The North West Fund for Venture Capital

Go with the flow! Spin-out offers huge savings for process industry

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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