Product development is one thing, and the invention is a completely different activity. Understanding this difference is important, as each is managed differently and requires very different skill sets (see our white paper here for more details). Finish Line is uniquely suited to this task given our experience across many different industries and technologies. This broad range of experience has allowed us to adopt technologies from one market and move them into another market that was previously unaware of this technology.
Downhole Survey Tool: Our customer needed a dramatic reduction in cost to broaden the market opportunity. Our results: 90% cost reduction.
How did we do it: because of our multi-industry experience, we re-purposed a known technology from the industrial control industry into the downhole oil and gas industry.
IoT RF Network: At the time most IoT products used either WiFi or cellular. For this application, cellular was just too expensive, and WiFi did not provide the range. Both had poor battery life as well.
Adapting a technology originally designed for mobile radios (police, fire, taxi, etc.) and combining it with a new radio technology (SDR) turned out to be the solution. This new technology allowed for a very low unit cost (<$10) and a very long battery life (>20 years).
Originally a startup company with three people and an idea, our customer is now the largest IoT network provider in the US.
Low-Cost Oil Tank Sensor: Most tank sensors used mechanical floats, or expensive ultrasonic transducers – both cost tens of dollars. Our customer needed a sensor that cost less than one dollar.
Our solution was to take an even more expensive tank measuring technology (military aircraft fuel tanks) and combine it with a new computer algorithm to eliminate the most expensive part of the sensor.
Extending Battery Life: Our customer needed much longer battery life. Several other engineers proclaimed this the impossible mission – the size and weight requirements, which could not change, just did not accommodate any known battery technology that could store the energy output requirements.
Finish Line recognized that this tool was in proximity to a large heat source and that this heat source was more than capable of producing the energy needed. Our solution provides an indefinite “battery” life by harvesting waste heat from that was a naturally occurring byproduct of the system.