NOBLESVILLE, IN /PRNewswire/ -- Sentelligence, a developer of fluid monitoring and detection sensors for the automotive and commercial vehicle markets, announced it will begin field testing its new emissions control fluid sensor in Europe and Japan, as part of a potential contract with a major Japanese auto maker.
The sensor, developed and manufactured by the Noblesville-based company, tests for concentrations of urea, a compound injected in the exhaust gases of diesel engines to reduce smog-producing nitrogen oxide emissions. If tests are successful, the company could begin mass production of the sensors in the fourth quarter of 2009.
"Sentelligence is on the leading edge of sensor technology with intellectual property that has the potential to create market-changing applications and new high wage jobs in Indiana," said Nathan Feltman, Secretary of Commerce and chief executive officer of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.
Sentelligence, which received a $1.7 million grant from the Indiana 21st Century Research and Technology Fund in 2006 to further develop its sensor technology, enters the international market following the implementation of more stringent emissions regulations in Europe and Asia.
"The 21st Century Fund provided Sentelligence the necessary capital to aggressively pursue the development of the intelligent urea quality sensor," said Rob Qualls, chief executive officer of Sentelligence. "We have spent more than 18 months developing several generations and are now close to completion of our production model sensor."
With more than 70% of all vehicles sold in Europe running on diesel, European lawmakers enacted new emissions standards aimed at reducing nitrogen oxide emissions by nearly 10 percent by 2010. To achieve the reduction, engine manufacturers will install new emissions controls systems called selective catalytic reduction. These systems inject urea, an organic compound, into the combustion process starting a chemical reaction that transforms toxic nitrogen oxide into carbon dioxide and water. Sentelligence's sensor technology monitors and controls the urea concentration in the engine, effectively regulating the emissions reduction process. "As part of the strengthened European emissions requirements, manufacturers will soon be required to install redundant NOx sensors, further strengthening the need for urea sensor technology. Laws limiting nitrogen oxide emissions in the U.S. are slated to become effective in 2010," Qualls said.
Sentelligence estimates it could create up to 100 new jobs in Indiana as demand for the company's sensor grows. In August, the company moved its remaining Michigan product development and production operations to Indianapolis and Noblesville and is currently negotiating with several auto parts manufacturers for contracts that will lead to mass production of the sensors.
Sentelligence is one of 58 businesses awarded a 21st Century Fund grant since January 2006. During that time, the fund has invested more than $74 million in high-tech Indiana entrepreneurial companies with the potential to create more than 6,000 new jobs.
Established in 1999 and administered by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation since 2005, the 21st Century Fund was created to assist Indiana innovators in the development and launch of market-changing new products. The fund focuses on entrepreneurial ventures with unique technology and proven commercial market potential.
Sentelligence is an industrial design and development company specializing in onboard intelligent sensing systems for industrial and commercial applications. The company's sensors are being designed to determine urea quality, bio-fuels blend composition, lube oil condition in diesel and gasoline engines, water in hydraulic fluid, aging of transmission fluid, and the condition and quality of coolants and fuels. These low-cost sensor systems are expected to take a leading role in emissions control and reduction schemes a vital component in green technology implementation for the automotive industry. In addition the technology can replace periodic scheduled maintenance and emergency break down practices with condition-based predictive maintenance. Intelligent sensor products address an emerging market with broad military, commercial vehicle, heavy-duty diesel and automotive applications. Sentelligence is based in Noblesville, IN.
Created by Governor Mitch Daniels in 2005 to replace the former Department of Commerce, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. is governed by a 12-member board chaired by Governor Daniels. Indiana Secretary of Commerce Nathan Feltman serves as the chief executive officer of the IEDC. Since Daniels created the IEDC, the state has posted three consecutive years of record-breaking commitments for new jobs.