Analytical Insights for Supervised Manufacturing

It could be argued that the last 12 months have not been an ideal environment in which to start a business, but Sensor City based DATAHONE have defied market expectations, thanks to the growing demand for Industry 4.0 applications.

Focussing entirely on the manufacturing sector, DATAHONE integrate sensors into their customers’ production facilities to monitor the activity of individual machines and entire plants, including measuring temperature, speed and counting outputs. This data can then be analysed in real time, giving managers a better understanding of production efficiency and in turn making improvements where necessary.

Cliff Brereton, CEO at DATAHONE, explained; “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.

“By fully understanding your site’s maximum production speed or minimum process times, for example, can lead to vast productivity gains, as well as insight-led energy, time and capital cost savings.”

DATAHONE’s expert team use a range of Industry 4.0 technologies, including the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), cloud computing, data modelling and machine learning, to provide their manufacturing customer base with a range of comprehensive solutions. These cover production monitoring, prescriptive maintenance, quality control and digital manufacturing strategy consultations, which are tailored to each business’ needs.

During the past two months however, DATAHONE have also been designing a new retail product, costing under £500, which is an off the shelf alternative to their bespoke systems integration services. The monitoring device runs over a LoRaWaN network and can indicate remotely whether a machine is powered up, idle or in the process of making something.

With a current shift to increased remote working and a greater economy-wide appetite for home working, this easy to fit, cost-effective solution will be a welcome addition to the manufacturing marketplace. It will also dispel the preconception that cost is significant barrier to digital manufacturing for SMEs.

As part of this new project, DATAHONE’s Research and Development (R&D) team are also looking into making the sensor components themselves, rather than importing them from overseas. For a business that is so heavily reliant on sensors, being able to test their commercial sensor systems and prototypes on demand is vitally important.

Cliff Brereton added: “Sensor City is the perfect fit for our R&D department. We can access the on-site prototyping and testing equipment in the innovation hub’s mechanical and electronics labs, as well as taking advantage of their Engineers’ expertise.

“We have also been able to undertake close collaborations with Sensor City’s university partners through the LCR4 START programme at Liverpool John Mores University and the Computer Science department at the University of Liverpool.”

Having advanced from a hot desk to a full office suite at Sensor City in August, DATAHONE have now expanded to a team of five, with the hope of adding another member in the coming weeks. This growth drive is set to continue on a steep upwards trend, with the aim of building a 50 strong workforce by the end of 2021.

Furthermore, DATAHONE already have a healthy pipeline of work in their order book covering the next five months and are looking to announce their first investment call in the new year. They already have significant interest however from several backers, including from a Formula One team spinout.

With a key presence in both Liverpool and Leeds, this northern SME is leading the way in smart manufacturing solutions and is set to become one of manufacturing’s benchmark businesses for digital transformation.

To find out more about DATAHONE, please visit their website

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