A Prime way of putting technology to the test

Test Tube: Ciaran O'Shea installs equipment as part of a monitoring project at a London Underground station.
Test Tube: Ciaran O'Shea installs equipment as part of a monitoring project at a London Underground station.
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It’s coming up for the weekend and you’re quite pleased with yourself.

You run a hi-tech electronics and telemetry business and you’ve recently won a major contract from one of your biggest customers to install hundreds of sensors on a road haulage tractor and trailer unit.

They want you to collect masses of data – 500 channels of it, more than a modern Formula 1 team extracts from a grand prix car.

Stresses, strains, torque, acceleration, temperature, displacement, steering angle, engine and braking performance all need to be recorded while the rig runs around a test track and then heads off for a number of days, following a series of predetermined long distance routes.

The whole test has to be videoed, the truck tracked using a GPS system and, at the end of it all, you will have to combine all the information, so that performance data, video and position are all synchronised.

All that is well within your company’s capabilities, but you have also been asked to source the tractor unit and the trailer – and the choice is limited, it can’t be just any truck and trailer.

What’s more, you have to find a driver and meet all the legal requirements involved in running a truck on the road, and it’s all had to be done within a pretty tight time scale, so that tests can begin the following week.

All is well, until the ’phone rings. The owner of the truck and trailer you had hired has also been looking for a potential buyer and the call is to tell you that it’s no longer available, because it has been sold.

For many people that would be that, but not for Ciaran O’Shea, founder of Kelham Island-based Nprime

At three in the morning, some 30 hours after losing the lease truck, he had another tractor unit and trailer, driver, insurance and operator’s licence – and this time he had bought it to ensure there would be no slip up.

“The credit card got a fairly big hit,” says Mr O’Shea, a firm believer in the principal that whatever it is that the customer wants, the answer should be ‘Yes.’

It’s a principal that has taken his business from being a back bedroom start-up seven years ago into a company with a £1 million turnover, working around the world for blue chip clients like Caterpillar, Jaguar Land Rover and BAe, from a growing suite of offices in Kelham Square.