State College, PA —
Over 80 applicants began in a crowded field, winnowed down to just 13 finalists. When the presentations by these talented researchers were over, KCF Technologies of State College, PA was chosen to take home a check for $25,000, one of four winning companies recognized in this year’s $100,000 Shale Gas Innovation Contest.
The Shale Gas Innovation & Commercialization Center held its finals May 15 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Southpointe, PA., with brief live presentations from each of the finalists.
KCF Technologies’ winning entry in the Innovation Contest finals was its SmartDiagnostics® Vibration Monitoring System (VMS) ― a suite of
powerful, easy-to-use software and low-power wireless vibration sensors that allows technicians or engineers to visualize the operating state of equipment in order to predict the best time to perform critical maintenance for maximum efficiency. This innovative technology has broad applicability in condition monitoring of machinery and air-quality monitoring, each vital to clean, efficient shale gas extraction. Rugged and reliable, SmartDiagnostics® also is readily adaptable to maintenance needs across a wide range of contemporary industries, harsh in- and outdoor environments, and machinery monitoring challenges.
When asked why SmartDiagnostics® won, KCF Technologies President and Co-Founder Dr. Jeremy Frank pointed out that this predictive maintenance technology began with a resolution to avoid pitfalls common among competing products by creating a purpose-built sensor system and software from scratch. Chief Technology Officer Jacob Loverich and KCF Technology’s hand-picked team of innovative engineers "understood the vision," Frank added, "and made sure that we got there."
"After presenting as a finalist last year, we dedicated ourselves to learning, and then meeting, the shale energy industry’s needs. SGICC support has been vital, funding trial installations with Universal Well Services and initiating Shale Net workforce training at Westmoreland County Community College and Penn College of Technology."
"We’re passionate about making the world a safer place predictively," Frank said. Although the technology has made significant commercial inroads in Pennsylvania in the past year, Frank notes that the Keystone State represents only about 8% of the shale gas industry in North America. He eagerly looks forward to offering the promise of KCF’s SmartDiagnostics® in that wider market.
This year’s contest was co-sponsored by Ben Franklin Technology Partners and 17 other regional and national energy, finance and resource exploration firms. Co-sponsors included Acorn Energy, American Natural Gas Alliance, Aquatech, Baker Hughes, Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., Chesapeake Energy, Chevron, CONSOL Energy, EQT Foundation, First National Bank, GE, Little Pine Resources, the Marcellus Shale Coalition, Praxair, Range Resources, Seneca Resources and Williams. In addition to KCF Technologies, this year’s $25,000 contest winners included NG Innovations, Inc., OPTIMUM Pumping Technology, and TM Industrial Supply.
The Ben Franklin Shale Gas Innovation and Commercialization Center supports and commercializes early-stage technologies that enhance responsible stewardship of the environment while properly utilizing this energy asset.
KCF Technologies is a dynamic technology company that develops and commercializes embedded intelligence solutions for industry and the military. The company vision is to be a leader in the development of federally funded technologies and bridge the gap to successful commercial products by establishing strategic partnerships.