Scitek Consultants Ltd
- Developing high-value products to complement an established business offering
SCITEK Consultants Ltd provides advanced engineering research and development services to the aerospace, power generation and automotive industries.
The company’s activities include the design, manufacture and control of test rigs, industrial software applications, data acquisition and control systems.
In addition, SCITEK has a growing portfolio of innovative products, and the company is keen to expand its established service-led trading – principally in the UK and EU – into high-value product lines for sale in the growth markets of China, India, Russia and USA.
The company identified an opportunity in gas turbine monitoring.
Traditionally, the tip timing and clearance of blades in gas turbines has been measured using sensors reliant on the metallic properties of the blades. The introduction of lightweight composite blades called for new sensors. Moreover, a single sensor that could measure both parameters would offer a real competitive advantage.
SCITEK’s solution was to develop and manufacture vibration monitoring systems, using novel optical sensors. However, the company needed to expand its technical expertise to take this forward.
The Optical Engineering Research Group (OERG), at Loughborough University is the largest UK group specialising in engineering applications of modern optics. It has pioneered new techniques that
are now used world-wide.
During a two-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), experts from OERG worked with SCITEK to produce a prototype optical sensor that was used to demonstrate measurement of tip timing and tip clearance.
The collaboration enabled SCITEK to develop a close-to-market, functional prototype and stimulate demand for the new technology with customers in the UK, Germany and China.
This success has enhanced its reputation as a provider of novel technical services and solutions, and the company forecasts a substantial increase in annual turnover within three years, largely as
a result of an increase in exports.
The KTP also allowed SCITEK to embed new knowledge into its engineering team for future application whilst increasing the company’s experience of collaborative R&D which has already led to a further partnership work with the University.