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

31/07/19
Wales could be the new centre for medical developments if plans for Monmouthshire County to become a successful healthcare technology hub are successful.

London corporate firm Capital Kinetics recently approached the local authority about developing a business incubator facility in the area, with Monmouthshire Med Tech (MMT) to be based in Magor, South Wales Argus revealed.

MMT will take over the council’s old Innovation House offices, with the local authority keen to use this as an opportunity to lure other medical technology businesses to the area.

The publication revealed a report to the cabinet that stated: “MMT will advocate for the county as a great place for this type of business to start, locate and grow.”

According to the document, MMT could also “become central to an emerging eco-system fuelled by a number of successful companies already based here”.

It was added that it would also provide great potential to create more businesses and generate “above-average salaries”.

Indeed, the council intends to offer finance for 15 companies via loans from its £50 million investment fund.

Businesses will be able to access loans of up to £25,000 for a year, and a steering group will decide whether applications should be made to the council’s investment committee, with 100 companies able to be assessed at any one time.

Capital Kinetics has had a significant part to play in the development – and potential growth – of MMT, with work to establish the centre having begun in November 2018.

It will initially launch as a nine-month pilot scheme, but if it is successful it could become an important centre for medical technology in Britain.

This comes after Nottingham Trent University submitted plans for an £8 million medical technology centre as part of its Medical Technologies Innovation Facility (MTIF). The hub will help new technologies advance much more quickly, which would improve treatments for patients across the country.

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19/07/19
Drilling geothermal wells is challenging and often not cost effective. A team of researchers at the University of Oklahoma in the US is currently developing smart lost circulation materials to help make geothermal drilling less expensive.

Phys.org reported on their research, explaining that they’re focusing on the development of shape memory polymers, which are activated by geothermal temperature. The aim of using them is to prevent fluid escaping from the fractured rock around the wellbore.

Speaking to the news provider, Saeed Salehi, project principal investigator and professor of petroleum and geological engineering at the university, commented: “The shape polymers under development for this project are novel expandable and programmable polymers that activate when drilling a high-temperature geothermal drilling operations.”

He added that the current cost of geothermal drilling is “prohibitive” without new technologies such as these polymers being developed.

This is also just the first phase of the project. After investigating lost circulation prevention methods and smart wellbore strengthening materials, the team will move onto phase two. This will focus on flow loop tests of the materials they develop.

The final phase will involve running computational models to find the best combination of techniques, material sizes and concentration to be used in real wells.

A recent post for Think Geoenergy explained that drilling fluids are a “critical component” of drilling operations because they help maintain the stability of the wellbore, they provide pressure, and they allow drilling tools and the downhole environment to cool.

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25/06/19
The government has shown its support for growing aerospace companies by launching a research and development (R&D) fund for the industry to the value of £24 million.

This will go towards the Open Collaborative R&D competition, with up to £12 million of this finance coming directly from the government and a further £12 million from the industry.

This programme is aimed at helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to prosper, by encouraging businesses with high-risk, high-impact, revolutionary projects to submit a bid.

Business minister Andrew Stephenson said: “Innovation and R&D are crucial for the UK aerospace sector.”

He added: “Through our Industrial Strategy, we are ensuring the UK remains a world-leader by boosting R&D activity, developing new technology and increasing the UK’s share of the growing aerospace market.”

The competition will launch in October 2019, but SMEs that are interested in submitting their projects that “demonstrate future-thinking revolutionary and disruptive solutions to UK aerospace challenges” have been advised to get in touch with the Aerospace Technology Institute to discuss how to prepare their bids.

In addition to this, Mr Stephenson launched the new round of the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP 3). This is designed to support SMEs in the development of innovative technology for the industry; this may include virtual reality training for cabin crew and 3D aerospace structures to make aircraft lighter.

While this investment is encouraging for those aerospace businesses that are up-and-coming, firms that are already established are likely to be preparing for several potential Brexit outcomes when the country leaves the European Union on October 31st.

Earlier this year, the Guardian reported how airlines have been stockpiling parts in the event of a no-deal exit.

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19/06/19
If you require our electron beam services for innovative work within the aerospace industry, then news that the government is looking to fund work that will strengthen the UK's standing in the field.

According to Aerospace-Technology, the UK government is launching a new competition, through the channels of Innovate UK and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), for companies to come to them with innovative ideas that will keep the country relevant and part of the conversation when it comes to aerospace advances.

The competition, which will take place between the 1st July and 24th July, is aimed at 'emerging markets', and Innovate UK and the UKRI are looking for expressions of interest to participate to claim some of the £150 million bounty. According to a spokesperson, “The competition is intended to seek expressions of interest in funding for industrial research or capital investment projects in the aerospace sector”, however it has also been expressed that the projects should have the potential to be applied to the civil aerospace sector.

They also outlined that UK businesses, research and technology groups, as well as academic organisations such as universities, could lead bids for the fund, depending on its application in the industry. The bids should also align with Aerospace Technology Strategy, and key areas highlighted include smart, connected aircrafts, future-proofing systems and any innovations which can help to strengthen whole aircraft design and production in the UK.

This investment is a part of a larger £3.9 billion fund from the UK Aerospace Research and Technology (UKART) programme.
23/05/19
Eni has announced a new discovery off the shore of Angola, with the well potentially containing up to 250 Mmbbl of light oil.

The Ndungu-1 NFW well, in Block 15/06, has been drilled by the Poseidon drillship just a few kilometres away from Eni’s West Hub site.

According to a report in World Oil, the drill reached a water depth of 1,076 m, achieving a total depth of 4,050 m.

It is thought the well could have a production capacity of as much as – or more than – 10,000 barrels of oil per day.

Ndungu represents the first important oil discovery near the coast of Angola that is inside a Development Area.

As it is just 1.24 miles from the Mpungu field, production could occur at a faster rate as it is already close to the Sub Sea production system. This will allow the oil to be routed to the N’goma FPSO, which would extend the company’s current West Hub plateau.

The Block 15/06 project is a joint venture between Eni, Sonangol P&P, and SSI Fifteen Limited. Its exploration was re-launched in the middle of last year, and Ndungu is the fourth commercial find since then.

Prior to Ngungu, Kalimba, Afoxe and Agogo were discovered over the last year. It is thought they provide a combined production of 1.4 billion barrels of light oil.

This comes after Uganda’s energy and mineral development minster Irene Muloni revealed the government will enable companies to bid for oil exploration licences on seven new exploration blocks on the Albertine Graben site, All Africa reported.

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09/05/19
Element Materials Technology has announced it will invest in more immersion ultrasonic testing (IUT) for aerospace equipment in Mexico.

It currently already offers IUT services elsewhere across the world, including in Houston, Texas; Hartford, Connecticut; Rancho Dominguez, California; and Sheffield, England.

However, there has been demand for it in Monterrey in Mexico too, which is why the technology company is planning to expand its offering south of the US border, reported Aero-Mag.

As a result, it will become the only Nadcap and GE approved independent materials testing laboratory in Central and South America to provide IUT services for the aerospace industry.

Executive vice president for aerospace at Element Materials Technology Rick Sluiters told the news provider the company’s IUT offering is something “customers across North America and Europe value highly”.

This has led to a demand for the services in Mexico, which is why Element has decided to invest in the area so it can meet clients’ needs.

“We are committed to maintaining a high level of service, as well as our technical proficiencies and our improved capacity will allow us to maintain the turnaround our customers expect,” Mr Sluiters stated.

More than 3,000 people work for Element Materials Technology, whether they are technicians, engineers or scientists, dedicating their knowledge and experience to commercial and military aerospace testing.

It prides itself on being the “largest, independent provider of materials testing, product qualification testing, calibration and advisory services to the global aerospace testing sector”.

The company has more than 100 years’ experience, enabling it to offer a range of testing services for varying components, products, materials and systems regarding aerospace technology.

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18/04/19
The Uganda government has announced it will allow companies to bid for oil exploration licences next month.

Energy and mineral development minister Irene Muloni gave the news at a press conference last week, revealing seven new exploration blocks will open for bidding for the Albertine Graben site, All Africa reported.

Bidding will commence during the second week of May, so that it occurs at the same time as the East African Community Petroleum Conference, which is being held in Kenya’s Mombasa.

This is the second round of bidding for oil exploration deals, with the government having already signed deals with Armour Energy from Australia and Oranto Petroleum from Nigeria for more than Shs7 billion (£1.43 billion).

The first round of bidding unlocked six billion barrels of oil from the country’s capacity. However, Ms Muloni revealed new locations have been encountered.

“We have so far allocated ten per cent of the Graven to the existing firms. From the remaining 90 per cent of the Graben, we have picked data and it is this data that has helped us with the forming of these new blocks,” she stated.

It is thought the new area will cover both onshore and offshore sites covering 1,200 kilometres of oil exploration.

Uganda is not the only promising location for oil discovery, and Alaska’s North Slope is so rich in the fuel, there could be a significant rise in exploration in this region in the coming years.

Peninsula Clarion recently reported state officials as saying oil and rig activity in the area could reach a 20-year high in 2019.

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16/04/19
Equinor has announced that there has been a further delay to its Mariner oil project in the North Sea.

The Norwegian oil firm revealed that it is now not expecting to start producing oil through its flagship project until the second half of this year, having initially expected to start production towards the end of 2018.

Energy Voice explained that the reason for the delay was due to problems with the electrical equipment aboard the platform, which was built specifically for the project.

Vice president of projects at the firm Morten Ruth told the news provider that a “high failure rate” was uncovered in the platform’s electrical couplings during testing last year. To ensure there are no safety issues, the company is testing all 40,000 electrical couplings on the rig.

This process began in January, with Mr Ruth noting that they are now over halfway through the task.

He declined to offer any suggestions as to what had caused the problems, saying only that the company was involved in discussions with suppliers and contractors about where the liability lies.

“The important thing now is to show we have control of this issue. We need it under proper control before we start up,” Mr Ruth asserted.

The North Sea field, which is located to the east of Shetland, is predicted to produce 300 million barrels of oil when it comes online.

Petroleum Economist recently reported that oil firms are being urged to look again at areas in the North Sea that were previously dismissed as not holding oil reserves after new analysis of seismic data indicated there could be undiscovered reserves in these areas.

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22/03/19
Aerospace designers should start thinking of their next big project, as they could be in with a chance to win up to £150 million a year to get their product off the ground.

The government has announced the competition, which is part of the UK Aerospace Research and Technology (UKART) programme worth £3.9 billion.

This initiative has been set up by the government and those in the industry, and is managed by Innovate UK, the Aerospace Technology Institute and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

In order to maintain Britain’s position as having one of the best aerospace industries in the world, it has launched this competition to encourage businesses to come up with exciting new designs.

“Organisations are invited to express an interest in a competition worth £150 million a year with their innovative ideas for future aerospace design and manufacture. The best projects will then be invited to apply for grant funding,” a government spokesperson said.

The contest begins today (March 18th) and will run until February 11th 2020, with any UK-based business, academic organisation, research or technology group encouraged to put forward their ideas.

If they are successful, they could be given up to 70 per cent of the costs for projects that are researched based, or half of the expenses of capital investment initiatives.

Applicants are encouraged to submit designs aimed at improving Britain’s aircraft design and system integration; future-proofing technologies in the UK, including smart and electric aircrafts; helping the country become a world leader in large aviation structures; and developing propulsion technologies that are more efficient.

This comes after the Guardian reported how aerospace firms are preparing for a ‘no deal Brexit’ by stockpiling millions of pounds worth of parts.

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25/02/19
Businesses in all industries are preparing for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit, as politicians continue to argue over the best way to leave the EU.

One sector that’s been make particular provisions is aerospace and defence, with the Guardian recently outlining exactly what companies in this area have been doing to prepare.

The news provider pointed out that a no-deal Brexit will add millions of pounds in costs to many firms, and as a result mitigating these is a top priority.

In June last year, for instance, Airbus revealed it would need to stockpile €1 billion-worth of parts, as well as stating that any delays caused to production as a result of a no-deal Brexit could run to €1 billion per week.

Rolls Royce, Bombardier Aerospace and Meggitt have all also announced that they are building up a stockpile of parts and/or raw materials to help prevent supply issues should the UK exit without a deal.

A number of firms in the UK have also applied to switch their regulatory approval to the EU, to help protect them in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Those operating in defence, rather than commercial aerospace, appear to be better insulated from Brexit-related shocks, the newspaper noted, because many sell parts that fall outside of tariffs.

Earlier this month, Airbus UK vice CEO Katherine Bennett told the Andrew Marr show that a no-deal Brexit would be “absolutely catastrophic” for the firm which employs 14,000 people in the UK.

The New European reported on her comments, where she also said that the company would have to make “difficult decisions” if the UK walks away from the EU with no deal in place.

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