PCT is one of Europes foremost designers and manufacturers of novel broadband acoustic transducers for applications in Subsea Oil and Gas, Military Subsea, NDT and Medical markets. It is now forms a strategic part of the Nortek group in Norway.

Their website can be found here.

Some assignments that have been undertaken with reputed acoustic technologies provider PCT Ltd.


Deep rated low frequency transducers

press to zoom
Piezo composite example
Piezo composite example

1-3 piezo-composite

press to zoom
Typical examples of piezo composite
Typical examples of piezo composite

Examples of piezo composite

press to zoom

Deep rated low frequency transducers

press to zoom
Transition from R & D into Manufacturing
Production improvement

The problem:

The company had been trading successfully for approximately 4 years. It's novel design's and technology had won the attention of some major subsea equipment manufacturer's and military contractors such as QinetiQ and Atlas Electronik. The challenge for PCT was having the potential of a multi-million pound business but struggling to transition from an R & D company into a manufacturer, capable of meeting the demanding requirements of international defence contractors.


The solution:

Steven joined to:


  • Ensure products were being designed for manufacture.

  • Ensure that designs were in clear alignment with client performance requirements.

  • Reduce range of products under development focusing on growth products with significant market demand.

  • Develop manufacturing processes, procedures and workpacks for products entering manufacturing phase.

  • Design and implement a strict stage gate quality checking and test process.

  • Develop and execute custom verification programmes.

  • Create a pre-production team to Engineer products for mass manufacture.

  • Recruit personnel for a more process driven manufacturing facility.

  • Transition to machined housings rather than moulding.

  • Implement inventory management.

  • Sub-contract any non-core activities

Commercial Management

The problem:

PCT was experiencing significant growth. Improvements had been made to its capability through increased manufacturing capability and a process driven environment. The company wanted to secure sustainable growth whilst managing commercial risk and had constrained in-house expertise.


The solution:

Steven worked with the Management team to:


  • Take full responsibility to draft, negotiate and manage all related contracts including, but not limited to, sale and procurement, collaboration agreements, joint ventures, claim preparation/resolution, variations and contract management.

  • Take full responsibility for all sub-contractor management including vendor assessment. Steven capitalised on his experience in manufacturing to help anticipate any possible non-performance/deliveries and subsequently prepare contingency measures. 

  • Take full responsibility for the preparation of all related technical and commercial proposals, including those to some of Europe’s leading defence contractors and subsequently working with them towards contract closure.

  • In alignment with P2D's strategy, Steven developed practical commercial frameworks and partnerships to facilitate new products and entry into new market segments.

Set up specialist manufacturing facility

The problem:

With a growing order book, increasing demand for their products, PCT was experiencing significant challenges in meeting demand and sustaining client confidence and credibility.


The solution:

Steven worked with the Management team to:


  • Develop a business case for investment in a specialist manufacturing facility to realise the investment of several years in Research and Development with regards to the design of specialised broadband piezo-composite acoustic transducers.

  • Ensure reliable delivery on current and forecast client requirements.

  • Procure, install, commission specialist manufacturing equipment in a new custom designed facility.

  • Develop a training programme, recruit staff and manage them though a competency building process (see transition from R & D into manufacturing below).

  • Implement a change programme to install robust processes and procedures facilitating a more cohesive integration of functions.

  • Ensure that the new facility complied with H & S regulations and that risk assessments were performed.

  • ​Tackle and eliminate any legacy quality issues by continuously developing team and culture, quality planning, process improvement and creating an improvement cycle, constantly simplifying designs and embedding common design philosophies.

  • Develop and maintain an agile supply chain, managing key relationships and performance to meet very challenging and unique requirements.

  • Implement a KPI driven programme achieving a reduction in costs through subcontracting out non-core activities, managing competence focused training, decreasing throughput time, and increasing asset utilisation.


Financial Management

The problem:

PCT had made major improvements in their capability and had secured some significant long term orders. As the business grew, the Managing Director was concerned that there was a significant risk that the financial controls were not adequate to sustain and support growth, especially as the company was predominantly a manufacturer. In addition, the market challenges of 2009 were potentially going to impact orders and thus income.


The solution:

Steven worked with the Management team to:


  • Immediately implement a cash flow monitoring system that was in tune with the current and forecasted operations of the business.  

  • Implement key and relevant financial metrics, aligned with operations, for monthly review.

  • Implement tighter controls in purchasing and worked with manufacturing to align with stock control and forecasts.

  • Forecast cash burn, aligned with WIP and order book to generate scenarios for decision making.

  • Work with both customers and vendors to optimise cash flow.

  • Recover significant spend on R & D via the governments R &D Tax Credit scheme.

  • Perform an in-depth cost analysis and worked with both the commercial team and operations to re-direct focus on the most profitable customers and product lines.

  • Work with accountants to prepare management reports and associated submissions.

  • Develop models for improved leverage on assets to contribute more margins.


The problem:

To grow, PCT needed to transition from R & D into a manufacturing facility. One identified risk in building of a manufacturing facility was the manufacturing team not being able to produce the products 'as well as' the in-house R & D team/Technicians. The challenge was a barrier to growth, which was being limited by the throughput of hand-crafted products.


The solution:

Steven took this challenge head on.


Steven has a belief that obstacles can be overcome with methodical planning, energy, creativity and persistence. Steven set about recruiting and training manufacturing personnel. Steven turned the situation around resulting in the R & D personnel actively "passing-on" their craft.  To facilitate the development of the manufacturing team, Steven:


  • Developed a PCT training school which all new employees attended.

  • Detailed the processes into step by step instructions with hold and test points.

  • De-mystified the "black-art".

  • Implemented a rigorous testing process.

  • Worked alongside the team during the teams' growth.

  • Developed a culture of trust, mutual support, collaboration and pride.  

  • Developed a "we can do this" mind-set, energy and some healthy competition.

  • Facilitated mutual understanding of skills & talents between departments with staff from R & D working in manufacturing and vice-versa.


In a matter of months, Steven and the team had increased monthly volume, within a much tighter performance tolerance and with a lower cost per unit. 


Although personal energy intensive, Steven recalls this assignment with particular pride.


Some custormers Steven has worked with while at PCT