Jamie Hardesty

Newcastle tech duo join forces to develop construction innovation

Electronic product developers Photon Fire and software development company Cloud Data Service are working together on a new project which could transform the way the construction and demolition industry monitors air quality.

The businesses, which are both based at The Core in Newcastle Science Central, are collaborating to launch IRIS, a device which gives construction workers the ability to assess asbestos levels safely and remotely.

Inspired by market demand and Photon Fire’s relationship with the North East based SMH Products - one of the world’s leading companies specialising in decontamination solutions – IRIS’ hardware is now fully functionally and is currently undergoing live tests.

“Dust and dangerous particles generated during construction or materials processing can be harmful when inhaled without the use of the appropriate protective equipment,” explains Cloud Data Service Director, Thomas Lloyd.

“Our client SMH Products wanted an automatic air sampling system that provided immediate feedback to the workers and management that harmful dust is present, providing faster warnings and safer working environment.

“There is a clear need for remote monitoring and to provide the workers, managers, and regulators with the confidence that all work is being undertaken safely.

“The statutory ‘traditional’ method will still be used but this system provides immediate results and we hope will in-time replace the traditional test. Our system makes this monitoring incredibly simple, saving an enormous amount of time and cost, improving safety for those involved.”

Working together, Cloud and Photon’s new system allows management and regulators to monitor the air quality of multiple sites in a simple, easy to use, dashboard format accessed using a standard web browser.

Photon Fire has developed bespoke instruments incorporating an ad-hoc Bluetooth network that includes wireless data transmission, sending analytical data to a centralised hub. Data from the hub and from multiple other sites is then pushed into the cloud and rendered onto a single dashboard, made by Cloud Data Service.

The data-owner can see the status of all operations from across the globe to make informed decisions and fulfill their health and safety obligations.

Bill Shepherd, Managing Director of Photon Fire, adds: “Both businesses are located in The Core at Science Central in Newcastle, and that’s the reason we have come together to collaborate.

“Co-location makes joint working so much easier, folks from different disciplines clustering like this creates a whole range of different opportunities.”

“Our joint development is now complete and is ready for sale. Our two companies are very keen to be able to develop more IoT applications for other clients using the strengths of the two synergistic businesses to provide a complete picture for management to review health and safety, environmental or manufacturing process information.

“It is important to recognise what we are really good at and play to our strengths. Working together, we have been able to offer a complete solution to the customer.”

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