Engage with our academicsCase Study : JWF

The Business Challenge 

Founded in 1962 by James Wilder Fairbairn, JWF Instrumentation and Flow Measurement Services provide solutions to a variety of process industries such as distilleries and refineries that require temperature, pressure, flow-rate and/or content measurements. JWF is headquartered in Glasgow and has an additional site in Oldham. It partners internationally with some of the most recognised names in engineering, including ABB and Flexim, and it has a global sales footprint. 

Calum Mortimer, a Master’s graduate in Engineering from the University of Strathclyde, joined JWF in 2021. With academic supervision from Dr Steve Paton, from Strathclyde Business School, and Billy Wallace, from the Faculty of Science, Calum is working on a business transformation program. The strategic aim is to develop additional operational capability to allow JWF to transition from selling hardware-based measurement products to offering software-based data and information service solutions.

JWF’s strategic vision is to be at the forefront of technology in relation to data gathering, management and distribution in all its selected markets for process measurement applications. This Management Knowledge Transfer Partnership (MKTP) represents the next step in the company’s strategic growth plan and will enhance JWFs financial and operational performance by allowing it to embrace the latest technology. 


The Knowledge Transfer

The academic team and the MKTP Associate have had the opportunity to apply and transfer their knowledge gained in high value manufacturing, process management and software engineering. 

This is a complex MKTP comprising both engineering and management content. Essentially, the organisation is being redesigned to accommodate an entirely new business model. In support of this, the MKTP will develop and embed electronic and software engineering capabilities within the organisation, which can be integrated with its current process engineering capabilities. This will allow JWF to install sophisticated process measurement equipment which can communicate with a cloud-based application which will allow data to be gathered and analysed before being displayed to the client on a computer screen in the form of a dashboard. This will allow accurate and comprehensive information to be available in real-time to client organisations that operate critical process applications.

To support this servitised solution, the MKTP will also develop a project and product management capability within JWF that will allow them to control a business that sells and supports this new, more complex, solution. A ‘cradle to the grave’ lifecycle will be embedded within the organisation to manage the design, installation, servicing (of the customer system) and provision of the data together with the ongoing upgrading of these solutions as technology and customer requirements change. 


The Value Added

The project has already, after the first year, delivered clear benefits to the Company and to wider society in very significant ways. For example, the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted several issues with the way in which the country manages health care. One of these issues was the discovery by the NHS in Scotland of deficiencies in how oxygen systems within hospitals are being monitored in relation to capacity and flow-rate. Most current installations are outdated, fitted with very basic forms of telemetry. Data is often manually gathered from, for example, mechanical displays sited within the infrastructure of the system. JWF has now installed a number of data solutions within several hospitals across the country that allow clinicians to monitor accurately and in real-time the supply of oxygen to critical care wards. Additionally, this approach is also being tested within water supply systems for domestic and commercial properties, where improved information provision will be a critical part of the drive towards improved water management and increased sustainability.     

This MKTP project has also delivered positive impacts on behalf of the University and the academic team. The MKTP is providing empirical data for the academic team’s ongoing research into digitalisation and innovation ecosystems. The MKTP has also provided internships and projects for students from both involved Faculties.

Contact details

 Undergraduate admissions
 +44 (0)141 548 4114

 Postgraduate admissions
 +44(0)141 553 6116/6105/6117


Strathclyde Business School
University of Strathclyde
199 Cathedral Street
G4 0QU

Triple accredited

Picture of the 5 logos for SBS accreditation awards
PRME logo