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.