ASCEND: A £1.9M Innovate UK project to develop a connected servo valve platform
ASCEND - Advanced Sensing & Connectivity for Energy efficient Next-generation Hydraulic Devices
Game Changing Innovation to Hit Hydraulics
Domin is democratising hydraulics by giving access to data, reliable insights and world class customer service, types of business support which have been previously unheard of in the industry.
These initiatives will not only reduce costs of ownership, but also pave the way for further product innovation and new business models, helping the industry move further towards a hardware-as-a-service (OPEX) model.
Domin will be partnering with The Data Analysis Bureau (T-DAB) and University of Bath (UOB) to realise this vision. We are all excited to get started on this significant step towards accelerating hydraulics into the 21st century.
Meaningful Change That Makes a Difference
Hydraulics touches our lives in many ways; transportation, agriculture, amusement, housing and so much more. Today the hydraulics industry is at a crossroads, since it is stagnated by outdated 1950s technology and, surprisingly, contributes to 4% of all global CO2 emissions.
For the next stage of growth and to achieve sustainability, industry needs unrestrained innovation. Project ASCEND, as the name suggests, is an aspiration to innovate and push boundaries in this otherwise ageing industry.
Realising The Dream
Servo valves have been historically bulky and heavy, thereby limiting power density and design flexibility available while designing applications. Domin’s belief in additive manufacturing and rotary controls have allowed them to design ultra-compact servo valves that are 4x smaller, 85% lighter and have 2x more performance compared to traditional alternatives.
This opens up new possibilities for our customers to design more efficient and high-performance systems.
The next frontier for servo valves is digitisation and connectivity, ultimately enabling our customers to make better operational decisions across our products and their systems. This project will improve digital control and functionalities, introduce new sensing capabilities and bridging the gap between the meta and the physical.
Furthermore, we will exploit the operational data to develop intelligent AI and Machine Learning based models for predictive maintenance and system health monitoring.
The Dream Team
Domin has spent the last 10 years developing innovative hydraulic systems across aerospace, automotive, animatronics, testing & simulation industries. Through ASCEND, they plan to accelerate development of their digital toolset and capabilities.
The University of Bath (UOB) brings together skills to lead the design and processing of smart materials for sensing and energy harvesting, mechanical design for additive manufacturing and modelling, design and experimentation of hydraulic systems.
T-DAB.AI delivers scalable machine learning and AI solutions across IOT powered industries, including manufacturing, retail, and healthcare. They bring diverse experiences across AI, data engineering and high-performance computing.
Connecting the Meta and the Physical
The project’s success relies on seamless integration between the edge (servo valves) and the cloud. For this, Domin will be developing a cutting edge IoT infrastructure encompassing edge computing, device security, performance and scalability.
Using the sensor data, we will develop a network of digital twins that will mimic the physical devices in terms of operation, system health and energy usage. This data will power several applications: customer portal for fleet and device management, intelligent insights through AI based models for predictive maintenance and remaining useful life.
As this project develops, we hope to share more exciting updates from the IoT infrastructure development phase. Stay tuned.