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Bottled water brand Evian, which is part of the Danone Group, has unveiled its new bottling site, which has been certified as carbon neutral by the Carbon Trust.

According to, this is part of Evian’s bid to become the first carbon-neutral Danone brand by 2020. The new production facility in France is the first step on this journey, and can produce 72,000 bottles of water per hour.

The facility is fully powered by renewable energy and all the bottles produced there are 100 per cent recyclable. Evian also announced that it plans to invest €280 million in a new facility that will produce all Evian water bottles sold worldwide.

Emmanuel Faber, Danone’s chief executive, said he was very proud to open the new facility. “This achievement combines a unique workplace organisation, a shift to digital technology, and technologies and sustainable solutions at the cutting edge of our sector worldwide,” he stated.

As well as producing bottles that can be recycled, the firm intends to use 100 per cent recycled materials for all of its packaging by 2020. By the end of this year, the company estimates that 25 per cent of the materials it uses will be from recycled plastics.

Plastic pollution is known to be a huge problem for the planet and one that more and more people are trying to combat. Earlier this month, Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that she supports a deposit return scheme on glass, plastic and aluminium bottles and cans.

If you’re setting up a new food or drink production facility and need vacuum heat treatment, contact Electron Beam Services today.
The Egyptian government has signed three new oil and gas exploration deals with Royal Dutch Shell and Apex International Energy, covering a total of 16 sites in the country’s Western Desert.

It is a boost for Egypt, which has been looking to entice foreign investors back to its energy sector. The deals for exploring these new fields are worth $81.4 million in total.

Shell is set to invest $35.5 million following its deal, while Apex will be spending $45.9 million on two projects in the Middle Eastern country.

At one time Egypt was a net exporter of oil, but has become a net importer in recent years because demand has increased while production has fallen.

Daily News Egypt reported that Tarek El-Molla, the country’s minister of petroleum, explained that the ministry is hoping to attract a greater level of foreign investment in oil and gas exploration, helping it to exploit the potential of a number of areas.

Mr El-Molla also revealed that the sites in the Western Desert are of particular interest to US companies, like Apex, which is going to be operating in Egypt for the first time after signing these deals.

Oil and gas exploration activities aren’t without their risks though, as Statoil recently discovered. The oil giant revealed that its exploratory drilling in the Arctic has been “disappointing”, explaining that the volumes of natural gas it discovered weren’t large enough for commercial development.

However, the firm revealed that it will continue exploration activities in the region, noting that it intends to drill further exploratory wells in the south-east of the Barents Sea in 2018.

If you need helium leak testing services for any work you’re conducting in the area of oil or gas exploration, contact us today.
The use of electron beam welding in aerospace engineering has enabled some of the biggest breakthroughs in the field - which has led to the dawn of consumer space travel just around the corner.

What this will look like for the general public has up to now been unknown, however, this week, space travel entrepreneur Elon Musk unveiled what his newly designed spacesuits look like. While the traditional spacesuit is thought of as a big and bulky outfit, Musk’s SpaceX suit is more streamlined and stylish.

In a post on his Instagram page, Musk explained that this wasn’t just a mock-up, but a working prototype: “Worth noting that this actually works (not a mockup). Already tested to double vacuum pressure. Was incredibly hard to balance aesthetics and function. Easy to do either separately”.

The spacesuit will be used for SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, according to, a programme which will launch astronauts from the US to the International Space Station. At present, astronauts must be launched from the cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

SpaceX already runs private flights with supplies for the International Space Station, however, has not launched private flights with human passengers as of yet.

However, earlier this year, Elon Musk announced that he would be launching a private flight around the moon for two private paying customers. The passengers haven’t yet been announced, while they await medical approval, however they have paid a significant deposit to fund the mission.

Critics have said that a flight in 2018 is a lofty goal however, so only time will tell if these private citizens will get to don this spacesuit next year.
DeLorean is a name that’s become synonymous with futuristic-looking cars and, of course, the infamous flying, time-travelling vehicle in the Back to the Future trilogy.

It therefore seems only natural that Paul DeLorean, nephew of John DeLorean, who founded the automaker that produced the car featured in the movies, is working on a flying car concept of his own through his company DeLorean Aerospace.

Speaking recently to Wired, he revealed that his firm is making progress with its design for a flying car.

“We are moving forward on a full-size, piloted prototype which will carry two passengers and is designed to operate, fully electric, for a range of 120 miles,” Mr DeLorean stated.

The car itself will have two seats and be a vertical takeoff vehicle, with the ultimate aim to make this car self-flying so that anyone can use it.

At almost 20 feet long and 18.5 feet wide, it’s far larger than a standard road car, but there are clever design features to make it a little more manageable when it comes to storage. For instance, the wings can fold into tuck against the sides of the car to allow it to fit into a large garage.

The biggest headline from the DeLorean specs though is the range. Companies such as Neva Aviation and Airbus, who are both developing flying cars of their own, are aiming for much shorter ranges with their vehicles - 25 and 50 miles respectively.

Far from being a sci-fi dream, flying cars are getting ever closer to being a reality and this area of development is a growing sector within the aerospace industry.

Wards Auto recently reported that at least ten companies are expected to launch flying cars within the next five years, with some businesses already taking pre-orders for their flying vehicles.

If you need electron beam welding services for an exciting aerospace project such as these, contact us today.
It’s not every day when you work with helium leak testing in the oil industry and run into one Mr Mark Zuckerberg. The Facebook founder and CEO surprised workers in Williston, North Dakota, by arranging a last minute visit to their tracking site to understand more about the oil and gas industry. His visit is part of his 2017 resolution to visit every state in America. Zuckerberg is known for his annual pledges and he describes them as necessary for him to “to learn new things and grow outside of my work”.

It is reported that his visit included being shown round a drilling rig as well as a round table discussion about the effects of fracking and the wider oil industry. He took to Facebook to state

“I believe stopping climate change is one of the most important challenges of our generation. Given that, I think it's even more important to learn about our energy industry, even if it's controversial. I encourage all of you to get out and learn about all perspectives on issues you care about too. Regardless of your views on energy, I think you'll find the community around this fascinating.”

He goes on to make comments on the wider community he met in this isolated town as well as highlighting social issues in such transient communities. Local Newspaper, The Bismark Tribune, interviewed executive director of the Williston Economic Department Shawn Wenko who said “He came across as a very nice guy, very open to conversation,” Wenko said. “We were excited that, of all the places in the world he could choose to go, he chose to come here and understand the oil and gas industry.”

With tracking being such a contentious issue it is refreshing to see someone so prominent promoting education, understanding and open discussion in the oil industry.
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
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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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.
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.
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.