The Business of Technology




Technology Sourcing of a Stabilised Platform

A precision instrument needed to be isolated from environmental vibrations in a moving vehicle. An actively stabilised mounting platform was required to reduce the level of coupled vibration to a very low level. The application area was confidential, and the customer therefore required an expert third party to carry out sourcing and negotiation at armís length.

Technology Enterprise's assignment was to specify the requirements for the platform, to locate at least one source for the device, to secure quotations and to introduce the most likely supplier(s) to the client.  This involved gaining a clear understanding of the underlying principles of operation of the instrument, and the interpretation of the vibration characteristics of the vehicle so that a clear specification could be drawn up.

Once this was in place, a list of 16 potential suppliers world-wide was generated, using Internet searching techniques, and telephone networking. These were contacted with a brief written description of the technical requirements and requesting a statement of interest. Those who responded positively were sent a full specification for the platform.

This process was followed up with telephone conversations with the technical teams of the prospective bidders further clarifying the requirements of the platform. With some potential bidders, several discussions were held, and in some cases site visits were made. Proposal documents and quotations were secured from seven target companies.

Four prime sources eventually emerged for a complete platform system, in the USA (2), Germany (1) and Australia (1). In each case, confidentiality was secured, and direct communication with Technology Enterpriseís client was established.