Getting to grips with a whole range of data

Appliance: Jonathan Mills, application engineer at Nprime's Kelham Island headquarters.
Appliance: Jonathan Mills, application engineer at Nprime's Kelham Island headquarters.
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Sheffield-based design life and fatigue analysis software specialist nCode’s decision to close its test facilities seven years ago, proved to be a turning point in Ciaran O’Shea’s life.

Rather than seek a full redundancy payout, he negotiated a deal that saw him leave nCode with the hi-tech test equipment it no longer needed and set up on his own.

He even left with his new company’s name – nCode was originally to be called Nprime, after a factor used in fatigue calculations, but had to opt for something different following objections from a business with a similar name.

But, by the time Ciaran O’Shea was ready to set up his business, the objector had ceased exists and Nprime was his.

After a career spanning the merchant navy, studies in marine and mechanical engineering and seven years travelling the world for the investigations department of Lloyds Register, Ciaran was convinced that there was a growing, untapped demand for a high end testing and evaluation business.

What makes Nprime a success is the fact that although there is plenty of data that can be collected – the onboard diagnostics on a car can provide 188 channels of it before you start adding other sensors – collecting it, coordinating it and presenting it in a comprehensible way is more of a challenge.

“People have problems with data, but we are good at what we do,” says Mr O’Shea. “We are good with telemetry and strain gauges, very good at processing and optimising data and we get things done quickly.”

Ciaran O’Shea reckons that, when it comes to the capabilities Nprime can offer – including three of its fast growing, 10 strong team certified to work on oil rigs - there isn’t much competition.

Often, the competition comes from clients’ own internal test houses, which may not have the capacity to take on additional work and complete it in the time available, or the breadth of expertise that an independent company operating so many different sectors can offer.