A Tees company has drastically reduced the time it takes to carry out vital assessments of gas and fire detector coverage thanks to a partnership with Teesside University.
By using computer games technology, Stockton-based Hazard Detection Solutions Ltd (Hazdet) can carry out detector coverage assessments (DCAs) in one week – a process which previously took up to 10 weeks.
As a result of the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with the university, Hazdet now has the capacity to work on multiple jobs at the same time and increase its share of the market.
Hazdet works with companies in the oil, gas and petrochemical industries and advises them on the best way to deploy gas and fire detectors to provide optimum coverage.
Previously this work was extremely labour intensive, requiring calculations to be manually inputted and was subject to risk of error and could only be operated by a developer, causing high margins and barriers to growth.
KTPs typically last for two years and are a collaboration between a University and a company.
They are part-funded by Innovate UK to help businesses embed innovations and improve productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills being generated in UK universities.
As part of the KTP, computer games engineering graduate Cameron Cotterill was appointed to update Hazdet’s existing fire and gas detection software into a high-performance 3D platform for use in-house.
He was supervised throughout the project by Tyrone Davison, a senior lecturer in Teesside University’s School of Computing.
Using 3D CAD modelling software, typically found in the computer games industry, and C++ programming to reduce calculations, Cameron has been able to develop a program which has reduced a typical fire detection calculation from hours to seconds.
Hazdet boss David Orr said: “The KTP has been a great learning experience, with the help and support of the KTP we have developed a new and innovative product that we are now proudly demonstrating to our customers.
“The quality of the work Cameron is producing is excellent. Tyrone has been very good at directing Cameron and has kept the project on track. Throughout the project everybody has maintained enthusiasm.”
Tyrone added: “This KTP has been a fantastic opportunity for Teesside University to demonstrate the benefit of computer gaming technology into the oil and gas sector.
“This is an area of growing interest, particularly in light of Industry 4.0 agendas and, as such, provides a great case study to support business development in this area moving forward.”