Dr Neil Marshall, Director - Electrochemical Sensor Technology (EST) Ltd
Richard Parker, Director - E3Design Ltd
Dr Steve Edwards, Director - Whistonbrook Technologies Ltd
EST has developed a chemical sensor for the detection of nutrient species in water, and other aqueous media. The company has completed development work on the sensor and software algorithm to measure ammonium ions in water however the current EST unit is built by a third party for generic electrochemical applications. The current unit is over specified and therefore expensive and does not meet the requirements for a rugged, splash proof system.
The meter in the first instance is being targeted to the sewage water treatment sector, which is legally required to measure and monitor ammonium levels in water. The company has also identified a number of other potential market sectors which could be targeted in the future.
The opportunity for design to make a difference was twofold. Firstly, the company required assistance with the design of the electronics to design a unit specifically for the EST application with reduced complexity and therefore cost savings. Secondly, the company required assistance to develop a casing that would be water proof, rugged and visually attractive.
|September 2010||Exemplar funding granted and designer selection process|
|November 2010||PCB design and casing concept development|
|Janaury 2011||PCB manufacture and detailed CAD design|
|March 2011||Programme development and SLA manufacture|
EST selected Whistonbrook Technologies to design a bespoke circuit for the handheld unit with which the EST sensor would operate. The electronics took into account the need for accuracy in the measurement and factors such as shielding of the electronics to avoid noise affecting the results obtained. Product design agency E3 Design worked alongside Whistonbrook Technologies to deliver a rugged handheld casing that would house the electronics and enable the use of the system in a range of environments.
Dr Neil Marshall, Director , Electrochemical Sensor Technology (EST) Ltd comments: ''EST has benefited significantly from accessing design expertise; we have gained assistance that has allowed us to realise an ergonomically attractive design that meets our customer requirements in terms of ruggedness and water proofing, and at the same time we have significantly reduced our manufacturing cost base.”