CPI welcomes new resident clients

2 mins read

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) has welcomed a number of new resident clients to its state-of-the-art facility - just a few months after opening.

The printable electronics centre, based at Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, has welcomed Silent Sensors, Datatecnics Corporation and HP1 as tenants, along with Wootzano and PST Sensors at its original site on NETPark, in Sedgefield, also County Durham.

Moving into incubator space, the companies will be able to benefit from the facility's technical expertise and cutting-edge equipment as they look to take innovative products to commercialisation.

CPI’s facility supports the advancement of smart label and tag technology, which allows physical objects to wirelessly communicate and exchange data across the Internet of Things.

It has the capacity to create rolls of thin, flexible inlays containing multiple electronic components that can be converted into labels or embedded into smart products or wearable goods.

This technology is already prevalent in devices enabling remote monitoring of heating and domestic appliances from smartphones, while it also holds great potential in the healthcare sector, where patients can be prompted to take medication via a smartphone reminder.

CPI’s facility is intended to enable companies to both develop prototypes and then rapidly scale up to levels to test manufacturing quantities.

Silent Sensors has moved into the facility to build upon existing work with CPI at the latter’s NETPark-based printable electronics hub.

The initial collaboration, funded by Innovate UK, was focused upon improving existing antennae designs and incorporating printed sensors into the tyre-making process and supply chain.

A second Government-backed Innovate UK funded project looked at incorporating energy harvesting technology into the sensor tags as well. The current collaboration with CPI, at Newton Aycliffe, is funded through the EU’s innovation framework Horizon 2020, with the ‘OnTrack’ project for Intelligent Tyre Life-Cycle Management..

Datatecnics are pioneers of intelligent infrastructure systems. The company designs, develops, and commercialises technologies that embed electronics into physical civil structures enabling its clients to conduct real-time condition monitoring and predictive analytics.

Its flagship technology, the Critical Infrastructure Pipeline Protection System (CIPPS), looks to harness flexible electronics to deliver truly ‘intelligent pipe’ system capable of predicting bursts and preventing water loss at a vast scale.

CIPPS combines real-time machine learning and AI with mechanical deterioration models to provide an ‘Estimated Time to Pipe Failure’ to utilities. The solution can be installed on existing assets and newly extruded pipes and supports pipeline operators in moving from reactive repair to proactive maintenance.

Wootzano, a developer of flexible electronics, has developed the Wootzkin product, which is one of the world's first commercially-available highly-sensitive and fully-compliant force and pressure sensor embedded with temperature sensors.

Working as an electric skin, Wootzkin makes a robot more intelligent, with piezoelectric and piezoresistive sensing capabilities enabling it to grasp various delicate objects with greater ease.

HP1 Technologies will be working to create a low cost printable pressure sensor that can measure high force values. The technology was initially designed for integration into crash helmets, to collect data about head impacts and resulting head injuries from collisions for sports and leisure helmets. HP1 Technologies has also started work on a military helmet system.

Following the proof of concept development of a 64 and 128 sensor array, the company has created a platform technology and is developing new designs for integration into client’s helmet lines and skull caps that can be connected to systems that enable data to be captured and transferred, as well as exploring with commercial partners, other markets including aerospace, utilities and manufacturing.

PST Sensors has developed a suite of temperature sensing systems, which include fully-flexible and large-area temperature sensing systems and sensor arrays.

At the heart of its product range is a silicon nanoparticle negative temperature coefficient (NTC) thermistor, which can be printed on almost any material including paper, fabric and polymer film.