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BME Nitech invests in lighting innovation

Dec 10, 2020
4 min read
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BME Nitech is predicting a bright future for its innovative industrial lighting solution after investing £1million in a product development programme.

BME Nitech, part of Aberdeen-based BME Group, says its product represents an upgraded and more cost-effective option in the global market – and one suitable for use in hazardous areas.

The UK designed and manufactured solution took more than three years to develop and the company has in recent weeks experienced a sharp rise in demand; one order alone, from a client in South East Asia, involves the supply of 500 lights.

BME Nitech is now a provider to North Sea operators and refineries.

The suite of portable and temporary lighting products has also been subject to higher demand as businesses look for fit-for-purpose solutions to help them manage the issues around the Covid-19 pandemic.

Scot Borland, managing director at BME, said: “A tremendous amount of effort has gone into bringing our British designed and manufactured solution to market. We did a great deal of research and development and talked to end users to ensure that each aspect – power output, beam angle, product weight and battery life – was the best it could be. We are extremely proud of the result.”

BME Nitech says its Zone 1 product is lighter by at least 4kg, lasts longer at full power and has a significantly increased battery life compared to others on the market.

Scot said the idea stemmed from the use of Nitech lights on a North Sea project in 2015. Positive client feedback persuaded Scot to acquire Sussex-based Nitech, a 30-year-old lighting business, with a plan to develop a market-leading Zone 1 light for use in hazardous areas and an improved product for industrial markets. The company was renamed BME Nitech with all operations later switched to Aberdeen.

Scot added: “The Nitech product received positive feedback from the North Sea clients but there was disappointment that there wasn’t a Zone 1 option. The feedback also mentioned that the industry was crying out for a new innovative product to challenge the existing suppliers.  I decided to buy the company with a view to making everything about a very good product even better.

“It’s a remarkable feat by a relatively small company in Aberdeen to develop a product for multiple international markets. We’re extremely confident that BME Nitech products can be lined up against any other on the market to show how we have evolved the product across many levels to make it better.

“For example, our portable Zone 1 compliant light weighs 9kg, leaving the user with one hand free to use the handrail while some competitor solutions require a two-man lift and can be double the price.

“Our products can operate at full power for 16 hours, while others on the market run for only four to six hours at full power. Our battery cycle is five times better than others on the market. We’ve put a lot of thought into this – about what the client needs and how we can help them.

“It has taken much longer than I anticipated, largely due to testing and certification by industry experts, but it had to be right. We’ve had requests from all over the world as companies and organisations realise the innovation’s capability and benefits. We believe we are offering something that’s long overdue – a better quality, fit-for-purpose, safer solution.

“There is huge scope for us not just in the North Sea but globally. We’re now ready to push on and hopeful that 2021 will be a big year for us.”

BME Nitech’s Guardian rechargable portable light – available in LED (light-emitting diode) and CFL (compact fluorescent light) options – and its Pioneer, a 110-volt temporary light, are both products for the hazardous Zone 1 and Zone 2 markets. They are ATEX and IECEx certified. The Aurora (portable) and Galaxy high-temperature rated (temporary) range are for non-hazardous industrial requirements.

Lights are used in areas without a power supply such as tanks, remote parts of a large shipyard, offshore installations, or areas where high-powered illumination is required for inspections, cleaning and painting.

BME Nitech lights can be attached to scaffolding, rails walls and floor stands. Furthermore, there is the ability to link up to 10 lights with minimal use of cables.

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