The new MK5 Cygnus ultrasonic thickness gauge has been awarded an ‘Honourable Mention’ by Red Dot Award for its design excellence in the most important competition for product design.

Earlier this year, Cygnus Instruments Ltd launched its new range of ultrasonic thickness gauges that were designed and manufactured using a twin shot injection moulded enclosure which has a soft but durable TPE outer skin, making them both comfortable and extremely durable, while the inner shell is strong, keeping the electronics totally sealed from the outside environments.

A panel of 38-member jury, from the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2015, awarded Cygnus Instruments with an ‘Honourable Mention’ for its excellent design of these new gauges and particularly well-executed aspect of design work. Products that convinced the jury with a well thought-out design solution are recognized with this distinction. The international experts discussed and assessed each of the 4,928 entries from 56 countries but only the designs that displayed high quality and innovative power were given an award.

Following extensive customer engagement and working within industry standards, Cygnus Instruments developed the new range of ultrasonic thickness gauges which still use the well established multiple-echo technique for error-checked readings through coatings but also incorporates single-echo and echo-echo measuring modes for obtaining measurements in areas of extreme corrosion or back wall pitting. The range has achieved the toughest American Military Standard MIL SPEC 810G for environmental protection and consists of five new models offering an array of new features including:

  • large colour A-scan and B-scan display;
  • two types of data logging options:
    • simple sequential data logging or;
    • comprehensive data logging with features including Grid Format, offering 16 directional formats. Users can also add defined text comments, create templates and add radial measurements around a last logged measurement point;
  • manual gain control;
  • Bluetooth data transfer capability;
  • vibrate alert to warn the operator when the measurement is out of tolerance; and
  • MSITM (Measurement Stability Indicator) which is used in single-echo and echo-echo modes. This clever and simple technique samples returning echoes to ensure they are all identical, if the returning echoes are identical the display changes colour or format which indicates the reading is stable and reliable.


While the new range from Cygnus Instruments offers many new features, the simple to use menu structure means that these gauges are quick to learn and simple to use.


Cygnus Instruments was founded in 1983 by George Edes who pioneered the digital multiple-echo technique used for measuring remaining metal thickness without the need to remove protective coatings.

Now the leading manufacturer of multiple-echo ultrasonic thickness gauges, the multiple-echo technique has long since been the industry standard and has been approved by the major classification societies.

Driven by the need for an instrument range to fulfill a wider range of applications, Cygnus has recently extended its range of thickness gauges to include Echo-Echo and Single-Echo measuring modes to expand even further the usability of Cygnus gauges.


In order to appraise the diversity in the field of design in a professional manner, the Red Dot Design Award breaks down into the three disciplines of Red Dot Award: Product Design, Red Dot Award: Communication Design and Red Dot Award: Design Concept.

The Red Dot Award was created by Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen and with around 17,000 entries each year is one of the best-respected design competitions in the world. In 2015, it is celebrating its 60th anniversary: it was in 1955 that a jury convened for the first time to assess the best designs of the day .The sought-after award, the ‘Red Dot’, is the revered international seal of outstanding design quality.

Award-winning designers, manufacturers and agencies use the Red Dot winner label and receive numerous other winners’ privileges, such as the presentation of the award-winning product on Red Dot Online, in the Red Dot Design Yearbook, the Red Dot App and on Red Dot 21. Additionally, the winning products are communicated in the international PR activities of Red Dot and exhibited in the Red Dot Design Museum Essen for a whole year.