Continuous innovation is a priority for the manufacturing industry to maintain a strong footing in an economy that is under constant flux.
Over the last 40 years, Titan Enterprises has provided optimised liquid flow metering solutions for a diverse range of industries and process applications, its design and engineering expertise being fundamental to the company’s success.
Established in 1981, Trevor Forster, Managing Director of Titan Enterprises, founded the company with the aim of producing modestly priced, high-quality, low flow measuring devices for OEM customers. Trevor recognised from the outset that improvisation and creativity were the key to securing their footing in the market, delivering affordable and lasting solutions that resolved issues for their customers.
“In the early days we made our own flow rigs from a laboratory balance with control electronics provided by a friend,” Trevor recalls, “and we used low-cost aluminium tooling until we could afford fully hardened steel ones.”
“More than once we’ve been told ‘You can’t do that’, but we’ve just done it anyway! The way we work with customers from research, development, through to production has enabled us to solve a lot of OEM application issues,” Trevor adds. “Through that process, we’ve helped customers decrease their assembly times, improve efficiency, and provide extra functionality.”
Titan’s R&D is primarily driven by customers looking for solutions that will support their specific applications and deliver more efficient, reliable and accurate results. R&D projects could be anything from testing new materials for longer life, chemical inertness, robustness, testing under high pressure or temperature or software development. Design improvements and technological advancements are focused around finding innovative solutions for our OEM customers, pushing the boundaries of both the physical properties and performance of the products.
Some of Titan’s most popular flow meters have been born out of collaborations. “We have a proud history of working with some of industry’s key players, such as Coca Cola Enterprises Ltd, RS Components and Vianet, to industry specialists like Formula 1, Paxman Coolers, Stored Crop Conservation and Green Fuels,” Trevor says. “Our USP is our flexibility, adaptability and ability to work with customers to understand their applications and find workable solutions.”
In 1986, Titan was approached by the Virgin Atlantic Challenger II team. They were searching for a flowmeter manufacturer who could supply a device to measure their fuel consumption on their Trans-Atlantic Blue Riband attempt. We developed a unique hybrid inserting one of our Pelton wheels into the throat of a venturi meter which proved to give an acceptable overall pressure loss and excellent linearity. Richard Branson completed the crossing in the Virgin Atlantic Challenger II, in three days, eight hours and 31 minutes, beating the 1952 record set by the United States.
Work on developing a viable, accurate ultrasonic meter began in 2001 when Titan commissioned The Cranfield Institute of Technology to develop the device in collaboration with our own R&D team. The resulting patented ultrasonic technology led to an expanding line of Atrato® ultrasonic flowmeters which had the adaptability to provide solutions for a number of OEM issues. Trevor reflects: “From the outset in 1981 I wanted a non-invasive flow measurement solution and our patented ultrasonic technology is giving us that.”
“We also did some extensive pioneering work with a USA medical company to produce a disposable ultrasonic flowmeter that would measure the volume of liquid manually injected into a patient,” Trevor continues. “We are currently extrapolating our technology for use in other applications where, for example, it can reduce downtime for cleaning as the ultrasonic meters have no moving parts.”
In 2014, Titan was approached by a Formula 1 racing team to design bespoke flowmeters for two very niche applications: direct fuel and engine oil flow measurements were required for the F1 racing cars. For the fuel system, Titan developed an ultra-lightweight oval gear meter capable of being safely housed inside the fuel tank itself and submerged in the fuel. F1 vehicles typically run without cooling fans so measuring the oil flow on engine test required a flowmeter accurate to 200oC with no undue pressure drop. Both modified oval gear flow measurement designs provided accurate flow measurement, whilst housed directly in or around the noisy electrical environment of the F1 vehicle.
“We do not shy away from spending on Research and Development. Industry doesn’t stand still and investing in R&D is paramount to us staying ahead of the game and taking advantage of the latest technologies. Our R&D spend is 20% of our turnover where the norm is 8-10%,” Trevor says.
The focus technology for Titan at present is our ultrasonic liquid flow measurement devices. Taking our Atrato® ultrasonic flowmeter product design understanding, we have pushed both electronics and physical design to improve the overall performance window. We have recently launched our new software interface for the Atrato, greatly improving its functionality.
Trevor concludes, “When you are confident in your own capabilities, willing to take a few risks, invest resources into R&D and know what your customers and market want, taking on challenges can be very fruitful.”
It is this extra investment and ongoing high R&D spend that will see Titan Enterprises at the forefront of their sector for years to come.
To discuss an optimised flow measurement device for your OEM application please contact Titan Enterprises on +44 (0)1935 812790 or email email@example.com.