Calon Associates Ltd is a Runcorn based SME, specialising in products for advanced lighting controls, smart building controls and connectivity solutions. They design, develop and supply a range of lighting, forecourt and building controls for the commercial, retail, transportation and education sectors. The company offers a niche range of flexible and configurable products in the form of ‘building blocks’ that can be combined and configured in many different ways to serve a wide range of application use cases.
One of the challenges Calon identified was the need for a system that can aggregate emergency light test records from various resources, either a large number of buildings or different parts of a very large building. Typical systems to perform regular testing of emergency lights and keeping test records are limited in scope to a single building or part of a building. The system that Calon wanted to develop would allow an organisation, such as a university, to demonstrate regulatory compliance across all different buildings that it occupies with the data being accessible within a cloud platform, according to various criteria.
Calon had developed its digitisation aspirations in the form of a roadmap for the next few years, but as is commonplace, where to start is always a difficult decision, especially with limited resources available. The CW 4.0 team at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) worked closely with Calon to identify the challenge area and required skill sets, prioritising which areas from their digital agenda would give maximum impact to the business in the short term. The CW4.0 team then helped Calon to build a sustainable partnership with key academic expertise in computer sciences at LJMU to continue on the digital journey.
The CW4.0 team at LJMU developed a bespoke action plan for Calon to priorities the tasks and the mechanisms to embrace digital technology. Phase I of the support engaged undergraduate final year students in Computer Science and Mathematics, helping Calon to shape the challenge into achievable deliverables. The focus was on developing an online application that can receive logs of emergency lighting test records and faults, store this information in a database and provide a means for users to visualise the data.
Further support is planned to support Calon on industrial digital innovation through connections to solution providers alongside investment and funding strategies to accelerate the uptake of digital technology. The CW4.0 project will enable further industrial links to LJMU academics to develop collaborative opportunities and unlock expertise within the research environment that can be utilised to enhance the market competitiveness of Calon’s products and services.