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PreciSen, the next generation of position sensing technology

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PreciSen (PreciSen, the next generation of position sensing technology)

Reporting period: 2018-05-01 to 2018-09-30

Encoder manufacturers and OEMs have a market pressure to use more accurate absolute encoders with higher speed and improved reliability, but facing challenges because of the current products’ limited capabilities. These days encoders are only 1-dimensional (1D) and can measure only linear or angular position/movement, while multi-dimensional, multi-axis position sensing is required in more and more applications for practical reasons. Currently the market is served by Indirect, 1D-encoders, with compromised overall performance.

Our solution to these issues is PreciSen, which is a one-fit-all Multi-Dimensional position sensing technology, offering lower-cost, higher performance alternative, providing a new paradigm for the market with its Direct position sensing method.

Now, we aim to further develop our position sensing technology to enter the high volume encoder market. During the Phase 1 project, a detailed feasibility study has been worked out in order to specify and validate the expected new features to elevate the current technological readiness level (TRL 7) to the highest industrial readiness (TRL9) and identified how to prepare for the first business period (2021-2023). In Phase 1, we have modelled the PreciSen technology development as an SME Instrument Phase2 project, as well as the first business period, related to our final products (potential market channels, applied business models, IP protection, pricing, commercial utilizations and risks).
During Phase 1 of this grant proposal, a detailed feasibility study has been worked out in order to specify the needed new modules/features to elevate the current technological readiness level (TRL 7) to industrial readiness and identified how to prepare for the first business period. In Phase 1, we have modelled the innovation of the project the Phase2 project as well as the first business period related to our developments, potential market channels, applied business models, pricing, utilizations and risks.

The main chapters describe our achievements:

• Technical viability: Possible development alternatives and technical solutions were investigated with respect to the aimed TRL level (TRL9). Further developments contain 5 main objectives to accomplish TRL9. We examined the main competitive advantages against of the competing technological solutions. Besides this we have analysed the risks concerning the R&D activities, technological barriers and quality assurance issues to be solved during the implementation period.

• IP evaluation: After having prepared a Freedom to Operate study, the analysis of patent documents led to the conclusion that there can be interference with some of the claims of the recognized patent, but our invention concept targets the still open possibilities, therefore we can prove the novelty and to claim its IP rights concerning key solutions. Furthermore we concluded an IPR strategy in order to enable us to protect our IPR rights in the most effective way.

• Phase2 project plan: Based on the feasibility and technical viability checks, a professional detailed project plan has been established utilizing international professional methods. We used agile project planning method. A 2.2 million EUR project was prepared with the aim of developing TRL9, market-ready industrial Multi-Dimensional position sensing technology, taking into account the necessary HR, financial and infrastructural resources.

• Market research and Business plan: Primary market research have been conducted by involving our potential customers and key experts as well, in order to find ou their needs and challenges. A secondary market research has been carried out with the aim to gain an exact view of the market trends, and to be able to define the market of the market potential for the first business period. Our elaborated business plan has been compiled in harmony with results of the primary market research and the freedom-to-operate analyses. The plan includes legal environment analysis, business KPI's, a detailed commercialization plan (incl. market entry & scaling-up), business model analysis, return on investment calculations, organizational/HR action plans and stakeholder strategy.

We communicated to the public the gained SME project by placing the news in our website (www.precilabs.com) also in the LinkedIn-, Facebook- and Twitter pages of our company.
Results of our efforts during Phase 1 and upon successful completion of the remaining phases, specific target groups in the encoder industry will have a ground-breaking, one-fit-all Multi-Dimensional position sensing technology, offering lower-cost, higher performance alternative of the existing encoder products, providing a new paradigm for the market with its Direct position sensing method.

Our generic position sensor concept enables and improves advanced manufacturing processes by providing 10-100 fold increase in precision, speed, accuracy and miniaturization, man-machine interfaces (e.g. Multi-D pointers for computers), transportation, wind turbines, etc.

The system integration will go parallel with the Phase2 project, therefore when our product will be finished, it will go immediately into production.

As a main societal challenge, factory workers and end-users (e.g. automotive factories) can benefit from safer industrial environment due to more accurate machinery precision, thereby improving the quality of their working conditions.
By integrating the PreciSen innovative position sensing technology into OEM products, our customers, the players of the European encoder market will become more competitive compared to the encoder manufacturers from other continents.
Our IP niche and first-on-the-market position, without competitor IP in the generic, multi-dimensional absolute encoder field also provides competitive advantages to our potential buyers as they are often suffering from the IP barriers from the side of their competitors.
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