Nov 27, 2017 - It has been far too long arriving, but thanks to the enthusiasm of We Can Precision Engineering’s Ricky Pike, the Maintenance Engineering Society (MESNZ) has firmly established its presence in Hawkes Bay with the very first Kaeser Compressors Network Evening.
It is appropriate that as the modern face of precision engineering, We Can have taken over the Eric Paton Ltd stock and IP, giving some relief to engineers gutted by the loss of the industry stalwart. Whilst this acquisition is just another feather in the cap of the Hastings based company, their focus on precision, quality and innovation mirrors the ethos of Mr Paton himself. The mix of attendees on the night from leading firms in the meat, plastics and food industries was testimony itself to the depth of confidence that this firm commands
Owner/Operator, Rickie has vast experience in manufacturing. His focus has been the improvement of productivity and quality to reduce inventory and streamline processes. He is passionate about continually improving We Can’s systems and manufacturing techniques for the benefit of customers.
While We Can draws on a range of complimentary machines to undertake projects other precision engineering companies cannot tackle, they also use multitasking and five-axis machines.for the manufacture of complex parts involving a combination of turning, milling, hobbing and three dimensional profiling. The state of the art machinery including wire cut EDM gives them the capability to cut very intricate and delicate shapes and manufacture complex parts more accurately and cost-effectively than traditional machines. Their focus is on producing small to medium sized precision components in quantities that start at just one.
The Kaeser Compressors Network Evening series is as much about highlighting the capabilities of local companies as it is about spectacular achievements or interesting maintenance challenges and the We Can evening proved once again that precision engineering is a thriving capabaility in New Zealand.
The MESNZ Kaeser Compressors Network Evenings are hosted to showcase local operations and provide networking opportunities for engineers across all regions of New Zealand. The evenings offer the opportunity to take a look at the host operation and discuss common issues and solutions in a relaxed after work environment. Open to interested members of the public, the nights are well patronised.
The Maintenance Engineering Society is active across New Zealand, providing professional development opportunities for maintenance engineers and manufacturing operations to network and share innovations and experiences; both at a national level at their annual national conference or at these regional events. The 2018 National Maintenance Engineering Conference will be held in Rotorua on November13-15.
Nov 24, 2017 - Fanuc America has demonstrated a new automotive spot welding robot at the recent Fabtech event. The new seven-axis R-1000iA/120F-7B’s design is based on the R-1000iA robot series. It has a payload of 120 kg and a maximum reach of 2,230 mm. The additional axis allows the robot’s J2 arm to fold into itself, making it shorter and able to operate in very tight workspaces, says Fanuc.
At the FabTech event, the R-1000iA/120F-7B was equipped with integrated Fanuc Servo Gun Control, the Fanuc primary wrist and Solution Arm for spot welding dress out, and a servo weld gun, which performs a spot welding operation on an automotive body side.
The robot highlights Fanuc’s 4D graphics, and uses Dual Check Safety Speed and Position Check software to limit the robot’s envelope within the compact workspace.
Also featured were Fanuc’s latest R-30iB Plus controller with an intuitive iPendant for easy setup and operation.
Tim Holcomb, product manager, Fanuc America, says: “The articulation in the J2 arm now enables the robot to be placed closer to the operating point in a welding application without losing any reach.
“Since the robot can also work overhead and from behind its back, it has an amazingly large work area despite its compact design.”
In addition to spot welding, R-1000iA/120F-7B is designed for other applications including compact palletizing, machine load/unload and other operations with space constraints.
Some of the features of R-1000iA/120F-7B include:
Seven-axis articulation for maximum flexibility to reach multiple areas within a work cell, even very tight spaces.
Best-in-class motion performance provides maximum productivity.
High-speed operation minimizes robot cycle times.
Simple serial-link configuration with large operating envelope (including rear and downward side).
Upright or invert mounting accommodates a wide range of work areas.
Substantial wrist load ratings support the latest compact servo weld guns. IP67 rated wrist allows operation in wet conditions.
Handles 120kg applications.
Optional Solution Arm dressout package with internal cable routing for spot welding processes.
The latest R-30iB Plus controller features an intuitive iPendant with enhanced screen resolution and more processing capability compared to previous versions.
Fanuc says this offers a variety of intelligent functions including iRVision, Force Sensing, RoboGuide, ZDT and DCS.
Nov 22, 2017 - Scott Technology outbid an overseas buyer when it bought Dunedin-based engineering firm DC Ross out of receivership, a six-monthly report from the receivers shows. DC Ross, which supplies precision metal formed parts, was tipped into receivership in September 2016 and in June this year Scott Technology said it had entered an unconditional agreement to purchase all the assets of the company for a total purchase price expected to be less than $500,000.
In its annual report, Scott Technology, also based in Dunedin, said it paid $375,000 for DC Ross, and its tool room and tool design capability has already enabled it to undertake significant work for an appliance manufacturer in Australia.
It also noted the inventories, plant and equipment of the DC Ross business were purchased from DC Ross’ receivers for an agreed total value which was less than market value, resulting in a fair-value gain on acquisition.
In today's report, DC Ross's receiver Malcolm Hollis of PwC said they had corresponded with multiple interested parties and attracted an overseas buyer. He did not identify the company and was not immediately available for comment. However, prior to settlement, it received a "large offer from a third party," he said in the report. "We consulted with our appointer, who agreed this was the best possible offer received to date and retained employment for all staff," said Hollis.
Hollis also said the receivers are in negotiations with third secured creditor Fletcher Steel regarding the quantum of its purchase money security interest claim - which gives it the right to receive debtor proceeds up to the value of steel contained in the part sold. According to the report, Fletcher Steel is owed $609,670.
"Once we have undertaken a review of the calculations we intend to make a final distribution to Fletcher Steel," said Hollis.
The first secured creditor is Bank of New Zealand, which is owed $4.3 million while the second secured creditor is Aorangi Laboratories, owed $13.8 million. According to Hollis' report "based on the realisations to date there will be a significant shortfall to the secured creditor and therefore no funds available for a distribution to unsecured creditors."
Scott Technology shares last traded up 1.4 percent at $3.70 and have gained 70 percent this year.
16 Nov 2017 - Most engineers didn’t go to school aiming to become economists, but that’s often what it feels like once you take on a managerial role. High-performance equipment is expensive, and downtime is costlier than ever. Lubrication is a fact of life, as is maintenance, whether it’s an airliner on the ramp or a conveyor on an assembly line, and the overall cost of preventative maintenance is always in play. High temperature applications make the problem even worse. At 400° F and higher, conventional hydrocarbon lubricant formulations aren’t enough.
For the difficult environments found in aerospace and aviation applications, for example, high-performance perfluoropolyether (PFPE) lubricants can perform under extreme temperatures, pressures and exposure to harsh chemicals. Often, advanced PFPE lubes are the only solution, but what about cases where hydrocarbon formulations can survive? In this case, there are still strong cost and performance advantages to going with higher performance products.
Consider the true cost of lubrication in manufacturing. Maintaining Lubrication in Extreme EnvironmentsMachines can fail for any number of reasons, but improper lubrication is often a leading culprit. This is commonly due to environmental factors such as temperature, pressure or exposure to harsh chemicals, or due to a lack of scheduled maintenance and relubrication. Extreme environments pose a significant challenge for keeping machines properly lubricated. Steam turbine controls, for example, will see wear on cam shafts, valve lift bar anti-friction bushings and gears if they’re using conventional lubricants, leading to
| Continue toread the full article here || November 16, 2017 |||
15 Nov 2017 - One of the largest, and the longest established New Zealand-owned engineering and design consultancy, Harrison Grierson, has announced its merger with Wellington-based spatial information specialists, e-Spatial.
Harrison Grierson employs over 350 people in eight offices across the country. Its four key market sectors are Land and Buildings, Water and the Environment, Utilities, and Transport.
e-Spatial’s expert services include spatial consulting, solution development, data management and technology.
The new stand-alone business unit will be called ‘e-Spatial, a Harrison Grierson company.’
This is the second merger in Harrison Grierson’s 132-year history and is a significant diversification for both companies, says Managing Director, Glen Cornelius. ‘With this new specialist offering, we can undertake a range of different projects for our clients, adding value and enjoying a competitive advantage in many areas.’
In February this year, Harrison Grierson merged with the traffic and transport engineering specialists, T2, to form a new business unit called HGT2.
| A harrison Grierson release || November 15, 2017 - 12:53
3 Nov - 'Now is a great time to get involved with forestry, there are many upcoming challenges that require skilled young grads...' Luke Holmes studying towards a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Forest Engineering. Having spent most of his life growing up on a sheep farm, Luke knew that his future career had to involve work in the outdoors. His specific interest centred on harvesting and land development, which led him to Forest Engineering studies.
‘I aim to work within the New Zealand forest sector and be a part of the transition to safer and more productive harvest methods,’ he says.
With a Young Farmers Scholarship from high school and a UC Undergraduate Entrance Scholarship, Luke found it an easy decision to choose UC for his Forest Engineering degree.
‘I was aware that the Engineering department at UC was held in high regard both here and abroad, and thought this would provide the greatest opportunity to be taught by some of the best. When I discovered that Canterbury offered the only undergraduate Forestry programme in Australasia it was hard to look anywhere else.’
The courses in his degree were based on skills he will use in the industry, such as forest monitoring, project management, equipment training and geospatial mapping.
‘I found Forestry Engineering had a good professional and practical balance, and was a degree which would give me the skills to make a valuable contribution to NZ’s growth and environment,’ he says.
‘Although the first couple of years consist of mainly core skills subjects the ability to later specialise in courses that directly relate to the commercial forest industry was a large attraction for me. I really enjoy the small class size that the forestry side of the degree offers as well as the passion and openness of staff towards students, this makes an awesome learning environment.’
One particular favourite aspect was the practical component of his study, with internship placements during the summer. His grades and contributions were recognised with a Forestry Industry Engineering Associate (FIEA) Scholarship.
‘This provided the opportunity to get directly involved in the industry while studying,’ he says. ‘I worked in a logging crew and for a forest management company during my degree and this gave me the opportunity to directly relate things learnt at UC to the field.’
The experience has shown Luke just how enjoyable his career will be once he graduates, especially with more opportunities to get out of the office and into the environment.
‘If you are after a career which combines a professional approach with an outdoors lifestyle as well as plenty of opportunity for development and progression then look no further. The first years of an Engineering degree are tough but definitely worth it.’
After graduating and gaining more experience in the industry, Luke plans to eventually take his career global and work in other countries, such as Canada.
‘Now is a great time to get involved with forestry, there are many upcoming challenges that require skilled young grads, so job demand availability is high,’ he says. ‘Practical work is a great part of the degree and I would strongly encourage anyone considering this degree to get involved as soon as possible.’
About a year ago, I left my job as a salaried mechanical engineer because I didn’t have as much ownership in my projects as I wanted. I wanted a career with more accountability and engagement with what I was working on, and I wanted more control of how I was spending my time.
So I decided to become a freelancer. Here’s what I’ve learned about how to start an engineering consulting firm (which sounds way fancier than freelancer).
Being a freelance engineering consultant means you get to pick your clients and projects and be flexible in how you spend your time. But being a freelancer also means that you don’t always know when your next paycheck is coming. That stress aside, you can make your freelance life much easier by following a few simple rules.Engineering Consulting Requires the Right Tools and Materials
I’m a mechanical designer, which means that I make my clients’ ideas into physical things, such as an insert for a blender or a mountable light fixture. In addition to ideation, I design, model, and prototype, so to complete projects, I need access to a modeling program and a 3D printer. By joining a hardware-specific co-working space, I have access to those tools whenever I need them. Think about the tools you need and whether you have access to them. A few up-front investments in time or money can help you out in the long run.
Because I also make prototypes for clients, I need materials. Through my network of makers, I’ve discovered many raw-material suppliers and manufacturers (mostly local!) that are already vetted. Never underestimate the power of your network. You can also use the Internet; the Internet has everything.
Make Connections, and Follow UpKnowing where to find opportunities is one of the biggest struggles for freelance engineering consultants. In my co-working space, I’m surrounded by people with ideas for physical products, so our needs often match up. But uncovering those needs requires interacting with people or—gulp—“networking.” Networking doesn’t need to strike fear in your heart. Going to industry meet-ups in your area is a great way to start. Look for meet-ups with people of various backgrounds; that way, you’ll connect with more people who may need your skill set.
The Angle-Rite® clamping system from Meridian Stainless helps reduce shrinkage distortion that commonly occurs during tube and pipe welding. The system is designed to allow complete setup, cutting, and welding while the clamp is attached, so the angle and rotation of tube and pipe are maintained throughout the entire process.
The system comprises a primary clamp that prebends the intersected tube before welding. The secondary clamp holds the intersecting tube or pipe in a precise angle to be miter cut using the reciprocating saw attachment or notched using the abrasive or hole saw notcher. Following cutting, the secondary clamp holding its tube or pipe is rejoined with the primary clamp and its attached tube or pipe. The angle and rotational alignment of the tubes or pipes are retained throughout the entire process.
With the system clamping the primary and intersecting tube or pipe in place, the welder can weld the joint without requiring a third hand. The primary clamp’s bending force compensates for weld stress distortion during the welding process.
WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 sees young contestants going for gold at the world's biggest vocational skills competition
There are competitions for 51 vocational skills at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 this week. Can one man watch them all?
Entering the main halls at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, the task seems daunting. Not for nothing is this known as the world’s largest vocational skills competition.
It fills Adnec and then some. There are competitors as far as the eye can see, and then beyond that, even to the other side of Khaleej Al Arabi. If this is the skills Olympics, attendance is going to be a marathon rather than a sprint.
First up in the main exhibition halls is Industrial Mechanised Millwright, which is something to do with maintaining factory machinery.
We can watch the competitors at their work from the other side of barrier, but may not disturb or talk to them.
Bioa Song Chin from China is not in his enclosure, but Tatsuya Kawozoe from Japan is busy arranging sticky notes on his bench. Clearly there is more to come.
Next up is Welding. The welders live in darkened enclosures in which we peer, eyes protected, while looking for signs of life. Here’s Dylan Bloch from Australia, his face hidden by a welder’s mask, illuminated with the blue glow of his torch. The sparks are starting to fly in welding.
The contestants in Construction Metal Work also live in darkened enclosures, like nocturnal animals. Finland’s Juho Nissinen is carefully marking out his design with a metal ruler, as is Guan You Chen from Taiwan. There’s a lot of drilling and welding involved here, but not at present.
For the Manufacturing Team Challenge, competitors must make a battery powered recovery vehicle with the help of what seems include industrial quantities of Mars Bars.
In Prototype Modelling they use something called a Kunzmann Frasmachine WF 410, which also has a big role in Polymechanics and Automation.
The Kuzmann Frasmachine is particularly handy for “producing and installing parts for production machines” according to the information available.
The gold medal for Polymechanics and Automation looks to be shaping up between China, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Lichtenstein.
Moving on, we find Plastic Die Engineering, where they make stuff to make stuff. Just around the corner is the trio of CNC Turning, CNC Milling and Mechanical Engineering CAD.
The “C” in all these refers to computers and at least one of them involves robots like the demonstration model nearby assembling Rubik’s cubes.
Electronics is reassuringly about wires and flashing lights but Mechatronics sounds more like the character from a Transformers movie, even though it is actually about automated systems.
Turning the corner reveals Mobile Robotics, the first proper spectator sport at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi, with its own mini-grandstand in front of the arena where teams must move robotic vehicles around an obstacle course.
At this early stage in the competition, though, it’s mostly immobile robotics.
Industrial control seems to involve wiring up boxes with a big red “stop” button, while Electrical Installation and Refrigeration and Air Conditioning are exactly as they sound.
In Plumbing and Heating, a vocation which in my home country of Britain you take up because there is not enough money in investment banking, contestants must build a working bathroom. They have four days to finish, as opposed to four months in the UK.
Information Network Cabling involves a lot of wires and is in a dead heat with Freight Forwarding (think DHL v Aramex) as the competition least likely to threaten the Uefa Champions League as a mass spectator sport.
The most delicious part of WorldSkills Abu Dhabi is Baking, with the scent of fresh baked loaves filling the air, and Cooking, where stern-looking judges in towering touques observe those most skilled in competitive sautéing, before the dishes are served by the aspiring champion waiters of Restaurant Services.
In Patisserie and Confectionery, the talk was of the smoothness of the sugar paste and the silkiness of the chocolate ganache.
For Heavy Vehicle Maintenance there are giant road rollers to be fixed and a real Abu Dhabi Police helicopter for Aircraft Maintenance. At Car Painting, the contestants have been given a fleet of black Mercedes (“Not for painting. We’re only allowed to put marking tape on them” explained Tony from New Zealand.)
In an air conditioned tent, 20 young florists laboured on their creations, while nearby, meters of polka dot fabric was laid out for Fashion Technology.
For Hairdressing, contests cut and snip at mannequin heads, but in Beauty Therapy and Health and Social Care, real live volunteers are needed to be smeared with creams and tucked up in bed.
At the farthest flung corner, over the highway and in another tent by the water’s edge, dozens of young bricklayers are going for gold, and the Wall and Floor Tiling contests work on a design that incorporates Etihad Towers and the Sheikh Zayed Mosque.
Somewhere in between is Concrete Construction,Painting and Decorating, Plastering and Dry Wall, Joinery, Cabinet Making, Jewellery, Autobody Repair, Web Design, 3D Digital Game Design, IT Software Solutions, IT Networking, Print Media Technology, Graphic Design Technology.
And there is nothing quite like the sight of nearly 30 desert gardens, complete with palm trees, being built simultaneously under competitive conditions.
And there you have it; nearly 60 countries and 51 skills, four hours and seven kilometres later. WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017. Someone deserves a medal.