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New System For Measuring Building Heat Loss Developed At MTC

Cutting-edge portable system readied for UK Production.

A ground-breaking portable system which measures heat loss and thermal performance of buildings has been developed by a Midlands company working with design and manufacturing experts at the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry.

The Pulse Mk2 air leakage measurement system has been developed by Leicestershire-based Build Test Solutions (BTS). Engineers from BTS have been working with experts from the MTC's Product Manufacturing Incubator to design the new product, build prototypes and develop the commercial viability of producing the system in the UK.

The Pulse Mk2 is an innovative, easily portable system which can rapidly measure the air permeability and thermal performance of a building. With a design based on user feedback the new system is much lighter, ergonomically more comfortable to carry and easily transported across building sites, up flights of stairs or in buildings already occupied. In addition, production costs have been reduced by more than a quarter.

The new measurement system is aimed at a range of market sectors, but particularly the house building, renovation and home improvement sectors where it can help make buildings more energy efficient. 

The unit is more compact than previous models and seven kilograms lighter, and can be carried over the shoulder. It is paired with a control module which is small enough to be carried in the pocket.

Luke Smith, managing director of Lutterworth-based BTS said: 

"Working with the MTC had resulted in a better product, a 27% reduction in production costs and improved commercial viability."

MTC PMI Business Development Manager, Gabrielle England said: 

"The Pulse project has been one of the most interesting projects for the MTC's PMI team as it evolved through each stage of its development from its initial discovery phases through to the delivery of a functional prototype. Collaboratively we have developed a product that is disruptive, innovative and conceptually unique. It has been an absolute pleasure to work alongside BTS and the MTC's product design team."

The MTC's PMI provides space for start-ups and young companies to develop and manufacture prototypes of their innovative products. They have access to the MTC's world-class advanced manufacturing and research facilities, as well as the MTC's team of engineering and manufacturing experts. 

Gabrielle England said, "We are able to provide a de-risked environment for start-ups and entrepreneurs with the support of our product development team from concept to manufacture. The MTC's Product Manufacturing Incubator gives companies the opportunity to draw on the wider manufacturing community to create a successful and sustainable business. Our knowledgeable team offers an end-to-end service to reduce the stress of bringing a product to market." 

The MTC was founded by the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham and TWI Ltd. The MTC’s industrial members include some of the UK’s major global manufacturers.  

The MTC aims to provide a competitive environment to bridge the gap between university-based research and the development of innovative manufacturing solutions, in line with the Government’s manufacturing strategy. The MTC is part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, supported by Innovate UK.

Our work with the MTC to realise an updated version of the Pulse product that both responds to customer feedback while ensuring the commercial viability of UK-based production and assembly has been extremely rewarding. This redesign from the ground up will prove vital as we advance with scaling up production and supply into the UK market and beyond.
Luke Smith, Managing Director, BTS

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