Case Study: Vixen

We have worked alongside Vixen for a number of years providing business support. They are market leaders who have developed new machines for a range of industries.

With our extensive knowledge of the company we are able to see R&D tax claims for them each and every year. They come up with innovative solutions for their customers particularly in the area of degreasing.

The project that was the most successful for the machine manufacturing company was the development of a robotic wash that used metal chips in an innovative way to clean aviation and other vehicles. This was a new way of thinking and needed to be researched thoroughly.

As well as providing a thorough cleaning service through this new method, the corrosion and integrity of the vehicles needed to be considered. Vehicle safety is of paramount importance, especially so with aviation vehicles. There were a number of tests and prototypes developed to ensure the final machine was viable.

The machine manufacturing company had to look at the different stages of the process for the final product in order to have the knowledge that it would all fit together in a seamless and effective process. This took a lot of design work before the finished article was built.

Just trying out solutions to see if one works isn’t considered to be R&D. Looking at the alternatives and researching them for effectiveness, cost and other factors fits into the government definition of research and development for R&D tax purposes. The work put into this for the machine manufacturing company took substantial time and money.

The end result was a machine that worked in the way the Vixen had hoped at the beginning. But it took a lot of research to make happen. Even after research and design work, there are always uncertainties when putting something into production.

It is these uncertainties that form the basis of an R&D tax claim, as the government wants to reward businesses that take a risk to solve a problem. The machine manufacturing company took a commercial risk to deliver their new product.

The solution helped them to cement their place at the forefront of the industry and deliver a better service to their customers in the long run.

As with many projects, this was split into different sections and each could have been an R&D tax claim on their own. It isn’t just completed projects that are eligible under the scheme. As it was, the entire project from start to finish was the subject of a single claim.

We were able to support Vixen in developing new ideas and come up with a new way of working. The fact that the R&D tax credits came back from the HMRC successfully in only a matter of weeks gave them confidence in the system. We have been able to support them with more claims since then.

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