Engineering identifies a valuable opportunity in marine instrumentation
Mor Engineering Ltd is a specialist commercial consultancy based in Falmouth, founded in 2018 by Dr Sam Weller.
Sam has over 20 years’ engineering experience, having started his career with British Aerospace. Since then he has worked at several research institutes and Universities, where he gained post-doctoral experience of engineering analysis of marine energy devices and mooring systems in an industry-led environment. As a result, he decided to offer his unique expertise as a consultant.
Mor Engineering have identified an important opportunity within the marine technology sector, as Sam explains:
“We have been involved in the specification of test equipment for clients in the marine sector, utilising the R&D experience I have gained over my career. This insight has revealed several shortcomings in the instrumentation that is currently available.
“We believe there is massive market potential for providing reliable sensing, data collection and transmission technologies - not just for the maritime sector but also other industries as part of the ever-connected Internet of Things.”
However, the company does not intend to try to compete head-on with the large, established manufacturers. Sam says:
“We will focus on technologies for niche markets, for example sensing and data capture applications in challenging environments which require specialist, transferable knowledge. Marine is a classic example of such a market.
“A review of the marine sector has revealed that some of the relevant products produced by well-known instrumentation firms utilise firmware that is based on ‘old’ technologies developed over 10 years ago. We have identified a gap in the market for a specialist business that can provide high quality, custom-made instrumentation.”
Dr Sam Weller is an engineer specialising in the response analysis and mooring system design of marine energy devices, floating wind and tidal turbines as well as vessels. So he has seen first-hand the stresses and strains that this equipment is subject to and the limitations of many ‘off the shelf’ devices. He says:
“Many facets of the maritime sector require robust, long-term data capture systems for monitoring or tracking marine operations, environmental impact and asset integrity. The technologies which are currently employed for these tasks tend to be generic equipment that requires marinisation, is unreliable in hostile environments or has a limited operational lifetime.
“Mor Engineering has considerable experience in the design, specification and reliability testing of marine equipment in challenging environments as well as mechatronic prototyping. This experience will be utilised to develop a working prototype of a robust, modular datalogging system capable of exceeding the performance of most commercial systems currently available.”
For a young business, it was difficult to raise the funding needed for prototype development and testing, which is why a Rapid Innovation Grant from Marine-i provided a crucial boost for the project. Matt Hodson, Marine Operations Director for Cornwall Development Company says:
“We felt that it was really important for Marine-i to support this initiative and help to accelerate its development. The proposed technology would generate new business opportunities with marine companies and research organisations. In the short term, local businesses could be used for sub-contracting work, while long-term growth would create new employment in our marine supply chain.”
Dr Sam Weller adds:
“In addition to vital grant funding, Marine-i are also helping us with business mentoring and with networking opportunities in the marine sector in Cornwall and beyond. For a new business like ours, this kind of support from marine specialists is simply invaluable.”