A research commercialisation project for an innovative new calibration method has provided key end-user insights and generated enquiries from a number of leading meter manufacturers.
“Eight major companies have expressed an interest in being a partner on the project,” says NEL Flow Measurement Consultant Craig Marshall, who developed the new methodology and undertook the commercialisation research (which was supported through the ICURe programme). “My next step will be to go back to each of them to find out exactly how they would like involved.”
The development of the calibration methodology was supported under NEL’s Flow Programme and was done as part of an engineering doctorate Craig is carrying out with Coventry University. It will improve the accuracy of differential pressure meters. The ICURe Innovation-to-Commercialisation programme, funded by InnovateUK and HEFCE, offers university researchers with commercially-promising ideas funding to ‘get out of the lab’ and validate their ideas in the marketplace.
To optimise the commercialisation of this new approach, Craig visited and talked to a wide range of business people and other potential stakeholders.
“Over the last few months, I have spoken individually to well over 100 people,” Craig explains. “They included manufacturers, end-users and representatives from calibration labs. Another hundred-plus people, from a wide range of sectors and countries, have heard my presentation or taken part in my webinar on the new methodology.”
“End users are looking for a reduction in costs and are trying to find solutions that will allow them to do the same amount of work for less money,” he adds. “They are also looking for ‘plug-and-play’ and ‘fit-and-forget’ solutions that minimise installation times and maintenance. The new calibration approach will deliver against these requirements.”
A patent application has already been made for the new calibration method, which is specific for meters in single phase flow conditions that are characterised by low Reynolds numbers. A working prototype has been developed, this has successfully proved that the concept works.