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Latest News

All the latest news from Steatite

Solid State Plc acquires Pacer Technologies Ltd

Steatite’s parent company, Solid State Plc, has acquired optoelectronics and displays specialist Pacer Technologies Ltd.

Solid State’s 10th acquisition significantly enhances the company’s exposure to the niche medical sector, and will give the group greater scale, strength and depth in a number of high growth markets.

This will enable the enlarged group to further design and manufacture own brand products for distribution, utilising Pacer’s recent investment in a new value-added production facility in Weymouth, Dorset. Pacer also has an established US subsidiary which opens up Solid State’s access to the US market.

Pacer was established in 1989 to specialise in the distribution and custom design of optoelectronic components, lasers and displays to the OEM market in the medical, military, commercial, industrial and security sectors. Serving an international client base, Pacer has a reputation for supplying high quality components in a customer-centric manner, often involving custom design and manufacturing to address individual needs.

New product. The P1101 rugged slimline fanless computer

We are delighted to announce the addition of a new product to our range of rugged fanless computers.

The new P1101 PC from Cincoze is a powerful rugged fanless computer that can be used either as an embedded computer or a system module for an industrial panel PC.

The P1101 has a thin profile giving it a more elagant appearance, but don’t be fooled as this slim design easily accommodates rich I/O interfaces, including 2x Intel GbE LAN, 4x USB 3.0, 4x COM, and 8x Isolated DIO. The system also supports three independent displays running simultaneously and enables smooth 4K/2K playback via DisplayPort.

Powered by Intel® Apollo Lake processors including Intel® Atom® x7-E3950 and Intel® Pentium® N4200, the P1101 is a highly scalable computer supporting 2x mini PCIe slots and 1xSIM socket. In addition, a 2.5” SATA drive bay and a mSATA socket with SATAIII (6 Gb/s) can be installed as a mass storage device. The possibilities are enormous.

The system is protected against power input faults with over-voltage, over-current and power reverse protections, ensuring long-term stable operation in demanding environments.

Click here to learn more about the P1101 PC.

Steatite receives major order to supply power units

Steatite is pleased to announce it has received orders to supply power units for autonomous robots operating in cold climate conditions with a combined value of £4.3m.

Steatite (Part of the Solid State PLC group) was commissioned to design and supply the bespoke power units for the end customer’s smart warehouses based on its knowledge of harsh environment applications for battery power solutions developed over 20 years.  Working closely with the end customer and the robot manufacturer, Steatite was able to satisfy the design and durability specifications to deliver a product that will stand the demands of the modern 24/7 fast moving consumer goods fulfilment cycle.  The power units have been designed and will be supplied from Steatite’s centre of excellence for batteries in Crewkerne, Somerset.

The smart warehousing model is considered by many to be the solution in addressing the increasing demand for online and home delivery based shopping.  Through the use of autonomous robots, a round the clock fulfilment function can be maintained, shortening delivery cycles and reducing cost in the retail supply chain.

Deliveries of the power units are expected to commence during the second half of the fiscal year 2018/2019, contributing to the current financial year and will continue into the next financial year.  

Commenting on the contract, Gary Marsh, Chief Executive at Solid State, said: “This contract establishes Steatite as a leading innovator in the fast-evolving distribution and fulfilment technology market. Steatite’s in-depth knowledge of battery chemistries and harsh environment characteristics gives it a unique position for partnering with customers as an embedded solutions developer.”

Congratulations to our antenna team

The Project Excellence Awards, part of the Flood and Coast dinner, took place on the 21st of March at the Telford International Centre.

We are proud of the team at Steatite’s antenna business unit, for not only being nominated along side the Met office for our involvement in the weather radar network renewal project, but for ultimately winning the asset management category.

This is a fantastic endorsement of the incredible work that has taken place over the last 5 years to bring this complex project to a successful conclusion.

The nominations and winners of each category can be viewed here

Large reflector antenna

Our largest antenna to be tested to date in the RF chamber

In another first for our new Leominster facility, we have just undertaken rigorous testing of the largest antenna to date to be put through it’s paces in our state-of-the-art RF chamber.

Designed and built in house, this bespoke reflector has been clipped to meet specific customer requirements. Measuring 2.7 metres in diameter, this is a large antenna, but well within the capability of our facility.

You can take a look at the video here

Our latest case study

We have just released our latest case study. Focusing on the successful 2 year project to develop a pressure tolerant Lithium Sulfur (Li-S) battery pack for Marine Autonomous Systems (MAS), the case study looks at the reasons behind the project, as well as the benefits and overall outcome.

Heading a consortium including Oxis Energy, MSubs and the National Oceanography Centre, Steatite embarked on an ambitious development programme, which ultimately cemented it’s capabilities as a world class manufacturer of custom built battery packs.

You can read the case study here.

 

Pressure tolerant battery

Pressure tolerant battery project successfully achieves objectives

The two year program to develop a pressure tolerant Lithium Sulfur (Li-S) battery pack capable of powering autonomous vehicles to ocean depths of over 6,000 metres has successfully accomplished the objectives set down in 2015.

A consortium headed by Steatite and comprising OXIS Energy, MSubs and the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) completed the ambitious project with trials using the newly developed battery pack integrated into a deep dive autonomous vehicle (pictured).

The cells and Steatite’s brand new multi chemistry battery management system (BMS) can withstand the extreme pressure of 664 bars (equivalent to a water depth of 6,640 metres) and a temperature of 4°C without being compromised on integrity.

One of the objectives of the project was to use the neutral buoyancy of the cells to reduce the requirement of adding buoyancy foam to the vehicle. This proved successful, resulting in potential cost, weight and volume savings.

Discussing the project, Paul Edwards, Divisional Director of Steatite Batteries, said: “The project provided a number of challenges which have all been overcome though the hard work and determination of the consortium members. With valuable domain expertise and test resource provided by our academic partners at the NOC, through to successful sea trials and product integration by MSubs, the group can be proud of the world class achievements and capabilities it has delivered.

The Steatite Battery Management System and battery pack design enables a broad range of applications, and we are now looking toward the next phase which will see our battery packs successfully deployed in long term marine autonomous applications. “

A final project update will be released soon. If you would like to receive this please register your email address at https://www.steatite.co.uk/masupdates

Dual PTT for MPU5 MANET radio

Steatite to offer new Dual PTT for MPU5 radio

We are proud to offer the new Dual Channel Push To Talk (Dual PTT) device from Persistent Systems for the MPU5 secure MANET radio.  The Dual PTT will allow the MPU5’s audio capabilities to reach their full potential.

The Dual PTT allows the user to quickly and easily select between 16 talk groups as well as control volume levels for each talk group independently.  When paired with a stereo headset, the two selected talk groups are heard in the left and right ears, and the volume level in each ear can be controlled independently.

With the MPU5 and Dual PTT, a single MPU5 can communicate on two talk groups either independently or simultaneously. In the past, when a user needed to communicate with two different groups (channels) of users, that user needed to carry two separate Land Mobile Radios (LMRs). Therefore, the MPU5 and Dual PTT significantly reduces size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C) burdens on users.

This is possible because the MPU5 is an IP radio, where talk groups are multicast addresses, instead of an LMR radio, where channels are different RF frequencies.

The ability to carry one radio instead of two will not only save money, but will also reduce the load on the soldier, a critical advantage for today’s military personnel.

Read more here

Steatite’s ‘state of the art’ Antennas facility officially opened in Leominster

Steatite Ltd is pleased to announce the opening of its new Antennas facility in Leominster, Herefordshire.

The Antennas business unit at Steatite was created through the acquisition of Q-par Angus Limited in May 2013.  Since the acquisition, the unit has developed ever more complex antenna solutions for its global client base through technological innovation and advanced design.  To support the growth of Steatite Antennas and to enable advancements in antenna testing, the operations moved to the new site in January 2017.

The new facility has been purpose built to enable the design, manufacture and testing of complex systems and contains a specialist near-field RF test chamber large enough to accommodate antennas with dish dimensions up to 3 meters in diameter.

The site was opened by the current Conservative Party candidate for North Herefordshire, Bill Wiggin.

Commenting on the opening, Matthew Richards, MD of Steatite, said:

“This is a world-class facility, incorporating some of the most advanced near-field testing capabilities in the UK. It represents a significant investment by the Company into its antennas business and will enable Steatite to remain at the cutting edge of antenna design, manufacture and testing.”

Lithium Sufur battery pack

MAS pressure tollerant battery pack – project update

With just 6 months remaining of a two year project, to develop a pressure tolerant battery pack capable of powering autonomous vehicles to ocean depths of 6,000m, the consortium, led by Steatite, has made tremendous advances in battery capability through extensive design and testing. The project is now moving towards full open water trials in two deep dive vehicles.

Take a look at the latest project update to find out more. https://www.steatite.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/MAS-Consortium-UPDATE-v2017_03_Rev1.pdf