BERAN

Proven Condition Monitoring Solutions

Helitune's First Knowledge Transfer Partnership a Resounding Success

11 / 12 / 2012

Helitune is proud to announce that it has won awards for ‘Best Partnership’ and ‘Engineering Excellence’ at the Technology Strategy Board's (TSB) 2012 Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Awards for its first KTP project.

Funded by the UK government, KTPs are offered by the TSB and aim to support UK businesses, improving their competitiveness, productivity and performance by providing the means to access the knowledge and expertise available within UK Universities and Colleges. The KTP Annual Awards recognise the ‘best of the best’ of these KTP projects.

Already marked as ‘Outstanding’ upon completion of the project (a grade that only 5% of KTP projects achieve), Helitune’s initial successes were extended when the project won ‘Best Partnership’ and ‘Engineering Excellence’ at the 2012 KTP Awards held at Westminster Park, Plaza Hotel on Thursday 22 November 2012.

From the 800 KTP projects nationwide, eight finalists are selected for the ‘Best Partnership’ award, which recognises the partnership that has resulted in excellent overall results for all three parties (the business partner, the academic party and the associate(s)). Whilst the ‘Engineering Excellence’ award (sponsored by the Royal Academy of Engineering) recognises the partnership which has shown the best application of engineering abilities, demonstrating how the Engineering sector can grow and the positive influences that its development can have.

Helitune first embarked on its KTP project in 2006, in collaboration with the University of Bristol. Led by Peter Morrish (Helitune) and Prof. Nick Lieven (University of Bristol), the project employed two high-calibre associates (Richard Hunt and Steve Pollard) for the duration of the three-year programme. At the end of the project, impressed by the work completed, Helitune offered both associates permanent positions, and Richard and Steve are now members of Helitune’s Engineering Team.

The KTP project’s aim of developing novel Rotor Track & Balancing (RTB) techniques, enabling helicopter operators to ‘minimise vibration, reduce operating costs and improve safety and reliability’, led to the development of the MFR (Minimum Flight Routine) Algorithm. Embedded into Helitune’s core RTB & VA (Vibration Analysis) products, the MFR is a next-generation algorithm, which allows multi-adjustments for Rotor Track and Balancing, which in turn reduces the number of dedicated flights required to perform RTB and return an aircraft to a serviceable state. Through the reduction in RTB flights (from circa 8-9 flights to 4-5 flights), the MFR offers significant potential cost savings and increased fleet availability - something which has already been exploited by a number of Helitune’s customers on various helicopter types.

Peter Morrish, Technology Manager / KTP Supervisor, said  ‘I am delighted that the project has been so well received - it has resulted in so many benefits for each party, and has really demonstrated the positive effects of industry joining forces with academia. Helitune has an excellent relationship with the University of Bristol and Professor Nick Lieven, which only continues to strengthen over time. I am excited about the benefits that the MFR algorithm is offering Helitune’s customers and look forward to expanding and further exploiting the knowledge gained from this project.’

Following on from the success of its first KTP project, Helitune has embarked on a second KTP project, again collaborating with the University of Bristol, with the aim of developing ‘intelligent health monitoring and prognostic systems for rotorcraft to facilitate advanced diagnostic capabilities for damage identification, reducing operational costs and improving safety and reliability’. Alongside this, Helitune’s sister company - Beran Instruments has also joined forces with the University of Bristol on their first KTP project, looking at the development of intelligent health monitoring algorithms for rotating machinery within the conventional and renewable energy markets.

With the successes achieved from Helitune’s first KTP project, both Helitune and Beran Instruments are anticipating exciting results from their new projects, which will continue to strengthen the relationship between Industry and Academia, and lead to the development of exploitable innovative technology and techniques.

The success of Helitune’s KTP project has been publicised both locally and nationally, including an article in The Daily Telegraph - links to the related articles can be found below:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/yourbusiness/9712905/How-academics-can-help-small-firms-ideas-take-flight.html

http://www.theengineer.co.uk/sectors/aerospace/news/software-speeds-up-helicopter-rotor-calibration-process/1014797.article

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=422025

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-TroMy7tr3A

http://www.ktponline.org.uk/bestofthebest2012/

http://www.bris.ac.uk/news/2012/8969.html

http://www.thisisnorthdevon.co.uk/Helitune-knows-benefits-partnership/story-17458793-detail/story.html

http://www.weaf.co.uk/blog/post/helitune-and-university-of-bristol-win-best-ktp-award

Further information on KTP projects can be found on the KTP website - http://www.ktponline.org.uk/