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Collaboration key to growth for HTS-110

Despite tough global economic conditions Industrial Research Ltd (IRL) spin-off company HTS-110 Ltd has continued to increase sales and has engaged the services of Lower Hutt-based Institute of Technology, WelTec, to assist in scaling up production processes.

HTS-110 develops magnetic solutions using high-temperature superconducting (HTS) wire for a range of industrial applications around the world and is today demonstrating some of its products at the Innovation and Technology Expo hosted by WelTec, GNS Science and IRL.

HTS technology enables the conduction of electricity without resistance or the loss of energy and can be used in the development of smaller and more efficient machines than can be achieved with existing copper wire technology.

It can also be used to generate very strong magnetic fields that are utilised in a variety of applications such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines in hospitals as well as Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) analysers, which accurately analyse the chemical composition of materials.

To keep up with increased demand, the company has increased staff numbers over the last year. Much of the growth over this period was in repeat purchases from satisfied industrial and academic customers throughout Asia and the US.

HTS-110 Product Manager Tijs Robinson says WelTec will play a crucial role in enabling the company to meet future demand.

“The HTS magnet industry is so specialised that until recently we’ve been concentrating on customised units built to the specifications of clients.

“WelTec’s expertise in scaling up production will be invaluable as volumes grow. We have been working closely with WelTec to look at specific products lines where we are seeing the most growth. We will be incorporating these learnings into product design and processes so that we can manufacture high quality products more quickly, cost effectively and accurately.”

Tijs Robinson says while the steep growth curve represents an opportunity, it also poses significant challenges.

“Because this is such a step change in our growth we need to make sure we are able to stay ahead of the curve without compromising in performance and quality – areas that are critical to our success to date.”

Also key to staying ahead of the curve is the continuing research into HTS technology at IRL.

“HTS is a cutting-edge discipline in which there is still much yet to be understood. We are one of the few companies in the world that is making added-value commercial products using HTS, and staying at the forefront is helped by continued innovation from IRL’s HTS platform. We are clear that part of our future competitive advantage will be due to their continuing research programme,”  says Tijs Robinson.

WelTec Chief Executive Dr Linda Sissons is pleased that companies such as HTS-110 benefit from WelTec’s applied research capability.

“We are ideally located in Wellington to support local companies. We have expertise in taking ideas from concept to product development which is key for companies taking the next steps and realising a commercial return.

“WelTec’s applied research capability assists companies to exploit their export potential, apply new processes or make organisational adjustments arising from the impact of new technologies. The provision of services like this, that connect expertise with specific needs, makes it easier for companies to take advantage of knowledge, applied research and technologies that would otherwise not be open to them to exploit,” she says.

For further information contact:

IRL
Mike Eng
Communication Team Leader
Industrial Research Ltd
Ph: 029 261 0086
www.irl.cri.nz

WelTec
Dr Linda Sissons
Chief Executive,
Wellington Institute of Technology
Ph: (04) 9202490 Mobile: 027 2940733
www.weltec.ac.nz

HTS-110
Tijs Robinson
Product Manager
HTS-110 Ltd
Ph: (04) 931 3093
www.hts110.co.nz

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