An ingenious device that speeds up the task of attaching oceanographic instruments to cables has been successfully licensed to a commercial company by the National Oceanography Centre.
Quick-Clamp™ was developed several years ago by Dave Jones, a Liverpool-based member of the National Oceanography Centre’s Ocean Technology and Engineering team.
The licensing agreement reflects the commitment by NOC’s owners, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) to enable its scientists and engineers to collaborate with a wide variety of businesses and bring innovative products to market.
Quick-Clamp was designed to allow instrumentation – such as fluorometers, turbidity sensors, temperature, conductivity and pressure recorders – to be quickly and easily attached to, and detached, from towed (or moored) steel cables. Instruments can be fitted to the Quick-Clamp in advance and then simply fixed to the cable with a twisting motion. Removal from the cable is similarly rapid. This means that moorings can be wound on and off winches more quickly, saving time and money and with added safety.
The system incorporates a simple but robust locking mechanism operated by one hand using an easily operated, large push-button release. Clamps are supplied to fit a range of instrument sizes up to 100mm diameter, although larger instruments can be considered to special order.
Quick-Clamp was first deployed in 2008 and funding from the Natural Environment Research Council’s commercialisation fund was then used to optimise the design and create more prototypes. Quick-Clamp attracted much attention at trade shows, and a Hampshire based engineering company, Elkins Oceanic Services Ltd, were very keen on the product and have licensed Quick-Clamp on a royalty basis from NERC.
Elkins will manufacture the Quick-Clamp and marketing and sales will be handled by Planet Ocean in Camberley. More details can be found in the mooring products area of Planet Ocean’s website.
Further information on licensing of NOC technology is available from Gerry Scott, NOC Commercialisation Manager – email: email@example.com.