from hi-tech thermometers of today to the brain cooling hats of tomorrow
I met such a gem this week.
Co Louth is hidden in a small factory behind a residential area in Dundalk and is a European lec instrument.
Founded in 1998 by Tom Mears, former Rolls Royce human resources manager, the company specializes in the design, manufacture and distribution of a range of electronic temperature and pressure meters.
Interestingly, all the products sold by the company have more than 70 pc exports.
On a map of the world on the wall of his office, Tom\'s son Chris (
He is responsible for the sales and marketing functions of the business)
, Showed me a set of color pins highlighting their location in 25 international distributors in countries such as France, Germany, Portugal, the Netherlands, Croatia and Lithuania.
Most of their customers are companies in the food and beverage, pharmaceutical and engineering industries --
But they also have customers in the public sector in universities, hospitals, environmental sanitation and various laboratories.
When he showed me around the workshop, Kieran Gaskin
One of the most experienced engineers in the company
Showed me a variety of portable and desktop thermometers that customers mainly use to check if the food is fully cooked.
\"For health and safety reasons, it is important to ensure that the food reaches the right temperature during cooking,\" Tom explained . \".
\"For example, in the case of beef burgers, these must be cooked at a level that ensures a minimum core temperature of at least 70 °c in order to kill pathogens such as Ecoli and other harmful bacteria.
\"Again, because frozen foods need to reach the following core temperatures
\"20 °c, it is important that people in the industry have to have an accurate and reliable way to measure these associated temperatures,\" he added . \".
In addition to retail customers like the Musgrave group, their equipment is used by dairy giants such as Glanbia, Mondelez, Monaghan town and Lakeland dairy products, as well as meat processing plants in the Republic of Ireland\'s dunbian and Kerry groups and the Moi park in Northern Ireland.
Among their pharmaceutical customers, there are household names such as Merck Sharp and Pfizer.
A smaller but still important part of the company\'s business involves manufacturers of pressure measuring instruments used to monitor air pressure in IT and pharmaceutical plants, in which, ensure that the air or dust particles generated during the production process are continuously removed through air treatment or extraction devices to prevent contamination.
Therefore, it is important to monitor the room pressure.
Working with these customers requires a detailed understanding of the industry, all legislation that regulates compliance, and the technology itself.
After many years in business, Tom was proficient in these aspects.
Tom, originally from Newry, Co Down, graduated from Trinity College Dublin and later joined Rolls-Royce.
Subsequently, he held various roles in engineering companies, from plastic pipes and industrial fans to automotive and truck exhaust systems, and engineering companies produced various products.
However, Tom always has the ambition to build his own company.
He finally took action in 1978.
With the help of IDA, he set up his first company, Eirelec Co. , Ltd. at Dundalk, and began designing and manufacturing electronic instruments in a similar series that he produced today.
In addition, he has established a second related business, AMT Co. , Ltd. , where he is able to produce printed circuit boards (PCBs)
By means of a process known as surface mounting technology or SMT, with a higher volume and a lower cost.
Despite Tom\'s success, he believes that in order to provide customers with a complete set of measuring instruments, in addition to the instruments he has made himself, it is also true to work with other similar companies to supplement his own products
So in 1990, he made contact with another former Sany student who set up a similar business in the UK --
Together, they set up a joint group of companies: The AMT group.
They became so successful in five years that the group was acquired by a larger British company.
At that time, erelec hired 10 employees and as part of the transaction, Tom agreed to continue as MD and continue to operate the Irish business.
Only three years later, however, the Irish business was closed and all of it was transferred to the UK.
In the process, Tom and all his employees were fired.
\"It was tough for all of us at the time, and although I had exports, I was not ready to hang my boots and retire,\" Tom said with a smile . \".
\"So I decided to reinstall and start using the European lec instrument.
\"Initially, it ran from my kitchen and then from the front room before we finally found the houses,\" he added . \".
After returning to the company, Tom
He hired many of his former employees.
In 2005, the new business began to be subject to increasing competition from competitors from the Far East, which combined with lower competition
Cost and portable electronic instruments, which means he must now become more focused on niche if he is to survive.
He made a strategic decision to turn the business around and began to focus on producing smaller quantities of highquality, high-
Evaluate the equipment more accurately than his competitors.
These are stronger, splashes.
Proven instruments provide accurate readings and up to accuracy.
01 degrees, allowing them to be used in industrial and laboratory conditions.
\"Quality is important to us, although some of our competitor\'s devices still sell well because they are cheaper and many of them only last for a few months while our devices last for several years.
In fact, we often meet people who are still using the thermometers that we made in the original eiriec era, \"Tom explains proudly.
\"The same has happened recently, and we \'ve started labeling them privately for other international companies that want to put them on their own brands, and we now see this as a potential way to achieve greater sales and higher revenue in the future, he added.
Tom is always interested in accepting new challenges, and he sees an article in the journal New Scientist highlighting the obvious benefits of stroke for victims, when cooling is applied to the brain, patients with heart attacks and some brain injuries can produce so-called induced low temperatures.
\"The more I study this topic, the more I realize that cooling an area early can improve the prognosis of many patients.
From our years of experience in cooling technology, we feel that we are fully capable of developing a solution to cool the brain quickly.
Tom explained with enthusiasm.
Realize that a person\'s artery is responsible for supplying oxygen blood to the large front of the brain (
Our thinking, speech, personality, feeling, and motor function)
Tom and his team designed a wearable helmet.
Like a device containing many thin tubes, when activated, it causes rapid cooling of the head and neck, resulting in the desired effect.
Since stroke and brain damage can occur anywhere, these helmets are designed to power through rechargeable batteries or plug them into the vehicle, medical staff are allowed to use them in the case of early intervention of critical ambulances.
\"We have now set up an independent company, Oriel medical devices, focusing on further development of the technology,\" Tom explained . \".
\"Under the supervision of Professor Shane O\'Mara, the study has been well received by the neuroscience department of traditional Chinese medicine,\" he added . \".
There seem to be many different applications of this technology, such as organ transport for transplant purposes.
\"Packing shipping containers full of ice is not always effective.
\"Sometimes organs may become unusable because the ice around them can cause frozen burns to the tissue of the organs,\" Tom explained . \".
\"Because these organs are so precious, it is important to make sure they are protected.
We put our cooling pipes inside a container with these organs, and now they can be transported at a suitable temperature, he added excitedly: \"This makes it possible to protect them on long trips within or between countries. \".
In addition, by using different accessories, the technique can also produce local heat, which can be used to effectively treat motor injuries in humans and animals when applied to soft tissues.
Last year, Tom and his colleagues presented their equipment at the Irish Medtec conference exhibition in Galway and were very interested in it.
After obtaining the patent for the technology, he now hopes to work with partners to further develop his technology and its wider application in the medtec industry.
\"But none of this would have happened without our very flexible, imaginative and hard-working support --
\"Staff,\" he said.
Tom added: \"We also have a close relationship with the Dundalk Institute of Technology, and we provide working experience under the Erasmus program for students in electronic engineering and French universities.
Tom Mills runs a small but successful business offering a range of high
Quality of temperature, pressure and other supplementary instrument equipment.
Over the years, he has successfully developed a loyal and solid customer base, including some of Ireland\'s top food and pharmaceutical companies, as well as numerous international customers and distributors.
They understand and appreciate the quality and accuracy of the products he produces because it benefits their business.
His sales continued to grow today.
And is expected to achieve sales of 1 million euros in the next three to five years.
Fortunately, because he still likes to go to work every day, Tom now wants to make a bigger impact by participating as much as possible in the medical device industry, using his rich knowledge and experience of temperature technology, develop innovative cooling solutions for brain and stroke patients, among others.
His experience also tells him that this may be the result of working with others, so he continues to look for potential partners to work with him to achieve these goals.
After years of hard work and dedication to his craft, Tom Mills may have found ways to change the rules of the game for himself and his company.
European lec Instrument & instrument company, House of technology, cluenda, Dundalk, Co Louth. Tel: (042)9333423www. eurolec-instruments. com and www.
Medical devices. com1.
Understand what your customers really want: \"It is critical to conduct a market survey to determine exactly what your customers need and how you best meet these needs.
The best way to achieve this is through continuous cooperation and interaction at all levels. ”2.
Business is still about people: \"While modern technology is great, at the end of the day, business is about people.
Therefore, you must invest in developing and maintaining relationships with employees, suppliers and customers. ”3.
Positive optimism: \"Don\'t let yourself be delayed by challenges or setbacks.
Learn to see these as opportunities.
Be the kind of person who always thinks the cup is half full and not half empty.
Optimism and positivity can infect people around you.