Engineering Update - March 2024

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EngineeringUpdate ENGINEERING - AUTOMATION - MANUFACTURING MARCH 2024 Registration for Subcon 2024 is officially open! 020 805 09659 | The importance of solvent cleaners in the nuclear power industry Magnets for Revolutionary Solar Car [click here]

Efficient Food Waste Disposal with SEEPEX PC Pumps

SEEPEX, a specialist in progressive cavity pumps for food and beverage applications, offers a sophisticated solution for chopping, pumping, and moving food waste. This simplifies the handling of challenging by-products, ranging from fish, whole chickens, and vegetables to peelings and fruit stones. The BTM progressive cavity pumps not only reduce food producers’ costs, but also improve their standards of hygiene and health & safety.

Fruit, vegetable, meat, poultry and fish processing facilities inevitably produce waste. This includes not just trimmings, wash residue and by-products, but also off-specification batches, overproduction, and expired goods. Strict sanitary guidelines dictate the handling and quick removal of this waste from production areas.

Clearing this food waste not only frees up capacity for primary processing operations but also provides an opportunity. This involves turning waste and by-products into additional revenue streams by using them for animal feed, compost, or even to generate renewable energy.

SEEPEX removes

However, some waste products are notoriously difficult to handle – large, highly viscous, or non-flowable foodstuffs can be a challenge. These include whole chickens, chicken frames, heads, feet, and necks as well as other animal by-products. Whole vegetables and fruit, along with fruit stones, seeds, and peelings also fall into this category.

As a result, some operators still rely on traditional methods to remove them from the production area. Conveyor belts are often used in large food production factories. Compressed air systems, vacuums and water flumes are also common. Operators use waste containers, like tote bins or dolavs, for manual handling. These methods can be inefficient, unsanitary and expensive.

Automated, All-in-One Alternative

Fortunately, there are sophisticated, hygienic and cost-effective alternatives on the market. The SEEPEX open hopper BTM pump range is one such option. Many fruit, vegetable, meat, poultry and fish processing factories across the UK and Europe have adopted this pumping technology for the disposal of food waste. The BTM progressive cavity pump with a feed auger and macerating knives, chops and pumps food waste in a single operation.

This process effectively reduces solids waste volume by up to 60% and provides a pumpable consistency without requiring additional water.

SEEPEX Pumps for Food Waste Handling

Changing from traditional waste removal methods to an enclosed food waste removal solution like the SEEPEX BTM pump has several advantages for food manufacturers:

Hygienic waste removal

Firstly, it is more hygienic. Transferring food waste products through a closed pipe system eliminates the need for dedicated cleaning of tote bins. This is especially beneficial before re-entering high-care areas, as it helps prevent potential cross-contamination.

Improved health & safety

Secondly, it is safer. Manual handling or conveyor systems can cause waste products to fall on the floor. This creates an immediate health and safety risk for workers and increases the risk of slipping accidents. In contrast, SEEPEX automated solutions streamline the process, needing only one staff member to load products into the hopper or even fully automating the feeding process.

SEEPEX integrated system hygienically removes waste, including whole fruit and vegetables, peelings and fruit stones.

This improves efficiency and safety on the factory floor by minimising traffic and hazards in high-risk areas. Reducing the number of forklift trucks, operatives, and tote bins significantly improves overall safety.

Cost-saving solution

Finally, the BTM pump range is more efficient, generating significant cost savings. By chopping and pumping all-in-one, the BTM pump is able to create a pumpable consistency without requiring any additional water, resulting in savings from water usage. It can also reduce food waste volume by up to 60%, making it easier to transport and cutting transport costs.

The operating and energy costs of the BTM are considerably lower than vacuum or compressed air systems, generating savings. Automating the process and eliminating manual labour also allows food producers to cut down on labour costs, freeing up employees for more profitable primary production roles.

In chilled high-care production areas, using a simple pipeline to remove waste instead of manual transport through doorways will help reduce energy costs and minimise potential contamination from external sources.

Bespoke Options for Challenging Waste Streams

Customised solutions are available for transporting more challenging by-products. To ensure continuous pumping, the BTM pump range incorporates an auger with a large pitch, feeding the product into the cutting elements.

Horizontal and vertical grinders can also be integrated; as can solids traps to prevent pump damage. Dewatering devices can help reduce waste volume even further. Additionally, all BTM pump systems can be fitted with Smart Conveying Technology (SCT), a pump maintenance solution from SEEPEX that enables rapid dismantling and cleaning, reducing maintenance time by up to 85%. With SCT, the adjustable stator can also increase pump stator life by up to 200%. Pumps fitted with this maintenance solution can be fully maintained in place without removing any pipework and are also suitable for Clean-In-Place (CIP).

SEEPEX BTM pumps with patented cutting unit chop and pump in a single operation, and enable hygienic waste removal.

SEEPEX PC pumps are used in fish, meat and poultry processing and for the efficient and cost-effective removal of by-products and waste.

Contact SEEPEX to discuss your requirements and learn more about our food waste pumps and food waste pumping applications. We also offer solutions for fruit and vegetable processing, the fishing industry, poultry and meat processing, and other applications within the food and beverage industry.

chop hygienic
Engineering Update 3 10 Contents Registration for Subcon 2024 is officially open! Titan Enterprises Explores the Relationship Between Repeatability and Accuracy of Flowmeters Accessing Production Data vs Cybersecurity? Why not both? 12 16 CleanCube containment labs: a rapid, cost-effective solution set to revolutionise the market 22 MARCH 2024 To feature in the next edition of Engineering Update. Call 020 805 09659 or email

Unirope Becomes First AWRF Accredited Member

Unirope Limited was the first rigging shop to become an Associated Wire Rope Fabricators (AWRF) Accredited Member.

Mississauga, Ontariobased Unirope completed a successful in-person audit, conducted by AWRF’s thirdparty auditors, the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA).

The AWRF Accreditation Program is a voluntary opportunity for all member companies and their affiliated branches. Using the current revision of AWRF RP&G, Recommended Practice for the Operation of Sling Shops, as a basis for evaluation, LEEA works with interested members to ensure compliance.

In other words, the audit was developed by LEEA according to requirements set out by AWRF.

Unirope—it is also a LEEA member—is a specialist in the manufacture, distribution, testing, certification, and inspection of high-performance wire rope and rigging products. It has additional facilities in Quebec and Alberta; the three sites combine to deliver a service nationwide and to select customers in the U.S. and Europe.

Justin Brown, president at Unirope, said: “There is a sense of pride that comes with being first across any line or to be the first to achieve a goal. That said, we undertook this as a project to support AWRF, our industry, and all the end users of rigging products that will in the future be looking for a way to distinguish quality rigging fabricators from the rest.

“In three to five years, this program will be the benchmark in our industry. End users of rigging products will demand that they are produced by an AWRF Accredited Member and there will be a clear quality benchmark between those that can comply and those that cannot.”

Having completed the audit, Unirope can now market itself as an AWRF Accredited Member, which includes the use of a logo that has recently been developed. The goals of the program are to ensure safer sling shop operation; to drive more business to member companies; and to help member companies win more market share—ultimately adding value to being a member.

Brown said: “The third-party audit and accreditation is significant beyond AWRF membership—and it is important to know the difference. Membership alone brings a lot of benefits but simply being a member of a trade...

Engineering Update 4
Click here to read the complete article >>>

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Albion Pet Foods successfully transitions to in-house manufacturing with ULMA’s SIENNA flow wrapper (HFFS)

Albion Pet Foods, based in Alcester-Warwickshire, has over 40 years of experience as a leading company in the pet food industry. Specialising in raw dog food and treats, the company’s philosophy hinges on the Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF) Diet, underscoring a commitment to natural, additive-free ingredients. Their extensive product range includes categories like Standard, Complete Adult, Complete Puppy and more, catering to dogs’ diverse nutritional. This approach aligns with their core belief that a natural carnivore diet, devoid of preservatives and fillers, is paramount for the health and well-being of dogs.

The company’s dedication to quality and natural diets is further evidenced by its engagement in educating pet owners. Through resources on raw feeding and tailored advice for dog breeders, Albion Pet Foods strives to inform and support their clientele in making beneficial dietary choices for their pets. Their products, popular among dog owners, are readily available across the UK, reflecting their reputation and reach in the pet food market. Click here to read the full article

Engineering Update 6
Solum harciusdanis erferfe rrovidem dem quo consenis





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Titan Enterprises Explores the Relationship Repeatability and Accuracy of

The demand for high-accuracy meters in flow measurement has indeed grown over the years, driven by various factors such as stricter government regulations and the need for more precise measurements in critical applications. Manufacturers of flow measurement devices like Titan Enterprises are continually investing in research and development to introduce new technologies that enhance the accuracy and performance of their flow measuring instruments. This includes innovations such as improved sensor technology, advanced signal processing algorithms, and enhanced calibration methods.

An important aspect to Titan Enterprises’ R&D is reviewing the performance of our flowmeters and delivering improvements in product design and materials that improves both the accuracy and repeatability (reliability) of these flow measurement devices.

“A high-quality flowmeter, carefully produced with a design and construction to tight tolerances and with high-quality materials as well as low wear and fatigue characteristics, is a precise meter with a quantifiable value of repeatability.” (R.C. Baker, 2016).

Repeatability and Accuracy are distinct terms used to define the performance and quality of a flowmeter.

So what is Repeatability?

The standard description is the flowmeter’s ability to produce the same result on repeated runs under identical operating conditions. Repeatability is often something that the design of the instrument defines and without excellent repeatability, a flowmeter cannot have good performance.

At Titan Enterprises we set our calibration rigs to record a certain number of pulses depending on the type of meter. The flow rigs accurately interpolate the rig and meter pulses and will not accept a reading unless it is within pre-set limits, usually set at 0.1% of repeated points. Repeatability is expressed as a ± percentage.

Repeatability can deteriorate at low flow rates so manufacturers may specify this value as a percentage plus a constant uncertainty value, or as a percentage of full-scale reading, rather than a percentage of measured flow rate.

Titan’s highly repeatable small turbine flow meters are successfully employed in batching processes and dispensing applications particularly within the food and beverage, chemical, medical and laboratory sectors. They have excellent repeatability (±0.1%) making them ideal for dosing systems and can be calibrated in-situ.

What is Accuracy?

Accuracy of a flowmeter relates to the quality of the measurement device and how close a measured reading is to the

Engineering Update 10

Relationship Between Flowmeters

The following images illustrate the relationship between repeatability and accuracy:

Poor accuracy / poor repeatability.

High accuracy is not achievable without high repeatability.

Good repeatability / poor accuracy.

Good repeatability does not guarantee accuracy - but then this is not always important to the process. Not all applications require highly accurate flow readings, such as batching processes used in the beverage industry, particularly as flowmeter calibration can be adjusted in-situ.

true flow. It is generally accepted that Accuracy is used as a qualitative term, where Linearity and Uncertainty measurements are the quantitative terms defining the accuracy of a flowmeter.

Linearity is usually defined by stating the maximum deviation of the reading over a stated flow range (e.g. ±1% of flow rate). It is the ability of the flow meter to remain within specified limits over its entire flow range determined by its design. The standard way of expressing linearity is error of reading. A frequently used alternative in some industry sectors is percentage of full-scale deflection or FSD.

Measurement uncertainty is the level of potential error in calibration, i.e. the range of values within which the true values lie with a specified probability. It is accepted that there is always a margin of error in any taken measurement and this uncertainty is quantified as a ± percentage.

Good accuracy / good repeatability.

A flowmeter with both high accuracy and repeatability would generally come at a higher price. However, this investment is highly desirable in the medical, pharmaceutical and chemical sectors where small volume, high-value product is dispensed/dosed.

Accurate flow rate measurement is influenced by an array of variables, including pressure, temperature, density and viscosity of the fluid. All of these factors are typically included in a calibration record. The very best calibration houses claim a measurement uncertainty as good as ±0.02%, though more typically ±0.1% when these factors are properly controlled.

Overall, the trend towards higher-accuracy flow meters is likely to continue as industries evolve, and the demand for precise measurements in critical applications grows. This evolution is driven not only by regulatory requirements but also by the ongoing pursuit of process optimisation, efficiency gains, and improved product quality across various sectors.

Visit Titan Enterprises’ website for further information on flow measurement or to discuss specific technical applications, please contact Titan Enterprises on +44 (0)1935 812790 or email

Engineering Update 11

Registration for Subcon 2024 officially open!

Celebrating 47 years on the 5-6 June 2024 at the NEC, Birmingham, will showcase over 200 subcontract and outsourced engineering services a expected audience of over 4500 senior attendees. It remains the essential event for manufacturing buyers across all industry sectors, providing platform to source suppliers, benchmark capabilities, and network with leaders.

After launching a newly refurbished website at the end of 2023 that offers an improved online experience for both exhibitors and visitors, Subcon has recently announced a few exciting enhancements that make for two jam-packed days of innovation and celebration.

What’s new in 2024?

Manufacturing Solutions Awards – Subcon will host the inaugural “Manufacturing Solutions Show Awards”, set to take place within

the exhibition on Thursday, June 6th, and designed excellence in UK manufacturing and honor outstanding innovations.

Networking welcome drinks & entertainment an invitation to all visitors, exhibitors, and speakers welcome drinks reception, taking place from 5 5th of June. A perfect way to unwind and network a friendly, informal setting.

Engineering Update 12

2024 is

Subcon services to essential providing a unique with industry designed to celebrate outstanding engineering entertainment - We’re extending speakers to attend our pm on Wednesday the network after a busy day, in

Engineering Update 13

Same venue, new hall! -

Subcon will take place in Hall 3A, making it even easier to access the events taking place across the same dates, and even closer to the main transport hubs.

Dedicated work and meeting spaces - If you need a place for face-to-face meetings, want to take time out to catchup on messages, or just grab a coffee, there will be dedicated times available in the meeting spaces.

Benefit from CPD- accredited workshops, live product demos and more!

The all-new “Learning, Innovation & Insights Programme” is a noteworthy addition to the show, designed to provide a better, more informative experience for everyone, with the introduction of new learning formats including:

Peer-to-peer roundtable discussion sessions -

Join a table with your peers for focused networking and sharing of challenges, led by a subject expert. Gain practical advice, ask your questions, and share challenges and solutions with your peers.

Live product demo sessions – An easier way to learn and interact with the array of world-class products on display at the show. Get hands-on, practical demonstrations of future solutions for efficiencies, products, materials, and systems in the innovation sessions.

Drop-in advice clinics and workshops - CPD Accredited workshop sessions, led by a subject expert, with practical takeaways to progress your professional development or company strategy.

Topics in the “Learning, Innovation & Insights Programme” include:

• Government insights for the future of manufacturing and subcontracting in the UK

• Global and local market forecasts for materials, suppliers, and trade links

• Cross-sector case studies in aerospace, automotive, medical, defence, and more

• Lively debate and discussion around reshoring versus offshoring, decarbonisation, and supply chain collaboration

• Recruitment and re-skilling advice and support

• Industry experts sharing how and where technology and innovation will create efficiencies and alleviate resource challenges

Subcon promises to be an unmissable event for the manufacturing industry, offering extensive opportunities for learning, networking, and innovation. Register now to secure your place this June!

Register Today: subconshow-2024.reg

Engineering Update 14

Accessing Production Data vs Cybersecurity? Why not both?

You can secure your plant, or you can access your production data—but not both. At least, that was the conventional wisdom for decades. Now Industrie 4.0 and competitive pressures are pushing companies to find a way to access production data securely. The good news is, it can be done.

Some options are better than others, though. For example, VPNs are not a safe bet. VPNs effectively extend the security perimeter beyond the plant network to include the IT network. A security breach on the VPN exposes all systems on both networks to attack.

Another option is to combine OPC and MQTT for inplant and plant-to-cloud security. This approach draws on the strengths of both protocols but falls short when it comes to NIS 2 recommendations to isolate networks using a DMZ. The OPC UA protocol is too complex to reproduce through a DMZ, and the QoS guarantees in MQTT cannot propagate well through a DMZ, making data at the user end unreliable.

A secure tunnel/mirror implementation, on the other hand, can support connections across a DMZ because it can mirror the full data set at each node. It provides access to that data, both for qualified clients as well as the next node in the chain. Good tunnel/mirror software can guarantee consistency, so that the data for any client or intermediate point in the chain will be consistent with the original source.

For secure access to your production data, keeping all inbound firewall ports closed and isolating networks with a DMZ, the best approach is tunnel/mirroring. DataHub Tunneller software from Skkynet offers a secure way to connect OT and IT systems for real-time data flow without compromising on cybersecurity, enabling companies to remain competitive without sacrificing security.

Read the white paper

Engineering Update 16

Tunnel/Mirror simply better networking

For data protocols that are difficult to connect, the DataHub Tunnel/Mirror provides easy-to-configure, secure and robust networking. Eliminate the hassles of DCOM, detect network breaks quickly and recover from them smoothly. Access your remote data, not your plant systems. Connect and share data among locations with no DCOM or Windows security issues.

The DataHub Tunnel/Mirror goes beyond the basics, letting you integrate your data without exposing your network. Simply better networking.

more >
SkkynetTM, DataHubTM, Cogent DataHubTM, the Skkynet and DataHub logos are either registered trademarks or trademarks used under license by the Skkynet group of companies (“Skkynet”) in the USA and elsewhere. All other trademarks, service marks, trade names, product names and logos are the property of their respective owners.

Streamline Your Supply of Quality Parts for Trucks & Trailers

Having a streamline supply of quality parts is a key ingredient to success for truck and trailer manufacturers. With Class 7 and 8 commercial vehicle production growing to 23.7 million units worldwide in 2023, the number of heavy goods trailers in daily use is prolific. Yet, with governments and environmental considerations influencing the reduction of CO2 emissions, trailer manufacturers are challenged to reimagine the design and production of their builds and to ensure they utilize quality parts.

As with many industries, trailer and truck manufacturers need to meet market demand in the face of exciting and new alternative fuel prospects and an ever-growing requirement for heavy goods vehicles (HGV) transportation. Geopolitical events continue to add risk to supply chains too. Therefore, maintaining a steady and reliable supply of quality parts is crucial for manufacturers looking to meet demand and boost their product output.

The Importance of Quality Parts for Your Trucks & Trailers

HGV trailers and trucks require thousands of standard and engineered fasteners. Manufacturers must prioritize quality fasteners in the initial design stage of a build to ensure the end product’s range, durability and safety are as efficient as possible.

Fasteners can make up less than 1% of the cost of a production build, but they can constitute more than 50% of a product’s build of materials (BOM). Plus, these quality parts may be small, but they can significantly impact on vehicle performance, affecting speed, fuel consumption, range and useful life.

The impact of quality parts on a build is particularly important for trailers. These parts are located in a trailer’s sub-frames, floor and storage compartments, vent openings, skin reinforcements, firewall assembly and load-weight systems. Some standard fasteners for HGV trailers can include:

• Wheel Nuts

• Stud Connectors

• Wheel Bolts

• Cable Ties

• Flange Bolts

• Bolt Washers

• Sealing Washers

• Lockbolts

• SEMs

Engineering Update 18

Due to traveling long distances with heavy loads, often in extreme conditions, fasteners for trucks and trailers must be engineered with:

• High tensile and fatigue strength

• Anti-vibration characteristics

• Corrosion resistance to contaminants

• Minimal weight and space requirements

• Negligible maintenance needs

To satisfy this list of requirements, engineers must carefully consider the raw material of each quality part utilized. Fasteners for trucks and trailers are often made from steel, but electric or hydrogen powered tractors, alongside others powered by alternative fuels, may demand more engineered fasteners made of aluminum to prioritize lightweighting.

Maintaining a Streamlined Supply of Quality Parts for your Truck & Trailer Builds

While manufacturing truck and trailers with quality parts is key, purchasing and supply chain professionals must maintain a streamlined supply chain to get these parts to a production line.

Onshoring and nearshoring production, as evidenced by the number of manufacturers opening new plants nearer their customer base, continues to grow. It also lowers their carbon footprint, as these fasteners require minimal transportation.

With fastener distribution centers all over the globe and cold form manufacturing facilities in the Us and UK and later this year in Mexico, Optimas has partnered with manufacturers for over 100 years, helping them meet demand by sourcing and making quality parts closer to home.

Alongside our offering of both standard and engineered fastening solutions, our OptiTech VMI solutions ensure customers replenish their inventory on time and have real-time visibility into on-hand and up-stream availability—with secure, cloud-based technology.

With manufacturing, distribution, quality and engineering all under one roof, get in touch with one of our experts today so we can help you streamline your HGV fastener supply chain and optimize your products with our quality parts.

For further details on Optimas visit:

Engineering Update 19

SICK Brings Liquid Lens Technology to its Smallest Lector Code Reader

SICK has added Liquid Lens technology to the Lector 61X, its smallest image-based code reader, to deliver rapid and infinitely-variable focal adjustment and a significantly-extended depth of field. The SICK Lector611 with Liquid Lens packs outstanding read performance and operational versatility into an ultracompact device.

The SICK Lector611 image-based code reader reliably reads 1D, 2D and stacked codes even when they are low contrast, contaminated or of poor quality. It also excels with Direct Part Marking (DPM) and very small codes, including where they are practically invisible to the human eye or at very close range.

As well as code-reading duties in fast-moving production and logistics, is therefore ideal for reading direct marks on electronics or automotive components, for example. It also reliably reads slowly-degrading codes, for example on totes in hard-working materials handling environments.

Darren Pratt, SICK UK’s Product Manager for Identification explains: “The liquid lens used in the Lector 611 is infinitely variable. When combined with the automatic parameter switching function available in all Lectors, this enables the Lector 611 to switch automatically between different focal points on the fly.

“Focal distances switch automatically in milliseconds, resulting in an incredible depth of field over the full operating range of 50mm and 300mm. This is ideal e.g. for detecting packages of different heights on a conveyor or adapting to rapid batch changes in production logistics.”

Rapid Set-Up

Measuring just 30 mm x 40 mm x 50 mm and featuring snap-in mounting and flexible cable connectors, the SICK Lector 61X is installed with ease in the tightest of machine spaces. Configure the Lector 611 automatically via a quick set-up wizard in the free-of-charge SOPAS configuration software or directly via the on-sensor push-button auto-tune feature. Whichever method is preferred, optical and code settings are quickly optimised and the unit is ready to read in seconds. With intelligence onboard, the SICK Lector 611 can be set up to distinguish between several codes, or to read multiple codes simultaneously on a package or component.

Engineering Update 20

Despite its tiny size, the SICK Lector 611 is a camera jam-packed with versatile functions. Its design incorporates magnifying optics so it can read microcodes with a minimum bar width down to 0.02 mm for 1D codes and a cell size as small as 0.04 mm for 2D codes.

Combining eight LEDs and two lighting colours, the Lector 611 has a highly-flexible lighting capability to optimise the code identification, regardless of the surface or colour. Further optical accessories such as a polarising filter can be attached with no additional tools.

Data Analysis

As with all the cameras in SICK’s Lector family, the Lector 611 can help operators track the quality of the codes it reads. Good reads and no-reads are recorded and statistical analysis of read performance is provided alongside live images so operators can inspect code quality.

The SICK Lector 611 has an integrated time-of-flight laser to aid rapid set-up, while the built-in orientation sensor ensures optimal positioning, as well as rapid detection should the camera move out of alignment e.g. by being knocked.

The SICK Lector 611 with Liquid Lens features a flush screen, so it is ideal for environments with dust and liquid contaminants with a rating up to IP65. The onboard algorithms can pre-filter data before communicating to the control system. It is compatible with all common communication protocols, including TCP/IP, EtherNet/IP, PROFINET, serial and CAN.

Other cameras in SICK’s market-leading Lector family, the Lector 62X, the Lector 63X and the Lector 85X, extend the camera-based reading capability across many industries and applications. For example, the Lector 63X is ideal for hand-presentation applications in retail logistics, and the Lector 85X, the biggest in the family, is used for rapid throughput applications reading multiple packages on wide conveyors, e.g. in Courier, Express and Parcel hubs.

Engineering Update 21

CleanCube containment labs: a rapid, cost-effective solution set to revolutionise the market

Guardtech Group’s portable cleanroom specialists ready to spare businesses hassle of refurbing existing labs or building new facilities

THE GUARDTECH GROUP might just have solved a significant problem for Healthcare Diagnostics laboratories all over the world.

The Suffolk-based cleanroom construction experts have been providing their portable CleanCube Mobile Cleanroom solutions for clients across the globe for more than three years now.

But it was only at the back end of 2023 that they discovered just how critical their innovative plug-andplay container labs could be for businesses looking to increase their Containment Level 3 (CL3) provision.

Cambridge Clinical Laboratories CEO Tony Cooke has deployed a refurbished CleanCube Midi CL3 lab for his company’s vital diagnostics testing.

The unit was previously utilised as a BSL2 for COVID-19 PCR testing, but the Guardtech Group, led by CleanCube Manufacturing Manager Michael Burton, reworked the layout as per Cooke’s instructions and upgraded it internally to meet the higher CL3 classification.

Engineering Update 22

“The CleanCube is up and running and we’ve been approved by the government Health & Safety Executive (HSE) to use it,” says Cooke. “We’re developing a novel tuberculosis test and now have our first samples in place.

“This is an entirely new process from what we’ve done previously in the lab and part of it needs to be conducted in a Category 3 containment suite.

“We’ve worked on bovine TB before (BCG), but we haven’t required the higher level of containment for the non-human strains.”

Cooke and his team considered redeveloping their own existing premises, but the prospect of adding thicker concrete floors and other major renovation works led him to considering CleanCube as an ideal alternative.

The unit now sits proudly alongside Cambridge Clinical’s host building, where it was adeptly squeezed into the only slither of tight space that the lab had available by the diligent CleanCube team.

“We couldn’t adapt our building and we were short of space, plus the lead times for CleanCube were relatively small compared to any work we might’ve considered having done on our building – and it’s cheaper,” he adds.

permission and go through all the planning consent. This is just so much quicker.”

What’s more, the rapid container lab also brings the promise of new business ventures that Cooke and his team would otherwise have had to wait far longer to explore.

“Having CleanCube opens up new opportunities for us –beyond just working on TB,” he continues. “We can now deal with influenza, new malaria risks, anything that requires that higher level of containment. As a result, we’ve increased our security.”

Cooke believes the CleanCube concept, and all the benefits it brings, could revolutionise the future of containment lab construction.

“Our lease runs out in 2025 and we’re not planning to move,” he says, “but if we had to for whatever reason, we can simply take the CleanCube with us to a new facility. It gives us an amazing amount of flexibility.”

For more information on CleanCube Containment Level 3 laboratories, call 0330 113 0303, email or visit:

“It was a lot more convenient than any other option in the market. We had really tight timescales and we’re in a rented building – so we’d have had to get landlord’s

Engineering Update 23
Cambridge Clinical Laboratories CEO Tony Cooke ©Elodie Giuge Photography

Magnets for Revolutionary

Bunting is supporting the Brunel Solar Team with specialist magnets and technical support in the development of their Nuna 12S solar powered car. The Nuna 12S will complete with other teams in the 16th Sasol Solar Challenge (September 2024), driving from Johannesburg to Cape Town in South Africa.

Bunting is one of the world’s leading designers and manufacturers of magnets, magnet assemblies, and magnetising equipment. The Bunting European engineering and manufacturing facilities are in Berkhamsted and Redditch, both in the United Kingdom.

The Brunel Solar Team promote sustainability through innovation. The team was founded after group of TU Delft students watched the movie ‘Race the Sun’, where high school misfits in Hawaii build a car driven on solar power and take part in the 1990 World Solar Challenge in Australia. The students decided to design and build

their own solar car and participate in the World Solar Challenge of 2001. With the help and support of Wubbo Ockels, first Dutch astronaut and professor at the TU Delft who became the team coach, they developed the solar car and won the 2001 race. The first time that a newcomer had won.

Since 2001, the team has continued to promote awareness of the power of sustainable energy trough innovation. By participating in solar races all over the world, the team wants to highlight the potential of solar power and push the boundaries of the technology. The

Engineering Update 24
The Brunel Solar Team

Revolutionary Solar Car

team has won the World Solar Challenge on 4 separate occasions, as well as securing 11 other world titles.

The present Brunel Solar Car team was formed in September 2023 for the 2024 Sasol Solar Challenge. The 11 (eleven) students in the team cover a range of disciplines from engineering design through to marketing.

During the design phase, the Brunel Solar Team realised that they needed specialist magnet-related technical support. On previous motor designs, the team had encountered difficulties with the magnets, which were proving difficult to overcome.

The team read several of Bunting’s technical press releases and blogposts on magnets and complex magnet assemblies, and recognised the company’s focus on sustainable magnets. Subsequently, the Brunel Solar Team contacted Bunting for guidance on the type, design, and assembly of the magnets used in the motor that drives the vehicle. With decades of experience in designing and developing magnets and magnet assemblies, Bunting’s Technical Product Manager, Matthew Swallow, spoke with the team and provided precious technical support that clarified the magnet specification and optimum build techniques.

The operating requirements led to the selection of special permanent neodymium iron boron (NdFeB) rare earth magnets, which generate high magnetic forces. The efficiency of the motor is vitally important in transferring the maximum amount of captured solar energy into motion. The motor is novel and uses the magnets to produce the most torque per input energy to move the car the furthest distance on the harvested energy. This extends the range of the solar powered vehicle, making the Brunel solar car very competitive.

The Brunel Solar Team plan to officially reveal and test drive the new solar car in June 2024, before departing for the Sasol Solar Challenge in South Africa in early August. Further testing will take place in South Africa leading up to the race that starts on the 13th September. The Sasol Solar Challenge challenges teams to develop, build and drive solar-powered cars, with the ultimate goal of covering the most distance without using a drop of fuel.

“This is a great example of the important role magnets play in ‘green’ technology,” explained Matthew Swallow, Bunting’s Technical Product Manager. “The innovative Brunel Solar Team is pushing the boundaries of solar power technology and we were thrilled to support them with magnet materials and technical assistance. The development of solar power projects like this and other sustainable technology is vitally important as the world moves away from fossil fuels.”

For further information, please contact us on or visit our website: Bunting-Berkhamsted

Engineering Update 25
The Brunel Solar Team car on the road in Australia in October 2023

The nuclear power industry involves complex and sensitive processes that require a high level of cleanliness to ensure quality, safety, efficiency and regulatory compliance.

The importance of solvent cleaners in the nuclear power industry:

Contamination control:

Nuclear power plants operate in environments where even small amounts of contaminants can have significant consequences. Solvent cleaning helps control and remove contaminants such as dust, dirt, oils, and other foreign residues from various components, ensuring the integrity of critical systems and equipment.

Radiation protection:

Radioactive materials are present in different forms within nuclear power facilities. Solvent cleaning is essential for decontaminating surfaces exposed to radiation. Radioactive particles can adhere to equipment and structures, posing a risk to workers and the environment. Regular solvent cleaning helps mitigate radiation exposure by removing these contaminants and is crucial for minimizing radiation exposure to workers and preventing the spread of radioactive materials.

Engineering Update 26

Equipment maintenance:

Nuclear power plants rely heavily on sophisticated equipment and control systems for monitoring and managing various processes, including sensors, valves, pumps, heat exchangers, and instrumentation. Solvent cleaning helps maintain the performance and reliability of these components by preventing corrosion and other issues that may arise from the accumulation of contaminants, ensuring accurate and reliable operation.

Quality assurance and regulatory compliance:

The nuclear industry operates under strict quality assurance and regulatory standards. Solvent cleaning is an essential part of maintaining these standards by ensuring that equipment and surfaces meet cleanliness requirements and do not introduce uncertainties or errors into the nuclear processes.

Heat transfer efficiency:

In nuclear power plants, efficient heat transfer is essential for optimal performance. The presence of contaminants on heat exchanger surfaces can reduce heat transfer efficiency, leading to decreased performance and potential overheating. Solvent cleaning helps maintain clean surfaces, ensuring effective heat transfer and preventing overheating of components. Some solvents can also be extremely effective as heat transfer liquids.

Preventative maintenance:

Solvent cleaning is often a part of routine preventative maintenance programs in nuclear facilities. Clean and well-maintained equipment is less likely to experience malfunctions. Regular cleaning helps identify and address potential issues before they escalate, contributing to the overall safety and reliability of the nuclear plant. In summary, solvent cleaning is integral to the overall safety, efficiency, and longevity of equipment and structures within the nuclear power industry. It plays a key role in helping to control contamination, maintain equipment performance, protect against radiation, help to prevent corrosion and ensure overall equipment

reliability. It’s important to note that while solvents are effective cleaning agents, their use should be handled with care. Some solvents can be toxic, flammable, or harmful to human health and the environment, so proper precautions and guidelines should be followed when using them. Additionally, choosing the right solvent for a specific cleaning task is crucial to achieve optimal results without causing damage to the surfaces being cleaned.

Zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and very low Global Warming Potential (GWP) solvent cleaner for high performance degreasing.

ProSolv®5408e has been developed to provide superior critical cleaning performance, suitable for many different industries. High Solvency (KB Value 98) for removal of organic residue and oils.

ProSolv®5408e is a high-performance solvent cleaner used for sustainable and future proof degreasing. It has a GWP of less than 1, with a 100-year Integrated Time Horizon (ITH). Soft on the environment and safe for users, it offers improved cleaning at lower costs.

Engineering Update 27

ProSolv®5408e ticks all the boxes and is the perfect profile for a modern degreasing solvent. Exceptionally low surface tension to penetrate micron sized holes and close contact surfaces. Sustainable and secure for the future. Non-carcinogenic, low boiling point, economical with energy with low solvent losses, faster production, reduced costs, easy handling.

Efficient and economical

• Fast precision cleaning with short cycle times.

• Can be used in any vapour degreasing equipment, lower energy consumption and lower maintenance.

• Ideal replacement for Trichloroethylene, n-Propyl Bromide and HCFC based solvents.

• Stable with no additives, no testing required.

• Improved productivity, parts exit the machine cool, dry and spotfree with no drying required.

• Fast drying.

• Minimal non-volatile residue (>10ppm).

• High density solution, excellent for ultrasonic cleaning.

• Mid-range boiling point (46°C).

• Very low surface tension for penetration into the micron level crevices and holes, efficient cleaning in tight to reach places and complex geometries.

• Easy process monitoring with minimal effort and minimal waste generation, easy reclamation for reuse.

• High Solvency (KB Value 98) for a variety of contaminants.

• Compatible with a broad range of substrates.

Safe for users and the environment

• Safe for the environment, Zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP).

• Very low Global Warming Potential (GWP).

• GWP of less than 1, AR4 100yr Integrated Time Horizon (ITH).

• Non-hazardous for transportation.

• Non-flammable (No Flash Point).

• Not classified as a carcinogen.

Listed above are some of the benefits from using ProSolv®5408e, a sustainable degreasing solvent for precision cleaning and an economical and efficient replacement solution for cleaning systems using older legacy solvents, which are now either banned or being phased out. EnviroTech Europe have many years of experience and our experts are available to guide you through your solvent cleaner changeover procedures or to advise on equipment.

Further information

ProSolv®5408e degreasing solvent is manufactured in the United Kingdom and available on short delivery times through our dedicated team of distributors worldwide.

For more advice, please telephone us on

+44 (0) 20 8281 6370 or use our website contact form.

Please visit our website for information about all our products and further information on ProSolv®5408e.

Advanced solutions for vapour degreasing, corrosion protection, metal cleaning and surface treatment
Engineering Update 28

Custom Off-Axis Paraboloids

Optical Surfaces Ltd is a leading international producer of large diameter prototype and custom Off-Axis Paraboloids (OAPs) that deliver outstanding performance.

Benefiting from an ultra-stable manufacturing environment, and employing proprietary production techniques, Optical Surfaces highly skilled engineers are world renowned for producing OAP mirrors with unmatched surface accuracy, quality, and slope errors.

Off-Axis Paraboloids, also known as off-axis parabolic mirrors, are commonly used as a collimator in many optical systems, where the parabola is used to produce a collimated beam from a point source. Usefully OAP’s provide unhindered aperture and access to the focal plane. They are ideal for broadband or multiple wavelength applications, thanks to their complete achromatic performance. Off-axis paraboloids often deliver the most cost-effective solution without compromising performance to many problems faced by optical and system designers.

Custom OAPs from Optical Surfaces Ltd. are used by leading research establishments and companies for applications including high power laser focusing, focusing on astronomical objects, collimating reference wavefronts, beam expansion, MTF

measurement, MRTD testing and bore sight alignment for missile guidance systems.

Working with OAP mirrors, especially for inexperienced technicians, can seem like a daunting task. To this end, Optical Surfaces Ltd has written an informative guide ( to enable users to get top performance from their OAP mirror. This illustrated guide includes an introduction to OAP geometry as well as step-by step instruction on initial alignment; tips to correct for errors in focus and tilt, set offaxis distance and rotation as well as a final alignment procedure to ensure optimised performance.

For further information on custom Off-Axis Paraboloids please visit or contact Optical Surfaces Ltd on +44-208-668-6126 or email

Engineering Update 29
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