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Stansted technology and engineering firm Optical Metrology Services wins its third Queen's Award for Enterprise




A Stansted technology and engineering business is celebrating completing a Queen's Award for Enterprise treble – and its chief executive is already targeting a fourth success.

Optical Metrology Services, based at the M11 Business Link in Parsonage Lane, came out on top in the innovation category to add to its triumphs in 2007 and 2014.

The firm, which provides independent pipeline measurement and inspection services to companies mainly in the oil and gas industry, won for its latest weld inspection system, which can save clients up to $10m per project.

Dr Tim Clarke, OMS chief executive (34138658)
Dr Tim Clarke, OMS chief executive (34138658)

Weld inspection is a vital stage in the laying of oil and gas pipelines because welds must meet strict criteria before they are passed for use. Failed pipeline welds cause project delays, increased costs and can result in far more significant consequences such as environmental disaster.

The OMS pipe weld inspection system can drive itself to a weld, inspect it and send the resulting information to the cloud to be interrogated or stored anywhere in the world.

The technology operates in challenging off-shore environments, inspecting pipes that may have multiple 90° bends and elbows. It assesses welds in 30 seconds or less, providing more than 70 images and 2,000 laser scans for analysis and interpretation, allowing pipeline inspectors to make crucial decisions rapidly.

Will Barnes from the operations department, left, and Ian Frankham-Wells from software
Will Barnes from the operations department, left, and Ian Frankham-Wells from software

OMS was formed in 2004, originally working from premises in Bishop's Stortford before moving to Stansted five years ago. It employs 26 people working in design, engineering, project management, fabrication and more.

OMS chief executive Dr Tim Clarke said: "Our third Queen's Award is the culmination of a 10-year period of development in our weld inspection service and demonstrates the value of placing innovation at the heart of our business.

"Our development process involves thinking ahead to work out what our clients may need – sometimes before they know it themselves.

"I am immensely proud of everyone in the team whose hard work and creative thinking has built the award-winning system that has underpinned our business success.

OMS has won its third Queen's Award for Enterprise thanks to its latest weld inspection system (34138661)
OMS has won its third Queen's Award for Enterprise thanks to its latest weld inspection system (34138661)

"We intend to carry on innovating – and hope to win a fourth Queen's Award one day, perhaps for our new innovations to make road pothole repairing faster and cheaper."


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