Engineering Update - October 2023

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Ensure Peak Performance of your Humidifier with a FREE Humidity Health Check [click here to Read More]


Up to 30% less assembly time during onsite installation enables efficient equipment changes. Han® Push-In expands the largest variety of termination technologies for industrial connectors.

■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Up to 30% less assembly time with direct insertion of the conductor into the contact chamber Easy handling due to toolless termination Cost savings compared to alternative termination technologies Maximum flexibility - suitable for ferrules, stranded wires and solid conductors Compatible with identical products with other termination technologies

One Range. No Limits:





SICK Develops NonContact Linear Encoders Around Flexible Product Platform


Ensure Peak Performance of your Humidifier with a FREE Humidity Health Check


ODU Connectors at DSEI 2023

Celebrating excellence in training with an award of quality and distinction: another impressive year for the engineering sector!

Titan Enterprises’ Most Versatile Ultrasonic Flowmeter now with ASCII Flow Streaming

To speak to a member of the team please call 020 805 09659 or email


Supporting UK Manufacturing Supply Chain Solutions








For further information about GTMA, and how we can assist with supply chain requirements, please contact A wealth of precision engineering supply chain partners


October 2023

SEEPEX 4.0 Technology at Anglian Water’s Pump Station Anglian Water has revolutionised its Brockley pump station operations by integrating SEEPEX Pump Monitoring and Connected Services. This cutting-edge technology enables remote monitoring, providing Anglian Water with numerous benefits. It helps with compliance and consent flows, avoids pipework rupture caused by excessive pressure, and will support Anglian Water to efficiently implement planned maintenance work. Simplified Pump Maintenance The Brockley sewage pump station was using SEEPEX macerators alongside obsolete pumps from a different supplier resulting in frequent engineer attendance to address performance, which placed a significant burden on resources. The need to spend a considerable amount of maintenance time on the older pumps prompted Anglian Water to explore the latest maintain-in-place technologies. As they sought a solution to replace both the macerators and pumps, Anglian Water turned to SEEPEX, their trusted framework partner. First-time Fix Using Digital Monitoring and Cloud Services SEEPEX provided Anglian Water with new replacement macerators and progressive cavity (PC) pumps fitted with Smart Conveying Technology (SCT) and Pump Monitoring with advanced analytics. SCT enables the adjustment of the pumping elements, restoring pump efficiency and extending the life of wearing parts. Additionally, it allows for easy dismantling, changing of parts, and reassembly without the need to remove suction or discharge pipework, reducing on-site maintenance time. Anglian Water can remotely monitor Brockley through SEEPEX Pump Monitoring, gaining insight into operating conditions and performance before visiting the station. By implementing planned maintenance and spare parts availability, Anglian Water achieves a ‘first-time’ fix approach, sending the right person with the right skills at the right time, resulting in improved efficiency and reduced downtime. Newly optimised pump station’s key benefits • • • • • •

Pump Monitoring and Connected Services, part of SEEPEX digital ecosystem, at Anglian Water’s Brockley Mile Farm SPS.

Total remote monitoring with advanced analytics of pump station assets Flow verification ensures compliance Forward planned maintenance First-time fix with issue detection before arrival for skill-based attendance Preventive maintenance to avoid pump station outage Reduced maintenance costs with SCT pumps

SEEPEX Smart Pump Stations Minimise Risk Are you experiencing issues with aged or obsolete pump stations? Would you like to reduce costs and improve efficiencies, contact SEEPEX to discuss upgrading.

Empowering Anglian Water’s Asset Management with SEEPEX Digital Solutions.


October 2023


Ensure Peak Performance a FREE Humidity Health C

Scan Me

Is your humidification equipment prepared for winter? Ensure your indoor climate remains consistent with a humidity health check. FREE Humidity Health Check - Your Gateway to Peace of Mind Prepare your humidifier for the winter season with a FREE humidity health check and consultation. We can consider any make and model of industrial or commercial humidifier (conditions apply, see website for details). Alex Sackley, Service Manager for HumiTech, explains why this is important: "Checking your humidifier is running at peak performance is imperative as winter approaches. This check can uncover potential issues, allowing our customers to prevent breakdowns and manage essential maintenance." Don't miss this opportunity to ensure your indoor climate is optimally regulated this winter and beyond. Book your FREE health check now! 6|


October 2023

e of your Humidifier with Check What are the benefits of a humidity check? • •

• •

Gain peace of mind ahead of the colder weather. Our highly skilled Munters HumiTech humidification engineers will conduct a comprehensive review of your system’s condition and performance. Receive valuable insights and recommendations to optimise your humidification setup. Beyond assessing your current equipment, our experts are committed to finding more energyefficient alternatives for your business. Benefit from our extensive knowledge of humidification technologies so that you can reduce energy consumption without compromising performance. Save costs in the long run while minimizing your environmental footprint.

Why choose HumiTech? At HumiTech, our dedicated team of highly skilled humidification experts offer a wide range of humidifier servicing solutions. From installation, and commissioning, through to service support and spare parts, we can offer sales and service support for a wide range of makes and models of humidifiers and evaporative coolers. With over two decades of experience, HumiTech stands as the preferred supplier of humidification solutions across diverse industries and applications. Our clients include world-renowned museums, prestigious universities, offices, commercial properties, data centres, and manufacturing facilities. |7

October 2023


2/3-inch zoom lens for high radiation environments Resolve Optics has launched a new 2/3-inch format motorised version of its popular Model 357 radiation tolerant zoom lens. Purpose designed for use with colour 2/3 inch tube and CMOS cameras in high radiation environments, the Model 357-004 provides true HD quality images over an unrivalled 10x (12-120mm) zoom range. Rob Watkinson, customer support manager at Resolve Optics commented “The

strong yellow tint that has traditionally been a limiting issue when

Model 357-004 was

using radiation tolerant lenses on colour sensors. The glass used

developed to provide better

in these lenses can withstand long-term exposure to radiation

HD colour images for the

up to an accumulative dose of one hundred million RAD and

nuclear industry. Offering full temperatures up to 85°C without loss of transmission”. motorised control of zoom, iris and focusing this robust

Operating at f/3.6, the Model 357-004 zoom lens provides high

lens is easily integrated with

image resolution and minimum geometric distortion from 400 to

most nuclear cameras and

770nm and can image objects from 1300mm to infinity. The 357-


004 is a tracking zoom lens, meaning that once it has been set up, it will maintain focus throughout the entire zoom range.

He added “The Model 357-004 zoom lens uses

For further information on the Model 357-004 motorised zoom

specialised non browning

lens please visit

glasses to produce clear

lenses-2/ or contact Resolve Optics Ltd on

sharp images free of the

+44-1494-777100 /



October 2023

Titan Enterprises’ Most Versatile Ultrasonic Flowmeter now with ASCII Flow Streaming As a specialist liquid flow meter manufacturer, Titan’s patented ultrasonic technology has led to an expanding line of ultrasonic flowmeters and patents ranging from signal processing methodology to novel mechanical design. Titan’s most versatile Atrato® line of ultrasonic inline flowmeters now has ASCII flow streaming capability via USB and is reverse flow enabled, enhancing its capacity to be optimised for the user’s application, in addition to its datalogging and diagnostic features. The sophistication of the Atrato’s ultrasonic technology, together with the proprietary embedded signal processing software developed by Titan Enterprises, allows both viscous and non-viscous liquids to be routinely measured precisely. Neil Hannay, Senior R&D Engineer with Titan Enterprises, says: “The device’s USB connection gives the Atrato® flowmeter computer interface capability, enabling the user to directly monitor the flow rate being measured and alter the operating parameters using a laptop PC. ASCII flow streaming capability has been a logical next step in the advancement of these ultrasonic flowmeters.”

Flow measurements are configured directly to the user’s software system such as LabVIEW. Titan’s Atrato® ultrasonic flow devices are ideal for low flow applications and precision process control, laboratory processes and chemical dosing. Ultrasonic flow meters are also becoming an important flow metering sensor within petrochemical process applications; about 40% of ultrasonic flowmeter sales fall into the oil & gas industry, refining and chemical. Using Titan’s patented ‘time-of-flight’ ultrasonic technology, the Atrato® flow meters operate with unmatched accuracy over a flow range of 2ml/minute to 20litres/minute. The superior non-intrusive design and electronics, coupled with Titan’s unique algorithms, makes the Atrato® an advanced signal processing flow measurement system with no moving parts, virtually eliminating mechanical wear, critical for long-life and repeatability. For the Atrato® full technical specification, visit: https://flowmeters. Visit Titan Enterprises’ website for further information on the full range of Ultrasonic flowmeters or to discuss your specific OEM application, please contact Titan Enterprises on +44 (0)1935 812790 or email

The additional ASCII flow streaming means the measured liquid flow is output at 10-20 times per second in humanreadable text form (ASCII encoded). This stream of data can then be interpreted and processed by software running on the USB host. The advantages of ASCII streaming for the user are 3-fold: The flow measurements are streamed directly over the USB connection to the PC. No additional pulse counting or analog interface devices are required.



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The top of the surface range; fit for professionals

6+ PRO




Cygnus 6+ PRO Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge boasts a full range of useful features for professional users, including A-scan, B-scan and comprehensive data logging. • 3 measuring modes for corrosion, various materials and through-coat measurements • Large dual LCD display – front and end mounted • Live A-Scan and B-scan displays for visual verification • Comprehensive data logging for easy reporting • Temperature Compensation feature for measurement on hot materials


• Safe operation in explosive atmospheres: Class 1, Division 2, Group D locations only, as defined in NFPA 70, Article 500 •

October 2023

Fluid Carrying

Ultrasonic Flowmeters

Innovative Liquid Flow Measurement Solutions

Turbine Flowmeters

Titan is a leading design and manufacturer of innovative end user and OEM high-performance flow meters, used within a wide range of environments and applications.


Flexibility Articulated Torsion Pipework In Hoses

• Compact, robust, reliable • Excellent accuracy and repeatability

Oval Gear Flowmeters

Rotating Cylinders

Swivel Joints Swivel joints allow pipework to pressure 1/4” to 40” and beyond. Vacuum to over 20,000psi. Stock and bespoke production.

• Measure low to high flow ranges

Unique bearing/seal design for longer life.

• High chemical resistance

ISO 9001 CE marked where applicable.

• OEM bespoke design capability




+44 (0)1935 812790

Tel: +44(0)1663 735003

Bingswood Trading Estate Whaley Bridge | High Peak | SK23 7LY | UK




Accurate, safe inspection in highly volatile environments STORAGE TANKS



1 Ex

The Cygnus 1 Ex Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge is a rugged, intrinsically safe instrument designed for taking thickness measurements in Zone 0 explosive atmospheres. • Certified to ATEX, IECEx, UKEX for Zone 0 and NRTL for Class 1, Division 1 • 3 measuring modes for corrosion, various materials and through-coat measurements • Manual Measurement Mode allows gates and gain to be configured to suit your application • Live A-Scan and B-scan displays for visual verification • 4 quick function keys for easy control • Comprehensive data logging for easy reporting DISCOUNT CODE EU2023 •

IEAs Sensor Product of the Year 2022

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DIGITAL PRESSURE MEASUREMENT SOLUTIONS The digital GD4200-USB transducer allows you to accurately monitor and record pressure data with up to 21 bit resolution with adjustable speeds up to 1,000 Hz. The award winning intergrated ESI-USB software allows the user to easily set up a mobile test station in under 10 minutes. User friendly graph and monitor displays can be set up with up to 16 inputs measured at the same time. Simply select a start and stop time for your test and let the software do the rest. Multiple features such as temperature monitoring and leak testing is also included.

ESI-USB PLUS Converts Analogue to Digital output* Measure against ANY user defined ENGINEERING UNIT through the ESI-USB SOFTWARE including Flow, Load, Mass, Force and more


Measure and record any user definable unit of measurement


Analyse accurate real-time test data on user friendly software


Create custom test cerificates and reports using own branding

For more information call (0)1978 262255 or email * Accepts any customer device with a current (4-20mA) or voltage (0-5 or 0-10V) output.

October 2023


ODU Connectors at DSEI 2023 Once again, ODU exhibited at DSEI, so as to show-off their latest developments in military connector technology. But if you missed the exhibition, here’s a summary: The ODU-AMC® T-Series Connector - Beyond 38999. The ‘T’ stands for Three-on-One as three locking variants of plug [push-pull, break-away or screw-lock] can fit the same receptacle, in shell-sizes that give space-envelope savings over comparable density MIL-DTL-38999M connectors, but with the same, or improved, technical performance. Cables can use a standard MIL-M85049 back-shell or ODU over-mould and the crimp contacts can be standard MIL-AS39029, or an ODU design. Now, in-vehicle OEM’s can utilise the same bulkhead fitting across all equipment, leaving the locking mechanism to be determined by the plug-in equipment. Even Higher Data Rates Having already produced the ODU-AMC® High Speed Data series that can combine and transmit all common protocols, with transfer rates up to 14.4 Gbits/s, DSEI will showcase a further development, the ODU AMC® Series T Expanded Beam Connector. It combines the advantages of a classic expanded beam - insensitivity to dirt, scratches etc. with the highperformance attenuation of a physical contact (< 0.3 dB). Result - 3 to 4 times the number of glass fibres in an identical installation space, so increasing the transmission capacity significantly, while adhering to the attenuation budget.

Soldier Communications. A new power-efficient connector for soldier communications.

ODU AMC® NP Easy handling and robust, with apps such as: • Tactical soldier batteries • PDU (Power Distribution Units) • CWB (Conformable Wearable Batteries) • C4ISR peripherals It is compatible with open-architecture standards such as NATO STANAG 4695, Nett Warrior and GOSSRA

Supplier Partner ODU also offers a complete service - including connectors, cable, over-moulding, watertightpotting and metalwork - supplying your sub-system from one totally reliable source shipped to line. Consultation, requirement analysis, product design & development, prototype manufacture, pre-production batch delivery, technical documentation - taking care of everything necessary to produce a great system solution specifically for you. However, the company’s skill-set, as an independent connector manufacturer, includes one further special ingredient - flexibility - the ability to sit down with the customer and design a way out of a problem, the ability to produce a connector that is truly fit-for-purpose and to deliver that both on-time and within budget. So, if you’re faced with a connector or packaging conundrum, then why not get in touch and tell them about your problems - they may have an answer.


Fluregiene 200 Protecting your surfaces for longer.

Low friction PTFE based coating containing BioCote® antimicrobial technology Fluregiene 200™ provides protection for hygiene conscious parts and surfaces • Excellent corrosion resistance • Low friction anti-fouling and anti-stick properties • Durable and easy to clean/wipe down • Permanently applied to metals, alloys and plastics • Built-in antimicrobial technology actively reduces microbes on the surface of the coating. • Reduces fungal growth and surfaces stay fresh longer

Easy cleaning of hygiene conscious parts

Reduces microbial growth

For more information about Fluregiene 200™ call us now on +44 01386 425755 or email

Permanent coating protection

October 2023


Celebrating excellence in tra with an award of quality and distinction: another impress year for the engineering sec In August of this year, the recipients of the prestigious Princess Royal Training Awards 2023 were announced. In a remarkable year for both applications and Award recipients, 145 applications were received and 53 organisations successfully achieved the Award. These inspiring figures - the highest since the Awards were established in 2016 indicate both an increasing dedication to learning and development (L&D) and a growing awareness of the gold stamp of approval that these Awards provide.



October 2023

aining d sive ctor!


October 2023

Honouring talent in training The Princess Royal Training Awards are the pinnacle of L&D achievement and royally recognise employers committed to training who can demonstrate exceptional impact on their organisation. Open to all private, public or not-for-profit organisations operating in the UK and Ireland regardless of size or sector, 20|


the Awards are free from start to finish. Distinctively, organisations do not compete with one another. As a standard of excellence, organisations simply need to show they are meeting the Awards’ criteria through their training programmes. Applicants receive unrivalled support through one-toone calls, workshops and ‘tea and chat’ sessions and there is even an opportunity to submit a draft application to get feedback from Assessors. Previous applicants have found this invaluable:


October 2023

Celebrating greatness This year’s 53 Award-winning recipients will be celebrated in November at a high-profile ceremony where they will be presented with their Awards by HRH The Princess Royal, President of the City and Guilds of London Institute. What’s more, they will be invited to join an active Alumni network of 600+ members who all believe in the power of investing in L&D. Previous recipients have praised the many benefits of achieving an Award for their organisation, including improved recruitment and retention, increased investment in training, incorporation of HR and L&D into organisational strategy, and learning best practice from other organisations. Recipients also gain from the ongoing recognition and symbol of distinction that the Award provides. As one Award recipient explained: “It immediately attracted interest from overseas. We work with a lot of American clients and we export a lot of what we do around the world and people noticed it. It is a mark of excellence and I think people recognise that both in the UK and internationally”. Excellence in engineering Over the years, organisations large and small from the engineering sector have applied for and achieved the Award and this year was no exception. 2023 saw an increase in applications from the engineering sector, with several successful organisations receiving the Award for their innovative and inspiring training programmes.

“The feedback was so helpful and so constructive, and you get a real sense that the Assessors are really trying to help you towards achieving the Award.” - 2022 recipient. Unsuccessful applicants also receive detailed feedback and optional contact with an Assessor to help with programme development or applying again in a future year.

Leading infrastructure services and engineering company, Amey Plc, achieved an Award for the establishment of their Women@Amey network, designed to attract and retain women in a maledominated industry. Through the development of a leadership programme aimed at women with the potential to become leaders, 58 women have engaged in the programme, and 77% have been promoted. The number of women in the business has risen from 25% to 30% post programme and the number of women in senior leadership positions has increased from 14% to 18%. |21

October 2023

SME engineering business Stainless Metalcraft received a revalidation for its continuous investment in pathways to engineering careers for local young people following an Award in 2020. Through the development of their apprenticeship programme and the launch of the North Cambridgeshire Training Centre, there has been a reduction in the age profile of the workforce from 54 to 40 and retention beyond year 2 of the programme has increased from 50% to 78%. Commendably, 42% of the current workforce started as apprentices. Also recognised was MKC Training Services Ltd, established to provide core engineering skills to the Army’s Royal Engineers. Training at Level 2 through to Master’s degree level is provided to officers and soldiers of Military Engineering. By accessing Kickstart funding and with the aim of diversifying recruits to address an ageing workforce issue, MKC Training has successfully provided fourteen young people with training, resulting in 57% gaining full or fixedterm contracts. Register for the 2024 Awards There has been an impressive dedication to training in the engineering sector, with many inspiring and innovative programmes. If your organisation is dedicated to L&D and is looking to be recognised for a training programme which has positively impacted your organisation, why not register your interest now? With its celebration of excellence, dedication to best practice and devotion to supporting applicants, this really is an Award worth applying for. Applications open on 4 December 2023. 22|



October 2023

You can contact the Princess Royal Training Awards team at:


October 2023


SICK Develops Non-Contact Linear Encoders Around Flexible Product Platform SICK has expanded its proven, non-contact magnetostrictive linear encoder portfolio with the launch of a versatile product family for wide-ranging industrial applications. The DAX® linear encoders precisely determine the absolute position of pistons in hydraulic cylinders, as well as reliably monitoring linear motion in many common industrial machines. The SICK DAX linear encoders have The DAX is being launched been designed with a flexible product with three housing concept to make specification designs: one for integration quick and easy for both new and into industrial hydraulic existing users, using a unique online cylinders; a low-profile configuration tool with options for type with block magnets additional customisation. They for mounting in tight therefore offer a timesaving way installation situations; and for cylinder manufacturers, OEMS a version with an integrated and end-users to access a reliable slider that guides the source of supply. position magnet, easing the requirements on alignment The DAX encoder family has during mounting. industry-appropriate measuring ranges for countless applications Integration into existing or new machinery is straightforward using standard as diverse as packaging machines, mechanical interfaces. For electrical installation, the DAX® product family offers a wind, hydro and solar plants, wood CANopen as well as an analog output for either 0-10 VDC or 4-20 mA. processing machinery, or medical technology. The encoders offer Diagnostics and Operating Protection space-saving benefits for new machinery, as well as backwards Via the CANopen variant, operators have access to diagnostic capabilities to compatibility with existing monitor both sensor parameters and environmental conditions, including the installations, and can be customised magnet signal, temperature, piston cycles/travel distance, power supply and to work with all common magnet operating hours. Diagnostics can also output speed and time profiles to monitor types. for changes in machine performance over time. Development Milestone

In addition, the DAX encoders offer significant protection to ensure machine reliability in conditions where the power supply is vulnerable to fluctuations. The “The DAX encoder represents DAX offers integrated over-voltage protection to enable continued operation an important milestone in the despite power spikes, while under-voltage conditions are alerted to the machine development of SICK’s encoder operator. portfolio,” explains Darren Pratt, SICK UK’s Market Product Manager for Flexible Machine Design Measurement and Instrumentation. “The encoders open up the Machine designers are afforded significant flexibility to install the encoders in availability of our magnetostrictive the tightest machine spaces, thanks to a minimal damping zone and an available technology to industrial users for measuring range between 50mm and 2,500mm, individually configurable in 1mm increments. the first time. “In just a few steps, SICK’s Online Specific variants of DAX can also use multiple magnets to provide differential Configurator guides the user values between positions along the measurement range, e.g. providing an output through the specification process directly proportional to the amount of separation on a press. This feature can also to generate a part number and be useful for example, to enable machine adjustments for format changes. create an online order. Thanks to the platform concept of the The SICK DAX encoders offer all the advantages of non-contact, wear-free DAX, application-specific versions magnetostrictive technology to measure absolute position, so no reference run can be generated quickly. There is required. The linear encoders have an enclosure rating of IP65 and IP67, as well is also the flexibility of further as a temperature range between -40 °C and +85 °C. Their rugged design and high customisation for new machine shock and vibration resistance ensures long-term machine availability even under designs, or to enable adaptation to harsh application conditions. existing machines, including where proprietary magnets are already in situ.”


October 2023


Why engineers should be at the heart of capex decisions By Matt Hale, International Sales & Marketing Director, HRS Heat Exchangers For manufacturers, committing to a capital expenditure (capex) project is a big decision. The right choice can reduce costs, improve efficiency, boost productivity and increase profits – the wrong choice can be an expensive mistake which, in the worst cases, has to be modified or replaced within a short period at considerable extra expense. Given the financial importance of making the right choice, it is no wonder that accounting and finance teams play such a large role in capex decision making. But it is also vital that engineering staff are involved in the process from the very start, to avoid costly mistakes such as purchasing the wrong equipment or incorrectly specifying operating parameters. At HRS, when quoting for projects, we often see the impacts of not including engineering staff when the capex proposal is discussed, even when those same engineering staff have been at the heart of the design and specification process. Global consulting group McKinsey & Company points out that the effective assessment of capital investment is particularly important in competitive and fast-moving markets – such as the food sector – where the returns on investment are small in relation to the cost of the capital invested. However, this assessment needs to include all relevant business skills, including operational and engineering knowledge, as well as finance and senior management. The more comprehensive the understanding of the proposed equipment, the more likely that accurate budgets and assessments will be created and a robust capex proposal will be agreed. Engineering and operational staff often have a clearer view of potential projects beyond the cost of new equipment, to include additional expenses which may be incurred. Balancing the cost of replacement with depreciated performance requires operational experience and expertise, which engineering staff often have in abundance.

every allocation of resource.’ Capex investments will vary by business, industry, size and product, but nearly all involve mechanical and electrical equipment that needs to be interfaced with other systems (both new and existing). Involving engineers in the process means you will gain a thorough understanding of the operation and process, as well as the ability to evaluate and understand the OEM operations, machinery and systems being proposed. Depending on the type and size of the project, the exact skills required will vary, but engineers can lead the cost estimation in the planning phase of the project and contribute to ROI analysis. In the case of heat exchangers and processing systems, such as those designed in conjunction with our clients and supplied by HRS, we often find that non-engineering staff often lack a thorough understanding of the purpose of the equipment and its operating parameters, which can hinder the final analysis. Capex purchases: what to consider Engineers often have the clearest understanding of why a particular investment is required or why certain equipment would be beneficial to the business. However, they may lack a depth of knowledge around the related detailed financial considerations which others, such as accountants, will invariably have.

The importance of engineers In many cases, capex decisions are driven by technology rather than business objectives. As such, involving engineers can ensure that both are given equal weight, so that technology is chosen to meet business objectives. Reaching out to all key areas of the business in capex decision making also encourages adequate accountability and is more likely to ensure employee buy-in when the equipment is eventually installed. Consultants PwC believe that almost a fifth of businesses fail to have enough insight into proposed capex investments, something that involving engineering staff and line managers will help to overcome. PwC also point out that, ‘Rather than thinking of capex planning as a process of recommendation and qualification to find the ‘answer’, it’s better to think of capital projects as milestones in the strategy-making journey and thus as opportunities to explore the trade-offs inherent in


One rule of thumb is that any investment which pays back within three years is worthy of consideration, as long as the ratio of capital to expense is not too great. Another consideration is the ‘time value of money.’ In other words, a pound today is worth more than a pound tomorrow, so it is important to analyse cash flow over the life of the project as quickly as possible to minimise payback period. Two common metrics for assessing the value of a capital investment are Net Present Value (NPV) and Internal Rate of Return (IRR). NPV is the present value of the project’s cash benefit less the current value of its costs, with a positive net present value increasing the value of a business. IRR is the discount or interest rate at which the NPV of a project eventually equals zero (i.e., how quickly a project will pay for itself). As a general rule, investment projects where the IRR is higher than the cost of capital should always be accepted.


October 2023

Substituting components can be particularly detrimental to integrated systems where components have strong interdependencies

Engineering and operational staff have a key role to play in this, and often have a clearer view of potential projects beyond the cost of new equipment

As well as these metrics, other key considerations include the initial investment; the effect on cash flow over time; the cost of capital; any investment tax credit; operating expenses and depreciation. What can go wrong? Over the years, we have seen several examples of projects being given the green light yet underperforming as a direct result of the engineering team not being fully involved during the ordering process. Invariably these situations lead to the wrong specification being implemented, which then results in a system not performing as expected, not achieving its full potential, or which requires later adjustments adding cost and time to the original budget. Some of the most common examples include: •

• • •

Using systems to handle materials which are different to that originally specified or provided for analysis (particularly common where the project is still in the development stages). Using systems to handle more material than originally specified. Using a service fluid other than originally specified. Changing the temperature parameters from those originally specified.

One explanation as to why this happens is because corners are cut. There is a common misconception that lower cost components can be substituted for ‘non-essential’ parts of the project. However, such ‘cherry picking’ will compromise the original design and could also affect the ability to upgrade

or expand systems in the future. This is particularly true for integrated system solutions where components have strong interdependencies. Experienced engineers are able to objectively evaluate specifications and assess whether proposed changes will negatively impact performance. They can also assess whether a solution will actually meet the requirement of the business, beyond simply looking at the capital cost versus rate of return. In addition, they can anticipate many of the hidden costs in procurement, installation and operation of new equipment. As experienced suppliers of heat transfer solutions and processing systems around the world, HRS are well placed to provide in-depth information on the performance of our equipment to help facilitate capital expenditure decisions. From the simplest corrugated tube heat exchanger to complex systems for food pasteurisation or environmental evaporation, we can model operating conditions and outcomes such as payback periods and return on investment. So, to return to our original statement. While the involvement of accountants, managers and others is essential to thorough capex assessment, it is also important that the unique knowledge and understanding that engineers bring to the capex process are given equal consideration. Failure to fully consider the engineering aspects of any capex investment can be very expensive. |27

HRS Heat Exchangers operates at the forefront of thermal technology, offering innovative and effective heat transfer products worldwide, focusing on managing energy efficiently.

HRS Heat Exchangers | +44 (0)1923 545 625 |

Wastewater Sludge Digestate Waste streams from: Agriculture, Food, Pharmaceutical and other industries |


October 2023

3D joystick now with CANopen SpaceMouse® module gives users even more options The SpaceMouse® module from MEGATRON enables complex 3D movements with just one hand. The 3D joystick has been available with USB and serial interfaces for several years. MEGATRON is now launching a version with CANopen interface. The innovative 3D joystick SpaceMouse® module is specifically developed for human-machine interaction in industrial environments and enables intuitive control of complex motion sequences. The patented optoelectronic sensor measures user input in all three spatial directions - both for linear movements of the knob and for its rotation around all three spatial axes. As a result, a 3D movement of the joystick is directly transferred to the object being moved. This makes the SpaceMouse® module ideal for controlling cameras and microscopes, X/Y/Z precision and special-purpose machines, and robotics applications. The joystick is ideal for any application where 3D movement needs to be controlled manually. The SpaceMouse® module is now available with CANopen interface. CANopen is widely used in many areas of automation, plant engineering and mobile machinery. This protocol provides different modes for intelligent signal transmission. In event-driven mode, the joystick’s input values are only transmitted over the bus when an internal event occurs - for example, when the knob position changes. In asynchronous mode, data is transmitted after an internal timer has expired. In synchronous mode, measurements are regularly transmitted to other bus nodes as part of an externally sent SYNC command. In addition, the customer can choose between 8-bit and 16-bit resolutions for the transmission of data packets. DIP switches are located on the underside of the joystick for easy selection of these and other operating parameters such as baud rate and node ID. Parameters can also be configured via bus.

• • • •

Multidimensional joystick for 3D movements (6 DOF, degrees of freedom) Optimized industrial version Optoelectronic sensor: contact-less and linear CANopen, UART (serial) or USB interface


Finger Joystick





Return Mechanism

Spring Return

Output interface

UART (serial), USB or CANopen

Housing depth under panel

≤ 15 mm (USB, UART), ≤ 18.5 mm (CANopen)

Sealing above panel


Limiter plate

Deflection 1.5 mm vertical and horizontal

Supply voltage

UART: +3.3 to +5.5 VDC | USB: 5 VDC ±10 % | CANopen: 4.75 to 28 VDC

Data sheet |29

October 2023


BARTON: BENEFITS OF COLD-FORMING Optimas’ UK manufacturing division, Barton Cold-Form, holds a rich 90-year legacy of cold-form fastener manufacturing. Established in 1932 at the Barton Arms public house in Birmingham, Barton Cold-Form has seen incredible technological advancements across industry since its inception. However, although cold-forming is recorded to have been in use as early as the 19th century, the team at Barton have proved its suitability to many modern engineering requirements. Cold-forming's production of durable and consistent fasteners on a large-scale allows it to lend itself to many manufacturing applications of today. Cold-form manufacturing is typically used to make fasteners with complex shapes and screw heads, and produces parts by forming metal into different shapes through force, and without heat. This process maximises a part’s metallurgical properties, prioritising strength and durability by ensuring its structural integrity. Working with partners from the EV, defense, power generation, automotive and off-highway industries, amongst many others, Barton’s cold-form process has catered to a range of durable, bespoke fastening solutions.

onshoring and nearshoring, but its manufacturing process itself is highly reproducible. Prioritising sustainability from the very beginning of the manufacturing process, Barton sources green steel, which is then formed in its nearnet state, ensuring very minimal waste of raw materials. Alongside running on 100% renewable energy, Barton also recycles 89% of its cold-forming waste, with 0% of it sent to landfill.

Across its time, Barton has partnered with manufacturers with an incredibly high product output, but with 29 Nedschroef, Sacma and Nakashimada cold-heading machines running 24 hours a day, Barton is more than wellsuited to large-scale production. A single cold-forming machine can produce hundreds of thousands of pieces a day, which is much higher than other forms of manufacturing, like hot forging or bar turning. However, Barton’s capability for largescale production hasn’t detracted from its environmental consciousness. The plant has recently attracted a wave of new customers with a heightened focus on sustainability. Not only does Barton’s central location in the UK allow for a lowered carbon footprint through


With sustainability and localisation now key elements in the decisionmaking process for most manufacturers, Barton has only become a more attractive supply partner. In the face of increasingly advanced manufacturing technologies across industries, Barton is well-suited to cater to even the most complex of fastening requirements.

For further details on Optimas visit:


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October 2023


Why are vapour degreasing solvents Vapour degreasing solvents are typically chosen for their excellent solvency properties. They have the ability to dissolve and disperse a wide range of contaminants, including dirt, oil, grease, wax, and other contaminants. The cleaning action of solvents is primarily attributed to their unique molecular properties and interactions with the materials they contact. Here's why solvents are so good at cleaning: Low Surface Tension: Vapour degreasing solvents can reduce the surface tension of liquids, making them more effective at penetrating and breaking up dirt and stains. This allows the solvent to reach areas that might otherwise be hard to clean. Polarity: The polarity of a solvent plays a significant role in its cleaning ability. Polar solvents have molecules with positive and negative poles, which allows them to interact with polar substances like water-based stains. Nonpolar solvents, on the other hand, are effective at dissolving nonpolar substances like oils and grease. Different cleaning tasks may require the use of polar or nonpolar solvents depending on the nature of the dirt or stain. Most vapour degreasing solvents are nonpolar in nature, meaning they do not have a positive or negative charge. This allows them to interact with a variety of contaminants, regardless of their charge or polarity, making them versatile for different types of cleaning applications. Heat and Vaporization: The vapour degreasing process involves heating the solvent to create vapour, which rises and condenses on the surfaces to be cleaned. This condensation releases latent heat, which aids in loosening and lifting contaminants from the surfaces. The vaporization and condensation cycles help dislodge and carry away dirt, oils, and other substances effectively. No Aqueous Residues: Unlike water-based cleaning methods, vapour degreasing solvents leave little to no aqueous residue behind. This is especially important for applications where water could cause corrosion or damage, such as cleaning sensitive electronics or precision mechanical components. Minimal Agitation Required: Vapour degreasing is a relatively gentle cleaning method that doesn't require extensive mechanical agitation. This reduces the risk of damaging delicate parts while ensuring effective cleaning. Consistency: Vapour degreasing provides consistent and uniform cleaning results because the solvent vapor can reach all surfaces evenly, including intricate and complex geometries.

Evaporation: Vapour degreasing solvents typically have relatively low boiling points, which means they evaporate quickly when exposed to air. This evaporation helps in removing the dissolved dirt and contaminants from surfaces, leaving them clean and dry. It is important to ensure evaporating solvent doesn’t escape to the atmosphere. This is achieved by having cold condensing coils just above the components being cleaned. Versatility: Vapour degreasing solvents come in various types and compositions, allowing them to target specific types of contaminants. For example, alcohol-based solvents are effective at cleaning glass surfaces due to their ability to dissolve and evaporate quickly without leaving streaks.

Environmental Considerations: While some vapour degreasing solvents in the past were environmentally concerning, modern solvents are designed to be safer and more environmentally friendly. They are engineered to have lower toxicity, reduced volatility, and minimal global warming or ozone-depleting potential.

Chemical Interactions: Vapour degreasing solvents can undergo chemical reactions with certain types of substances, leading to their removal or transformation. This can be especially useful for removing tough stains that might not be easily removed through simple dissolution.

Dissolving Power: Solvents have the ability to dissolve a wide range of substances, both organic and inorganic. This is due to their molecular structure, which allows them to interact with different types of molecules. When a solvent comes into contact with a substance, its molecules surround and separate the particles of the substance, breaking down the intermolecular forces holding them together. This leads to the dissolution of the substance into the solvent.

Compatibility: Vapour degreasing solvents are often formulated to be compatible with specific materials, ensuring that they don't damage the surfaces being cleaned. This makes them versatile for use on a wide range of surfaces.



October 2023

so good at cleaning? Rinsing Action: Vapour degreasing solvents can also act as rinsing agents, carrying away dissolved dirt and contaminants when they evaporate. This helps prevent redeposition of dirt onto cleaned surfaces. Overall, the combination of excellent solvency, low surface tension, nonpolar properties, heat assistance, minimal residue, and controlled vaporization make vapor degreasing solvents highly effective for a wide range of cleaning applications. 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 vapour degreasing ProSolv®5408e has been developed to provide superior critical cleaning performance for manufacturers of electronic and electrical components. High Solvency (KB Value 98) for removal of organic residues, compatible with organic and synthetic oils and most plastics and metals. ProSolv®5408e is a high-performance solvent cleaner used for sustainable and future proof vapour 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. ProSolv®5408e ticks all the boxes and is the perfect profile for a modern vapour degreasing solvent. Exceptionally low surface tension to penetrate micron sized holes and close contact surfaces. Sustainable and secure for the future. Noncarcinogenic, low boiling point, economical with energy with low solvent losses, faster production, reduced costs, easy handling.

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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. Compatibility with a wide range of sensitive components (some components or products are sensitive to the high pressures of water-based cleaning, the heat of washing and/or drying, or surface residues after drying).

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 vapour 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 vapour degreasing solvent is manufactured in the United Kingdom and available on short delivery times through our dedicated team of distributors worldwide. Please visit our website for information about all our products and further information on ProSolv®5408e. For more advice, please telephone us on +44 (0) 20 8281 6370 or use our website contact form.

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 (TCE) and n-Propyl Bromide (nPB). • Stable with no additives, no testing required. • Improved productivity, parts exit the machine cool, dry and spot-free with no drying required. • Minimal non-volatile residue (>10ppm). • High density solution, excellent for ultrasonic cleaning. • Mid-range temperature operation, easier handling, mid-range boiling point, processed components easily handled (48°C). • Very low surface tension for penetration into the micron level crevices and holes, efficient cleaning in tight to reach places and complex geometries.


October 2023


Best practice abounds at LiftEx 2023 LiftEx 2023 is the unmissable global showcase for the Lifting Industry, taking place at the Exhibition Centre, Liverpool on 21-22 November 2023. The annual flagship event of LEEA (Lifting Equipment Engineers Association) is free to attend and registration is open now at: All kinds of operations across many sectors use a wide variety of cranes, hoists, platforms, cradles and their associated chains, ropes, slings and other tackle to lift goods during production and lineside support. Reliability leading to minimised downtime is the key to efficiency, but it is safety that is paramount in any lifting operation. One of the best ways operations can mitigate the risk of an inspection by Health and Safety authorities is to ensure that when procuring lifting equipment or supporting services, they look for the LEEA logo. This shows that the equipment or service provider is an Association member and has therefore undergone a rigorous auditing process to uphold LEEA’s ‘gold standard’ and provide customers with the assurance of excellence.

their latest innovations, viewing demonstrations and gain valuable lifting knowledge across two days. Expertise and industry insights will be shared through informative speaker sessions and specialty programmes designed to help visitors in their everyday role and delivered by the LEEA team and industry experts. Topics on the agenda include the latest in safety regulations, technology innovations, recruitment strategies and industry best practice. The event will also welcome careers advisors, teachers, universities, colleges and regional boards. They all make a vital contribution to the Lifting Equipment industry’s sustainability by engaging with the next generation of talent and attracting them into the sector. With CoreRFID, the provider of Lifting Inspection software and RFID technology, as Headline Sponsor of the event, joining other sponsors: Rope and Sling Specialists, Green Pin and Delta, this year promises to be the best LiftEx yet. Among almost 100 exhibitors on the show floor, over 20% will be appearing at LiftEx for the first time. A show full of lifting innovation On display will be a broad array of lifting equipment solutions from companies such as Atlas Winch & Hoist Services, Cromax, Delta Hoisting Equipment, Foster Cranes, George Taylor Lifting Gear, Green Pin (Royal Van Beest), Hird, JD Neuhaus, Mipromet, Modulift, Nautilus Hooks, Pinpoint Manufacturing, Rope and Sling Specialists (RSS), TTC Lifting, Tusk Lifting and Worlifts. Visitors interested in materials handling equipment will find, GGR Group, Lift Turn Move, Probst, Prolift Handling and Tracked Carriers.

Finding best practice at LiftEx Celebrating its 18th year in 2023, LiftEx offers the best opportunity to find the LEEA logo on a whole host of lifting equipment, products and services from its member companies. They operate in a forward looking Lifting Industry that is always innovating, with constantly developing technologies – including AI, virtual reality simulation, condition and load monitoring, remote control and anti-collision systems – spreading throughout the sector to reduce risk from working at height. The dedicated event addresses many different challenges, solutions, regulations and best practice advice under one roof. This makes LiftEx the ideal venue for anyone involved with, or responsible for, lifting equipment in the manufacturing sector to join over 1,500 industry professionals in catching up with suppliers and exploring


Chains, ropes and accessories will be featured by companies including Bridon Bekaert, Codipro, European Management & Marine (EMM Corp), Ferryl, Hendrik Veder Group, Latch and Batchelor, Lift Turn Move, Lift-Tex Heavy Lift Slings, RUD Chains, Sahm Splice, Talurit and William Hackett Chains. There will be slings and rigging from Aberdeen Web, Crosby, Dolezych, Hendrik Veder Group, Petersen Stainless Rigging, PMS Industrie and Suhbo Industrial Co. Exhibitors displaying height safety equipment include Guardian Fall, North Sea Lifting, RidgeGear, SafetyLiftinGear, Safehold, SpanSet, Tiger Lifting, Trans-Web and YOKE Industrial Corp. There will be load monitoring equipment from DLM, Load Monitoring Systems (LMS) and Red Rooster Lifting. A range of IT solutions will be shown from companies including CoreRFID, Formability, Onix Work, RiConnect and Tele Radio UK. Stands featuring load moving and transport include Liftket UK. Test machinery can be seen from Structure-flex and there will be administrative services exhibited by IBS Industrial. There will be organisations such as the Career Transition Partnership (CTP), the MoD’s official provider of Armed Forces Resettlement for


October 2023

over 13,000 skilled and experienced individuals leave the military. The military trains and employs many personnel with direct experience of lifting engineering – think of swapping an engine out of an aircraft, or a tank, or changing a propellor shaft on a ship. Many service personnel therefore have the qualities craved by the Lifting Industry. Through its Military Transition scheme, LEEA is connecting those transitioning from the armed forces into civilian life and their potential employers. Employers visiting LiftEx can find out how to access this pool of service leavers with a wide range of transferable skills. Qualitrain will also be on hand to discuss training. LEEA itself will, of course, have its usual prominent stand for visitors to meet and engage with the Association’s team. A great networking experience In addition to the traditional exhibition activities on offer, there will be plenty of time for members to socialise. For example, the night before the exhibition, there is a reception for LEEA members at Liverpool FC’s world famous and legendary Anfield Stadium, with former players in attendance. On the middle evening, 21 November 2023, there will be the fifth annual LEEA Awards ceremony, a prestigious event exclusively for members, where LEEA recognises and celebrates excellence. There are ten awards: five for individuals and five for teams, spread across several categories such as innovation, safety, sustainability, training, and personal development. There will be around 300 guests at the Rum Warehouse for the ceremony, which is hosted by special guest Jason Manford, so it’s sure to be the best night out in Liverpool and the Lifting Industry’s party of the year. For more information on LiftEx, visit Register for a free ticket at:


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