What does RMS do?
While the business originally focused on drone technology, RMS has now turned its gaze squarely on remote monitoring software after last September's purchase of a controlling stake in Gyrometric, a firm that develops technology to digitally assess rotating shafts.
Upping its stake to 57.8% from 36.9% for £273,600, this led the board to change the group's name from Strat Aero to reflect the new focus, though it still wholly owns Geocurve, a survey and inspection specialist.
Gyrometric has recently won contracts with Tarmac to monitor the mill drive at a cement works and also with Clarke Energy for a pilot plant project to spot potential problems before they occur.
Geocurve provides its services to a range of major blue-chip companies and government agencies, with examples including land surveys, mobile mapping surveys and virtual reality surveys.
More recently, the company has also launched itself into intelligence and security with the acquisition of high-flying startup Cloudveil which works in data analytics and surveillance.
- In September, the company acquired risk management business Cloudveil for £130,000 with the intention to develop a new intelligence and security division.
- Cloudveil already has partnerships with steelmaker ArcelorMittal as well as government agencies and defence forces in Afghanistan, Iraq and other locations in the Middle East.
- A July update revealed Gyrometric technology was gaining considerable interest in several markets, including for use in marine drive systems (e.g. rudder propellers), wind turbines and in the oil & gas sector.
- In July, Geocurve agreed to set up a mobile mapping joint venture with established survey specialist Landscope Engineering Ltd, a 15-year old company specialising in providing survey and data management service to the engineering, built infrastructure and environmental sectors in the UK and Ireland.
- The intention of the JV is to combine knowledge and “create a centre of excellence in mobile mapping” with the ultimate goal becoming a market leader in the acquisition and analysis of mobile mapping data.
- In March, RMS put in place cost-saving measures to offset a slow start to 2019 by Geocurve, largely as a result of the need to dedicate more resources than expected to the Environment Agency's Thames Estuary Asset Management 2100 (TEAM2100) programme. However, a number of contracts with new clients have been won that should begin to contribute to sales in the second quarter.
- A process to identify a successor for Gary Nel, the managing director and founder of Geocurve, is underway.
- A January fundraising £350,000 was to fund growth in the core business and help clear debt.
What the boss says
Chairman Nigel Burton said of the Cloudveil acquisition: “We’re very excitd about the opportunity to turn a small acorn into an oak, just as we’re hoping we’ll do with Gyrometric.”
The company said in August that it intends to “create a centre of excellence in mobile mapping” in its joint venture with Geocurve, with the ultimate goal becoming a market leader in the acquisition and analysis of mobile mapping data.
"Gyrometric continues to find new markets and applications for its unique technology, some of which have become apparent only recently. This process of exploring new applications continues apace and we expect to provide further updates to shareholders as matters progress,” said Trevor Brown, the executive director of Remote Monitored Systems.
Gyrometric's chief executive, David Orton said that with deals stacking up for its unique digital monitoring system in the cement and energy generation sectors, the monitoring industry is "getting closer to the IBM moment".
"In monitoring, the world is going to change - it's going to go from analogue to digital, and we're going to be in the middle of it."