All of Beko Technologies’ UK service personnel have been successful in gaining the full qualifications for the safe handling of refrigerants - J11-F Gas Cat1.
The British Fluid Power Association (BFPA) has introduced a new practical, workshop-based course titled ‘The BFPA Hose Assembly Skills Training Programme’. Following in logical succession to the Association’s complementary ‘Foundation Course in Working Safely with Hydraulic Hose and Connectors’ launched in January 2010, the Skills Course takes this basic level of knowledge and trains to a fully assessed level of ability in hose assembly techniques.
1987 - Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), earned $1.5 billion in 1986, the second - best performance in British manufacturing history. The company was independent from 1926 to 2008.
Retirement age has been scrapped. From 6 April employers will no longer be able to compulsorily retire employees using the default retirement age (DRA) unless the default age can be objectively justified.
The world's foremost technology event, Hannover Messe 2011, ended with the best outcome in 10 years, according to the event organiser, Deutsche Messe. "This year's event in Hannover has given industry a real boost, powering it up to drive the economic recovery”, commented Deutsche Messe managing board chairman Dr. Wolfram von Fritsch at the end-of-show press conference. "This Hannover Messe has generated even more momentum for industry as the force behind the economic upswing." Over 6500 businesses from 65 countries came to Hannover to display their solutions.
Warwick University is bidding to become the first UK university to set up a campus in the United States. Although there have been many partnerships between UK and US universities the Higher Education Statistics Agency, says there has not been a campus set up by a UK university in the US.
EXCELL-ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS TEST FACILITY OPEN WEEK – FOAM COMPACTION
It’s now over a decade since HPC KAESER introduced its SIGMA Control internal compressor controller - the “PC in a compressor.” The integration of an industrial PC as standard in every energy efficient rotary screw compressor not only enabled cost-effective control, but also allowed networking capability between individual units and with master control systems. This breakthrough provided the keystone for today’s integrated system approach to compressed air production by enabling continuous advances in energy performance and improved reliability of complex compressed air systems.
Specialist gas burner manufacturer Lanemark International Ltd. has announced a major development to its business activity in China with its largest burner supply contract into the country to date. Lanemark Combustion Equipment (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. has recently been established and is jointly owned with Pacific Central Teknik PTE Ltd., Lanemark’s long-term agent in Singapore, to supply process gas burner equipment for tank and air heating applications to customers throughout China.
Quentin Willson, well known columnist and TV presenter, presented MPs with letters from the Fair Fuel UK Campaign.
Minister for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, John Hayes, visited Bentley Motors’ Pyms Lane headquarters in Crewe recently to meet some of the Company’s outstanding apprentices who maintain the high luxury automotive Company’s reputation for excellence.
Despite the short month and adverse weather, December results from the MTA’s monthly survey of members show increased order intake and invoiced sales in UK’s manufacturing technology sector, setting a positive tone for 2011.
A continued strong performance from the UK’s manufacturing sector spurred on by solid growth in export orders, particularly to emerging markets, is set to lead the continuing economic recovery in 2011, according to a major report published in January.
British manufacturing is poised to fill the growth gap as the public sector plays a smaller role in the economy. It is well placed to respond to the Prime Minister's call to 'create and innovate; invest and grow' according to a major report and survey of 300 companies published last month.
The Royal Academy of Engineering is now hosting the new Technician Council, a joint initiative intended to raise the profile of Technicians in the UK. It includes members of the engineering, science, ICT and health communities and is funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). The Technician Council is chaired by National Grid Chief Executive Steve Holliday FREng and had its first meeting in July. The Council was formed in response to the findings of a group, led by Lord Sainsbury, that included The Gatsby Charitable Foundation, The Engineering Council, The Science Council, EngineeringUK, the Department of Health, The Royal Academy of Engineering, the National Apprenticeship Service, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and others to develop and secure the UK's STEM based sectors by encouraging the training, support, development and recognition of Technicians. The Further Education team at BIS is encouraging the Technician Council to provide a catalyst for the engineering science, ICT and health communities in their work to provide opportunities for progression for people in vocational occupations, and upskilling the workforce. All have a keen interest in the career development of hundreds of thousands of skilled and semi-skilled employees and by working together will ensure that technicians know which qualifications are in demand, and where to find employers that require them. Technician Council chair Steve Holliday FREng said: "As the chief executive of National Grid I am only too aware of how important technicians are to the success of our business. I am delighted to have been asked to chair the Technician Council. I look forward to working with other key stakeholders to build a framework for a modern class of technician to ensure that this critical role in the workplace is more widely recognised and respected. "I am particularly keen to ensure that young people have a better understanding of what technicians do and the rewards that training to be one brings them."
New advanced technology safety testing instrumentation has been developed for multiple standards, production line and type testing applications in the avionics, appliance, lighting, defence and similar electronics manufacturing sectors. The new Clare HAL 104 http://www.clare.co.uk/hal104 from Seaward combines the performance of a multi-function production line safety tester with load and power factor measurement for product energy consumption and ratings assessments. Part of a new and extended range of specialist HAL electrical safety testing instrumentation, this highly versatile all in one tester has been specially designed for the fast and accurate electrical tests required by modern electronic manufacturing environments. As well as incorporating key functional checks, the new HAL104 meets the end of line electrical safety compliance tests required by the majority of national and international product safety standards. As well as load and power functional tests, the new tester incorporates AC/DC Hipot (flash / dielectric strength), insulation, ground/earth bond testing to 40A, load switching to 30A with measurement to 100 millaAmps and leakage to 100 microAmps. The new tester has widespread applications in the lighting, appliance and electrical/electronics manufacturing sector – and particularly in those production situations where high resolution performance measurements are important such as LED products in low energy lighting applications and PV solar panels. The HAL104 can be used as a manual stand alone tester with simple push button test activation or can be fully integrated into automated manufacturing systems with selectable sensors and enclosure interlocks, or by ultimate control using remote PCs and PLCs. A large, clear full graphic display presents information either in a numerical or analogue format and a powerful internal memory allows the storage of up to 6,000 test results and up to 20 configurable test routines. The instrument can also be interfaced with a variety of accessories ranging from bar code scanners to pass/fail label printers. The new HAL104 meets all of the requirements of the various British and European standards in relation to high voltage testing and incorporates fully isolated high voltage outputs to ensure the highest levels of operator safety.
A not-for-profit small business support group is urging firms to take part in a new survey to highlight their experiences of dealing with the banks. The Forum of Private Business is hosting the questionnaire on behalf of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in an effort to find out how business owners are being treated by the major lenders. The move comes after new figures from the British Bankers’ Association, which show bank lending to businesses fell again last month, placed fresh scrutiny on the relationships between banks and smaller companies. The Forum hopes as many small firms as possible will take part in the online survey in order to provide the OFT with clear evidence of bank-related problems and difficulties facing business owners. The Forum’s research manager, Thomas Parry, said: “Clearly, the issue of the way banks treat small firms has received an enormous amount of attention recently and sparked a lot of debate. “One the one hand, groups like the Forum have been arguing that viable smaller firms are being unjustifiably denied credit, or offered it at an extortionate cost, by risk-averse banks which often don’t understand their needs. “On the other hand, the banks and their industry groups have claimed that lending is down simply because demand is down and they are doing everything they can to increase the flow of finance to business. There is also a wider debate about competition between banks, with some critics arguing that smaller firms, particularly in Scotland, face a limited amount of choice in the marketplace. “We hope this survey will provide the OFT with clear, empirical evidence and reinforce the valid concerns many small business owners have over their relationships with their banks, and the banking industry in general.” The survey can be accessed via the shortened URL www.bit.ly/cPVVcf and should only take a few minutes to complete. It is open to all SMEs, is completely confidential and asks businesses’ views on a range of banking issues, including switching between banks and what financial services they use. The survey is being carried out as part of the OFT’s ongoing review of barriers to entry, expansion and exit in retail banking.
One of the UK’s largest purchasers of energy, has called on Chris Huhne to ‘listen to his party’ and get behind nuclear energy. The call comes on the back of a recent Liberal Democrat Voice poll* which revealed 68% of Lib Dem members back nuclear as part of the UK’s energy mix. M&C Energy Group’s energy analyst, David Hunter, commented: “Chris Huhne’s historic opposition to nuclear is well-documented, however it seems that grass roots Lib Dem members are falling in line with wider public support for nuclear.” In the poll, more than a quarter of respondents even went so far as giving the green light to public subsidy to kick-start the much-needed nuclear new build. M&C, which has been calling for ‘immediate action’ to secure the UK’s energy future, believes that Mr Huhne must now put aside his own personal objection to nuclear and take necessary action. Hunter added: “The challenge is gargantuan and the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change must now take the lead to stimulate nuclear new build. OFGEM, the industry regulator, estimates that £200 billion of investment needs to be found in the next decade to secure Britain’s energy future. If getting the ’green light’ by members gives Huhne permission to press ahead then he needs to do so and fast or the UK will fall further behind in the race to light and heat Britain.” Hunter also expressed concern at what he refers to as the marginalisation of Scotland, which is still committed to eliminating nuclear power north of the border. He concluded: “In an ideal world, we would switch to 100% renewable energy sources, unfortunately this is not practical. If Huhne can accept that then the Scottish Government should also ‘sanity check’ their energy policy to ensure Scotland isn’t left literally in the dark.” http://www.libdemvoice.org/ldv-survey-68-of-lib-dem-members-back-nuclear-as-party-of-uks-energy-mix-20894.html
Britain ’s manufacturers are continuing to report buoyant trading conditions on the back of rising demand in overseas markets, pointing to good prospects for growth in 2010 according to a major survey published by EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation and BDO LLP. The third quarter EEF/BDO ‘Manufacturing Outlook’ report reveals that recovery, which began at the end of last year, has been sustained with output and orders balances reaching record levels for the second quarter in succession. This performance continues to be driven by the strength of overseas markets, with new analysis published by EEF showing a close relationship between exposure to export markets and company performance. Greater confidence across the sector is also continuing to translate into some recruitment, albeit this is being driven by temporary or agency working which will give employers flexibility should demand begin to slow. Uncertainty about future demand had been dampening investment plans, but a number of sectors are now planning to increase in investment. The positive investment intentions posted this quarter breaks the pattern of previous recessions by recovering at an earlier stage in the cycle. However, the short-term optimism highlighted by EEF’s survey is shaded with a degree of caution about the risks to growth in 2011, as fiscal consolidation gets underway in the UK and others follow suit. Commenting, EEF chief economist, Ms Lee Hopley, said: “Manufacturers have continued to reap the rewards of growth in overseas markets with the upswing being felt across all sectors and regions. Not only has this continued to translate into better employment prospects but the recovery in investment has begun much earlier in the cycle than after previous recessions. “However, we have to maintain perspective that the recovery is coming from a very low base and the risks to the economy in the medium term haven’t gone away. The rebound in exports and modest improvement in investment will need to become much more firmly entrenched if we are to see a much-needed rebalancing of the economy.” Tom Lawton, head of manufacturing, BDO LLP, commented: "The sector has shown seen a significant upturn since the dark days of the recession and this quarter's results show continued growth in output and orders and more expected for the next quarter, mostly driven by the restocking across most sectors of industry and exports. “This quarter results show more optimism around two key indicators which have been lagging behind the general good news of the sector in recent surveys, being employment and investment. This is excellent news but much more will be needed to enable manufacturing to compete in the space where we have a competitive advantage - innovation, research and development, excellent customer service and fast response to emerging trends." Over the last three months, output and new order balances were +33% and +35% respectively, both record levels since the survey began in 1995 which suggests growth in manufacturing output should at least continue into the next quarter. This growth has been driven largely by export markets (+30%), where Europe in particular turned out to be stronger than expected. While the domestic order balance weakened slightly, the balance of +20% is still above its long term average. Furthermore, growth continued to be broad based across all regions and sectors. The survey was also notable for two other factors. Firstly, the balance of companies recruiting almost doubled in the last three months to +17%, the strongest in the survey’s history. Secondly, the investment balance turned positive to +7% for the first time since 2008 q2. Compared with previous recessions, where investment balances have tended to lag behind increases in output by over a year, this is a somewhat faster recovery in capital expenditure intentions and signals that companies are becoming more confident to begin investing in plant and machinery. Looking forward, expectations about future prospects remain positive, with a balance of 27% of companies expecting output to increase in the next three months, and 22% expecting orders to expand. Both of these balances are higher than the previous quarter’s figures suggesting there is confidence that the recovery will continue into the next quarter at least. EEF also published its latest forecasts for the UK economy and manufacturing. These show the economy growing by 1.5% and 2.1% in 2010 and 2011 respectively while manufacturing will grow by 3.7% in 2010 before easing back slightly to 3.2% in 2011.
The VIBXPERT II handheld vibration analyser, from Pruftechnik combines the advantages of a rapid processor with an energy-efficient colour VGA display. Enhanced with an Fmax of 51KHz and up to 102,400 Lines of Resolution, all machinery problems can be captured and easily analysed on the VIBXPERT II large colour screen. The VIBXPERT II Basic platform is a 1-channel vibration data collector, which can be upgraded at any time to 2 individually configured channels via a special pass code it’s user upgradable and does not require hardware changes. All forms of machine vibrations, bearing conditions, process data and visual inspection information can be collected and stored on the expandable Compact Flash Card (up to 8 gigabyte) for report generation or for later transfer to the OMNITREND software for further analysis, reporting and archiving. The VIBXPERT II vibration analyser provides an easy-to-use icon driven platform that offers comprehensive analysis functionality for the diagnosis of simple or very complex vibration problems. Capabilities include order spectrum, phase, cepstrum, cross-channel phase, orbits, run-up and coast-down measurements, bump test, negative averaging and more. Analysis tools, including various cursor types, machine-specific frequency markers, signal post processing, and extensive bearing databases are included for evaluating each spectrum. Alarm notifications based on ISO standards or user-defined standards are visually identified with the aid of coloured LEDs. The lightweight VIBXPERT II (1.2Kg) has a robust housing, and is also dustproof and water-resistant (IP65). Pruftechnik says the new VIBXPERT II also benefits from free updates, low ownership cost and unlimited tech support. Option are available. For further information please visit: www.pruftechnik.com
UHP water jetting is the most powerful and environmentally sensitive cleaning techniques available to industry. When used in conjunction with specialist tooling and accessories water jetting can be the most effective solution in a diverse range of applications including surface preparation, tank and vessel cleaning and cold cutting.
Companies and associations from the private and public sector, including some of Europe's most well known companies, have joined forces with the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) in the new Healthy Workplaces Campaign 2010/11 on safe maintenance.
TWI Ltd, the independent joining technologies research centre, has solved a persistent dust problem with the installation of a new AirBench FN.
Industry professionals were able to gain the broadest insight concerning what industry solutions are currently available on the market at the recent Plant & Works, Drives & Controls, Air-Tech and IFPEX Exhibitions at the NEC, Birmingham between 8-10 June 2010.
Jeremy Salisbury of Brammer, examines the issues surrounding maintaining the purity and performance of compressed air systems.
As a plant or maintenance engineer one has to deal with countless technologies, from boilers to robotics and bearings to valves. As a result, it isn't always easy to stay on top of the current best practice with regard to each one. The variable speed drive (VSD) is one such technology that, once understood and applied, provides remarkable energy savings and impressive financial ROI (Return On Investment). But how can you predict the level of savings that will be delivered in advance? What"s the best argument to present to the board to obtain funding? And how can you ensure that those energy savings are sustained over the lifetime of the system?
The Racor Division of Parker Hannifin, has launched its latest range of portable purification systems designed to remove water and particulate contamination from diesel efficiently and automatically, significantly improving the performance and service life of a wide range of diesel driven machinery. Developed for use on cleaning fuel tanks, drums, bowsers and power generator and marine applications, the new filter trolleys allow maintenance to be reduced considerably, while also eliminating expensive downtime costs.
The SKF On-line Motor Analysis System - NetEP, is a networked system designed to give ongoing automated evaluation of critical electric motor assets, with data analysis that can be accessed globally at any time via the internet. The system has been developed by Baker Instrument Company (part of the SKF Group) a specialist electric motor management company.
Key management specialist Traka has boosted its product range with the launch of a stand-alone touch-screen system. The Traka Touch is an independent, intelligent device that simplifies key management while improving accuracy and efficiency.
SERV Trayvou Interverrouillage (STI) has launched the NXO1LTC, a new access interlock with personnel key for harsh or corrosive environments. It consists of a lock with two key slots that work on a free key / trapped key basis.
The EMKA IP65 three-digit combination lock and cylinder key swinghandle system offers simple security on two levels. Applications for the 1155 Program include storage lockers in factories, schools and colleges as well as outdoor storage facilities and standard electrical cabinets.
A-Gas (UK) Limited is campaigning to have speciality gas and refrigerant cylinders banned from being sold on Internet auction sites.
Briggs Equipment UK Ltd, a leading national independent service provider and materials handling equipment specialist, has announced a proposal to start a new working partnership with Yale Materials Handling and is now considering the full alignment of its dealership with the on-going global growth strategy of its parent company - Briggs International Inc.
In the words of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations (CDM) 2007 Approved Code of Practice (APoC) "The key aim of CDM2007 is to integrate health and safety into the management of construction work".
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