sarnia firm has specialized in training and equipment for law enforcement agencies and the military for more than 40 years. It makes less lethal weapons and munitions, shields, camera inspection systems, pepper sprays, masks, specialized clothing and other equipment.
The newly redesigned projectile is for use in a new 40 mm launcher the company has designed and manufactures.
“Our launcher is used now by the federal government, coast to coast, in all the federal prisons,” Lamperd said.
Successful commercialization of the adapted munition could lead to the company adding an estimated five additional jobs at its Sarnia-based operation.
“We have inquiries on our new launcher from many countries around the world,” he said.
The collaboration with Lambton College gave the company access to equipment a small company would struggle to afford, he added.
The project began in April with students at the college centre involved in developing a number of prototypes tested at the company’s facilities.
Once a final prototype performed to expectations, staff and students at the college centre designed and produced a 3D printed prototype of a mold for mass production.
“The assistance we had from the college is just fantastic,” Lamperd said.
The two-year-old access centre currently has four or five projects it’s working on, and will be looking for more once they’ve been completed, said director Maike Luiken.
That is a marked change in the level of activity from just a year ago when the centre was taking delivery of its large 3D printer.
Luiken said the centre knows of three companies moving to patent for work carried out for them by the centre.
“These applied research collaborations are excellent for our students,” she added.
Students work directly with industry and gain experience with its concerns, time lines and requirements, Luiken said.
“It puts the students in a very good position when they go looking for jobs.”