July/ August 2020

WELCOME TO THE TWENTY THIRD EDITION OF HYDRAULICS & PNEUMATICS’ ANNUAL BUYERS’ GUIDE Rising to unprecedented challenges Change and challenge. These seem to be two particularly apposite watchwords for the times we are currently living in. Since Britain left the EU in January this year, Brexit negotiations have continued to take place with Brussels as well as with more geographically distant potential trading partners. Of course, everyone wants to see a raft of positive deals locked and loaded – everything from industrial equipment, consumer goods and food produce, while maintaining the highest quality and health standards into the bargain. We and our overseas cousins also have a common interest in ensuring there is minimal disruption to the cross-border supply chain. Let’s all hope and trust that mutually beneficial terms are agreed and ratified before the conclusion of the transition period at the end of December. Alongside Brexit, of course, the formidable business and social challenges surrounding COVID-19 continue. Everyone needs to focus on health and safety while endeavouring wherever possible to keep the wheels of business and industry turning apace. Many companies within the fluid power industry and related sectors are rising to the challenge admirably. Just one of many examples is Triark Pumps, the independent UK supplier of air-operated double diaphragm (AODD) pumps, which has reorganised its operation to ensure the continued good health of all staff members and customers. It has initiated homeworking where possible, along with strict social distancing and hand hygiene measures for those still attending the office and warehouse. As an integral part of these measures, the company has also built a clean room to act as quarantine for all incoming and outgoing goods and personnel; on arrival all deliveries go straight into quarantine and are sprayed with hospital-grade disinfectant to decontaminate. Boxed items are removed from the packing and they too are then treated in the same way, before being moved to storage. Additionally, everything is treated in the same way on the way out; products are sprayed before being packaged-up, and then the packaging is given the same treatment before being dispatched. Tyre inflation and compressed air products provider, PCL, made the decision to recommence limited operations at its facility in Sheffield to support key sectors who remain open for essential work, including the automotive industry and emergency services. Production was temporarily suspended following the Prime Minister’s announcement forbidding all but necessary travel earlier in the year. However, restricted production and logistical activities resumed following further dialogue with government representatives. The Sheffield site is up and running subject to strict provisions and PCL has introduced adaptations to the production process, using skeleton staff who are being protected through meticulous measures including social distancing and the provision of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and cleaning equipment. Meanwhile, remote working continues for office staff so PCL can continue to offer a high level of customer service. Filtration and contamination monitoring technology provider, MP Filtri, has been supporting frontline health professionals by using its 3D printing operation to make PPE. The company has been creating masks for doctors to be supplied to surgeries in some of the UK’s worst hotspots for the COVID-19. Throughout the pandemic, the British Fluid Power Association (BFPA) has been working hard to help members navigate their way through these challenging times. This help has taken many forms; including a regular COVID-19 Bulletin, articles, signposting useful information, helping members take part in the PPE and ventilator challenge and lobbying government on issues affecting our industry. In May, BFPA members took part in a COVID-19 Q&A panel session via Zoom. The event proved to be a major success and the BFPA comments that it is indebted to Emma Armytage of First Call HR and Van Chavda from Questcover for serving as the Association’s panel experts. The session was planned to last about 55 minutes but with the demand from members and the kind co-operation of the panelists, the event actually went on for almost one and a half hours. The British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) is reiterating its advice to compressed air users to adhere to air treatment best practice during the pandemic. It has updated its guidance to include the possibility of airborne/aerosol transmission[1], but would like to reassure users that this does not impact or change the previously stated advice about the risk and management of Coronavirus in relation to their compressed air system (for more information, see the dedicated BCAS page in this edition of Hydraulics & Pneumatics). As always, we hope and trust that you find this year’s updated Buyers’ Guide a valuable and useful source of information for your equipment and service requirements. Stay safe. Ed Holden – Editor Hydraulics & Pneumatics www.hpmag.co.uk www.airtech-expo.com NEC, 25-27 JANUARY 2021 www.fluidpowersystems-expo.com