Scottish Enterprise Awards 2020

28 | Scottish Enterprise Awards 2020 Nov20140 Best Electronics Video Processing Company - South Ayrshire In the Thai language, having previously been based in Thailand for eight years, the name SingMai means ‘new idea’ and that concept is at the heart of all the products which the company, SingMai Electronics, produces and sells. SingMai originally proposed the analogue HD transmission format that is now used internationally by security companies around the world. Innovation in its IP core portfolio has seen it sell to billion-dollar turnover US companies such as General Dynamics, Lockheed, L3 and ATX Networks as well as prestigious companies Rhode and Schwarz, Innosilicon and Rockchip, and to countries across the globe, from Canada to South Korea, from Israel to China. Recently, SingMai was awarded a contract by Scottish Enterprise and the South Ayrshire Council to develop a custom CCTV camera. Daniel Ogilvie is the firm’s founder and managing director and has more than 40 years’ experience designing video products, from no-compromise broadcast quality analogue video decoders and encoders, to forensic image analysis products. He tells us more about SingMai and what it is that sets it aside from competitors. “We design everything ourselves,” he begins. “With larger companies now outsourcing their R&D more, and smaller companies unable to afford the investment, this gives us an opportunity to sell to them, and to customise each product to make it unique and to differentiate their products in the market.” SingMai is a world expert in analogue video which, although superseded by digital video, still has a niche in the world (50% of the world security market is still analogue). Currently the company is working with a Yorkshire company to ‘reinvent’ the VHS video tape player which will allow faster-than-real-time, higher quality transfer of valuable VHS tapes to a more modern digital medium. Millions of tapes worldwide hold valuable records of personal and company events and, whilst it is possible to convert the tapes into a new digital format, they will still only have VHS quality and can only be done in real time (i.e. a three hour tape takes three hours to copy). Daniel is keen to highlight SingMai’s latest invention. “Our new tape player retrieves ‘hidden’ video from the tape to provide better quality and also can run faster than real time,” he enthuses. “The total copying process will also be automated with robotic tape insertion and video capture. This is a real opportunity. I believe the British Library alone has over two million tapes.” Daniel chose to settle the company in Scotland as he saw opportunities in the subsea market for SingMai’s products and, currently, 95% of the company’s products are exported which has provided some degree of immunity from the recent pandemic. Although Daniel says that technical support is sometimes difficult to do remotely and often customers need to be visited for training or design purposes. Regarding the future, Daniel has many advancements in the pipeline. As well as the above mentioned new VHS player, SingMai is developing its own security camera. “After selling designs to the Chinese for so long, we think it is time there was an option to buy a British designed and manufactured camera,” says Daniel, who also firmly believes in giving back to the future generations and has recently signed the company up to an apprenticeship scheme. He is also producing a series of books on electronics - The SingMai Book of Electronics. Three are currently planned with two already in progress, and Daniel is starting to record some footage on aspects of video to try to demystify the subject. “Engineering is critical to the success of any country and SingMai will try to do its best to encourage people to study the subject and try to make it less intimidating. First and foremost it is fun. Aptitude is all you need.” Contact: Daniel Ogilvie Website: SingMai Electronics is very much a one-man-band, run and owned by Daniel Ogilvie, but this hasn’t stunted its growth. Daniel tells us more about the firm, its offering and how it is paving the way for the future generations.