ISO 9001 & UKAS Registered, Electron Beam Services in the United Kingdom ISO 9001 & UKAS Registered, Electron Beam Services in the United Kingdom

22/07/17
A precise new type of beam technology could be used to detect nuclear materials and explosives even through thick materials like steel and concrete, scientists have suggested.

Researchers have come up with a new technique to produce high-energy beams, which are very precisely controlled, that could help detect and identify nuclear materials. The process would work in a similar way to the electron beam of an X-ray but produce a higher level of energy to penetrate even thick concrete.

Scientists at the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have said that the precise nature of the technique enhances resolution while also producing lower levels of radiation than alternative processes. It is thought that the technique could aid the detection of contraband, nuclear devices and explosives.

Because the beam can be so tightly controlled, the technique could be tuned to identify the contents of something - and even its exact elements - without causing damage to the container.

The compact technology could also potentially be made portable; director of the Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator Center Wim Leemans said that instead of bringing the applications to the machine, it may be possible to bring the machine to the applications, “whether that means scanning cargo, verifying treaty compliance, or many other uses”.

The technology is detailed in a report for the National Nuclear Security Administration, which explores nuclear science-based applications to protect national security. Researchers also note that the technique could have a range of other applications in the medical and industrial fields, providing the opportunity to look inside machinery without the need for disassembly.

If you’re working on a project that requires electron beam welding, speak to us to find out how we could help you
30/06/17
Customers of our electron beam services in food production will know all about the pressures being exerted on the industry, but a new report is calling for even more to be done by both manufacturers and consumers to help reduce the UK’s carbon footprint according to Edie.

The Livewell report, put forward from WWF, has called upon the UK government to reduce impact on global warming by asking for a reduction of carbon emission caused by food production by 30 per cent by 2030. Part of their plan to achieve this is a huge push in trying to campaign and advertise healthier eating of more fresh fruit and vegetables, alongside creating a stronger communication between retailers and farmers providing the produce.

They would like emphasis on more plant based food diets, trying to implement less meat, salt and sugar intake, as well as trying to minimise the food waste which has a strong impact towards global warming. Meat currently has the biggest carbon footprint of any food group in UK diets.

Andrew Stephen, chief executive of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, commented on the report on the responsibility of the industry to help promote plant-based diets: “Being responsible for half of the UK’s spending on food, restaurants and the wider hospitality sector have the power to make a hugely positive impact on the health of the nation and the environment,” he said.

With an increased number of people now vegetarian, vegan and a growing interest in people willing to occasionally eat plant based dishes (they call themselves flexitarian), there are a greater number of restaurants and food establishments being more flexible with the options on their menu’ for customers to choose from.

The number of restaurants adding more plant based options and adopt a change to more plant based dishes is expected to increase by 10 per cent over the next year.
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29/06/17
The Kraken project, which is located approximately 80 miles off the coast of Shetland in Scotland, has delivered its first oil this month.

Operator EnQuest confirmed that it had delivered the first oil from the project on 23 June in the first phase of production on the site.

So far 13 wells have been drilled, seven of which are producers and six of which are injectors. The company explained that it would be bringing these on stream in a phased process to help maximise the field’s production during its lifetime.

Richard Hall, head of major projects at EnQuest, revealed that the first oil from Kraken was delivered under budget, which he described as a “great testament” to the company’s abilities. “I am extremely proud of the EnQuest Kraken team for their dedication, vision and sheer hard work,” he added.

Drill centres one and two are now fully complete and work is continuing on drill centre three. The aim is to continue to increase production capacity through to 2018.

Chief executive of the UK Oil & Gas Authority Dr Andy Samuel said that the Kraken field “has the potential to open up additional heavy oil opportunities in the Northern North Sea”. Others in the industry are no doubt going to be watching future developments with interest.

Earlier this month, the BBC reported on the Oil and Gas Technology Centre, a not-for-profit organisation that is set to invest £1.6 million in oil and gas projects in the North Sea. So far the three projects selected for funding are aimed at reducing the cost of maintaining and inspecting offshore infrastructure.

If you need electron beam welding for an oil or gas project, contact us today to find out more about our expertise.
26/05/17
Start typing your update here...Technology across every sector is evolving and now it appears the aerospace industry has taken another step forward, with the first test of a robotic co-pilot in a 737 simulator.

Aurora Flight Sciences has developed the robot co-pilot that can physically take control of a plane with its arm, has in-cockpit machine vision and is able to interact with members of the crew. During the simulator test, the robot successfully landed the 737, although it is still some way off being able to take control of an actual airliner.

The new automated system has been developed as part of a project with the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the US, as part of its Aircrew Labour In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) programme.

According to DARPA, the ultimate aim for ALIAS is “a tailorable, drop-in, removable kit that would promote the addition of high levels of automation into existing aircraft, enabling operation with reduced onboard crew”.

As well as being able to control the aircraft, ALIAS is equipped with speech recognition and speech synthesis capabilities, which means it can communicate directly with the pilot or other crew members.

The new technology has already been tested on aircraft in flight, with the most recent test on a DA42 aircraft, which is much smaller than a 737.

Of course, automated flight is nothing new, with drones now a common feature of our skies. However, one aviation expert has warned that the UK will need to stay closely aligned with the European Aerospace Safety Agency after leaving the EU if it wants to continue to develop drone technology and have the freedom to fly it anywhere in Europe easily.

Speaking to The Register, committee chairman at the Royal Aeronautical Society UAV Tony Handley said that the UK no longer has enough expertise in this area to run a standalone aviation regulatory body.

If you need technical expertise for an aerospace project, contact us at Electron Beam Services today to find out how we could be of assistance.
16/05/17
The 2 Sisters Food Group has invested £10 million in its food preparation facility in South Wales to increase production of oriental ready meals.

Following this cash injection, the Rogerstone site now has an oriental foods “pod”, which will be utilised to help drive growth within the company’s Meal Solutions division.

A range of new equipment and technology has been fitted at the factory, including a new in-line cooling system which has helped reduce the environmental impact of operations here.

Managing director of Meal Solutions Simon Wookey commented: “We are investing millions in our factories and embedding a cross-functional lean culture to deliver a gold standard performance.”

The organisation supplies high-quality ready meals to M&S, with a spokesperson from the retailer noting that the extension to the Rogerstone site will mean more exciting and innovative recipes hitting the shelves in stores in the coming months.

Food production is one of the UK’s largest manufacturing industries and there are various projects working to improve its efficiency. Last month, OAL and the University of Lincoln were awarded a grant of £448,850 by the UK government’s innovation agency to explore and develop new robotics material handling systems for food.

The year-long project will focus on automating the processes of handling, weighing and transporting raw ingredients. Part of the project will also examine hygiene and food safety features.

According to OAL’s managing director Harry Norman, this kind of innovation is crucial for the sector, because manufacturers are faced with rising costs but have little opportunity to up their prices, making efficiency gains one of the best ways for them to boost profits.

If you need help with vacuum heat treatment or other specialist services, contact us at Electron Beam Services today.
05/05/17
It seems that Formula 1’s use of electron beam welding won’t extend to their proposed safety ‘halo’ as the organisation has scrapped the plans in favour of a different solution.

Formula 1 has been dedicated to increasing the level of head protection offered by vehicle cockpits after the high profile deaths of several drivers such as Jules Bianchi and, in recent years, the ‘halo’ had been the preferred method which had been trialled extensively in 2016.

It was proposed to be instated in 2017, before being delayed to 2018, however this week the F1 released a statement declaring they’d be moving ahead with other technology. ““A number of more integrated solutions for additional frontal protection have been studied, and the decision has been taken to give priority to the transparent ‘shield’ family of systems,” read the statement, according to motorsport.com.

The ‘Halo’ had previously divided opinion, with the look of the system being a particular sticking point. The ‘Halo’ saw a piece of protective carbon fibre material sitting above the driver and coming down in front of them, directly in the drivers line of sight.

‘Shield’, however, is made up of a transparent screen which does not cover the whole cockpit, directly answering this aesthetic concern. However, many drivers have come out to question whether this system is style over substance, questioning its safety credentials.

Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat, Haas drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean as well as Williams driver Felipe Massa ehave all expressed concern over the plans.
25/04/17
People looking for the best electron beam services available will be interested to know about the latest developments in the sector.

The UK has relied on coal to fuel its homes and economy every since the beginning of the industrial revolution. The use of coal powered our railways and out every growing industrialisation.

This long-term relationship with coal could be on the downturn however, as the UK managed its first day without using coal-powered electricity since the industrial revolution.

Low demand over the Easter holidays means that energy demand was sufficiently low, in mid-April, that the UK went a whole day powered only by wind, nuclear and gas.

High production levels of wind, nuclear and gas also facilitated this ‘watershed moment’ according to Cordi O’Hara director of UK system operator at National Grid, reported RT.com.

“To have the first working day without coal since the start of the industrial revolution is a watershed moment in how our energy system is changing,” she said.

The UK’s changing relationship with coal started nearly a decade ago, when nearly 23 per cent of our energy was coal fired. This has dropped to just nine per cent, with solar energy production overtaking coal.

Biomass energy production now also accounts for six per cent of the energy used in the UK, with gas taking over as our main energy source.

If you’re working on a project that requires electron beam welding, speak to us to find out how we could help you.
23/03/17
The Snowdonia Aerospace Centre in Llanbedr could well become one of the first commercial spaceports in the UK, with private sector providers now registering interest in the site in a bid to enable low-cost access to space from the UK by the year 2020.

Plans for enhanced site access are due to be submitted to the Snowdonia National Park Authority by Gwynedd Council. If given the go-ahead, access to the Llanbedr site would be improved, which would help to serve as a catalyst for further investment and development.

Lee Paul, Snowdonia Aerospace Centre chief executive, explained that the last year-and-a-half has been about building a world-class facility and ensuring that the right operating environment is created.

Representatives from the Centre, Welsh government and Aerospace Wales recently attended a UK space age event at the Royal Aeronautical Society. Mr Paul said: “We observed real interest in what’s happening at Llanbedr, leading to a number of very encouraging discussions with end users, international spaceport operators and satellite launch companies as well as regulators, UK government and [the UK Space Agency].”

At the start of February, the government launched a £10 million scheme to help develop the commercial spaceflight market in the UK, with draft legislation to enable UK spaceflight by 2020 published. The UK market is worth an estimated £25 billion over the next 20 years, with Jo Johnson – universities and science minister – saying that spaceflight offers the UK the chance to build on its strengths in research, science and innovation, and it provides the opportunity to expand into new markets.

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23/03/17
The Johan Sverdrup development on the Norwegian continental shelf is one of Norway’s largest oil fields. Now Statoil has announced that it will be moving into Phase 2 after awarding FEED contracts to Aker Solutions, Kvaerner and Siemens.

These partners will now begin working on a plan for development and operation (PDO), which will need to be submitted in the second half of next year.

Oil from this phase of the site is expected to come on-stream in 2022. The first oil from Phase 1 will be delivered late in 2019.

Project director of the Johan Sverdrup development at Statoil Kjetel Digre said that the organisation wants to take a “generational perspective” when it comes to the oil field.

“Working closely with partners and government authorities we now have a plan for Phase 2 that maximises value for society, industry and the licensees,” he asserted.

Phase 2 development will tie in with what’s been done for Phase 1, the company noted, adding one more platform to the four planned as part of the initial development.

Three satellite areas will also be phased in as part of the next stage, allowing oil from these areas to be processed and exported at the field centre. 28 new wells are planned for this next phase.

While Statoil is known for its interests in oil, the company is targeting other forms of energy generation as well. Modern Power Systems recently reported that Statoil has submitted a proposal for the construction of a large offshore wind farm in the US.

If you need electron beam services for any oil field projects you’re involved in, contact us to find out more about how we could help you.
01/03/17
India’s state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has approved investment in five oil and gas projects, which will boost production in the country.

The five projects include the development of the R-Series fields and a revival of the R-12 (Ratna) field, as well as the redevelopment of the Santhal field, and 4th phase development of the NBP field. ONGC is investing 73.27 billion rupees in the various projects.

It expects the R-Series fields to start producing oil in 2018-19, realising production of 14,583 barrels of oil per day (bopd). This particular project will involve drilling 31 wells, installing five new platforms and reviving one other platform.

The company also plans to drill six new wells as part of the 4th phase development of the NBP field, with the scheme expected to deliver peak oil production of 4,890 bopd by 2019-20.

In addition, ONGC will develop the B-147 field and the BSE-11 block, both of which are in the Bassein and Satellite Asset.

Earlier this month, Oilprice.com reported that India’s demand for oil climbed in 2016, with oil consumption growth hitting 11 per cent.

Citing figures from the country’s Oil Ministry, it noted that the nation consumed 196.5 million tonnes of oil products last year, compared to the 177.5 million tonnes consumed in 2015.

The rise in oil consumption was attributed to a growing urban population and greater use of vehicles around the country as a result of rising incomes.

If you need assistance with electron beam welding, contact us today to find out more about the services we offer the oil industry.