Invensys extends research and development contract with Oxford's University Technology Centre

Dec. 8, 2003
Invensys and Oxford University have announced a 5-year, approximately $ 5.8 million extension to Invensys' funding of the University Technology Centre for Advanced Instrumentation.

FOXBORO, Mass., Dec. 8, 2003 -- Invensys and Oxford University have announced a 5-year, approximately US $5.8 million extension to Invensys' funding of the University Technology Centre (UTC) for Advanced Instrumentation, in the University's Department of Engineering Science.

The extension will enable the University to broaden and expand the highly successful collaboration under which the University delivers research and development services to meet business needs of Invensys' manufacturing customer base.

"We are delighted to be broadening our long-standing partnership with Oxford University. The Oxford UTC has an important role in our developing integrated Invensys technology strategy and roadmap," said Dr. Phil Whalen, Chief Technology Officer of Invensys. "The relationship keeps us ahead of the pack in applying the latest industrial automation technologies to real world customer problems."

Members of the UTC staff work closely with Invensys marketing and development to augment the creation of new offerings across a range of flow control and measurement applications. Major accomplishments from the collaboration include:

* Self-validating sensors - The Invensys/Oxford UTC collaboration developed the concept of the self-validating (SEVA™) sensor, which performs on-line assessment of the sensor's performance and describes the resulting measurement quality in standardized metrics, including on-line uncertainty. This enables more efficient utilization and management of assets under abnormal process conditions and can significantly reduce costly unplanned shutdowns.

* Accurate flow measurement - The SEVA work contributed in part to the development of the award winning Foxboro CFT-50 Digital Coriolis Mass Flow Meter from Invensys. After Invensys customer research revealed a pressing need for a meter that provided accurate flow measurement in the presence of entrained air, Oxford UTC developed a digital control solution, which Invensys has since built, manufactured and is successfully marketing.

* Better measurement of data quality -The SEVA concept has also contributed to the adoption of a UK Standard (BSI-7986: 2001 - Specification for data quality metrics for industrial measurement and control systems.) Discussions of the standard at an international level are now underway.

Under the extended funding arrangement, work will continue in these areas, and be expanded to include several other significant research and development projects now in discussion. Principal among these is the system level utilization of SEVA technology.

"We are looking forward to expanding our research program to tackle a wider range of industrial needs," stated Professor David Clarke, Director of the Oxford UTC. "Increasingly we are doing this in partnership with other research groups in Oxford or elsewhere with complementary skills. For example, we currently have joint research projects with Brunel, Cranfield and Texas A&M Universities, and our long-running partnership with the Computing Laboratory on hardware compilation has been pivotal for both our research and technology transfer."

About the UTC

The Department of Engineering Science of the University of Oxford is one of the largest unified engineering departments in the UK. Its teaching and research cover the whole range of engineering disciplines and it has consistently attained top ranking (internationally leading) in research-assessment exercises.

The Oxford UTC, with its world-class capability in digital instrumentation and control, carries out fundamental research into intelligent instrumentation for industrial applications. It was founded in 1998, although Invensys companies have been funding research at the Department of Engineering Science continuously since 1988.

About Invensys

Invensys is a global provider in production technology. The group helps customers improve productivity, performance and profitability using innovative services and technologies and a deep understanding of their industries and applications.

Invensys Production Management works closely with customers to increase performance of production assets, maximize return on investment in production and data management technologies and remove cost and cash from the supply chain. The division includes APV, Avantis, Eurotherm, Foxboro, IMServ, SimSci-Esscor, Triconex and Wonderware. These businesses address process and batch industries - including oil and gas, chemicals, power and utilities, food and beverage, and personal health care - and the discrete and hybrid manufacturing sectors.

Invensys operates in more than 60 countries, with its headquarters in London. For more information, visit