Viper Innovations Ltd, was founded in 2007 by co-owners and Directors Max Nodder and Neil Douglas. Initially set up as an engineering consultancy, offering design and project management services for subsea equipment, it invested heavily in research & development (R&D). This has resulted in a strong pipeline of product and services generating revenue growth derived from the business’ own intellectual property.
Today Viper is a high-tech, innovative and disruptive SaaS model business serving the subsea oil & gas, rail and other industrial sectors with proprietary, award-winning technology and products. Proudly filled with incredible people and bright minds, it is agile, pro-active and disruptive. Viper’s HQ is based in Portishead near Bristol, which provides excellent national and international communications links and has also resulted in strong working relationships with local universities for academic research and graduate recruitment.
Viper’s technology and products maximise the operational life of mission critical control systems and electrical cables used in harsh environments. They do this through integrity monitoring & fault finding and in the case of subsea applications, remote repair of electrical insulation on cables. The technology and services provide for proactive, planned maintenance instead of reactive repair or replacement. Where a repair or replacement is necessary Viper’s technology identifies and locates the fault, allowing for speedy action. This avoids delays, significant costs and safety risks through manual fault finding.
Innovation at the Core
Innovation is at Viper’s Core and is a vital part of their strategy in achieving continued growth. Viper’s ability to deliver innovative products and services is hugely based on their people’s combined years of extensive experience in key sectors and being able to work closely with Universities. Staff are continuously encouraged and inspired to explore new ideas and push the boundaries of existing technology in the marketplace. Viper’s approachable management team and culture of clear and open communication provides their teams with the space and freedom to be innovative in everything they do. Critical to Viper’s success has been ensuring continuous improvement is employed to introduce new advancements and learnings across everything they do, while truly understanding the needs of their customers.
Viper is proud of being a knowledge-based company with a substantial focus on Research & Development. They have continued to employ highly talented people and collaborate with Universities through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs), and sponsorship of PhD research. Viper completed a successful KTP with the University West of England, which was graded as “Outstanding” by Innovate UK in 2019. This combination of expert experience and knowledge has been highly effective in the design and development of their innovative products and services, which have achieved recognition through various awarding bodies. Some of the most prestigious include; the 2014 PwC National Private Business Award for Innovation & Technology, the 2016 Queens Award for Enterprise
(Innovation Category) and 2018 IET Innovation Award.
Product Development Journey
Viper has enjoyed significant success in its core international subsea market, with a particular focus on V-LIFE- its Insulation Resistance Recovery Product, designed for subsea cables experiencing low insulation resistance caused by water ingress. The patented technology uses an electro-kinetic and electrochemical process to reverse the effects of electrical degradation in subsea cables. Many Oil and Gas Operators are aware that low Insulation Resistance can also cause copper loss in the cables, which V-LIFE helps to remediate. The benefits of improving insulation without costly intervention have been recognised worldwide, with multiple oil field operators now actively using the V-LIFE technology. Many clients are now standardising on Viper’s V-LIM (Line Integrity Monitoring) to monitor their mission critical electrical cables.
In recent years, Viper’s proven technologies have been transferred from the subsea Industry to the rail and industrial sectors. Following a five-year research and development programme, working in collaboration with Network Rail, CableGuardian was designed to improve the electrical integrity management of railway signalling power distribution networks.
CableGuardian is a sophisticated cloud-hosted cable monitoring and fault diagnosis system designed to help prevent service affecting failures before they occur by delivering precise conditions trending down to individual cable level and accurately pinpointing fault locations and instances of cable theft.
Incorporated within the CableGuardian product is ‘reflectometry’ cable fault detection technology that was developed by the University of Utah and acquired by Viper through an equity investment and licence agreement with a spin-out company from that University.
CableGuardian reduces the time-consuming and hazardous practice of technicians manually walking alongside the railway lines to test for and locate cable faults. The technology operates continuously on live power networks providing critical cable and conductor condition information in real-time, eliminating the need to power down the system for intrusive periodic testing.
Designed for Reliability
Reliability, Availability and Maintainability are critical considerations when designing products for the harsh and complex environments across the sectors Viper operate in, this is particularly important for the Subsea Oil and Gas and Railway sectors.
Viper’s extensive experience means they understand the product development process and the reasons why a disciplined and rigorous approach is required for high-reliability applications. These processes are used every day and regularly audited to ensure relevancy and adherence, a process of continuous improvement is also employed to introduce improvements and learnings. Viper’s level of understanding combined with their meticulous processes and continuous improvement ensures that DFR (Designed For Reliability) is in their ‘DNA’.
Next Phase of Growth
Viper has enjoyed significant, consistent growth and diversification of its technology into new sectors and applications. It has ambitious plans for further growth all built on the foundations of its people, culture, innovation and appetite to disrupt.