Manufacturers see the performance of their maintenance function as crucial in the fight to remain competitive. This is the clear message in the results of a new survey conducted by Benchmark Research.

Fluke, the handheld electronic test and measurement equipment manufacturer, has reduced the recommended prices of its Fluke Ti25, TiR and TiR1 Thermal Imagers for a limited period, until 30th September 2010. The Ti25 is reduced from £4846 to £4199, the TiR from £3230 to £2799, and the TiR1 from £4846 to £3799.

Holroyd Instruments says that speed-of-use, simplicity and cost-effectiveness distinguish its MHC range of condition monitoring instruments, which has led to their widespread use across all industrial sectors. The company exhibited its MHC range of portable instruments at the recent Plant & Works Exhibition, which enable instant assessment and trending of machine degradation on both normal and slow speed machinery. The same instruments also provide a quick and sensitive means of detecting leaks in compressed air systems.

GDO Engineering Services has been appointed as a distributor for UK based C-Cubed Limited, who this year launched its Pocket Lube product to complement Pocket VibrA Pro, the low cost, easy to use portable vibration analyser for predictive maintenance.

Many structures require some degree of piping system maintenance.  As an example, strainers are changed out monthly, weekly and, in some systems, daily.  Turbulence and strainer clogs, which can lead to floating debris in the system, can cause heavy wear on pumps and reduce the efficiency and life of the equipment. Bearings and impellers also suffer from erosion over time and may need to be replaced.  In addition, lines of pipe may become corrupt and require maintenance or replacement.  All of these maintenance concerns are easily addressed in mechanical pipe joining systems. 

Fire prevention is a big issue in production engineering and manufacturing, particularly where the application of heat is an integral part of the process. However, not only are the requirements of each plant different but within each plant there are multiple applications that demand unique measures for detection, suppression and control. Here Chad Relf, of fire safety system specialists Industrial Design Ltd, outlines some typical applications from the food and beverage, automotive and tobacco sectors and explains how to achieve effective detection and fire extinguishant in each case. 

Free interactive machinery safety training workshops, which have been specifically developed to make suppliers and users of machinery aware of their legal obligations in relation to machine safety and to provide practical advice on how best to meet those obligations, are now being offered by Laidler Associates, part of the Laidler Group.

Casella CEL's TUFF range of Personal Air Sampling Pumps for use in harsh monitoring environments, has gained ATEX (and IECEx) Intrinsically Safe approval for use in flammable atmospheres. This means the TUFF pumps can be used at hazardous plants and production sites where there is a potential risk of explosive dust or gas.

Safety Media has launched SME E-Learning, an E-Learning product specifically for companies with fewer than 50 employees.

Safety Media has launched SME E-Learning, an E-Learning product specifically for companies with fewer than 50 employees.

The Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) has launched a new scheme that will offer universal access to its training courses on the test, examination and maintenance of overhead lifting equipment. Designed to help address the worldwide shortage of skilled overhead lifting equipment engineers, the LEEA's individual trainee programme is open to anyone interested in pursuing a career in this field, regardless of whether they are currently employed by a LEEA member company.

The approach to supply chain optimisation has traditionally focused on one piece of the puzzle at a time. These can include sourcing goods and services strategically to strike a balance between lowest material and transportation costs; maintaining the right mix and location of factories and warehouses to serve customer markets; and, using traditional logistics techniques to maximize distribution efficiency.

DSV is a global transport and logistics specialist with offices in over 50 countries. The company has been testing three of Crown's new WT 3000 rider pallet trucks at their Neufahrn site near Munich. Neufahrn is a high-volume distribution hub for one of Germany"s leading pharmaceutical retailers, turning over 1700 pallets during each two-shift working day between 6.00 a.m. and 1.00 a.m.

Contract packing specialist Flexpac called upon Atlet to help optimise performance and efficiency in its new warehouse.  By specifying a mixture of single and double-deep racking served by an Atlet ATF ride-on extending fork reach truck, the warehouse design and layout offers the right combination of storage capacity, load selectivity and throughput to support Flexpac's successful and growing business.
"We were picking a warehouse solution and a lift truck to work it”, says Andrew Holmes, managing director at Flexpac. "You rely on the experts to give you what you need. We said this is what we want to do, now find us a truck and Atlet offered the best for our requirement."

Impress Group, a leading global producer of metal packaging solutions, for consumer goods, has upgraded the materials handling equipment at its aerosol factory in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, with the acquisition of a fleet of 15 counterbalanced trucks and one pedestrian stacker from Jungheinrich. Impress took delivery of the trucks at a special hand-over ceremony and demonstration, at the Merthyr Tydfil site, on 25 June. Local dignitaries and senior management personnel from Impress and Jungheinrich attended.

When the Black Sheep Brewery invested in a new cask line four years ago they opted for a Boge SD 40 screw compressor to power the cask filling process.  Four years on and the SD 40 continues to provide the Black Sheep Brewery with a reliable and efficient supply of compressed air.

At Air-Tech 2010, CompAir exhibited models from its range of rotary screw and Hydrovane compressors. Technical experts were on hand throughout the show to advise on the different options available to businesses keen to improve environmental performance and increase production efficiencies.

In order to help businesses improve the energy efficiency of their compressed air systems, rotary vane compressor manufacturer Mattei launched a leak detection and repair service earlier this year, headed up by business development manager John Taylor.

A major feature of the Atlas Copco Compressors stand at The Energy Event 2010 will be its Carbon Zero range of air compressors. These compressors are equipped with advanced heat recovery systems capable of recovering 100% of electrical energy input. Other energy-efficient solutions on show will include the redesigned, small footprint GA 5-15 VSD compressor range, the latest additions to the FD family of refrigerant dryers and details of free health check air audits.

Technical plastic moulder A K Industries (AKI) of Hereford has been working with the product innovation facilitator Pera to research and develop the Lowheat industrial and commercial heat recovery unit with EU funding. This has been a consortium project delivered in the form of a "pre-competitive, proof-of-principle prototype” by the Mechatronics team within the UK Intelligent Systems Research Institute (www.uk-isri.org), part of the Pera Innovation Network. The patent is pending, with the intellectual property currently in the name of the CIPHE (visit www.lowheat.iphe.org.uk). PWE reports.

Hertel, the global industrial services provider, has expanded into Australia with the acquisition of Perth-based Modern Industries Pty Ltd. The company will be known as Hertel Modern.

Severn Trent Services-Apliclor, a supplier of water and wastewater treatment solutions, has been selected to design and install a new disinfection system for the Iznájar Drinking Water Treatment Station, which supplies 235,000 residents in the Spanish province of Cordoba. The system uses Aquadiox chlorine dioxide generators to produce chlorine dioxide on site, providing residual disinfection to prevent bacteria from forming in the distribution network. The new disinfection system, due to be completed by the end of 2010, will improve water disinfection and enable a doubling of water treatment capacity, from 51,840 m³/day to 103,680 m³/day. The contract, which also includes upgrading the existing chlorine gas dosing equipment, is valued at €370,000 (USD $493,000).

Equality Minister Lynne Featherstone has called for more women to work in the key sectors of science, engineering and technology (SET) at the launch of a new report at Westminster.

Despite expectations that the pound will remain weak against the US dollar and Euro for the foreseeable future, small and medium-sized enterprises in the manufacturing sector are failing to take advantage of the current favourable export environment, according to a study released today by GE Capital.

The Prime Minister's plans to transform the economy with a greater role for manufacturing have been welcomed by the IET, Europe"s largest engineering organisation.

Almost half the small businesses surveyed by the Forum of Private Business are pleasantly surprised by the Budget. 

Five companies have been ordered to pay £9.5 million for their part in the 2005 fire and explosion at the Buncefield Oil Storage Depot, in Hertfordshire.

The recession has focused minds on the need to increase productivity and reduce labour costs in the warehouse environment, especially when it comes to the order picking process.  In particular pick-to-parts order picking methods result in low productivity as order pickers spend an excessive amount of time travelling along the aisles.  In order to enhance the order picking process and reduce travelling time, many companies are now adopting the concept of dynamic storage.

The materials handling industry is beginning to shrug off the effects of the global recession.

MachineBuilding.net has published the fourth edition of its popular free Guide to the New Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. This is the first new edition since the Machinery Directive came into force on 29 December 2009 and the Official guidance was published. This latest edition benefits from additional guidance relating to the detail contained in the new Directive, together with updated web links and an expanded section for sources of further information.

The British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) has awarded its Product Innovation Award to VeriPRO, the earplug fit testing system from Howard Leight by Sperian. The Award, which is designed to recognise excellence and innovation within the safety industry, was presented at the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards Gala Dinner held during Safety and Health Expo 2010.
VeriPRO makes it easy to determine the Personal Attenuation Rating (PAR) of a worker fitted with any earplugs through a simple listening test. This allows both safety managers and workers to ascertain if the worker receives optimal protection from noise with their earplugs, requires additional training, or needs to try a different model.
"Hearing conservation is an area that we are passionate about”, said Josephine Audoin, marketing manager for Sperian Protection UK. "We are delighted that the genuine innovation demonstrated by VeriPRO has been recognised by the British safety community."
A report recently issued by the HSE entitled Real World Use and Performance of Hearing Protection gave a positive indication about the availability of appropriate Hearing Protection Devices (HPDs) in the UK. However, it also reported that "possibly only 60% of workers supposedly using hearing protection are in fact protected”. One of the major reasons for this (and this applies particularly to ear plugs) is that the HPD is incorrectly fitted. Another concern for employers is the weakness of the Single Number Rating (SNR) system in regards to the specification of earplugs. The SNR system only provides a theoretical level of hearing protection as opposed to an actual measurement of protection.
To help combat these issues, Howard Leight by Sperian developed VeriPRO. VeriPRO benefits those that manage safety and employees alike. For the safety professional, occupational health manager or site manager it fulfils European Directive 2003/10/EC requirements for training. For employees, VeriPRO demonstrates the importance of hearing protection in the workplace, and helps employees select and compare protectors to find the best choice for their ears and specific applications.
Unlike other field verification systems, VeriPRO can be used with any earplug, and the tests performed in virtually any setting. VeriPRO offers two test protocols. The complete check runs employees through five frequencies to determine PAR and is recommended for annual use. The Quick Check is a simplified test of earplug fit at one frequency, used as a fast and easy pass/fail check for more frequent use.
The VeriPRO package consists of PC-based software, an audiometrically optimised headset, audio processor, QuickStart guide and USB cable.

Liquefied Petroleum Gas is well known as being the cleanest off grid fossil fuel, but what about the companies behind the LPG brands?  Flogas has taken the lead in the industry by becoming the first non-mains energy company, and one of only around 250 businesses in the UK, to be awarded the Carbon Trust Standard as a result of work carried out to improving its carbon efficiency by 18.8%.

April saw the long awaited advent of the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme within the UK. 

Since the "baby “ of the Combilift fleet - the compact Combi-CB - was successfully launched two years ago, managing director Martin McVicar and technical director Robert Moffett have turned their attention to bigger things and have developed the  largest ever Combilift 4-way forklift built to date – the 25 tonne capacity C25,000 model with dimensions of around 5 x 5m, and an unladen weight of 32t and a 127kW engine. The second new product is the Combilift Straddle Carrier, designed to offer a very cost effective solution for haulage, distribution and shipping operations even with relatively low throughput levels. This 35t capacity vehicle offers complete independence for the transportation of containers and similarly oversized loads around a site.

Located above the 70th northern parallel in northern Norway, Macks Ølbryggeri  AS is the world's most northerly brewer.
The company, which supplies a range of beers and soft drinks to bars and retailers throughout Norway, has recently upgraded the forklift fleet at its warehouse with Jungheinrich DFG 425-435s IC engine counterbalanced trucks.
Capable of lifting loads weighing up to 3500 kg, Macks Ølbryggeri"s new forklifts are equipped with multi pallet handlers that enable several pallet loads to be handled simultaneously.
Winter temperatures plummet to below -40 degrees C in northern Norway  and because the trucks spend a good deal of time outside unloading and loading trailers, Macks Ølbryggeri needed forklifts that not only offer high throughput speeds but are also capable of working in snow and ice.
The Jungheinrich DFG 425-435s models feature hydrostatic drive which means they are particularly suited to highly intensive materials handling operations and applications involving a lot of "shuttling” operations - such as lorry loading and unloading in and around a busy warehouse or yard – making them ideal for Macks Ølbryggeri’s needs.

Hovair air film technology by Movetech UK, combined with new flooring from Sika UK, has provided London & Cambridge Properties (LCP) with a practical and cost-effective solution to LCP's need to double capacity at their specialist warehousing facility at Burntwood Business Park, Burntwood, Staffordshire.

Since the "baby “ of the Combilift fleet - the compact Combi-CB - was successfully launched two years ago, managing director Martin McVicar and technical director Robert Moffett have turned their attention to bigger things and have developed the  largest ever Combilift 4-way forklift built to date – the 25 tonne capacity C25,000 model with dimensions of around 5 x 5m, and an unladen weight of 32t and a 127kW engine. The second new product is the Combilift Straddle Carrier, designed to offer a very cost effective solution for haulage, distribution and shipping operations even with relatively low throughput levels. This 35t capacity vehicle offers complete independence for the transportation of containers and similarly oversized loads around a site.

In Britain some 170,000 people suffer deafness, tinnitus or other ear conditions as a result of exposure to harmful levels of noise at work.  As most traditional hearing protection devices are designed to block out all sound, useful signals such as voices may not be heard which encourages users to remove the protection and expose themselves to potentially damaging noise levels. Noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) caused at work is preventable but hearing damage is permanent.

Well-managed organisations are being encouraged to find out if their health and safety is as good as they think it might be.

NEBOSH launches Certificate in the Management of Health and Well-being at Work

Wolf Safety Lamp Company's new ATEX approved Wolflite XT Handlamp

The recession has focused minds on the need to increase productivity and reduce labour costs in the warehouse environment, especially when it comes to the order picking process.  In particular pick-to-parts order picking methods result in low productivity as order pickers spend an excessive amount of time travelling along the aisles.  In order to enhance the order picking process and reduce travelling time, many companies are now adopting the concept of dynamic storage.

Located above the 70th northern parallel in northern Norway, Macks Ølbryggeri  AS is the world's most northerly brewer.
The company, which supplies a range of beers and soft drinks to bars and retailers throughout Norway, has recently upgraded the forklift fleet at its warehouse with Jungheinrich DFG 425-435s IC engine counterbalanced trucks.
Capable of lifting loads weighing up to 3500 kg, Macks Ølbryggeri"s new forklifts are equipped with multi pallet handlers that enable several pallet loads to be handled simultaneously.
Winter temperatures plummet to below -40 degrees C in northern Norway  and because the trucks spend a good deal of time outside unloading and loading trailers, Macks Ølbryggeri needed forklifts that not only offer high throughput speeds but are also capable of working in snow and ice.
The Jungheinrich DFG 425-435s models feature hydrostatic drive which means they are particularly suited to highly intensive materials handling operations and applications involving a lot of "shuttling” operations - such as lorry loading and unloading in and around a busy warehouse or yard – making them ideal for Macks Ølbryggeri’s needs.

Hovair air film technology by Movetech UK, combined with new flooring from Sika UK, has provided London & Cambridge Properties (LCP) with a practical and cost-effective solution to LCP's need to double capacity at their specialist warehousing facility at Burntwood Business Park, Burntwood, Staffordshire.

Liquefied Petroleum Gas is well known as being the cleanest off grid fossil fuel, but what about the companies behind the LPG brands?  Flogas has taken the lead in the industry by becoming the first non-mains energy company, and one of only around 250 businesses in the UK, to be awarded the Carbon Trust Standard as a result of work carried out to improving its carbon efficiency by 18.8%.

April saw the long awaited advent of the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme within the UK. 

GYS, the French welding equipment and battery charger manufacturer, has launched GYSMI TIG 207 HF AC/DC, a new flexible voltage welding machine. It can operate on any voltage in the range 85V to 265V and combined with its PFC (Power Factor Correction) the machine is extremely resilient to sub optimal power supplies, either from a generator or long extension leads.

Polymer specialist igus has developed a new tooling method for injection moulding which can get custom designed parts delivered in less than 24hrs. As there are no minimum order quantities, speedigus is suitable for one offs, prototyping, low volumes and bridge tooling.

Brammer, supplier of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) products and services, has reminded UK manufacturing companies of the threat posed by counterfeit engineering spares and the importance of only sourcing spares through authorised distributors.
The timely advice follows a recent court order in France, which saw a distributor hit with swingeing fines after being found guilty of selling counterfeit SKF bearings.
This incident was the latest in a series of recent counterfeit bearing seizures by the authorities across Europe. Brammer is warning companies in all industry sectors to be cautious when sourcing bearings, and other engineering components, as the increasing rate of seizure indicates a growing threat from counterfeiters seeking to exploit these challenging economic times.
Jeremy Salisbury of Brammer commented: "The threat from counterfeit bearings seems to be increasing and given the problems these products can create in terms of unscheduled downtime, reduced performance, damage to machinery, invalidation of warranty and the risk to employee health and safety, it is simply not worth the risk of buying through an unauthorised source.
“All major manufacturers of bearings and other engineering spares recommend that customers source their products through their network of authorised distributors to ensure they are getting products supplied direct from the manufacturer, guaranteeing their authenticity, that they are to the latest specification and meaning they perform to the performance levels required.
“The potential impact on production uptime, equipment operational effectiveness and employee health and safety from using counterfeit products far outweighs any initial cost saving achieved through purchasing via an unauthorised source.”
Brammer is an authorised distributor of bearings for leading manufacturers including SKF, NSK, Timken, Schaeffler and Cooper.

For further information please visit: www.brammer.co.uk

AxFlow says its service centre in Huddersfield now holds a wide range of single spring and cartridge mechanical seals in stock for immediate delivery. In addition the company is also running an extensive mechanical seal service and repair operation with facilities for cleaning, lapping, re-assembly and shaft mounting using laser alignment technology.
AxFlow managing director Tony Peters reports an increasing number of its customers are now taking advantage of the company's facilities for replacing existing sealing arrangements with AxFlow"s own single spring and cartridge seals when having their pumps serviced: "AxFlow cartridge seals have all the components pre-mounted on a shaft sleeve, making installation and removal simple tasks.” Peters added: “We can build the cartridge unit to match the application for the pump and its operating conditions. Having seen this side of the business growing steadily, through pump repair and servicing, we are now offering mechanical seals as a mainstream activity.”

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