An engineering business backed by Mercia has launched a new venture that could save the process industry millions in lost production.

Stream Sensing – a spin-out from Industrial Tomography Systems (ITS) – can measure the flow of liquids such as paints, shampoo or detergent during the production process to check the consistency is correct. Unlike current procedures, which involve taking samples away for testing, it offers instant results on site, enabling manufacturers to quickly adjust the formula if necessary and minimise waste.

The company has already attracted interest from a number of blue-chip manufacturers and secured investment from NPIF – Maven Equity Finance, which is managed by Maven Capital Partners and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, to help fund its further development.

Stream Sensing is the result of over five years of research and development by ITS, which is a world leader in electrical tomography, a technique used in mining, oil and other industries to monitor the flow of liquids and gases in pipelines. Mercia first backed the Manchester-based company in 2014 and will have a stake in the new subsidiary.

Stream Sensing aims to develop a new generation of rheometers – devices that measure the flow profile of liquids and suspensions –  using heat pulse technology. While the company will initially target the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector, the technology could be used in multiple sectors including specialty chemicals, pharma and oil and gas.

Ken Primrose, CEO, of ITS and Stream Sensing, said: “Process industries lose millions of pounds each year because of time and materials wasted while waiting for test results. By providing accurate measurements on the production line in real time, Stream Sensing’s solution could offer huge savings, shorter lead times and better quality control.”

Dawn Tyler of Mercia said: “Stream Sensing’s technology has been described as ‘the holy grail of process monitoring’. It is very satisfying to see a company such as ITS which is a world leader in its field, giving rise to a completely new business which offers huge potential for use in industries worldwide.”

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A Mercia-backed company which produces magazines and digital marketing solutions for the life science and medical industry is poised to become one of the world’s fastest-growing scientific publishers, after achieving continued rapid year-on-year growth.

Texere Publishing – which is based in Knutsford and has an office in New York – grew revenue in the US by over 17% and globally by 11% to £5.6m during 2020. Meanwhile its digital department enjoyed a record year, with a 70% increase in its digital event services, a 108% rise in website advertising and a 50% jump in its direct email service.

Texere publishes titles including The Analytical Scientist, ​The Medicine Maker, The Ophthalmologist, The Pathologist and The Cannabis Scientist. Despite the challenges created by the pandemic, the company launched three new newsletter titles in 2020 – ​The COVID-19 Curator​, ​The Cell + Gene Curator​ and The Cannabis + Cannabinoid Curator​ – while its journalists continued to report on the biggest issues facing the sector. The Analytical Scientist ​tackled the topic of racism in science while The Medicine Maker​ looked at the key decisions made by the Trump administration and what impact the Presidential election might have on the future of American healthcare.

Texere was founded in 2012 by Andrew Davies, the current CEO, and Tracey Peers, the current COO. It now employs 46 people in the UK and six in the US. Andrew Davies said: “The great thing about our team is their dedication and agility. We all came together during COVID and were determined to continue supporting our clients and our readers in the best way that we could, in spite of the challenges that the pandemic presented to us all. In some ways, the pandemic’s challenges fuelled our out of the box thinking and helped us to come up with new solutions. That creativity and accomplishment sets a nice framework for 2021 and our tenth anniversary next year.”

Dawn Tyler of Mercia said: “Texere’s success is all the more remarkable given the pandemic and the wider challenges that many publishers have faced in recent years. We were impressed with the team’s performance and look toward another year of successful growth in 2021.”


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