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Liftex, Training, Pumps, Offshore Europe


4 - 8 DECEMBER 2013




October 2013

CONTENTS Editorial Assistant Jenna Burridge 0800 093 1901

Marketing Director Tony Field 0800 093 1901

Senior Account Manager Shaun Phillips 0800 093 1901

Publishing House Jet Digital Media Ltd Spratling Court Farm Manston Kent CT12 5AN

|4 Engineering Essentials |10 Liftex |18 Training |22 Review |23 Oil & Gas |25 Filters |26 Pumps |28 Editors Choice |30 Gas Detection


Tel: + 44 (0) 1925 812650 Fax:+ 44 (0) 1925 817797 Web: E-mail:

“Having that level of flexibility means that we provide a totally unbiased service to customers offering them the solution that meets their production needs and best suits their budget.”

David Wilkinson, Automation Services Manager, GEA Process Engineering Ltd provides advice on increasing production though plant optimisation.

GEA Process Engineering UK provides automation support service to industry throughout the UK GEA Process Engineering Ltd recently appointed Automation Service Manager, David Wilkinson to develop a new service team to support GEA Automation and other proprietary control systems throughout the UK. Industry feedback has been very positive in response to the new service. In offering a one-stop 24-hour support to manufacturing businesses, customers have been able to out-source their needs, as opposed to running their own in-house support team. The service has successfully proven itself to be popular with production and engineering managers, and manufacturers across the UK. GEA backs up the automation support with a comprehensive process consultation service that marries the company’s automation expertise and process design experience to ensure maximum productivity and efficiency. Over many years GEA Process Engineering has supplied a wide range of market sectors. However it is in the dairy, juice, beverage, brewing and distilling markets that the company enjoys its most significant market


share. “We have built a strong reputation for excellent service that is greatly appreciated by our customers,” David said when describing the service’s benefits. “Customers benefit greatly from our ability to combine the expertise of liquid processing with automation control skills.” During their support visits GEA Engineers work closely with customers to integrate their engineering information using the latest GEA Assist technology. GEA Assist enables the GEA engineers to save time as it centrally stores all needed documentation relating to the supported system, whether that be PLC backups, IO diagrams, P&ID’s or Functional design specification documents. The results of each maintenance visit are also stored on this system or emailed to the customer allowing them to keep easy track of all maintenance activities. This ensures that all engineering information about the plant is kept in an easily retrievable central source. “We spend a lot of time learning about each site at the start of the contract,” explained David. “By learning about the automation application on site and how it interacts, we can apply our knowledge to build a detailed knowhow of how a site works. In many cases our engineer has to be more familiar with these aspects than the staff based on site.” All contract customers are given access to GEA Assist as an added value service.

The GEA Automation Support service offers flexible options from remote-only access Monday to Friday up to remote and physical response around the clock. This fast-response service, coupled with the information held through GEA Assist, allows the GEA engineers to build up their knowledge of every plant, and through their experience and expertise, improve a plant’s productivity and reduce its down time at a fraction of the cost of local automation companies. “Because we know more about each plant, we can handle call outs faster, cheaper and more effectively,” said David. Since David’s appointment last January, the new service has matured and become popular with users of GEA Automation. “The service includes support for equipment from all the major automation vendors,” said David. “Having that level of flexibility means that we provide a totally unbiased service to customers offering them the solution that meets their production needs and best suits their budget.” GEA Process Engineering is a leading supplier to the brewery and beverage, chemical, food and juice, dairy, pharmaceutical and biotechnology, and home and personal care business sectors for liquid processing, liquid filling and packaging, powder processing, powder handling and packing, concentration and pre-treatment and process control and automation.

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Engineering Essentials

October 2013

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AB World Foods will save 708 tonnes of CO2 with Spirax Sarco steam trap management A Spirax Sarco steam trap management contract is projected to save AB World Foods 236 tonnes of CO2 a year, for the next three years. Under the new contract the site’s steam trap

investment will pay for itself in only eight months.

prices, AB World Foods looked at areas of the “As gas prices increase, it’s vital that we

maintenance was only carried out if a trap interfered with the process, so we may have

“We have used Spirax Sarco to carry out

other large manufacturers. We wouldn’t have

management contract will remove the hassle of in-house maintenance and ensure the year round. trap management services please visit or call 01242 521361.

“As gas prices increase, it’s vital that we handle our steam use as efficiently as possible,” Tony Marsh, AB World Foods Engineering Manager.



October 2013

Straightpoint, the World Leaders in Load Monitoring, Showcase Their New Range of Products at LiftEx, Stand 60 Hot off the press! Straightpoint will be showcasing their brand new wireless compression loadcells at LiftEx stand 60 this year. In addition, they will also be demonstrating their re-engineered range of shackle loadcells (with their new design and the-shelf for ad hoc or last-minute projects) as well as their best-selling Radiolink Plus

4000t. They are ideal for a large number of industries, including mining, energy, defence, transportation sectors. Typical applications for the product include hydraulic and pneumatic structural testing, aircraft weighing, material and static or dynamic weighing.

an industry-leading wireless range of up to 250m/800 feet and unmatched battery life of 400 hours, allowing for the calculation of total mass and the

important part of Straightpoint’s marketing excellent opportunity to meet with our regular new potential clients and distributors.’ to order or hire worldwide through

For more information, visit or email


October 2013


The UK’s only annual trade show dedicated to the overhead lifting sector is taking place at the USN Bolton Arena on November 14th and 15th. Now in its 9th year this annual show is organised by LEEA (Lifting Equipment Engineers Association) and promises to be the

providing visitors with a unique opportunity to experience the widest overhead lifting and working at height. The show also covers more. In addition to end users and suppliers of overhead lifting equipment

industries. We are pleased to announce our Platinum Sponsor Crosby Europe: “We are proud to sponsor this years event as it provides Crosby Europe with a great platform to highlight our latest innovations to both our distributors and the end users of lifting equipment.” Andy

editorial. Companies competing for the coveted awards as follows with more to be announced shortly: Modulift Intertraining Ltd Infochip Van Beest Reid Lifting If you are interested in submitting a presentation for consideration please email with a recent and detailed summary of your intended topic. The deadline for applications is 29th September. Network with hundreds of industry professionals Listen to expert speakers from LEEA around their new initiatives Innovation Theatre – with 2 Awards to be won issues Competition to win a Kindle Fire

to present a new product or application to a captive audience of up

convenient online registration is now open at The

opportunity to compete for the title. Awards opportunities this year: The LEEA Most Innovative Product Award and The LEEA Most Innovative Application of an Existing Product Award.

Questions about exhibiting or visiting? Email or call the events team on Tel:+44 7967 212141.



October 2013

Arbil Limited Celebrates its 50th Trading Year Anniversary Midlands Headquartered; Arbil Limited, who manufacture, service, hire, engineer and distribute specialist lifting, rail and maintenance equipment, celebrates its milestone 50th year as an Incorporated Company. Arbil Limited opened its manufacturing doors back in June 1963, when it initially began trading under the name Raymond R. Bills (Cradley) Ltd, servicing lifting gear and specialist jacking equipment to local industries. Starting out as a self-employed individual, the company’s founder, Raymond R. Bills, quickly expanded the team to include a number of site maintenance engineers, who all worked out of the company’s first site in Wolverhampton. The company was also amongst the first in the specialist lifting gear industry to venture into the hiring out of equipment; with the hire department that began in the mid 60’s still thriving today from its own bespoke premises in Lye and through the regional branches.

sincere thanks to all my fellow workers, customers and suppliers.” Arbil Limited will be exhibiting at LiftEx 2013, showcasing its ability to turn ideas into reality. Arbil prides itself on its ability to design, manufacture and engineer prototype ideas. These fabrications undergo thorough testing, both in Arbil’s bespoke testing facilities and out in the field, before being transformed into final products to service the industry. Along with its manufacturing and engineering capabilities, Arbil will also be displaying several products from its vast hire portfolio. Over the past 50 years, a wealth of experience has been built in this specialised area, which Arbil is looking to further build on over the subsequent 50 years!

Today, Arbil Limited has expanded to five fully owned sites. The company now boasts over 70,000 square feet of manufacturing, warehousing and distribution space, and exports throughout the world. Raymond R. Bills, founder of Arbil Limited and The Bills Group, had this to say of the company’s achievements over the past 50 years, “When I set out in business back in 1963, I could not have imagined how far we and the lifting and rail industries would advance over the subsequent 50 years. The organisation is proud to be recognised as being one of the UKs leading manufacturers and distributors of specialist lifting, rail and maintenance equipment, which is also backed up by our considerable range of testing machines, which test up to a 1,200 tonne capacity.’ Bills continues, ‘Of all the investments made during the last five decades, none can compare to those in the people who have, and still work for the organisation. This milestone gives me the opportunity to express my


October 2013


50 Years

of Engineering

Design, Manufacture, Sales, Service, Test and Hire are all in a day’s work for Arbil.

Arbil: Turning Ideas into Reality



The 3D Printing & Additive Manufacturing: Industrial Applications Summit 2013 is the

opportunities present.



Applications 2013 is coming to San

with leading research experts and pioneering academics to assess graphene’s potential through the lens of its applications.

London and bringing together a successful




graphene. A huge spectrum of speakers




additive manufacturing technologies explain the strategic reasoning behind investment and their visions of what terms of commercial opportunities for industrial production.

Please see the website for more

Visit for more information

business development environment.

600+ specialist exhibitors, 200+ speakers, multiple features – biggest show yet! 16|

It is their several million hours of engineering experience that makes REMBE truly exceptional. As architects of industrial safety and measurement technology, covering bursting discs, explosion protection and measurement technology, REMBE engineers invent new and appropriate solutions for any task, every single day. The manufacturer located in Brilon, Germany creates and produces customized unique pieces as well as large-lot productions with the utmost accuracy. REMBE fulfills and maintains the exact high requirements of function, safety and sustainability at all times, for every single customer. We trust you will find our website will give the inspiration to provide you with a solution and assist you in selecting the relevant products as well contact details of one of our many product specialist.

EXPORT That’s where the money is! We can help you find your Export customers.

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Man and Machine Training Academy

Man and Machine offer an extensive range of Autodesk 2014 training courses

Man and Machine specialise in Autodesk training for Manufacturers, Engineers, Architects & Product Designers. All courses are taught with the official Autodesk courseware and includes one month’s free post training support. Autodesk AutoCAD courses include: • • • • •

AutoCAD Essentials AutoCAD Electrical Fundamentals AutoCAD Advanced AutoCAD 3D Drawing & Modelling AutoCAD Mechanical Essentials

E: W: T: 01844 263 700

Connect with us

October 2013


Man and Machine Training Academy

Man and Machine offers a range of Autodesk® Accredited 2D and 3D CAD Training for both design professionals who are new to CAD drawing software and those who need a more advanced understanding. Since the launch of the Autodesk 2014 software updates Man and Machine is now implementing the 2014 training courses. Our standard training courses include AutoCAD®, Autodesk® Inventor® Introduction to Solid Modelling and AutoCAD® Electrical, for all of these courses we have a substantial schedule throughout 2013. However, if you are unavailable to make the advertised dates or are interested in some of our specialised training, then contact us to discuss your requirements, Alternatively, if you want your staff to progress further in their understanding and productivity

training solutions come with Post Training Support and if needed, free telephone or email support is available for questions asked up to one month after the training course has Man and Machine Training Courses can help to get the most out of your CAD software investment and equip you and your staff with the skills your industry demands.

For more information on all of the Man and Machine training courses please visit the website, email or call us on 01844 263 700 |19


October 2013

Employers struggling to get staff but need to Employers are increasingly struggling to recruit engineering, IT and technical recruits with the right skills, but many admit that they are doing get worse.

“There are many actions that could and are

Engineering and Technology’s (IET) eighth annual Engineering and Technology: Skills & Demand in institutions are playing their role in promoting Industry report.

working with colleges, but our report indicates

some employers seem to recognise the need those that don’t said it was because they see no important asset that is your people?”

and an

has a persistent problem in encouraging women into the engineering and IT sectors. this will only get worse in the not taking any action to attract women into


Business Growth Workshop Thursday,17 October 2013 This course is ideal for anyone who has the responsibility of business growth, either to new or existing accounts, engineers, sales people, account managers, business development executives. Find out how to increase sales revenue, either by winning new customers or increasing the average transaction value; while at the same time building long term relationships and getting repeat orders.

ÂŁ395 +VAT for members ÂŁ450 + VAT for non-members

Joint Integrity Thursday,17 October 2013 Taking place at the state-of-the-art training centre of The Academy of Joint Integrity in Cleckheaton, the MasterClass will cover: These courses are a MUST for those involved in the engineering industry who need to know about valves and actuators. BVAA valve courses are delivered by our lecturers who have tremendous knowledge and experience of the industry. The sessions always result in comments of the highest praise. Introduction to Valves Monday, 7th October 2013 Banbury, ÂŁ360+vat Introduction to Valve Actuators Tuesday, 8th October 2013 Banbury, ÂŁ360+vat Control Valves Wednesday, 9th October 2013 Banbury, ÂŁ360+vat Safety Valves Thursday, 10th October 2013 Banbury, ÂŁ360+vat

Safety Integrity Levels (SILs) Friday, 11th October 2013 Banbury, ÂŁ360+vat Managing Commercial Risk Monday, 14th October 2013 Banbury, ÂŁ450+vat PED & ATEX Directives Tuesday, 15th October 2013 Banbury, ÂŁ360+vat Fluid Sealing Wednesday, 16th October 2013 Banbury, ÂŁ360+vat

Huge Discounts For BVAA Members “Very good with lots of experience and knowledge� BP “Professionally done� British Energy “Good - clear, concise and knowledgeable� Titanium International Ltd “Friendly and funny, explained concepts in laymen’s terms, making the course easy to understand� AMEC


ÂŁ240 +VAT for members ÂŁ360 + VAT for non-members

Valve Metallurgy for non-Metallurgists Tuesday, 12 November 2013 The course gives a technical insight into the technology of valve manufacture. It reviews metal and alloy options for all components in a typical valve design and explains the manufacturing processes, including casting, forging, heat treatment, machining and surface coatings.Key considerations are optimisation of in-service performance consistent with manufacturing and financial constraints and compliance with industry standards and specifications. There is a strong emphasis on Oil & Gas.

ÂŁ395+vat BVAA members ÂŁ450+vat non-members

Presenting to Win Wednesday,13 November 2013

iÂ?ÂˆĂ›iĂ€i`ĂŠÂˆÂ˜ĂŠ>ĂŠĂƒiĂ€ÂˆiĂƒĂŠÂœvĂŠĂƒÂ…ÂœĂ€ĂŒĂŠÂ“Âœ`Ă•Â?iĂƒ]ĂŠĂŒÂ…iĂŠVÂœĂ•Ă€ĂƒiĂŠVÂœĂ›iĂ€ĂƒĂŠ learning styles, delegates’ own presentations, effective communication, presentation input, how to make meetings work, improving prepared presentations and a session demonstrating improvements concluding with personal activity ÂŤÂ?>Â˜ĂƒÂ°"˜ViĂŠ>}>ÂˆÂ˜ĂŠ`iÂ?ÂˆĂ›iĂ€i`ĂŠÂˆÂ˜ĂŠÂŤ>Ă€ĂŒÂ˜iĂ€ĂƒÂ…ÂˆÂŤĂŠĂœÂˆĂŒÂ…ĂŠ,ˆVÂ…>Ă€`ĂŠ iÂ˜Â˜ĂžĂŠ Group.

ÂŁ395 +VAT for members ÂŁ450 + VAT for non-members


Oil & Gas

October 2013

Cold Solution to Hot Issues Belzona, world leader in the design and manufacture of polymer repair composites and industrial protective coatings, showcased its novel yet proven cold bonding technology at Offshore Europe Exhibition 2013. This high performance cold curing system has already been used to bond a multitude of substrates in various industries and has been perfected for offshore deck renovation applications.

Cold bonded vessel anchor point Deck maintenance is a major issue faced by asset owners and operators. Corrosion of the deck can lead to significant loss of wall thickness. With time, this will reduce the load bearing capability of the deck and the typical consequence would be to limit the access to or reduce capacity of the corroded deck. In the case of a lay down deck area where containers are loaded/ offloaded, it would mean that the laydown area’s capability will be reduced, limiting its use and potentially affecting the platform operation. Cold bonding technology Belzona has pioneered high performance cold bonding technology and in 2004, it was applied to a badly deteriorated deck on a North Sea platform. The deck had become weakened through daily operation and weather. The original 8mm steel deck was corroded through in many locations and welding was not an option due to the installed underdeck passive fire protection.


October 2013

Oil & Gas

Offshore Europe 2013 showcase To demonstrate this high performance bonding technology at Offshore Europe 2013 Belzona fabricated pieces simulating four stages of the application where Perspex was used in place of a steel plate to show how the injected fluid grade distributes between the plates, achieving full contact, thus ensuring no air entrapment. A video demonstrating this step by step process was also featured and is also now available to view on the BelzonaTV Youtube channel.

Supply and apply package

Perspex plate bonding to demonstrate technology

Belzona is not just a product manufacturer but also provides a complete supply and apply package through its Global Distribution Network. This network was created to provide clients with direct access to Belzona’s quality products, specialist application, and inspection/ supervision and training services. It is Belzona’s mission to meet specialist repair and maintenance needs in its target industries and markets worldwide. In order to improve lining, forming and bonding specification and application standards Belzona will be delivering a series of technical workshops via the Energy Industries Council (EIC) in London, Houston, Rio and Singapore. To find out more contact

For more information visit or browse through the case studies in

Are you experiencing problems with corrosion of you pressure measurement

Technology and their range of products visit or call +44 (0)1978 262255


We’ve heard it before. A new technology comes along that is of



now on that path.

complexity of the processes. one such process where metal

T: +44(0)1925 757 070 F: +44(0)1925 765 029

that will change manufacturing in the same way that the worldwide-web changed our ability to

where the material is required to

subject in the eyes of the general public. However, the industry has been around for many years and originated from the development of Rapid Prototyping which taken 25 years of development before it has reached the level of manufacturing focused industry that we are witnessing today. technology has developed in two industry now has a number of techniques for producing parts depending on the cost or quality desired by the user. It is now to create certain products locally, than relying on the mass market to provide high volume consumer products that large companies believe that consumers need. consumer end of this market and are taking pre-orders for desktop phone covers and children’s toys


machine plate and a high powered laser is then used to melt and fuse

a process where components can be formed in ways that have not complex assemblies are currently formed from several components

Imagine a component that can be manufactured using complex internal geometry, such as internal What about the advantages that can come from reducing the weight of a component by having hollow structures or adding strengthening features only where required. David Searle, seeing more and more customers components that can only be

of the process is unlikely to be able to compete on cost for higher manufacturing volumes. But for because there is no need for tooling.



October 2013

Speck Pumpen ABC Ltd Since 1996, we have become the sole UK distributors for Speck pumps from the German pump manufacturers

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AxFlow Ltd.

Static causes problems in many diverse industries and requires a number of tailored solutions. For applications where a manual static removal process is required the Stat-Gun from Static Solution is the answer.

The Stat-Gun is DC powered and therefore produces a constant stream of positive and negative ionisation making it the most effective and consistent type of static neutraliser.

you will see from the Stat-Gun we Designed primarily for the offer a demonstration and free-trial coatings industry where maximum of the product before asking you to manoeuvrability is a key requirement, make any commitments. the Stat-Gun offers just this thanks to its cordless, battery operated design. Customer Comments The Stat-Gun is an excellent, easy “As a result the Stat-Gun has become to use and highly effective piece of a favourite amongst the guys in equipment. workshop and although it is bobust, which is key and any demanding environment, if there are any issues, also fully ATEX approved making it or it breaks down due to wear and tear, then the company are great environments, where its cabled to deal with and a replacement counterparts would not comply with comes to us very quickly.� safety regulations.


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International Gas Detectors Ltd

Protecting People Since 1917

New flexible gas detection & gas safety system International Gas Detectors (IGD) has launched their TOC640 Gas Detection and Control System and their TOC30 detectors bringing a low cost approach to gas detection and gas safety systems.

“We just want to make things simple and fast for installers and users” said Andrew cable solution suits the need for a low A single cable can connect up to 32 devices; either inputs or relay costs. “We have seen quotations for gas detection systems where the material and installation costs can be over 70% of the project total” says Andrew. “We have managed to achieve savings of over half that

typical duplications. Addressable sensors are interconnected on a 4-core highway along with output nodes providing localised relays; further reducing duplicated cable runs commonly seen in the older analogue systems.

analogue ports and the use of input channels on addressable nodes. The TOC640 enhances the successful addressable gas detection family within IGD covering systems from 1 to 250 device solutions. The TOC30 detectors bring the market leading Tocsin analogue Commercial and light industrial applications.

cosmetic enhancement and integration to Dado Systems utilised Utilising plastic provided a challenge to ensure full compliance to the latest RFI and EMC standards but IGD submitted all devices for independent testing and can provide a full TUV test Report and About Us With a history of 90 years of designing and manufacturing gas full and unbiased approach to gas detection implementation. Contact Colin Peake +44(0) 7930 937727

Gas Detection

October 2013

PS1 Personal Gas Monitor

GMI’s latest gas detector in the Personal Surveyor range

On/Off capability Field adjustable alarm settings Single gas monitor for H2S, O2, CO, SO2 Easy one button operation Datalogging as standard Audible, visual and vibrating alarms Rugged stainless steel alligator clip


Offices in the UK, France, Norway, USA, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Shanghai

For further information, visit our website at or alternatively contact

Construction Risk Management Specialists Health and Safety Employment Law Environmental Compliance ISO Accreditations CIS Payroll Services THSP provide documentation, training, site inspections, audits, CDM-C and advice to all sizes and types of businesses throughout the UK.

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Access Solutions for UK Biodiesel Plant

assembly (no fabrication required) the Erectastep modular platforms have unlimited and expandable

Greenergy’s biodiesel production plant in Immingham UK approached Flotech Performance Systems requesting a solution to their site access requirements. Safety at height is a concern for any oil and gas company and is one that FlotechPS is accustomed to dealing with.

semi-permanent solution which, when coupled with the Yellowgate system, create a safe environment for any site personnel.

After an on-site assessment, FlotechPS suggested installing several Erectastep modular platforms and Yellowgate universal swing gates across the Greenergy site. Erectastep modular platforms are easy to engineer and quick to deploy in almost any situation. Due to the bolt-only

Yellowgate swing gates operate on a universal mount system allowing them to be mounted anywhere, with no additional parts needed. opening or access point. deployed in any hazardous or non-hazardous environment and are already serving many different industries the world over from Automotive to Aerospace.

Best Regards Lendon Containers Ltd 60 Webbs Road, London, SW11 6SE 32|

Enlarged Pit Furnace Accommodates Today’s Larger Components Developments in renewable energy, mining and quarrying, oil exploration, marine and other applications have led to significant increases in the size of power transmission components like gears, shafts, pinions and bearings, to handle greater productivity demands. As these large components are exposed to severe duty cycles, there is renewed emphasis on the heat treating methods needed to enhance their wear resistance and strength properties. Estimated by industry sources to represent around 10 per cent of component manufacturing costs, heat treatment modifies the microstructure of metallic materials, influencing mechanical characteristics like strength, ductility, toughness, hardness and wear resistance. Thus, it increases the service life and technical performance of metallic parts, which is even more critical for the new generation of larger components that are crucial to mechanical function and usually difficult to replace. Anticipating growing customer demand for processing larger gears, shafts and other components, sub-contract heat treatment specialist Keighley Laboratories of West Yorkshire has enlarged the size of one of its largest pit furnaces, increasing dimensions to 1110mm working diameter and almost 1800mm maximum length, in the process gaining 30 per cent in overall capacity. At the same time, it has upgraded the lifting capacity of its overhead crane, which services all seven pit furnaces, a salt bath and tempering equipment, to 3.0 tonnes maximum lift. Enlarging the No 1 pit furnace involved fabricating a custom-made inner shell or retort, made from exotic duplex stainless steel, but this considerable investment has already been offset by orders for heat treating 1108mm diameter gear wheels for an offshore application and 1755mm long, 1 tonne shafts for a renewable energy project. Indeed, the company is already considering upgrading other in-house pit furnaces and its programmable process controllers. “This has opened up a new market for us amongst engineering companies and OEMs, who are looking to heat treat larger components. This involves physical issues regarding accommodating the size of these parts, then lifting them out of the furnace and into the quench tank, as well as demanding special skills for treating very large workpieces without damage or distortion,” says Divisional Commercial Director, Michael Emmott. Keighley Labs employs its pit furnaces for carburising, carbonitriding, hardening and tempering, stress relieving, homogenising and carbon restoration, working at temperatures up to 980°C. It handles steel, iron, high chrome iron, cast iron, ADI (austempered ductile iron) and alloy steel materials, for aviation, marine, defence, rail, mobile plant, energy and general engineering companies. Pit furnaces are vertically-oriented batch furnaces, with the furnace section buried in a pit and extending up to floor level

and a hydraulically-operated sealed cover extending above the surface. Workpieces are held in a jig or charge basket in the furnace, the inner retort protecting them from the direct radiation of heat; this configuration is particularly suitable for treating long parts such as shafts, tubes and rods, although a wide variety of shapes and sizes can be accommodated, singly or in batches. Apart from offering significant savings in floorspace, with one sealed quench occupying the same floor area as four pit furnaces, this furnace type offers very high repeatability, extremely precise thermochemical treatment, economic effectiveness, proven flexibility and the capacity to treat both long components and large rounded parts like gear wheels. Pit furnaces are also renowned for producing minimal distortion and this is particularly critical for larger components, where the same percentage of deformation equates to a much greater absolute distortion, possibly leading to the scrapping of parts. Defined as irreversible and usually unpredictable dimensional changes during the process, distortion occurs when heating the workpiece above the transformation temperature results in it losing the inherent strength it possesses at room temperature, often causing it to distort under its own weight. Thus, long parts are preferably heated in a vertical pit furnace, to ensure that they are properly suspended during heating, while other parts must be carefully supported to suit their geometry, employing well-designed jigs and fixtures. “With our new heat treatment department, modern furnaces and advanced low temperature, low distortion, thermochemical processes coming on stream later this year, we wanted to renew the focus on our pit furnace capability, where we rank amongst the leaders in the contract heat treat industry. When it comes to minimising distortion in heat treated components, pit furnaces still have a lot to offer and with gears, shafts and other parts increasing in size, the distortion challenge is becoming even greater. It’s an area where we can usefully contribute, drawing upon our many years’ experience,” says Michael Emmott. “These days, many customers have highly technical resources and can specify unambiguously the heat treatment processes they require,” he adds. “We are continually investing in our heat treatment resources to keep abreast of their exacting requirements and offer alternative solutions across the whole spectrum of surface engineering. Where customers do seek our expertise, we are confident that we can provide in-depth practical and technical knowledge that is second to none,” he concludes. Further enquiries to Keighley Laboratories Limited, Croft House, South Street, Keighley BD21 1EG, tel 01535 664211, ,

Engineering Update - October 2013  
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