Manufacturing and Engineering Magazine Volume 425 - January 2016 - Page 57

MARINE ACTISENSE 4 With fourteen years of life behind it, Actisense has become a key player in the marine electronics industry and has supplied products to over 30 countries around the world. It's with a dedication to quality and reliability that the Dorset-based company has acquired a competitive edge over others and is now the go-to in intelligent sensors and interfaces. Thanks to Actisense's keen eye for detail and emphasis on making the little things count, the marine electronics sector, in particular, now stands in good stead to become a springboard for the industry as a whole. Recognising how the sector was held back by the electrical components and software in use, Actisense set about stimulating change – starting from the bottom. Principal was securing a reliability and technical refinement previously unseen in marine electronics. As Phil Whitehurst, CEO of Actisense details, “We started off with some fairly conventional products in the first few years with a view to encouraging better practice at a very initial level. We'd noticed several limitations with the use of standard microproces- sors and so set about making use of things like the ARM 32-bit processor range. While they've become widely-used in mobile phones now, we were amongst the first to introduce them to the marine electronics sector.” It was a move which meant its products had, in fact, more processing power than they needed; were effectively over-engineered, and yet allowed the company to supplement additional features more easily. In view of its aptitude in design and engineering development, Actisense is preparing to diversify into the commercial marine market – a move for which it will certainly require versatility and adaptability. Already successful in the leisure marine market, the company has witnessed soaring demand in the commercial sector owing to the gains in reliability its products are able to provide. With a view to facilitating its new popularity, Actisense has driven the optimisation of its interfacing products, as Whitehurst makes clear, “We've listened to our customers and taken the opportunity to re-engineer some of our equipment in order to better provide for that market: making our interfaces bigger and more robust while retaining the internal technology we've worked hard to perfect. “Within marine technology, there are various points where interfacing needs to connect materials and processes together. Problematically, at each point of linkage, there are various different standards, making it hard for these things to talk to MANUFACTURING AND ENGINEERING MAGAZINE 55