WP 1 Consortium Management

The objective of this work package is to ensure a smooth running of the project including communication between the consortium and the Commission, so that all knowledge is created, managed and disseminated in a coordinated and coherent manner and that all technical activities, financial and legal aspects and other issues are managed to a high standard. Furthermore, to ensure all aspects of the EC requirements for communication and reporting are met.

WP 2 Exploitation and Dissemination

Identify, assess and, where appropriate, protect all the project results. Develop an Exploitation strategy as a firm Business Plan including routes to market for all project results. Identify opportunities for financing of post-project development work. Develop a Dissemination Plan that will enable widespread publication of the project results – after all protection activities have been concluded.

WP 3 Development of Functional Specifications

The objectives of the work package are to ensure a problem oriented research approach and market driven innovation process in the project. This is conducted by analyzing the demands and needs in the compressed air market applications with the intention of setting up a detailed system/product specifications for the sensor. In this way the consortium ensures that the development of the sensor meets the marked request and needs.

WP 4 Development of sampling system

The objectives of this work package are to design the DOCA sensor sampling system which will allow a non-invasive monitoring of the oil contamination in the compressed air flow.

WP 5 Development of Optical Spectroscopy Unit

The development of an spectroscopy based unit that will precisely detect the oil contamination. Starting with a scientific analysis of requirements and the physical behavior of oils, an innovative sensing element principle will be developed based on optical methods but drastically improving the state of the art. This will result in a working laboratory model to proof the concept.

WP 6 Development of Algorithms and electronics

Development of an on-situ calibration free sensor, based on a single or multiple device architecture, that can measure oil particles in compressed air systems according to ISO8573-5:2001. Enable system to drive the sensoring and implement a set of algorithms to be investigated, in order to obtain accurate sensor data. Develop coping mechanisms for adverse conditions, self-calibration and error detection. Develop software for real time monitoring of oil particles of a network of sensors, with the ability of raising alarms for triggering prompt corrective action.

WP 7 Integration and Product Development

This work package aims to integrate the technical findings and the results of the previous WPs, prepare the Demonstration phase, and put together a complete technical prototype, considering the scientific and technical objectives and specifications from WP3.

WP 8 Demonstration

Demonstrate the DOCA sensor in an industrial environment. The tests will take place at the facilities of an already established end user client of PAJ.


Market analysis


The objective of DOCA project is to strengthen the competitiveness of the SME consortium drastically by developing and launching a real time compressed air oil contamination monitoring system sensitive to Class 1 (or better) ISO 8573 standards which will bring the SME partners to the forefront of oil contamination detection for the compressed air industry. This product is expected to drastically improve the competitiveness of the European Process industry and will enable actual adherence to European and International health, hygiene, and process maintenance standards instead of mere attempts to adhere to these standards, by proving an online verifiable tool.


Compressed air cleaning market

Compressed air is used in a vast variety of industry segments with a stringent requirement for clean, contamination-free air. In hospitals, compressed air is used not only for the vital process of ventilating patients during surgery and in the intensive care unit, but also to operate surgical tools and for a range of technical applications. In industry, compressed air represents a form of energy whose spectrum of applications is unrivalled by any other. Without compressed air, the level of automation typical of modern factories nowadays would be unthinkable. Compressed air is used, among other things, in pneumatic tubes for transporting items, for remote control of valves, and to operate tools.

An increasing number of industries are today requiring higher and higher purity of compressed air due to a number of critical applications and to fulfill regulating standards as ISO 8573. Oil based contaminants are the most widespread problems as they not only severely affect the produce but also severely cause deposit formation and corrosion to the compressed air lines and equipment. Hence their timely detection will have significant benefits across a wide range of industries. DOCA aims to addresses clear and unmet needs in several application sectors. There are obvious windows of opportunities in large market segments for fast, sensitive, reliable, robust, and cost effective identification of oil contaminants in compressed air to class 1 plus levels. This section will describe the market opportunity for a selection of potential applications for the DOCA technology.

The growing need for timely and reliable results from industrial diagnostics in the food processing industry can be illustrated by the more than 3,000 notifications for Food in the EU Rapid Alert System in 2005. Another illustrative example can be taken from the US, where CDC estimates that 76m food-borne illnesses occur annually, leading to 325,000 hospitalisations and 5,000 deaths. As the entire Food supply chain is sensitive, controls and diagnostic applications are needed in and between every step.


Impact for end-users

The end users will be a major beneficiary of the proposed product. A system of online oil contamination validation would firstly completely eliminate the risk of drastic implications on account of non-compliance with the regulatory standards. The implications of non-compliance remains extremely high across the major industrial segments, with varying degree of associated risks. While for the food and pharmaceutical sectors, contaminated air can lead to contaminations of food products and medicines, which if detected in time, can lead to the complete wastage of entire production batches. However in the event of non detection by the product quality assurance standards, immense legal implications could lead to enormous amounts spent in law suits, destruction of brand reputation and even termination of licences. In the healthcare industry, contamination of air supply to ventilators can even endanger risk to human lives. Hence, above all economic benefits, this project ensures complete elimination of the most catastrophic risk for the industry, and hence needs to be seen as a vital safety product assuring risk reduction to industry that no comparable product provides

A key scientific outcome of the project is the DOCA technology patent, having been filed first in Denmark in February 2015 and subsequently followed by an international PCT patent filing in February 2016. The sensor system technology is considered a novel innovation by the Danish patent authorities, and will be a valuable instrument to implement critical and continuous monitoring of contamination of compressed air. It fulfils the requirements for microbial monitoring, and by enabling proactive intervention it will considerably reduce the costs, quality and safety of various industrial processes. Before the patent has been finally processed by the Danish and subsequently PCT patent authorities, it is therefore a major risk for the consortium to communicate fully openly about the technology, and the communication strategy and approach (including this website) reflects this.

Potential markets

The DOCA partners have analyzed the markets that could be opened up with the introduction of the final commercialized DOCA product. The partners have discovered a number of sectors that can be exploited based upon the improved resolution of measurements possible with the new technology. The following list is the result of this analysis:

  1. Hospitals were identified in the early work on the project and still constitute a main potential for the exploitation of the DOCA system. Medical Air for breathing purposes is regarded as a Pharmaceutical Drug and thus subject to the European Pharmacopeia. Since there is always a high demand of breathing air, it is common for medical facilities to produce their own compressed air rather than source it in containers from a medical gases supplier. Given these circumstances, it has so far been rather difficult to measure the content of oil continuously with a direct response. The common practice for the responsible pharmacist has so far been to draw samples and have them processed. Therefore, the public safety consideration for the production of breathing air in hospitals and other care facilities is paramount and having a system available that can improve that notion of safety will be a driving force in the demand for units across the sector.
  2. High purity compressed air is a frequently used source of energy/power in industrial environments, and is a key element in a large variety of industries. It is, as an example, used in pneumatics for driving different types of valves and actuators in the automotive and process industries. It is also used as a gas duster for cleaning electronic components in the electronics and semiconductor industry. Airjet weaving and airjet spinning use com-pressed air for pick insertion and yarn consolidation in the textile industry. Other applications of compressed air include automotive industry spray paint booths, tobacco industry air washers, photographic film manufacturing plants, and clean rooms.  In addition to high purity compressed air requirements in the above mentioned industries, clean compressed air is extremely vital for maintaining cleanliness and hygiene in the food and beverage industries, where contaminations can lead to severe health issues. Compressed air provides the energy source for pneumatic conveyers that transport liquids, powders and moisture sensitive product throughout the plants.  It provides power for pneumatically operated tools and equipment that renders meat products, aerates liquids and mixes granular ingredients. It is used to package, wrap, seal, palletize and label food products prior to storage or shipment.
  3. Care Homes and other care facilities can be grouped together with hospitals to create a health and care market, all of which will be driven by the same considerations.
  4. Fire Service operatives use breathing air on a very regular basis whether in training or on active duty so there is a high level of exposure to compressed air, increasing the risk for this group of workers from contamination at the point of production. The DOCA system would act as a failsafe for these employees and it may be that the involvement of Fire Operatives workers groups and unions will be of benefit in the exploitation of this sector.
  5. Commercial diving operations are mainly based offshore but require the production of vast quantities of breathing air for deep diving and for saturation chambers, where divers can spend many days working in shifts on the sea-bed.
  6. Diving centres such as coastal diving holiday destinations. This will also apply to many of the quarries and lakes where diving training is conducted and where breathing air is supplied on a commercial basis
  7. Large diving clubs. Whilst the cost of the DOCA system may be prohibitive to many smaller diving clubs, there is a potential to supply this system to larger centres based in busy tourist destinations where there are a lot of visiting members
  8. Industrial applications where breathing apparatus is required as a safety measure. This sector will include such tasks as paint spraying, confined space entry operations, chemical processing, oil and gas and underground services maintenance


Both PAJ Group, CMS and Castle Group have a network of distributors worldwide who will be involved in the exploitation of the results of the DOCA project when finalised. All 3 SMEs have global distribution partners and commercial strengths within some of the different targeted market segments. CAS and CMS are, for example, strong within Hospitals, whereas PAJ has partners and potential customers within, for example, the global Compressor industry. The way to market will thus be a combination of sales via distributors combined with selling directly to compressor OEMs and hospitals (at least initially). The partners will also attend Trade Shows, and have marketing campaigns and also use training sessions as sales channels.

Castle, CMS and PAJ today already carry out a series of marketing campaigns throughout the year for existing products, and the DOCA sensor will be included in these campaigns when appropriate. These are carried out by a combination of mailings, email shots, advertising and press releases.