KER Group develops new innovative sensor system with help from NWRC and cross-border InterTradeIreland programme
By Aoife Curran
Killybegs Electrical Refrigeration Services (KER) Group have developed a new product in the area of marine based monitoring and control of critical systems and infrastructure with help from North West Regional College (NWRC) Business Support Centre (BSC) and InterTradeIreland’s Innovation Boost programme.
The cross-border collaborative project between the KER Group, IntertradeIreland Innovation Boost graduate, Durgesh Birhade, and NWRC Electronics & ICT Technical Consultant, Cathal Ferry, saw the implementation of a new sensor based system using a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) to monitor and control critical events and development of a new Human Machine Interface (HMI) screen front end and user interface.
Cathal Ferry, Electronics & ICT Technical Consultant at NWRC’s BSC said: “The completion of this project has been a great success for all parties involved. We first met with Eugene and John Byrne at KER and discussed their plans for the project, and engaged with Niall O’Somachain, an advisor for InterTradeIreland’s Innovation Boost Programme, who covers the North West of Ireland. After this we received the green light to proceed with the application process of the Innovation Boost Programme.
“We were delighted to receive the news that our joint application was successful, and that the project was approved. We were then able to recruit an excellent graduate to join KERs team of highly skilled engineers and now that the project has been completed, the company have gained a significant advantage in the marine engineering sector by developing a state-of-the-art automation control system that allows boat operators and crews to view critical data from various systems on a ship, in an easy and intuitive manner. The system has already been installed on a vessel and feedback from the boat operator has been very positive.
‘’This system will allow KER to lead the way in marine automation in the future. The involvement of the NWRC in this project has yielded many advantages for us as a college, as it allowed us to gain an understanding of cutting-edge, real world projects in marine engineering. The projects many challenges allowed us to put our expertise to good use and our involvement has greatly benefitted our academic staff and courses as the knowledge gained has enhanced our curriculum offerings, research capabilities, and teaching. It has been rewarding to see the successful conclusion of this project and the continued growth of KER, and we wish them every success in the future. ”
Eugene McBrearty, Managing Director at KER Group added: ‘’Our participation in the InterTradeIreland Career Boost programme along with the support of the North West Regional College has been instrumental in KER realising our ambitions of developing our new platform. The support we received has allowed us to recruit a highly skilled graduate in Durgesh Birhade, who has been able to bring the project to fruition with the support of our engineering staff, the NWRC and InterTradeIreland. We are now in a position where we have a clear advantage in the market with our new product offering, and we have already installed the system on board a vessel and we have also had significant interest from potential customers. The system will deliver flexibility to our customers through our ability to install it on board new boat builds and also retrofit existing boats.”
For more information about the KER Group visit https://www.ker.ie/, and for further details on how the BSC can help your business email email@example.com or to find out more about the Innovation Boost programme see https://intertradeireland.com/innovation/innovation-boost