In 2017, DJB Instruments embarked on its second Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Loughborough University to develop high-temperature piezo-sensors for demanding applications, including aircraft engine health monitoring.
The company is the UK’s only manufacturer of accelerometers, dynamic pressure transducers, cable assemblies and associated instrumentation – all of which are widely used across every engineering sector.
There has long been a gap in the market for high- and ultra-high temperature piezoelectric ceramics for use in accelerometers for vibration measurement.
The KTP has successfully demonstrated a piezoelectric material suitable for operation up to 900oC, and DJB is now ready to develop an ultra-high temperature accelerometer. This unrivalled technological achievement could help the UK to capture and lead a hugely potential market.
The company reports that the partnership has delivered other more unexpected benefits – including supporting the refinement of international customer support and business development activities.
In addition, the embedding of new knowledge and expertise across the company is enhancing cost efficiency and productivity. There is also a growing openness to change and a willingness to explore innovative ways of doing things – making the company more nimble in a challenging marketplace.
Meanwhile, the technological breakthrough places the University at the forefront of work in this area. The partnership required the design and development of advanced facilities which are now enabling ongoing research. Student learning has also been positively impacted. The knowledge gained has been assimilated by both undergraduate and postgraduate project modules.
The project’s KTP Associate is now employed by DJB as a Research and Development Manager. She is leading several R&D projects and supporting ongoing business development activities.
Neill Ovenden, Managing Director at DJB says: “This is our second KTP with the University and it’s been another valuable collaboration. As a small business, we lack the resources of our bigger international competitors, but these KTPs have really helped us to get ahead.”