A cleaning products company in Co Down has developed new technology for sterilising knives used in meat processing plants.
Airtech Distribution in Dundonald used sensor technology to design a new spray system for sterilisation which saves water while also improving hygiene.
The firm received funding and design guidance from Invest NI so that the spray could benefit from intellectual property protection.
Robin Adair, the company's managing director and an experienced industrial engineer, said: "The new steriliser system is the outcome of an approach from an existing client in meat processing, who asked me for advice on reducing the water and energy costs of existing sterilising equipment used throughout the industry.
"Typically, knives are kept in a bath of water, with a constant feed of hot water to maintain both the temperature and to keep the water relatively clean.
"The system I've developed is akin to a temperature controlled shower. The steriliser uses the minimum amount of hot water and reduces water consumption by as much as 95% and offers significant savings in energy usage."
Olive Hill, Invest NI's director of innovation and technology solutions, said: "Our support for Airtech is an excellent example of how Invest NI assists companies, both large and small, to turn ideas into innovative products."