Hycontrol is an engineering and manufacturing company based in Worcestershire, UK, that specialises in level measurement, silo pressure protection and foam control. The company was founded in the early 1980s. Hycontrol offers customers a complete turnkey system service: designing, building, installing and maintaining complete protection systems for their UK clients. Their R&D and manufacturing are all done on-site at Redditch headquarters. The company also has a network of international distributors selling our products in around 60 countries. Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company? Hycontrol: The largest single area of activity for Hycontrol is in the cement and aggregates sector. We supply all the major UK cement companies with level measurement and bitumen safety equipment. More importantly, we are engaged in addressing the widespread problem of silo over-pressurisation during tanker deliveries – for more information on this issue, please look at our new animated video: https://youtu.be/mrV5xDIikhE E.E: What’s the news for 2020 about new products? Hycontrol: This year we have expanded our level measurement range with powerful new 80 GHz radars. We have upgraded our SHIELD Lite silo protection system with inlet valve feedback to provide users with additional information and further improve safety during powder deliveries. We have introduced the Automated Antifoam Dosing panel to our foam control range, in response to the needs of the growing Anaerobic Digestion sector. E.E: What are the ranges of traded products? Hycontrol: We offer a wide range of technologies to be able to respond flexibly to the needs of our customers and their applications. Our continuous level measurement technologies include radar, TDR and ultrasonic; our point level switches include vibration, microwave, capacitance, admittance, and of course paddle switches. To accompany this, we also manufacture display and control panels for our systems. Our foam control products are unique and purpose-designed. Our silo protection systems are the only such equipment on the market to meet and exceed guidance from the UK Mineral Products Association (MPA). E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active? Hycontrol: We provide equipment to a very broad range of industries, and the coronavirus pandemic has impacted every one of them. However, we remain optimistic about the future. E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? Hycontrol: We are seeing improvements in levels of awareness of the issues surrounding silo over-pressurisation in the aggregates and cement industry; this is a major problem that has been misunderstood and largely ignored or many years, so this change in attitudes is welcome. We will continue to work to raise education levels throughout the sector. Over-pressurisation of powder storage silos can cause massive damage and has claimed several lives. E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed? Hycontrol: Hycontrol’s unique foam probes use our patented IMA Sensing® technology to detect even the lightest, airiest foams – something that is beyond competing products which are generally converted level probes and are ultimately not designed for the application. Hycontrol’s SHIELD Lite silo protection system is the culmination of over a decade of product development for this application. It is based on our unique understanding of the application; every part has been purpose-designed to maximise safety. The system is completely failsafe, and tests all silo-top safety equipment with a single key turn at ground level, hugely reducing the need for working at height to test components. As mentioned, it is the only system on the market that not only meets but exceeds current industry safety guidance. E.E: What estimations do you have for 2020? Hycontrol: 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, ourselves included. This situation will likely continue into 2021, as UK firms deal with both coronavirus and Brexit. However, we are confident that we will see improvements as we move into the future. For example, we currently anticipate restarting our popular silo pressure safety training courses in spring 2021. We also expect the continued expansion of our silo protection offering into other territories, working closely with our international distributors.