Tim Carew, company founder and engineer of TSI Flowmeters, who came up with the idea in 1999.
NEW INNOVATOR:Managing the cost of water supply is a growing challenge for public service providers, but particularly for fire services for whom water is still the primary resource.
Helping to drive cost containment is niche engineering company, TSI Flowmeters, which is at the leading edge of cost saving technology for use by fire and water authorities worldwide.
The company manufactures flow meters that help improve water usage efficiency on fire appliances and when testing mains water capacity.
The meters are produced in Ireland with parts made by sub contractors in Laois, Waterford, Carlow and Dublin. Final assembly and testing is at the company’s facilities in Portlaoise.
The products are sold in 30 countries and Germany is currently the company’s biggest market followed by the UK and France. TSI employs three full-time and three part-time staff. Its development has been self-funded apart from an employment grant from Laois Country Enterprise Board in 2011 to support the recruitment of an additional engineer.
Company founder and engineer, Tim Carew, came up with the idea for TSI in 1999 but it was 2007 before he devoted himself full-time to the project. The company launched its first data-logging portable meter in 2010 and Water Smart in 2011. During 2012 the company’s products began gaining a foothold in the UK and are now used by Cheshire, Derby, Kent and West Sussex fire services.
“What sets us apart is that we use electromagnetic flow technology. This means there are no mechanical moving parts in the water stream that can be damaged by stones, plastics or other naturally occurring debris,” Carew says.
“Our other big strength is that our products are robust, reliable workhorses that provide the required technical data in an easy to access format.
“We have first mover advantage in the marketplace and as yet do not have huge competition. Our product is also patent protected. Up to now not a lot of attention has been paid to water but times are changing right across Europe where there is real pressure on costs. For example, fire services are still expected to provide a first class response but with reduced resources. Water Smart can help them.”
Water authorities are the other potential big customers for TSI’s products. “The meter will control the rate at which pipes are flushed to clean them. Too fast and there is a high risk of damaging the pipes. Too slow and the detritus is not fully flushed away,” Carew says. “In addition our technology has a software component that provides all the information required for the accompanying report in a data logger with web based access. The usual method is manual recording with pen and paper which is not reliable and takes a lot of time.”