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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