Cost-Saving Innovation from The IMC Group at the Museums + Heritage Show

“At a time when budget cuts are continuing to cause so much pain in the industry, we work with curators to save money through utility monitoring while assisting them in preservation and conservation using market-leading environmental monitoring equipment,” says IMC Group CEO Ian Robinson.

The IMC Group’s Hanwell wireless monitoring and control range is well-established within heritage sectors, offering conservators accurate and reliable environmental monitoring and control solutions specifically designed for discreet monitoring.

IMC has more than 100 data loggers, radio and GPRS transmitters to cover a multitude of critical parameters within heritage sectors including relative humidity, light, UV, dust, insect pest control, air flow and wood damage. Solutions can also be integrated into existing BMS systems for comprehensive environmental control.

The Manchester Art Gallery attracts 400,000 visitors each year and works closely with the local council to find new ways to reduce energy consumption whilst maintaining the high level of environmental care for their fine and decorative art collections. With energy savings a high priority including lighting systems, lifts, and boilers, along with water and gas supplied to their catering partner’s kitchen, they called in IMC.

Extending their existing Hanwell wireless environmental monitoring system to include a range of utility monitoring transmitters with pulse counters and current clamps was a hugely cost-effective and simple to installation process. These innovative add-on’s measure and record utility usage over time and allow statistical analysis of kWh, cubic meters of gas and litres of water consumed. It quickly identified and eliminated areas of waste, resulting in significant savings within weeks of installation – reduction in building running costs leading to a full cost recovery of commercial activities!

All designs utilise IMC’s unrivalled expertise in radio telemetry to provide flexible systems that not only meet the discreet monitoring needs of conservators today, but may be adapted and expanded cost-effectively in the future.

IMC’s Hanwell monitoring systems are already used by museums and galleries such as The Louvre, V&A, The Imperial War Museum, The National Gallery, Manchester City Art Gallery and The Tate Gallery. IMC’s involvement with library and archive conservation using market leading environmental monitoring systems has been invaluable to curators who dedicate their time to the preservation and conservation of organic materials.

Other recent environmental monitoring solutions include work carried out with The Mary Rose. The world-famous 16th century warship, based at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, has reached the end of a 17-year wax spraying process designed to preserve its timbers and is now in the final phase of a sophisticated conservation project – a crucial five-year drying out period that will ensure the ship remains intact.

IMC’s part in the restoration involved supplying 60 sensors from the Hanwell range that remain attached to the hull, continuously mapping the condition of the wood, including temperature and humidity parameters and the three specialist WoodWatch units which utilise high frequency Acoustic Emission (AE) technology. Progress is excellent and the ship is on course to be freed from its chamber in 2016.