As there is currently a focus on an ever-improving British manufacturing landscape, there are some true success stories to be told. One such story is P2i, an entrepreneurial business which has successfully developed an innovative liquid protection process for consumer electronics and industrial markets.
The company has now teamed up with Siemens Industry to further enhance the security, operational efficiency and scalability of its latest generation of Dunkable nano-coating systems. Dunkable is a ground-breaking ultra-thin barrier coating designed to protect smartphones and other consumer electronic devices from immersion damage, without impacting the look, feel or functionality of the device.
As a major supplier into the consumer electronics marketplace, P2i has already experienced commercial success with its Splash-proof nano-coating and has a geographically diverse customer base with equipment in sites across Europe, China, USA, Latin America and Australasia.
Mobile phone manufacturing operations have been attracted to the innovative technologies supplied by P2i and the history of performance it has in the consumer electronics market. Various electronic devices currently benefitting from the protection of P2i’s technology include Siemens’ hearing aids, various smartphones, tablets, Bluetooth headsets and earphones. Later this year, P2i will be launching the new Dunkable technology onto smartphones with a partner brand. For any consumer who has had the misfortune to suffer the after effects of dropping a phone into liquid, such a protective coating offers real peace of mind.
P2i has an extensive patent portfolio protecting the coatings, application processes and equipment. Both the Splash-proof and Dunkable technology use pulsed-plasma enhanced deposition processing to permeate the coating throughout the device, attaching the coating to all surfaces. As such, P2i has developed a range of bespoke machines designed to apply the coatings within a controlled, vacuumed environment. When designing the new Dunkable systems, P2i sought to build on the existing levels of operational efficiency, security and scalability, and so began work with Siemens Industry to further enhance these attributes.
Chris Palmer, Supply Chain Manager, P2i, explains: “As a successful technology solutions provider we are proud of not only the ground-breaking technical effect we provide to the end-user, but the equipment, implementation and operational service and support we deliver to our customers – the manufacturer – on a daily basis. As both the P2i business and market demand has grown we have continued to seek to enhance our capabilities. This means not only driving further development for the nano-coating systems, but also ensuring we can offer the very best customer service once the machines are out in the field.
“For instance, we were looking to enrich our diagnostic capability, boosting remote monitoring, and enabling the flexibility to add more functionality to the machines at a later stage, in an easier way. With such an innovative technology it was also important for Siemens to be able to guarantee a high level of security for our intellectual property. We wanted to find these solutions with a partner that could also offer worldwide support and Siemens was able to fulfil all these elements with a cost-effective and proven technology answer and a true global presence we could tap into if required.”
A standardised foundation
With integrated Siemens control technology, the Dunkable machines will deliver increased reliability and repeatability benefits, as well as laying a standardised foundation for future scalability potential as the technology and machines evolve.
Simon Aldridge, Principal Software Engineer, P2i, comments: “Siemens fieldbus technology based on Profibus and Profinet, as well as the highly efficient S7 1500 PLCs and HMIs is showing great success in customer trials. By providing increased functionality, enhanced security and enabling remote diagnostic reviews to be undertaken, P2i can provide advanced service and support for our Dunkable customers.
“In many ways, by introducing the Siemens technology we have set a standardised approach to the future core control package on the machines, meaning we can add further functionality with little disruption and minimal time and expenditure. This potential for scalability will underpin our growth ambitions as our technology drives our expansion. We know the technology from Siemens Industry will be an enabling factor behind us.”
John Hawkes, Account Development Manager from Siemens Industry adds: “P2i is a perfect example of the type of innovative UK company helping to strengthen the nation’s manufacturing base. Not only has it developed an exciting technology solution sought by the vast mobile phone sector, it has commercialised the idea through its bespoke nano-coating application process to create and drive value. It is a thriving enterprise and we are delighted that our control technology and worldwide network is supporting it. We are proud to stand beside P2i as its ambitious growth plans and continued development helps to secure a prosperous future.”
Please visit www.siemens.co.uk to find out more about integrated Siemens control technology and services.