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

01/11/17
The Bloodhound Supersonic car has undergone its first test runs this month. The vehicle has been made with the help of Rolls-Royce, which has supplied the engine for the car, sourcing this particular piece of kit from a Eurofighter Typhoon.

According to the Derby Telegraph, the engineering team on the Bloodhound project have been using the firm’s testing facilities ahead of getting the car on a runway.

The civil aerospace division at Sinfin has been used to test the wheels, for instance. But this week the vehicle made its first test runs in Newquay.

It reached a speed of 210mph on the runway at Newquay Airport on 26 October, the BBC reported, with the team now confident that it can reach its designed performance - speeds of up to 1,000mph.

Pilot RAF Wing Commander Andy Green, who is tasked with driving the super-high-speed vehicle, told the news provider that the test runs were hard work for the car’s brakes.

He said the front brakes were “smoking furiously” following the second run, commenting: “They started to just flicker with flame - very sort of Formula One, but in a proper high-speed car. And that was exactly what we were hoping for.”

Next year the Bloodhound and its team will head to South Africa, where 12 miles of a dried out lake bed will allow the car to reach much greater speeds. The current world land speed record stands at 763mph, although with the introduction of rocket technology in 2019, the aim is to get the Bloodhound to the 800mph barrier initially, and then the 1,000mph barrier a year later.

If you need electron beam welding for an aerospace or engineering project, contact us today.
17/10/17
The biggest defence contractor in the UK, BAE Systems, has announced that it will be cutting up to 1,300 jobs at its military aerospace arm over the next three years, as well as an additional 375 in maritime services and 150 at the company’s cyber intelligence business.

According to the Guardian, the cuts are expected to be brought in by January 1st, affecting not just those on the production line but also managers as well. The aerospace bases at Warton and Samlesbury in Lancashire will suffer 750 job losses – double what was seen back in 2015.

In Portsmouth, 340 dockyard jobs are due to go, 245 at RAF bases in Marham and Leeming, and 150 positions in Guildford and Lodnon, as well as other cyber intelligence sites.

Chief executive of BAE Charles Woodburn explained that these cuts are necessary, saying: “The organisational changes we are announcing today accelerate our evolution to a more streamlined, de-layered organisation, with a sharper competitive edge and a renewed focus on technology. I recognise this will be difficult news for some of our employees and we are committed to do everything we can to support those affected.”

Meanwhile, engineers from BAE Systems will now be solely responsible for supporting two new aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy, as well as the rest of the fleet based at Portsmouth. The Ministry of Defence has now amended its contract with the company to include the Queen Elizabeth Class, with all classes of ships home ported at Portsmouth Naval Base covered under the arrangement.

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26/09/17
Electron beam technology could be at the forefront of plans to introduce high-speed 5G wireless data coverage, producing speeds of up to 100 gb per second.

A European project, led by a team of UK engineers, is exploring how exploiting the millimetre wave spectrum could provide a cost-effective, efficient means of accessing data through 5G wireless networks.

Wireless devices, which already use more data that desktop computers and the like, are set to eat up even more data with the advancement of 4k video streaming and other services. Increasing the amount of available wireless data would involve laying grids of micro, nano and pico cells in urban areas to serve a small number of users, which could be expensive and difficult to execute.

Professor Claudio Paoloni at Lancaster University said that existing base stations are fed data via fibres, “but if the number of cells were to increase substantially, the fibre would be very difficult and expensive to install”.

The professor, who is heading the €2.9 million (£2.56 million) ULTRAWAVE project, is developing a system based on a millimetre wave travelling wave tube that transmits data wirelessly. An electron beam is sent along the long vacuum tube, along with the millimetre wave signal. The mass of electrons then loses kinetic energy and transfers it to the signal, commented the professor.

“As a result, the signal increases in power to a level that is impossible with any other technique,” he added.

The project was presented to the public earlier this month at Lancaster University’s Kickoff Workshop and is expected to run until 2020.

If you need electron beam welding services, contact us today.
15/09/17
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 edie.net, 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.
04/09/17
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.
31/08/17
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 BT.com, 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.
22/08/17
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.
03/08/17
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.
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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