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UK engineers to develop autonomous electric street sweeper

15 September 2017

The autonomous vehicle arm of Midlands sports car manufacturer Westfield has announced plans to develop the UK’s first fully autonomous pure-electric road sweeper.

The company, which is behind the pod technology in use at Heathrow Terminal 5 and also involved in the TRL-funded GATEway research project, will be joining forces with outdoor cleaning specialist Johnston Sweepers and machine vision expert Fusion Processing Ltd to develop an entirely new vehicle.

Source: https://www.theengineer.co.uk/autonomous-electric-street-sweeper/

Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology opens its doors to first undergraduates

14 September 2017

Today, engineering undergraduates begin their degree studies at the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology on the Dyson technology campus in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. Over 850 students applied for 25 places on the course and due to the exceptionally high calibre of candidates, 33 Undergraduate Engineers were accepted onto the four-year engineering degree.

Sources: www.eurekamagazine.co.uk/design-engineering-news/dyson-institute-of-engineering-and-technology-opens-its-doors-to-first-undergraduates/160670/

Two potential UK Hyperloop routes race ahead in global competition

15 September 2017

Hyperloop systems reaching 1,200km/h could potentially run on two UK routes after proposals succeeded in a global challenge.

Sources: www.imeche.org/news/news-article/two-potential-uk-hyperloop-routes-race-ahead-in-global-competition

 

 

GKN picks aerospace specialist as new chief executive

14 September 2017

GKN has appointed the head of its aerospace division as successor to chief executive Nigel Stein, a move which signals the challenges ahead for the automotive and aerospace components manufacturer.

Sources: www.ft.com/content/d3d5023c-9927-11e7-a652-cde3f882dd7b

Tufnol Supplies Queensferry Crossing Bridge

12 September 2017

Tufnol Composites has supplied specialist products to the Queensferry Crossing, the new bridge across Scotland’s Firth of Forth estuary.

Sources: netcomposites.com/news/2017/september/12/tufnol-supplies-queensferry-crossing-bridge/

 

Origami-inspired clothing range that grows with your child wins Dyson award

7 September 2017

London-based designer Ryan Yasin used his background in aeronautical engineering to develop sustainable clothing to fit babies through to toddlers

Sources: www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/07/origami-inspired-clothing-range-that-grows-with-your-child-wins-dyson-award

New software lets engineers run simulations in real time

07 Sep 2017

Engineers will be able to instantly see how design change will impact on the physics of their work, according to the makers of a new piece of simulation software.

ANSYS Discovery Live, which is available for preview from today, is a powerful simulator that can be run on a laptop. It allows engineers to design virtual objects with various mechanical properties, and see in real-time how changes will manifest themselves in areas such as air flow or temperature conductivity.

Source: http://www.imeche.org/news/news-article/new-software-lets-engineers-run-simulations-in-real-time

Airbus new ‘laminar-flow’ wings could cut cost of flying

07 Sep 2017

Airbus has revealed new wing technology that could tackle two of the biggest issues facing airlines – carbon emissions and fuel costs.

The wings were unveiled at a specially built hangar in Tarbes, France, after almost 10 years of development. Currently tacked on to a modified A340-300’s wings ahead of flight testing, Airbus said parts based on the two-third scale prototype wings could eventually be used on a short-range, single-aisle plane.

Source: http://www.imeche.org/news/news-article/laminar-flow-wings-could-cut-cost-of-flying

Williams Advanced Engineering Reveals Lightweight Electric Car Platform

06 Sep 2017

Williams Advanced Engineering is bringing the best of its know-how to the electric car in an innovative lightweight EV platform concept, named the FW-EVX, which will be displayed at this year’s Low Carbon Vehicle Show, Millbrook, 6-7th September 2017.

With the car industry currently focussed on how it transitions from the internal combustion engine to a fully electric future, a major challenge for manufacturers is how to maximise vehicle efficiency, given current limitations.

Source: http://www.williamsf1.com/advanced-engineering/news/williamsadvancedengineeringrevealslightweightelectriccarplatform 

IEP reaches Edinburgh for the first time

7th September 2017

The first Intercity Express Programme trains reached Edinburgh Waverley today (September 7).

Two five-car Class 800/0 bi-modes operated a test run from Hitachi Rail Europe’s Doncaster depot to the Scottish capital and return.

Virgin Trains East Coast will use a fleet of 65 IEP sets from next year, although the pair used, 800001 and 800002, are destined for Great Western Railway.

Source: http://www.railmagazine.com/news/network/iep-reaches-edinburgh-for-the-first-time

 

UTC and Rockwell Collins in $30bn aviation deal

5 September 2017

The maker of Pratt & Whitney jet engines, UTC, has agreed to buy airline parts maker Rockwell Collins for $30bn (£23bn).

The tie-up is one of the biggest deals in aviation history and is expected to be completed next year.

It has the potential to shake up the market for aerospace parts and could give UTC greater negotiating power over planemakers Boeing and Airbus.

Both planemakers have been pushing suppliers to lower their prices.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-41157711

Jaguar Land Rover to electrify all new vehicles by 2020

7th September 2017

From 2020, all new vehicles produced by Jaguar Land Rover will be available in an electric or hybrid form the firm’s CEO Dr Ralf Speth has claimed.

“Every new Jaguar Land Rover model line will be electrified from 2020, giving our customers even more choice,” said Speth. “We will introduce a portfolio of electrified products across our model range, embracing fully electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles.”

Speth’s announcement follows similar news from Volvo and adds to the growing momentum behind electric vehicles.

His comments were made at the car firm’s inaugural Tech Fest – a technology showcase at London’s St Martins College – where, as well as hosting debates on the future of mobility, it was also showcasing a number of existing and future electric models.

Sources: https://www.theengineer.co.uk/jaguar-land-rover-electric-2020/

30 Aug 2017

Most people are 'uncomfortable' with the idea of driverless cars

The majority of people would not feel comfortable travelling at 70mph in a driverless car, according to a study by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

A survey of more than 2000 people conducted by IMechE and ICM Unlimited found that 66% would feel uncomfortable travelling in an autonomous vehicle with no human intervention.

Sources: http://www.imeche.org/news/news-article/most-people-are-'uncomfortable'-with-the-idea-of-driverless-cars

29 Aug 2017

German students push Hyperloop top speed to 201mph

​A prototype Hyperloop pod built by a team of German students hit a record speed of 201mph during a test run.

The team, named WARR Hyperloop, was one of three finalists taking part in a competition run by Elon Musk’s SpaceX at the company’s 1.2km test track in Hawthorne, California on Sunday.

Sources: www.imeche.org/news/news-article/german-students-push-hyperloop-top-speed-to-201mph

25th August 2017

Wood waste to reduce cost of carbon fibre

Spinning lignin from biorefineries or papermaking with polymer precursor makes cheaper and more sustainable carbon fibre for automotive or aerospace applications

Carbon fibre is becoming increasingly important in the automotive sector because of its high strength and low weight. However, its price confines its use to premium vehicles. Researchers from Washington State University now claim to have found a way to reduce its cost while also making use of a material that is currently discarded as waste.

Sources: https://www.theengineer.co.uk/wood-waste-reduce-cost-carbon-fibre/

29 August 2017

AMRC Installs High Pressure Press to Aid Lightweighting Project

The Composite Centre at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), UK, is installing a high pressure press as part of a project to help luxury car manufacturer Bentley reduce vehicle weight and greenhouse gas emissions.

The AMRC is working with Bentley, Sigmatex, Expert Tooling & Automation, Granta Design, Cranfield University and Group Rhodes as part of the Lightweighting Excellence (LX) programme, backed by the UK government’s Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative.

Sources: https://netcomposites.com/news/2017/august/29/amrc-installs-high-pressure-press-to-aid-lightweighting-project/

29th August 2017

Industry calls for clarity as Brexit skills crunch looms

The survey of 243 UK companies reveals that a quarter of manufacturers have seen applications from EU nationals decrease since the referendum, and highlights deep concerns that Brexit could undermine industry’s ability to compete on the global stage. According to the manufacturers’ organisation EEF, two-thirds of respondents recruit from across the EU due to an insufficient number of UK applicants, while a third say that the necessary skills are not available in the UK labour market.

Sources: https://www.theengineer.co.uk/brexit-recruitment-crunch/

30th August 2017

Scotland’s Queensferry Crossing welcomes first traffic

Spanning 2.7km, the new structure is the longest three-tower cable-stayed bridge in the world. Prior to being connected to the shore on both sides, its balanced cantilevers extended 322m north and south of the central tower, which is also an official Guinness world record.

Sources: https://www.theengineer.co.uk/queensferry-crossing-first-traffic/

22nd August 2017

Scientists want to make plastics in space from recycled human waste

Astronauts could turn their bodily waste into useful plastics on long-distance space journeys, say scientists.

“If astronauts are going to make journeys that span several years, we'll need to find a way to reuse and recycle everything they bring with them,” said Mark A. Blenner, an assistant professor at Clemson University, South Carolina. “Atom economy will become really important.”

Sources: http://www.imeche.org/news/news-article/scientists-want-to-make-plastics-in-space-from-recycled-human-waste

22nd August 2017

‘This is Engineering’ campaign seeks to change the image of the industry

A national, digital campaign to promote engineering will launch in January 2018.

‘This is Engineering’ is a major campaign by the Royal Academy of Engineering to change perceptions of the profession. It will begin with a series of high-impact videos to challenge young people’s views of engineering, and highlight the role engineering plays in society.

Daniel Rossall Valentine, head of campaigns at the Royal Academy of Engineering, said that the multi-year campaign “seeks to rebrand engineering for young people, and encourage them to take up careers in engineering”.

Sources: http://www.imeche.org/news/news-article/this-is-engineering-campaign-seeks-to-change-the-image-of-the-industry

22nd August 2017

Green automotive future lacks vital components

Prof Mark Jolly, head of the Sustainable Manufacturing Systems

Centre at Cranfield University, says that as the death knell sounds for diesel and petrol cars, we’re not getting the full story on the energy and environmental costs of their successors

Why don’t we have energy rating labels for our cars and other vehicles?

We think we already do — via the checks on tailpipe emissions and CO2 that are backed up by government legislation and the car manufacturers themselves, with the latter always looking for ways to reduce emissions via lower fuel consumption. So it’s all good.

Sources: https://www.theengineer.co.uk/green-automotive-vital-components/

17th August 2017

Augmented reality heads to the construction site

A consortium led by civil engineering visualisation expert Soluis Group has received £1m of funding from Innovate UK to develop a so-called Augmented Worker System (AWE) for the construction industry.

Aimed at enabling engineers to make the most of the Building Information Modelling (BIM) tools that are now widely used by the construction sector, the project hopes to replace paper or handheld devices with hands free heads-up augmented reality (AR) displays that would provide real time access to data, and enable greater collaboration between teams and partners.

Sources: https://www.theengineer.co.uk/augmented-reality-construction/

August 14, 2017

Singer creates 500-hp air-cooled 964 engine with Williams and Hans Mezger

An even more mental Singer engine upgrade is on the menu -- if you have the dough

Porsche enthusiasts are no strangers to Singer, the company that restores worn 964s with a money-no-object approach that yields obsessively reworked cars and a formal title of “Porsche 911 Reimagined by Singer.” The company's efforts, which require at least half a million dollars, avoid the restomod moniker -- they're arguably something well beyond that somewhat derisive category with Singer distilling the essence of air-cooled 911s in their machines. 

Sources: http://autoweek.com/article/classic-cars/singer-enlists-williams-and-hans-mezger-500-hp-964-engine

15th August 2017:

Sigmatex Completes ‘Ships of the Future’ Supply Agreement

A four-year agreement under which Sigmatex supplied carbon fibre materials to Özata Shipyard in Turkey has drawn to a completion.

Özata Shipyard in Tuzla, Istanbul, was tasked by Izmir Metropolitan Municipality to build a series of passenger ferries to ease traffic congestion in the city. The Sigmatex agreement, signed in 2013, led to the supply of 300 tonnes of non-crimp fabric (NCF) and unidirectional (UD) carbon textiles over the term of the four-year project. The delivery of materials saw each of the 15-strong fleet completed in eight months, delivered in 90-day intervals.

Sources: https://netcomposites.com/news/2017/august/15/sigmatex-completes-ships-of-the-future-supply-agreement/

 

 

15th August 2017:

Smart Factory Strategy Becomes Table Stakes for OEMs
 
If you’re involved in the manufacturing industry, you should have heard of Industry 4.0, or at least of Smart Factory or Industrial IoT. If you haven’t, then it’s time to learn more about what many refer to as the fourth industrial revolution following the first three revolutions of mechanization, mass production, and computerized automation.

Industry 4.0 is the manufacturing part of the digital revolution. At its heart are connected and intelligent manufacturing systems that are agile, efficient, cheaper and faster, producing better products. I’ve been studying and writing about Industry 4.0 since it was conceived around six years ago.

Sources: http://www.ebnonline.com/author.asp?section_id=3894&doc_id=282909

 

 

15th August 2017:

Singer and Williams have collaborated on a 500-hp Porsche six


California Porsche specialist Singer and the engineering minds behind the Williams F1 team have developed a wild air-cooled flat-six for Singer's vintage recreations

Singer Vehicle Design has collaborated with Williams Advanced Engineering to create an air-cooled Porsche 911 flat-six engine good for nearly 500 horsepower.

The newest Singer engine is based on the same 964-series 911 on which the company bases all of its recreations, which Singer owner Rob Dickinson likes for its combination of old-school feel and modern performance.

Apparently it’s just not quite modern enough: the company’s new engine, designed in collaboration with Williams and Porsche Motorsport engine designer Hans Mezger, is an extension of Singer’s existing engine offerings, all of which are based on the 3.6-litre flat-six used in the 964.

Sources: http://www.autofocus.ca/news-events/news/singer-and-williams-have-collaborated-on-a-500-hp-porsche-six

 

 

15th August 2017:

New Thruster Design Makes for More Efficient Spaceflight

Hall thrusters (HTs) are used in earth-orbiting satellites, and also show promise for propelling robotic spacecraft long distances, such as from Earth to Mars. The propellant in a HT, usually xenon, is accelerated by an electric field which strips electrons from neutral xenon atoms, creating a plasma. Plasma ejected from the exhaust end of the thruster can deliver great speeds, typically around 70,000 mph.

Cylindrical shaped Hall thrusters (CHTs) lend themselves to miniaturization and have a smaller surface-to-volume ratio that prevents erosion of the thruster channel. Investigators at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China have developed a new inlet design for CHTs that significantly increases thrust. Simulations and experimental tests of the new design are reported this week in the journal Physics of Plasmas.

Sources: http://www.engineering.com/DesignerEdge/DesignerEdgeArticles/ArticleID/15472/New-Thruster-Design-Makes-for-More-Efficient-Spaceflight.aspx

 

 

15th August 2017:

Ethics and Engineering Behind Autonomous Cars

Unmanned vehicles are a new and evolving industry, with implications not just in various job sectors, but the public’s everyday life. Each year we grow closer to fully automated vehicles, with companies vying for an early foothold in the new market front, releasing ever increasingly sophisticated and polished models to fight it out in the automotive arena. Most projections put full saturation of the market at 2070, and therefore we can expect that around 50% of vehicle sales and 30% of all vehicles in use would be fully autonomous by 2040, the impact of which will be profound.

Sources: http://interestingengineering.com/ethics-and-engineering-behind-autonomous-cars/

16th August 2017:

HMS Queen Elizabeth: Navy's new flagship a true feat of engineeringMy first introduction to the awe-inspiring power of the Royal Navy's carrier force came aged just 10 years old, on a visit to see HMS Ark Royal R09 in Edinburgh.It was the very last of Britain's more traditional carriers, those that use catapults to launch fixed-wing aircraft and arrester wires to catch them on landing - the model still adopted today by the US and France.

 

Sources: http://news.sky.com/story/hms-queen-elizabeth-navys-new-flagship-a-true-feat-of-engineering-10990510

 

 

15th August 2017:

Industry 4.0: How the Internet of Things is Revolutionizing Manufacturing

Industry 4.0 might sound like the newest iteration of a SimCity-style tycoon game, but it's really the biggest shift to hit global manufacturing since automation. Centered around advanced robotics and automation, new ways of human-machine interaction (such as augmented reality) and vast troves of data and boosted connectivity, Industry 4.0 is poised to modernize manufacturing and boost western industrial competitiveness.

Coupled with the emerging Internet of Things (IoT), Industry 4.0 offers manufacturers the ability to collect, analyze and act on immense stockpiles of data like never before, and then set those actions in motion with highly efficient, automated robotics. The result? A higher quality product at a lower operating expense.

Sources: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/10156-industry-manufacturing-iot.html

 

 

15th August 2017

Graphene added to non-liquid lubricant to reduce significant friction and wear

A new type of non-liquid lubricant containing graphene reduces friction and wear under conditions found applications including air compressors to missile systems, claim researchers in the US.

Developed by researchers at Purdue University, the new liquid-free composite is made from a slurry of graphene, zinc oxide, and the polymer polyvinylidene difluoride.

“It [graphene] has superior thermal conductivity, high strength and provides ultralow friction,” said Vilas Pol, an associate professor of chemical engineering at Purdue University.

Sources: https://www.theengineer.co.uk/graphene-lubricant-friction/

 

 

8th August 2017

H2O micropropulsion used in new CubeSat system

Engineers at Purdue University have developed a new method of micropropulsion for CubeSats, using water as the propellant.

The FEMTA (Film-Evaporation MEMS Tunable Array) thruster uses tiny heaters to create water vapour, which flows into the vacuum of space through capillaries about 10 micrometres wide. When the heaters are not operating, the water’s surface tension prevents it from escaping. The minuscule capillaries therefore act like valves when small amounts of heat are applied.

Sources: https://www.theengineer.co.uk/h2o-micropropulsion-cubesat/

 

 

16th August 2017

Vacuum process opens microfluidic applications for liquid metal

A process which uses a vacuum to help fill complex microchannels with liquid metal, could see liquid metals applied more broadly in electronic and microfluidic applications.

The research by engineers from North Carolina State University is said to address two of the most common difficulties in creating liquid metal-filled microchannels.

Sources: https://www.theengineer.co.uk/vacuum-liquid-metal-microchannels/

 

 

1st August 2017

Bloodhound team turn to F1 for cooling solution

Bloodhound team turn to F1 for cooling solutionEngineers on the Bloodhound SSC project have turned to Formula 1-derived ceramic coatings to help the 135,000bhp Land Speed Record challenger keep cool.The jet-and-rocket powered car is due to make its first test runs in a matter of months and tight packaging within the design means that heat soak is a constant concern.

 

Sources: https://www.theengineer.co.uk/issues/august-2015-online/bloodhound-team-turn-to-f1-for-cooling-solution/

 

 

9th August 2017

Nissan sells Sunderland battery manufacturing business as part of global deal


Motor manufacturer Nissan is selling its Sunderland battery manufacturing business as part of a global deal to Chinese investors, vowing all 300 employees will remain in their jobs.

The Japanese car giant is off-loading its battery operations to investment fund GSR Capital in a deal reported to be worth around $1bn, resulting in Nissan’s battery manufacturing facilities in Sunderland and Tennessee coming under new ownership.

Sources: http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/

 

 

25th July 2017

Industrial Robot Pours the Perfect Pint

Automation is a serious business, but some of the most fascinating robotics applications are frivolous, like serving coffee, sorting M&M’s, flipping burgers and now, pouring beer. This latest and arguably greatest example comes from an ENGINEERING.com contributor, who found the above video of an industrial robot putting even the best bartenders to shame.

Sources: http://www.engineering.com/AdvancedManufacturing/ArticleID/15338/Industrial-Robot-Pours-the-Perfect-Pint.aspx

 

 

25th July 2017

Research raises temperature of superconductivity

Researchers have used boron-doped Q-carbon to increase the temperature at which carbon-based materials act as superconductors.

The previous record for superconductivity in boron-doped diamond was 11 Kelvin (-439.60ºF). The boron-doped Q-carbon (an allotrope of carbon) has been found to be superconductive from 37K to 57K (-356.80°F).

Sources: https://www.theengineer.co.uk/research-raises-temperature-of-carbon-superconductivity/

 

 

26th July 2017

New diesel and petrol vehicles to be banned from 2040 in UK

New diesel and petrol cars and vans will be banned in the UK from 2040 in a bid to tackle air pollution, the government has announced.

Ministers have also unveiled a £255m fund to help councils tackle emissions, including the potential for charging zones for the dirtiest vehicles.

Sources: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40723581

 

 

25th July 2017

BMW to build electric Mini in UK

BMW will build the fully electric version of the Mini in the UK, despite previously warning it would make the car overseas because of the uncertainty created by Britain’s departure from the EU.

The electric motors and batteries for the car will be made at BMW plants in Germany and shipped to the UK.

Sources: https://www.ft.com/content/

26th July 2017

Toward additive manufacturing

Automation, robotics, advanced computer-aided design, sensing and diagnostic technologies have revolutionized the modern factory, allowing the building of complex products, from microchips to cars and even airplanes, with unprecedented cost-efficiency, scale and reliability. The modern factory represents the pinnacle of mass production technology, refined over a hundred years or more, to produce identical items for mass consumption at the lowest cost.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-07-additive.html#jCp

 

 

12th July 2017

DARTeC to spearhead UK research in digital aviation technology

A new £65 million Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre (DARTeC) will be built at Cranfield University to spearhead the UK's research into digital aviation technology.

Once constructed, DARTeC will provide research facilities not found elsewhere in Europe.

Sources: http://www.adsadvance.co.uk/

27th July 2017

Research raises temperature of superconductivity

Researchers have used boron-doped Q-carbon to increase the temperature at which carbon-based materials act as superconductors.

 

The previous record for superconductivity in boron-doped diamond was 11 Kelvin (-439.60ºF). The boron-doped Q-carbon (an allotrope of carbon) has been found to be superconductive from 37K to 57K (-356.80°F).

Sources: https://www.theengineer.co.uk/

6th July 2017

Can 3D printing address higher volume manufacturing needs?

At the RAPID & TCT Show that took place in Pittsburgh in May, Stratasys took a significant step into higher volume, continuous production additive technology when it unveiled it’s expandable, rack-like ‘Continuous Build 3D Demonstrator’. As the name implies, the unit is not ready to be sold as yet, but it is being trialled by select customers and Stratasys believes it represents a key shift towards realising 3D printing for the mass market.

Sources: http://www.eurekamagazine.co.uk/

29th June 2017

What is Industry 4.0?

At its heart, Industry 4.0 is digital transformation applied to manufacturing – bringing with it all the change, opportunities and challenges that represents. Industry 4.0 connects the supply chain and the ERP system directly to the production line to form an integrated, automated and, potentially, autonomous manufacturing processes that make better use of capital, raw materials, and human resources.

Sources: http://www.networkworld.com

29th June 2017

On-board reformer turns exhaust fumes into fuel

An on-board reformer capable of converting exhaust gas into fuel and removing pollutants could help carmakers achieve tough emissions targets.

Sources: https://www.theengineer.co.uk/

29th June 2017

Dassault Systèmes and Airbus APWorks Collaborate on Aerospace Additive Manufacturing

Dassault Systèmes and Airbus APWorks, a subsidiary of Airbus and specialist in metal 3D printing, have entered into a collaborative partnership to advance the use of additive manufacturing for large-scale production in the aerospace and defence industry.

Sources: http://netcomposites.com

29th June 2017

New Technology Uses CNC to Drop Metal 3D Printing Costs

3D printing is currently in the midst of an evolution, demonstrated by the development of rapid systems capable of unique materials that may be able to ultimately reduce the cost per part of additive manufacturing (AM) technology. Among the categories of AM being affected is metal 3D printing, which has seen a number of companies—including Markforged, Desktop Metal and Admatec—unveil new processes that may reduce the typically costly technology.

Sources: http://www.engineering.com

6th June 2017

The great UK engineering shortage: 1.8 million are needed by 2025


The UK’s engineering industry is facing a skills shortage of unprecedented levels – if we need 1.8 million people trained by 2025, they can’t all be white males. Children form ideas of “suitable” careers at a very young age, and parents, teachers and employers are not getting to them early enough, says the head of the not-for-profit employer-led skills organisation Semta.

Sources: www.telegraph.co.uk

25th May 2017

Boeing and DARPA join forces on space plane program

US defence research agency DARPA and Boeing are to collaborate on the production of an experimental space plane designed to enable on demand affordable access to space. Dubbed Phantom Express, the hypersonic aircraft is being developed under DARPA’s Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1) program. According to the agency, it could radically reduce the cost of putting a satellite in orbit and bolster the ability to recover from the unexpected loss of critical military and commercial satellites.

Sources: www.theengineer.co.uk

23rd May 2017

VIDEO: A Short History of Engineering

Engineering has been around for a long time, stretching all the back into pre-history. Sadly, those achievements aren’t documented. But almost 3,000 years ago, a bunch of clever people in the Nile Valley began codifying their ideas about how to reliably build structures and tools. Since then, the history of engineering has exploded with invention as individuals and collectives have transformed our fundamental understanding of the world into tangible technological progress.

Sources: www.engineering.com

22nd May 2017

The flow meter: a role in Industry 4.0 success?

José Leonett discusses the changing flow metering needs of the process industry to allow it to meet current and future challenges.The challenges facing the process industry, and its use of flow meters, can be summarised as increasing complexity; breadth of choice and product selection; maintaining accuracy of flow meters across their life-cycle; sifting the important information from the noise generated by the growing number alerts and alarms produced; and how to control the huge number of flow meters and sensors across the plant. 

Sources: www.controlengeurope.com

19th May 2017

An enabler for smart operations

The FDT Group is currently working on the development of an FDT IIoT server to empower the intelligent enterprise and simplify the ecosystem exchange. Control Engineering Europe finds out more. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is one of the most significant trends in automation technology today. A melding of innovations in the fields of computing and communication, IIoT and its ‘smart’ devices look set to change the way users and machines interact as well as way that machines engage with each other.

Sources: www.controlengeurope.com

19th May 2017

Arconic grants University of Sheffield $100,000 to prepare students for Industry 4.0

The charitable foundation of global technology, engineering and advanced manufacturing company Arconic (NYSE:ARNC) has granted the UK’s University of Sheffield a grant of $100,000 (£77,000).
Part of the company’s $600,000 global education program, the money will be used to update facilities in the department of materials science and engineering. This includes, according to department head Professor Neil Hyatt, “equipping students in additive manufacturing techniques.”

Sources: www.digitallook.com

18th May 2017

Electric cars could soon charge as you drive

Qualcomm has introduced a new system that can charge a car while it's travelling at 'highway speeds'.
Called dynamic electric vehicle charging (DEVC), the technology is integrated into a specially-built track, cutting out the need for electric cars to stop at charging stations.
The breakthrough could pave the way for the building of more roads capable of charging cars, and an eventual move to other electric vehicles.

Sources: www.wired.co.uk

18th May 2017

Automation Solution Providers Shift Gears to Align with IIoT-driven Industry Transformation

Tectonic shifts are underway across process and discrete industries due to the need for capital efficiency, asset efficiency and resource efficiency. These trends are nurturing the growth of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industry 4.0. The convergence of algorithms, cloud, data, devices and networks drive a creative destruction and expansion of traditional business models. Further, the directional shift from CAPEX -> OPEX cycles will see the market focus more on brownfield assets/modernization-driven projects in short-term.

Sources: www.prnewswire.com

18th May 2017

Guidelines For Implementation Of Industry 4.0

The internet of things, artificial intelligence, networked production, smart homes - these are the magic words of digital transformation. While the big technology companies are already equipping their products and production with artificial intelligence - all parts of the chain of values added are to supply data in the future -, German medium-sized companies are not succumbing to its spell. Not yet! Scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) help companies implement Industry 4.0.

Sources: www.ecnmag.com

16th May 2017

Industry 4.0 presents a vast opportunity for specialty chemicals manufacturers using the right technologies and strategic approach

As a new industry whitepaper from Sikich points out, recent developments in cloud and enterprise business management technology have made it easier for process manufacturers to adopt Industry 4.0, often referred to as the fourth industrial revolution. Going beyond today's use of computerized technologies and automation, Industry 4.0 erases remaining borders between physical and digital systems, enabling new approaches for companies to meet customer needs and launch products and services. Given the complexities of their operations and supply chains as well as the innovative potential in launching new services and products, specialty chemicals manufacturers can find a particularly rich opportunity in Industry 4.0.

Sources: www.prnewswire.com

16th May 2017

The future of additive manufacturing is all about design

We’ve come a long way to unlocking the value of additive manufacturing (AM) and established AM sectors like aerospace and medical have played a key role in achieving this by advancing the technology to meet their needs.

Sources: www.theengineer.co.uk

15th May 2017

Interview: Paul McNamara, technical director of Williams Advanced Engineering


Graphene has been the subject of many studies due to its unusual properties, especially its strength. The material is thought to be the strongest of all known materials. However, researchers have had a hard time translating the strength of 2D graphene—basically a flat sheet that is just one atom in thickness—into useful, 3D structures.

Sources: www.advancedmanufacturing.org

15th May 2017

Mentor Valor technologies connect advanced packaging vendors at world’s first live Industry 4.0 factory floor

Mentor, a Siemens business, today announced that its Valor suite of software and hardware internet of things (IoT) technologies will be showcased in the Fraunhofer Institute’s advanced packaging assembly line at the SMT Hybrid Packaging event in Nuremberg, Germany, May 16-18, 2017 (Hall 5, Booth 434). This will be the world’s first live public demonstration of intelligent IoT inter-vendor connection between surface mount technology (SMT) machines and related line processes using the new Open Manufacturing Language (OML) from Mentor, on which Industry 4.0 solutions are operating.

Sources: www.automotiveworld.com

15th May 2017

UK and Indian companies to collaborate on defence composites

UK group Haydale Graphene Industries has entered an agreement with Indian firm Nanospan to collaborate on developing nano composite materials for Indian defence applications, the two companies have announced.

Sources: www.janes.com

15th April 2017

Interview: Paul McNamara, technical director of Williams Advanced Engineering


Motorsports’ top flight is more relevant than ever to the outside world says Williams’ technical director. Jon Excell reports.
The question of Formula One’s (F1’s) ‘road relevance’ never fails to divide opinion. For some, motorsport’s biggest competition represents engineering at its purest: a pursuit of speed, energy efficiency and aerodynamic perfection that stirs the soul and pushes at the boundaries of what’s possible.

Sources: www.theengineer.co.uk

4th May 2017

UK team hails “game-changing” hybrid 3D printing process

Engineers at the AMRC in Sheffield have developed a hybrid 3D printing process that allows electrical, optical and structural elements to be introduced throughout an additively manufactured component during the build process

Sources: www.theengineer.co.uk

4th May 2017

Elon Musk Just Revealed Key Details About Tesla’s Next Breakthrough Car

We’ve heard a lot of talk about Tesla’s plans for an electric crossover SUV, dubbed the Model Y, but so far, that’s all it’s been: talk. We’ve gotten the occasional tease tweet from CEO Elon Musk about the electric crossover, but overall, Tesla’s been secretive about the Model Y. That’s finally changing as Musk revealed more details about the highly anticipated vehicle during Tesla’s investor call yesterday.

Sources: www.futurism.com

12th April 2017

CARBON FIBER DESIGN CONTEST - 2016/2017

 

Last April 8th, in the wonderful contest of REFIN Showroom, Brera Design District – Milano, closed, with a toast to the winners, the fourth edition of the Carbon Fiber Design Contest.
The Carbon Fiber Design Contest is an international competition, aimed to raise the interest of creatives, designers and architects, in an innovative use of carbon fiber associated with the modern technology of additive manufacturing.

Sources: www.ad3dprinting.com

3rd May 2017

Creative engineering solutions for complex problems

Engineering consultancy Atkins is pioneering the use of creative technological solutions such as augmented reality, real-time rendering and automation to enable greater efficiencies in complex projects. Eighteen years ago, Atkins established a creative design team with just two members of staff. Now, the company has a proactive creative team made up of 56 designers, developers, visualisers and filmmakers. Their expertise spans a range of disciplines, from traditional identity design to immersive virtual reality experiences.

Sources: www.telegraph.co.uk

18th April 2017

Composites UK to be Headline Industry Partner of the Composites Engineering Show for Eighth Year

Composites UK, the trade association for the UK composites supply chain, is again teaming up with Easyfairs, the organisers of the Composites Engineering Show, to become the Headline Industry Partner for the show in 2017. The exhibition, which takes place on 1 – 2 November 2017 at Birmingham NEC, is now in its eighth year and forms part of the Advanced Engineering Show.

Sources: www.compositesuk.co.uk

12th April 2017

CARBON FIBER DESIGN CONTEST - 2016/2017

 

Last April 8th, in the wonderful contest of REFIN Showroom, Brera Design District – Milano, closed, with a toast to the winners, the fourth edition of the Carbon Fiber Design Contest.
The Carbon Fiber Design Contest is an international competition, aimed to raise the interest of creatives, designers and architects, in an innovative use of carbon fiber associated with the modern technology of additive manufacturing.

Sources: www.ad3dprinting.com

10th April 2017

Game changers – engineering tomorrow’s sports

Artificial intelligence and robotics are combining with human skill to usher in a new era of sport.
Sport is as intrinsic a part of our civilisation as the expression of art or the use of tools. Cave paintings dating from thousands of years ago, in places as far apart as France, Libya and Japan, depict humans engaged in competitive wrestling, swimming and archery.

Sources: www.theengineer.co.uk

5th April 2017

UK scientists develop graphene desalination tech

Scientists in the UK have developed a new kind of filter for desalination plants using the versatile carbon allotrope known as 'graphene'. The team of the scientists from the University of Manchester reported that graphene oxide could be used to effectively filter out salt from seawater.

Graphene itself is a flat lattice of carbon just one atom thick, which has exceptional electric and conductive properties. The material, according to researchers, has the potential to revolutionize batteries, electronics, and several other kinds of devices.

Sources: www.themanufacturer.com

16th March 2017

Toyota is to invest £240m in upgrading its UK factory that makes the Auris and Avensis models

The Japanese carmaker's investment in the Burnaston plant near Derby will allow production of vehicles using its new global manufacturing system.
The factory employs about 2,500 people, while another 590 work at Toyota's engine plant at Deeside, North Wales.
Burnaston made about 180,000 vehicles last year, most of which are exported to Europe and other markets.

Sources: www.bbc.co.uk/news

2nd February 2017

Ferrari uses 3D printing to develop new engine for 2017 F1 season

Ferrari’s F1 team are ramping up preparations for the 2017 season by using 3D printing technology to develop pistons for their new engine. Ferrari has collaborated with fellow Italians Magneti Marelli to produce the new engine design. Magneti Marelli are a company focused on the “design and production of hi-tech systems and components for the automotive sector”.

Sources: www.3dprintingindustry.com/

31st January 2017

Baby Boomers

The government is also announcing a cash boost of £556m for the Northern Powerhouse.
Prime minister Theresa May is to launch proposals for a more hands-on industrial strategy to bolster the UK’s transition to a post-Brexit economy.

Sources: www.aerosociety.com

25th January 2017

EPS Diesel now testing flight-ready engine software

EPS has reached another significant milestone in the development of the Graflight Flat 8 diesel engine.
Bosch has delivered First Level redundant software that is ready for three stages of testing. The tests are expected to lead to the first FAA approval according to the recently modified and more stringent DO178-C standards.

Sources: www.airframer.com

25th January 2017

New method developed for bonding thermoplastic composites

A researcher at the University of Twente in The Netherlands has reportedly developed a method for adhesion improvement in thermoplastic composites.

Sources: www.compositesworld.com

25th January 2017

SMC is on the upswing

There’s a lot going on with sheet molding compound (SMC) right now, including a design competition for best SMC design, with the winner announced at Composites Europe.

Sources: www.compositesworld.com

24th January 2017

TfL and the Greater London Authority plans to include the new Direct Vision Standard in new contracts from April

Direct vision from the cab of a truck, rather than mirrors and monitors, has a substantial impact on improving road safety for pedestrians and cyclists, according to new research from Transport for London.

Sources: www.imeche.org

23rd January 2017

Theresa May outlines industrial strategy for post-Brexit economy

The government is also announcing a cash boost of £556m for the Northern Powerhouse.
Prime minister Theresa May is to launch proposals for a more hands-on industrial strategy to bolster the UK’s transition to a post-Brexit economy.

Sources: www.imeche.org

23rd January 2017

Report sets out plan to save UK steel industry

The report was published by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Steel and Metal Related industries.
A blueprint for the future of the UK’s steel industry has been set out in a new report by a cross-party group of MPs and Leeds University Business School.

Sources: www.imeche.org

20th January 2017

Giant lenses in the sky

Scientists at BAE Systems are researching future technology which would enable aircraft to use lasers to create ‘virtual lenses’ in the sky which could be used for long-distance reconnaissance and for deflecting attacks from high-energy laser beams. However, the potential uses for the system are not limited to defence, as BILL READ FRAeS reports

Sources: www.aerosociety.com

20th January 2017

Could PLM open the door to more growth?

Bob Hillier, managing director of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) specialist, Design Rule discusses the benefits of PLM for the aerospace and defence industry. The UK’s aerospace and defence industry has seen exceptional growth in recent years. In 2015 its contribution to the nation’s economy was £55 billion and employment in the two sectors reached 270,000.

Sources: www.aero-mag.com

19th January 2017

The Evolution of automated plating

According to SIFCO Applied Surface Concepts (ASC) technical manager, Derek Vanek, whilst selective plating may not have been perceived as an automated technology, innovation and collaborative thinking enables the company to develop start-of-the-art solutions.

Sources: www.aero-mag.com

17th January 2017

Dynamic nesting for composite panels

Aerospace Manufacturing reports on how a company manufacturing internal composite panels for commercial aircraft is moving towards full dynamic nesting by using Alphacam’s powerful automation capability. It’s not the first time that Jason Curran, technical manager of The Gill Corporation’s European operation has overhauled the company’s production process to make better use of the software.

Sources: www.aero-mag.com

11th January 2017

US deploys biggest ever micro-drone swarm

Last October saw three F/A-18 Super Hornets deploy 103 Perdix drones from their flare canisters over China Lake in California. The miniature vehicles, which have a wingspan of 30cm and weigh 290g, then completed a series of missions together as a swarm. According to the Department of Defence (DoD), the Perdix drones demonstrated advanced swarm behaviours such as collective decision-making, adaptive formation flying, and self-healing.

Source: https://www.theengineer.co.uk

6th January 2017

Bosh Study Shows Benefits of Existing Tech

While the drive toward full autonomy for vehicles is seemingly picking up speed with announcements from companies with new LiDAR systems or the deployment of deep-learning AI systems in vehicles, and while Bosch is working hard in a number of areas to automate driving, here’s something that is striking that comes out of a study, “Connected Car Effect 2025,” that Bosch and the consulting firm Prognos performed.

Source: http://www.adandp.media

6th January 2017

UK developed hands-free interface demonstrated on Bosch concept car

Last October saw three F/A-18 Super Hornets deploy 103 Perdix drones from their flare canisters over China A touch-free haptic control system that enables users to “feel” virtual buttons and dials in mid-air has been demonstrated onboard a Bosch concept car at this week’s CES exhibition in Las Vegas.

Sources: https://www.theengineer.co.uk

5th January 2017

Leading automotive supplier demonstrates mid air haptics

Ultrahaptics announced that its touch-free haptic feedback solution is integrated into a new concept car being exhibited by a major tier 1 supplier.

Source: http://www.epdtonthenet.net

5th January 2017

Streamlining the loT and other cyber- physical systems

A team of researchers published an article to lay the groundwork for better design in cyber-physical systems to make for smarter systems. Sometimes referred to as the Internet of Things, cyber-physical systems vary from phones to self-driving cars, from airplane controls to home energy meters. They are both touchable objects and invisible code. However, as streamlined as cyber-physical systems appear, the technology developed within manufacturing systems that were not designed to accommodate it.

Source: http://www.epdtonthenet.net

5th January 2017

GE loans to expand metal addictive manufacturing

Increasing the use of 3D printing will be part of GE’s strategy for 2017. Now the multinational company have secured ownership of metal additive manufacturing companies Concept Laser and Arcam AB (STO:ARCM), the Additive and Capital factions of GE (NYSE: GE) are coming together to offer loans to companies. GE anticipate these loans will encourage enterprises to develop their metal additive manufacturing (AM) facilities.

Source: https://3dprintingindustry.com

26th December 2016

Pentagon Plastics Discusses UK Reshoring, Impact of Brexit

In 2015, I wrote about how the UK is also experiencing a manufacturing resurgence and focused on Pentagon Plastics (Horsham, West Sussex, UK), a family-run plastics injection molding company, which said that many UK manufacturers that sent products to China now want those same products made in the UK.

Source: http://www.ptonline.com

21st December 2016

Fixing the perception of engineers

Regular readers might remember that I keep a keen eye on media portrayals of engineering and technology, both fictional and real. In general, I prefer to praise those who get it right rather than criticise those who get it wrong; and I’m delighted to say that the BBC programme Big Life Fix with Simon Reeve gets it right to a degree that I think may be almost unprecedented.

Source: https://www.theengineer.co.uk

 

20th December 2016

Insights into the future of 3D printing with ZMorph CEO Przemek Jaworski

Przemek Jaworski believes that, “3D printing is something that will change the world because of the distribution of goods and distribution of ideas.” As a former academic, designer and architect the CEO and founder of ZMorph is well placed to make such an observation.

Source: 3dprintingindustry.com

 

 

20th December 2016

New robot has a human touch

A Cornell University group has devised a way for a soft robot to feel its surroundings internally, in much the same way humans do. A group led by Robert Shepherd, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and principal investigator of Organic Robotics Lab, has published a paper describing how stretchable optical waveguides act as curvature, elongation and force sensors in a soft robotic hand.

Source: http://www.epdtonthenet.net

20th December 2016

More than two-thirds of UK consumers prime for hacking

Only 31% of UK consumers who own connected devices perform vital firmware updates on their devices as soon as they are available, leaving them vulnerable to botnets, hackers and cyberattacks. Worryingly, a further 40% of those who own connected devices have never performed any kind of firmware update on them.

Source: http://www.epdtonthenet.net

20th December 2016

Scientists turn to AI to create safer lithium-ion batteries

Stanford University researchers have identified nearly two-dozen solid electrolytes that could someday replace the volatile liquids used in electronic devices. The results, based on techniques adapted from artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, are published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science.

Source: http://www.epdtonthenet.net/

 

 

16th December 2016

Plans Unveiled for £3m manufacturing Training Centre in Shropshire

Detailed plans for a new state-of-the-art training hub in Shropshire have been unveiled for the first time this week, with the aim of supporting '2020 learners by 2020'.

Source: http://www.mtdcnc.com

14 December 2016

The Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Revolution in Manufacturing

The Oculus Rift, Microsoft HoloLens and even Google Cardboard are a far stretch from the first virtual reality (VR) headset, created in 1968 by computer scientist, Ivan Sutherland.

Source: www.automation.com

12 Decemeber 2016

Automated Metrology Software – Market Report Available

With the rising sophistication and growing demand for metrology services from different industries, automation has become key criteria to achieve desired levels of efficiency and accuracy. Thus, software solutions used for achieving automation have become critical to ensure metrology devices/equipment perform with utmost efficiency.

Source: metrology.news

8 December 2018

3D printing: The future of product design today

3D printing is just one of the technologies impacting design today, and the capabilities it brings to the product design process cannot be underestimated.

Source: www.theengineer.co.uk

 

Ultra-thin barrier protection and lubricity for complex components and challenging substrates

High reliability industries including Medical, Aerospace, Defense and Automotive place ever increasing demands in product confidence and performance while innovations requiring complex typographies and miniaturisation of components have created challenges most conformal coatings just cannot address.

Source: www.theengineer.co.uk