www.hpmag.co.uk September 2023 p22 p14 Optimising filtration solutions: Enhancing quality and reliability Is the future of AM hybrid? Rapid developments in robotic automation p26 COTS solution helps aerospace engineers rapidly optimise missile fin actuation system
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The imperative of collaborative action in UK Manufacturing EDITOR’S COMMENT www.hpmag.co.uk HYDRAULICS & PNEUMATICS September 2023 3 Innovation, a skilled workforce, and adaptability will help position the manufacturing and engineering sector to capitalise on emerging trends and seize new markets. ‘ ’ With recent positive news that the UK’s manufacturing sector has climbed one place to eighth in the world rankings, overtaking France in the process, Make UK’s latest Regional Manufacturing Outlook report offers an insightful examination that not only illuminates the sector’s current status but also prompts a reflection on the challenges and potential opportunities that lie ahead as we approach the end of the year. Of paramount significance is the report’s emphasis on the uptick in manufacturing employment across six of the eight English Regions and Wales. This upswing not only underscores the sector’s potential to generate jobs but also its capacity to stimulate local economies. Particularly noteworthy is the substantial increase in manufacturing jobs in Yorkshire & Humber, underscoring the critical role of manufacturing in supporting regional economic strength. However, the concept of “levelling up” emerges as a paradox. While acknowledging progress, the report addresses disparities. It recognises the divergent recovery trajectories, with London and the South East leading the charge in the postpandemic landscape. This contrast underscores the complexities involved in achieving parity of opportunities across regions and challenges the notion of an equitable playing field. The manufacturing sector’s indelible imprint on the economy, defined by its high-value and skillintensive jobs, remains a fundamental pillar in the pursuit of balanced regional growth. Yet, the report underscores that realising this aspiration demands a methodical and unified approach that harmonises national and regional ambitions. A strategic endeavour, amalgamating a nationwide industrial vision with localised growth strategies, holds promise in reconciling regional strengths, encompassing infrastructure, innovation, and skill development. The increase in manufacturing jobs, as highlighted by the report, serves as a testament to the sector’s resiliency, navigating the difficult waters of Brexit, labour dilemmas, and supply chain complexities. Recent fluctuations in energy prices, attributed to geopolitical tensions, accentuate the sector’s susceptibility to global dynamics. Looking forward, high inflation of the last year and interest rate rises are necessitating companies to not just be vigilant but also a readiness to adapt. And it is this adaptability that will present many potential opportunities over the next year. Innovation, a skilled workforce, and adaptability will help position the manufacturing and engineering sector to capitalise on emerging trends and seize new markets, thereby charting a course towards growth and resilience. Through the cultivation of cooperation, the implementation of comprehensive strategies, and the embrace of innovation such as digitalisation, the manufacturing sector can potentially emerge over the next 12 months as more resilient and head towards a more equitable economic path. Aaron Blutstein Editor
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www.hpmag.co.uk HYDRAULICS & PNEUMATICS September 2023 5 CONTENTS EDITORIAL Editor: Aaron Blutstein t| 01732 370340 e| firstname.lastname@example.org Content Sub Editor: Leslah Garland t| 01732 370340 e| email@example.com SALES Sales Manager, UK & Overseas: Andrew Jell t| 01732 370347 e| firstname.lastname@example.org Italian Sales Office: Oliver & Diego Casiraghi t| 031 261407 f| 031 261380 e| email@example.com Turkey: Intersmart Media firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Director: Ryan Fuller t| 01732 370344 e| email@example.com Production Manager & Designer: Chris Davis t| 01732 370340 e| firstname.lastname@example.org Reader/Circulation Enquiries: Perception t| +44 (0) 1825 701520. e| email@example.com Marketing Executive Hope Jepson e| firstname.lastname@example.org Operations Manager: Emma Floyd e| email@example.com Financial: Finance Department e| firstname.lastname@example.org Chief Executive Officer: Ian Atkinson e| email@example.com Published by: DFA Media Group 192 The High Street, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1BE t| 01732 370340 e| firstname.lastname@example.org w| www.hpmag.co.uk In co-operation with Printer: Warners, UK © Copyright 2023, DFA Manufacturing Media Ltd ISSN 1366-1981 H&P is a controlled circulation magazine, published 8 times a year. Please contact DFA Media with any subscription enquiries. Paid subscriptions are also available on an annual basis at £110.00 (UK), £145.00 (Europe) or £180.00 (Rest of the World) P+P included. The content of this magazine, website and newsletters do not necessarily express the views of the Editor or publishers. The publishers accept no legal responsibility for loss arising from information in this publication. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be produced or stored in a retrieval system without the written consent of the publishers. 26 14 6 NEWS 14 HYDRAULICS As MacFab Engineering transitioned from manual to automated machines and took on the task of manufacturing key components in-house, it encountered some challenges. During the development of prototype machines, the hydraulic drive system exhibited irregularities, stemming from the shift from manual hydraulic valves to electronically controlled ones. In search of solutions, MacFab turned to MP Filtri, an expert in addressing oil and system cleanliness. 22 APPLICATIONS Precise missile fin control can be the difference between hitting or missing the target. Fin actuation depends on a motion solution with reliable, high dynamic control, in a power-dense package. A customisable off-the-shelf (COTS) strategy can help achieve this outcome, minimising development time while meeting the essential operational criteria. 26 KNOWLEDGE BASE Roy Schep, Manager Energy Efficiency, SMC Netherlands, looks at how to help OEMs develop energy-efficient machines. 30 PNEUMATICS 32 INTEGRATED SYSTEMS 34 COMPRESSED AIR Avoiding process contamination is a necessity for any hygienic application using compressors – ranging from the food and beverage sector, to pharmaceuticals to sensitive electronic environments. Claudia Vignelli explores the variety of factors to consider when selecting the most appropriate oil-free compressed air technology. 37 BFPA Hydraulics & Pneumatics’ issue-by-issue briefing on current activities and views involving the British Fluid Power Association. 38 BCAS Our regular news and events update on the British Compressed Air Society. 40 SPECIAL FOCUS Valves/ Actuators 43 NEW FACES 46 PRODUCTS & SERVICES DIRECTORY 34
NEWS Domin celebrates opening of new technology centre 4-6 June 2024 NEC Birmingham www.drives-expo.com CHANGE IS COMING IN 2024! Part of: Domin recently celebrated the grand opening of its state-of-the-art Technology Centre. The successful event, held on 7 September, was attended by customers, suppliers, partners, and the Domin team. This landmark opening marked a significant milestone in Domin’s journey from humble beginnings in a small attic office to the cutting-edge facility that it is today. Eric Bray, the Technology Manager from ADS, who supports the National Aerospace Technology Enhancement Programme said: “Domin has come a very long way, they’ve created a British manufacturing company, which is head and shoulders above their peers today.” The company’s vision to revolutionise the hydraulics industry, redefining how we use energy and creating a novel way to control motion, was at the centre of the conversation for guests as they explored the Domin Technology Centre. The new Domin Technology Centre is the consolidation of the company’s hightech engineering and manufacturing facilities, bringing various sites across Europe and Bristol into one, where the Domin team have streamlined operations and optimised efficiency. This is enabling the team to rapidly develop and produce its innovative hydraulic motion control systems. The company aims to radically increase efficiency and intelligence in motion control across various applications in globally important industries. Guests and attendees enjoyed tours of the new factory, describing it as smart, professional, innovative, and high performing. The Domin team received accolades for their dedication and enthusiasm towards their mission, making it clear that they are not just employees but passionate visionaries. Jim Hennen, the Business Development Manager for hydraulic platforms from MTS Systems, part of the ITW family said: “Domin is such an inspirational company for innovation and is creating really a disruptive technology. It is very exciting and the team here some of the best and the brightest.” A highlight was the official inauguration of the Domin Technology Centre by the Member of Parliament and Minister of State at the Department for Business and Trade, Nusrat Ghani MP. Minister Ghani was impressed by Domin’s cutting-edge technology and its potential to transform industries. She praised the company’s vision and commitment to innovation: “What I’ve seen here at Domin is absolutely fascinating. I am very excited for what it means for advanced manufacturing across all the sectors. Not only reducing the impact on the environment, so reducing the demand for energy, but also for advancing technology in the automotive, aviation, and the maritime sector.” Marcus Pont, CEO and co-founder, expressed his gratitude towards everyone who attended the open day, customers, suppliers, and staff alike, emphasising their dedication to pushing the boundaries of motion control technology. They shared their excitement about the future and reiterated Domin’s commitment to transforming the hydraulics industry. Marcus said: “We were thrilled to open our doors and welcome our partners and community to celebrate this milestone in Domin’s evolution. The open day provided a glimpse into the future of motion control. I’m extremely proud of our team who have worked tirelessly to get us to this point. The new Domin Technology Centre provides an ideal springboard as we continue our mission to bring unrivalled efficiency, accuracy and intelligence to hydraulics.” Marcus Pont, CEO, and Nusrat Ghani MP, opening Domin Technology Centre
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NEWS UK manufacturing sector climbs to eighth in world rankings The UK’s manufacturing sector has climbed one place to eighth in the world rankings, overtaking France in the process according to analysis of the latest official data published by Make UK. The figures are contained in the latest annual ‘Manufacturing – The Facts’ which contains a wide variety of data about the contribution of manufacturing to the economy including exports, sectoral breakdown, how the UK compares to other nations and salary levels. The data shows that in 2021 UK (the latest year for which global comparisons are available) UK manufacturing output was worth some $272bn, compared to $262bn for France, but behind Italy ($314bn). To put this data in context, China is the largest manufacturing nation worth $4.9tn, followed by the United States $2.5tn and Japan $995bn. Germany, the fourth highest, remains the largest European manufacturing country $803bn. According to Make UK while the climb up the rankings is encouraging, it strongly cautioned that it is only the third time since 2002 that the UK has ranked above France and cannot be attributed to any post Brexit bounce or other specific factor. Separate data for 2022 from the ONS places UK manufacturing output at £224bn and Make UK believes that, if the Government commits to its call for a manufacturing target of 15% of GDP, (which Make UK estimates would add £142bn to the UK economy) then the sector could aim to match seventh ranked Italy. With many competitor nations having their own versions of an Industrial Strategy, Make UK has also repeated its calls for a long-term, modern, and robust Strategy which could help turn the 15% ambition into a reality. The analysis of official data also shows that the United States remains the dominant export market for UK goods (2) worth £56.7bn in 2022. While Germany has lost its place as the second highest destination (£33.3bn) having been overtaken by The Netherlands (£37bn), Make UK cautioned that trade with the Netherlands could be inflated artificially by goods being routed through Rotterdam for onward travel to other destinations. Ireland is the fourth largest export market (£30.3bn) with six of the top ten export markets being in the EU. Together they are worth approximately £150bn, almost three times the exports to the US and around four times the amount to China. According to Make UK, this highlights the continued importance of the EU for UK goods and the need to smooth out trade barriers with what remains overwhelmingly its dominant market. By sector, food and drink is the biggest exporter, sending 12.4% of manufactured goods abroad in 2022, while the sector also grew exports by almost a quarter (23%) compared to 2021. Aerospace and Transport increased its exports in the same period by 27.9%, highlighting its importance to high value manufacturing and the economy overall. The analysis by Make UK also shows that, contrary to popular opinion, manufacturing jobs are better paid than both services and the economy overall. According to official data (3) the average salary in manufacturing in 2022 was £36,488, which compares to £33,402 for the economy overall and £32,676 for services. The North West remains the biggest manufacturing area of the UK, worth £28.2bn in output and employing 314,000 people. The sector accounts for almost 15% of North West economic output and 8% of regional employment. Wales has the highest share of manufacturing with the sector accounting for almost a fifth (17.3%) of the Welsh economy. This compares to just under 10% national average. 4-6 June 2024 NEC Birmingham Part of: www.drives-expo.com ACCELERATE YOUR ENQUIRY GROWTH IN 2024
NEWS SS Great Britain wins award for its Future Brunels STEM education programme The SS Great Britain Trust in Bristol won the ‘STEM Ambassador’ award at the Engineering & Manufacturing Awards. The award was given for the Trust’s pioneering ‘Future Brunels’ education programme and for its wider STEM engagement activities. The Future Brunels initiative aims to support students from all backgrounds to access STEM careers. Launched in 2011, the programme enables students to take part in a five-year programme from the age of 11. It provides them with extraordinary, rich, and varied out-ofschool engineering experiences. This year has seen the Future Brunels programme double in size, meaning that 24 students can benefit from the initiative annually. The programme has also expanded beyond Bristol for the first time. Five new schools have become part of the programme: Fairfield High School; St. Katherine’s School; City Academy; John Cabot Academy, and Broadlands Academy. The programme is supported by leading engineering companies with a shared interest in addressing inequality and barriers to STEM careers. The judges praised the Future Brunels programme: “Our winning project was a universal favourite with the judges who described the programmes as a comprehensive, inspiring and scalable engagement effort that’s successfully reaching a large number of future engineers from a wide variety of backgrounds.” The award also recognised the SS Great Britain Trust’s wider STEM engagement work, which includes workshops, family activities and special events. Research published this month by Art Fund suggests that just over half of pupils from working-class backgrounds have visited a museum in the past year, compared to 70% of children from middle and upper-middle class backgrounds. The SS Great Britain Trust is tackling those statistics by opening up the magic of the SS Great Britain museums to students from all walks of life. Dr Rachel Roberts, Deputy Director of the Brunel Institute (Education and STEM) at the SS Great Britain Trust, said: “We’re delighted to have received the STEM Ambassador award for our STEM programmes and activities.” “Out-of-classroom STEM learning experiences, such as our Future Brunels programme, are vital in inspiring the next generation of engineers. We’re very grateful to the engineering companies across the West of England who give up their time to support our Future Brunels. They’re playing an invaluable role in addressing inequalities in STEM careers and creating a diverse talent pipeline for the region.” The SS Great Britain Trust is committed to breaking down barriers in STEM and runs several programmes for schools and communities. You can find more details of this work at: ssgreatbritain.org/futurebrunels 4-6 June 2024 NEC Birmingham THE HOME OF ROBOTICS & AUTOMATION www.drives-expo.com Part of:
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NEWS From 14 – 16 November 2023, the who’s who of the automation industry will once again meet in Nuremberg. More than 1200 exhibitors from around the world are expected to attend the 32nd edition of the SPS, Smart Production Solutions, covering 16 exhibition halls and a total exhibition space of approximately 120,000 sqm. In addition to the latest innovations, the industry event offers interested parties the opportunity to experience practical and forward-looking technologies at first hand and engage in a lively exchange with automation suppliers. Visitors to the SPS 2023 in November, which is the highlight of the automation industry calendar, will once again enjoy the opportunity to expand their network, connect with potential partners, explore joint business opportunities, and learn about the latest topics in automation. In addition to the classic, highly sought-after automation themes of control technology, drive technology and sensor technology, software & IT is becoming an increasingly important subject in manufacturing. Some exhibitors will, among other things, discuss which automation functions will, in the future, most likely be provided directly on the machine, using edge computing, or even in the cloud. This development has been expedited by Siemens AG, for example, which introduced a purely cloud-based software variant of a programmable logic controller in the spring. In connection with this, attention is increasingly turning to the use of artificial intelligence and IT security in the automation world, which will be reflected in the range of products and services at the event. Visitors will, among other things, benefit from the wide range of products and services offered by the German and international automation providers and gain a unique insight into leading technologies in the industry. According to the figures for last year’s event, a total of 360 of the 43,813 visitors came from the UK. Those attending the SPS can look forward to a wide range of presentations on current topics from the automation industry at the forums in halls 3, 6 and 8. The Technology Stage program in Hall 3, hosted by the two industry associations VDMA and ZVEI, will also be broadcast live in German and English at the complementary online event, “SPS on air”. This year’s panel discussions, product presentations, and keynote sessions will focus on: Digital transformation/Industry 4.0 Industrial communication Safety & security Data-driven and intelligent concepts for control and visualization Sensor innovations Drives Sustainability through automation Up-to-date information about the exhibition programme can be found on the event website at: sps-exhibition.com Demand for automation solutions on the rise 0114 349 0766 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.plascompo.com ECO RANGE OF PROTECTIVE CAPS & PLUGS Made entirely from second-life plastic Available now…
www.hpmag.co.uk HYDRAULICS & PNEUMATICS March 2023 13 EA series FRLs are reliable, robust & easy to assemble due to their modular design. Available individually or as pre-assembled units with a range of wall mounting & connector options. High quality, precision engineered & cost effective; why look elsewhere? A complete range of E.MC pneumatic products is available from Tom Parker Ltd. Call for more information. • High flow • Modular design • Manual, semi & automatic drain • Easy to assemble & maintain E.MC Pneumatics EA series FRLs tom-parker.co.uk Reliable & cost effective FRL units email@example.com 01772 255109 Electromechanical repair specialist, Fletcher Moorland, has launched an initiative to support the younger generation entering engineering, design, and manufacturing careers. Under the banner Get Tooled Up, Fletcher Moorland is giving away five sets of quality tools to young apprentices and aspiring engineers every month. Since its launch, the initiative has seen the company give away tools including infrared thermometers, VDE pliers and hex key sets, from Fluke, RS components and Wera, to young engineers from across the UK. Commenting on the initiative, Matt Fletcher, Managing Director at Fletcher Moorland, said: “Tools cost a lot of money; ask any engineer. It’s particularly hard when starting out in an engineering career. You want the best tools to do your job but to get good quality equipment does cost money. “I want to put decent tools in the hands of apprentices and young engineers from the start, and I’m committing to do this.” For young engineers to be in with a chance of winning tools that could help them as they embark on their careers, all they have to do is look out for posts on LinkedIn carrying the #GetTooledUp hashtag and then comment or hit the like button. Each month Fletcher Moorland will randomly draw from the entrants and notify the lucky winners. Anyone who wants to nominate a young person to be entered can also do so by tagging or, if they aren’t on LinkedIn, nominating them on the post featuring the hashtag. Initially, Fletcher Moorland funded the prize tools itself, but for the latest draw, the initiative has drawn support from DIY-repair specialist iFixit, which has donated five of its ProTech tool kits as the prizes for the May draw. “I absolutely love iFixit,” said Matt. “Its mission is ‘To teach everyone to fix everything. Let’s fix the world together,’ which is a great fit for what we are doing. Many young engineers start out by taking things apart to see how they work and see if they can fix them. With its tools and its repair tutorials, iFixit is making this possible.” The following month, global industrial and mechanical tool brand, Beta, is donating the prizes, and Matt believes there is an excellent opportunity for other suppliers to support the initiative: “Brand loyalty is a powerful thing and getting tools into the hands of engineers at the beginning of their careers could see lifelong customers born. Plus, from a marketing point of view, supporting young engineers is a great story to tell.” Any tool supply companies looking to support the initiative are invited to contact Matt Fletcher directly. And any young or inspiring engineers, or their colleagues, friends, and family, to enter, simply look out for the hashtag #GetTooledUp. Young apprentices get tooled up
HYDRAULICS 14 HYDRAULICS & PNEUMATICS September 2023 www.hpmag.co.uk Optimising filtration solutions: Enhancing quality and reliability MacFab Engineering, based in County Monagham, has established itself as a prominent figure in the recycling and refuse compaction industry. With a specialisation in recyclable waste balers and compactors, the company says it has always prioritised delivering top-quality products to its customers. As MacFab Engineering transitioned from manual to automated machines and took on the task of manufacturing key components in-house, it encountered some challenges. During the development of prototype machines, the hydraulic drive system exhibited irregularities, stemming from the shift from manual hydraulic valves to electronically controlled ones. In search of solutions, MacFab turned to MP Filtri, an expert in addressing oil and system cleanliness. MP Filtri took an active role in addressing MacFab’s challenge. It conducted a thorough site visit to gain detailed insights into MacFab’s operations. To pinpoint the root causes, MP Filtri connected an LPA3 particle counter directly onto a prototype machine situated in MacFab’s testing area. Analysis of the oil’s ISO code exposed contamination levels exceeding its strict limits. MP Filtri introduced a 6-micron absolute filter, leading to a significant improvement in oil cleanliness. This was circulating oil that only included the pump, valve assembly, tank, and hoses. In addition, MP Filtri and MacFab looked at the valve block’s cleaning processes. Once consistent levels of cleanliness were achieved, they proceeded to test a second prototype. The LPA3 was again used to measure oil cleanliness. On start up the ISO code was noticeably cleaner and using a 6-micron filter to clean the machine proved vital. Once the oil was clean and at working temperature, MacFab ran further tests than included moving the ram. The ISO count quickly went above recommended level. It was slow to clean with the 6-micron filter. The only major component not previously tested was the ram and associated hoses. Through concerted efforts, they improved the cleaning procedure on the ram and retested a batch of machines. These proved to be clean with zero failures in the field. These notable advancements prompted MacFab to establish stringent cleanliness protocols within its factory. Each machine is cleaned using a special filter and the cleanliness code is recorded for traceability. It has also manufactured its own oil scrubber unit with an ICM inline particle counter to ensure clean oil is added to all new assemblies. Each machine now undergoes meticulous cleaning, complete with traceability of cleanliness codes. Furthermore, MacFab designed its own oil scrubber unit, incorporating an ICM inline particle counter to ensure pristine oil in all new assemblies. To validate cleanliness during the testing phase, MacFab purchased the LPA3 - each machine must succeed in achieving its cleanliness target at final testing before it is dispatched to the customer. The multifaceted solutions implemented in partnership with MP Filtri have yielded significant results: LPA3: This device helps identify issues, pinpointing contaminated components and to what degree, and gauging the effectiveness of the filtration system in maintaining machine cleanliness. ICM 4.0: The integration of the ICM 4 within the oil scrubber unit ensures a consistent supply of clean oil for production. Hydraulic Filters: MP Filtri’s filtration solutions keep MacFab’s oil consistently clean in its bulk-storage and on the machines it builds. The tangible improvements achieved through this collaboration include nearly problem-free hydraulic systems, a significant reduction in warranty claims, streamlined operational processes resulting in substantial time savings, and the preservation of MacFab’s reputation as a quality builder in the marketplace. MacFab Engineering commended MP Filtri for its proactive approach in identifying the root causes of hydraulic contamination. Once identified, the company says MP Filtri were helpful in offering practical solutions and guidance for both R&D and series production. As a result, MacFab confidently recommends MP Filtri to other Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).
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HYDRAULICS 16 HYDRAULICS & PNEUMATICS September 2023 www.hpmag.co.uk Reducing your carbon footprint with heat exchangers Around the world, private companies and government agencies are looking to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with their activities, including increasing their use of renewable and low-carbon energy sources and improving the energy efficiency of their processes. Matt Hale, International Sales & Marketing Director, HRS Heat Exchangers looks at how you can potentially reduce your carbon footprint with heat exchangers. Energy efficiency represents more than 40% of the emissions abatement needed by 2040, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) Sustainable Development Scenario1. The IEA says, ‘Energy efficiency is the “first fuel”: reining in the scale of this unprecedented challenge, supporting net zero energy goals at lower costs, and delivering a wide array of benefits for society.’ Furthermore, ‘According to the IEA Efficient World Scenario, currently existing cost-effective technologies are sufficient to double global energy efficiency by 2040.’ Heat exchangers are just such an existing, cost-effective technology. Technologically proven for over a century, developments in materials and design mean that many types of heat exchanger, such as those utilising corrugated tubes and energy recovery, are now more energy efficient than ever before. The biggest efficiency benefits of heat exchangers come about when they facilitate the reuse of as much of the thermal energy generated or used during a process (such as heating, cooling, pasteurisation, evaporation, etc.) as possible. Distributing heat more efficiently throughout production facilities has been recognised as a key factor in improving efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in industries including chemical refining, water treatment and manufacturing. Many processes require heat, but not all of them utilise all of it. For example, a process using steam at 100°C or more may result in a hot water stream with a temperature of 80-90°C. In some cases, this will be reheated in a continuous cycle, but in the least efficient situations it may simply be dumped, perhaps requiring cooling before it can be discharged. Water with this temperature profile has a range of potential uses, including pasteurisation and low temperature evaporation. Rather than continually heat and then dump process hot water, it makes far more sense to reuse it where possible, by transporting it to where else it is needed in the facility. Examples of heat recovery with heat exchangers The first typical example can be seen in food production, if we imagine a product that needs to be pasteurised. The product needs to be heated to the necessary temperature to achieve pasteurisation, then rapidly cooled to maintain shelf life and quality. This is achieved through the use of two heat exchangers. The first uses hot water to raise the temperature, while the second uses chilled water to cool the product down again. In the second process, the temperature of the cooling water is increased significantly. There are three options for dealing with this heated water: discard or discharge it elsewhere; cool it again for re-use; or cool it again for re-use but use some of the heat it contains towards the heat required for the pasteurisation phase. This third option utilises heat recovery or heat regeneration, reducing the amount of new energy required for the subsequent first heating phases. A second example shows how heat left over from one process Heat exchangers can play a key role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions
Experts in Quick Couplings A constant flow of solutions Founded in 1960, Stucchi is today one of the main producers of solutions for fluids connection, also with residual pressure in the circuit. Stucchi quick couplings, operating up to pressures of 700 bar, are designed and produced in Italy to cover a wide range of applications, thanks to the use of different materials, and the numerous sizes and configurations available. See our website: stucchigroup.com
HYDRAULICS 18 HYDRAULICS & PNEUMATICS September 2023 www.hpmag.co.uk cycles. After the final stage the steam is condensed back to water and this heat is used to pre-heat the incoming product before the first stage of evaporation. Heat recovery is not limited to systems dealing with liquids. HRS recently supplied a large G Series gas-to-gas heat exchanger to recapture heat from the high temperature exhaust gases leaving a large chemical reactor. This recovered heat is then used to help pre-heat the chemicals entering the reactor to around 500 °C. As well as helping to improve energy efficiency at the plant, the new unit has been designed to cope with challenging operating conditions in order to provide a suitable working life. These examples show that where the situation allows, HRS corrugated heat exchangers have significant potential to reduce the energy consumption (and therefore GHG emissions) of thermal processes in a wide range of industries. The capital costs of including energy recovery in a heat exchanger system is likely to be higher than similar systems without heat recovery, but these will be recovered over the working life of the unit, particularly at today’s high energy prices. 1 https://www.iea.org/commentaries/how-energy-efficiency-willpower-net-zero-climate-goals can be recaptured to be used elsewhere. Many anaerobic digestion (AD) plants use heat exchangers to pasteurise the digestate produced during the AD process, so that it can be sold as an agricultural fertiliser. The ‘surplus’ heat which is generated after the system has been running for two hours is used to preheat the digestate, reducing total heat load and improving overall plant efficiency by increasing the amount of generated energy, which is available for export or other uses, as opposed to being required for pasteurisation. Finally, combining multiple heat exchanges can often provide the greatest energy benefits, for example, in a multi-effect evaporation system such as the HRS DCS Digestate Concentration System. This uses heat exchangers and evaporation to reduce the volume and increase the concentration of sludges and digestate. The first evaporation stage heats liquid digestate and uses a cyclone separator; the steam produced from this first cycle (usually available at 70˚C) is then used as the heating media for the second effect, whereby the process is repeated. The subsequent steam (usually available at 60˚C) is then used as the heating media for the third cycle. The number of effects is determined by the level of dry solids required and the amount of surplus heat available, up to a maximum of four Analyser provides real-time output of VOC leaks KECO’s Model 204 PermaStream Process Analyser provides real-time measurement of VOC leaks in clean or dirty water. More economical and accurate than lab analysers prone to analytical errors, the company says it precisely measures total VOCs including aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons without false high readings or high alarms associated with UV fluorescence methods. Requiring no filters or liquid sample conditioning, the 204 PermaStream strips hydrocarbons as water samples continuously flows through it. Carrier air sweeps hydrocarbons at a rate of 200 ml/min to an advanced VOC sensor for quantitative analysis in ppb, ppm, or “up to” saturation levels. KECO’s PermaStream membrane technology creates an ultra-clean sample for the VOC sensor that has an average life of 5 to 10 years. No costly consumables are needed for analysis. The sensor quantities and displays values on a full color touch-screen HMI system, through a 4-20mA output loop or via RS-485, TCP/IP Ethernet, and Modbus. The analyser offers remote and web-based monitoring along with optional concentration relay alarms and diagnostic/fault alarms providing better control over operations. This ultra-low maintenance, solid state analyser is ideal for use in the chemical, environmental, gas processing, refinery, and wastewater treatment industries in monitoring environmentally-harmful VOCs in holding ponds, cooling tower water, produced water, storm runoff water, building water discharge, effluent water, boiler condensate, engine cooling water, and wastewater. In one application, the Model 204 Hydrocarbons in Water Analyser saved an ethylene plant thousands of dollars in lost product through early leak detection of hydrocarbon leaks in the cooling water of heat exchangers/cooling towers. The company says the analyser can pay for itself in weeks or several months in many applications. With no moving parts or need for routine calibration, the 204 PermaStream requires minimal upkeep and operates with high uptime. The process analyser offers typical accuracy and repeatability at better than 3% of the full-scale range.
www.plascompo.com PIG’S TAIL Wrapping ALSO PIG’S TAIL RAIL • Flame Retardant – UL94 class V-0 • Complies with EN45545 HL2 • Suitable for use in underground rail • Pig’s Tail® Protective Wrapping is designed to protect hydraulic and pneumatic hoses against impact and abrasion. Also suitable for protection of cables including fibreoptics either singular or bundled. • It is a heavy duty form of spiral protection suited to heavy industrial applications. • Made from High Density Polyethylene (HDPE). • Can be used for single hoses or multiple hose bundles. • Operating temperatures -50°C up to +120°C. • Suitable for use with all hydraulic fluids including glycol and phosphate ester based products. • Rounded edges for enhanced performance and safe handling. 0114 349 0766 firstname.lastname@example.org
HYDRAULICS Hallite 777 Piston Seal. Optimal geometry for extreme durability under pressure. Discover more about our seals by getting in touch: www.hallite.com/contact Comfortable and safe ferrule crimping The easy-to-use 360° crimp tools from Conta-Clip provide precise and safe crimping of wire-end ferrules according to DIN 46228 up to 16 mm? conductor cross-section. The PZD 16/R and PZU 16/R crimping pliers are supplied with a square or trapezoidal crimp insert, respectively. The inserts can be exchanged quickly without tools, and above all, they can be adjusted by 360° in 45° increments. This allows users to adapt them to their preferred posture and work comfortably even in hard-to-reach places. One tool is sufficient for ferrules with and without insulating collars, up to 18 mm in length, with cross-sections from 0.08 mm? to 16.0 mm? and also for twin sleeves from 2 x 0.25 mm? to 2 x 10.0 mm?. The crimp is automatically adapted to the conductor crosssection. The crimp tools are durable, ergonomic and designed for fatiguefree work: they are compact, lightweight, handy and self-opening via an internal spring. They have soft handles with moulded slip protection. Crimping requires minimal effort. An unlockable forced lock ensures work safety. The crimp tools are made of high-strength special steel, with a special coating for the most
APPLICATIONS According to a UK Parliamentary report, the manufacturing sector accounted for 9.8% of total UK economic output and 8.1% of jobs between July and September 2022. Following Brexit and a global pandemic, more manufacturers are onshoring to reduce reliance on imports while reevaluating production processes. Today, over 50% of engineers use 3D printing to produce enduse functional parts and this interest in AM has been sparked not least by the rising cost of traditional manufacturing processes. The costs of raw materials are continuing to rise — for example, British Steel began 2023 with a £75 per tonne price hike. The cost of energy is on the up, making it more expensive to power CNC machines and other equipment, while labour shortages remain an issue. The growing availability of sophisticated AM systems, combined with the lack of waste they produce and the improved part reliability they provide, has improved the ROI of AM. Meanwhile, the 3D printing capabilities that manufacturers can bring in-house continues to grow. For example, stereolithography (SLA) AM systems create parts layer by layer using a UV laser and a vat of liquid UV-curable photopolymer resin, enabling users to expand their design capabilities and improve part finish and quality in shorter build times. The importance of outsourcing When investing in any AM system, the business justification is key. Building a capital expenditure justification is challenging when manufacturers are unclear on what the final costs are likely to be. Therefore, outsourcing to a bureau before purchasing a printer for the shop floor can make the most financial sense and make it easier to demonstrate value. Traditionally, most AM systems were small and limited in build size. Therefore, a purely in-house arrangement was unlikely to satisfy all production needs, especially if the business only purchased the one machine. Say the manufacturer was also working on a specific application that required a good surface finish. The manufacturer may already own a thermoplastic FDM printer, but that wouldn’t deliver the required finish — instead, they would need to outsource that part to a bureau that could print it quickly and to injection moulding quality. Rather than injection moulding the part as a one off, the manufacturer can still benefit from the advantages that AM offers — flexible design, minimal waste and part strength — without worrying about the limits of in-house capability. Why the future is hybrid According to a 2022 survey by Make UK, 22.8% of firms said that bringing production capacity to the UK was a priority for them — so what will this look like when using AM? Working with a 3D printing bureau can make the most financial sense, but this shouldn’t come at the expense of in-house innovation. By printing the bulk of their products in-house, manufacturers can produce complex geometries flexibly and cost effectively while rapidly prototyping new designs in parallel. Meanwhile, they can protect profit margins and safeguard intellectual property (IP). At our 3D print bureau, we actually talk to our customers about how they can bring some processes in-house. In-house and outsourced 3D printing don’t have to compete, they can dovetail. Printing using their own AM systems on the shop floor gives manufacturers added control and oversight, but UK-based bureaus can provide vital support by quickly producing any overspill parts. Therefore, even if internal capacity is limited, manufacturers can still receive components — sometimes in as little as 48 hours. Following supply chain issues over the last few years, onshoring is an attractive strategy. AM can help onshoring efforts by reducing lead times, minimising waste and improving productivity, thus competitiveness. By developing an in-house production strategy while outsourcing certain parts to bureaus, manufacturers can get the best of both worlds — production flexibility, short lead times and enhanced part quality. 22 HYDRAULICS & PNEUMATICS September 2023 www.hpmag.co.uk Joe Godfrey, 3D print specialist at Tri-Tech 3D, explores how balancing in-house and outsourced additive manufacturing (AM) can enhance onshoring efforts. Is the future of AM hybrid?
HYDRAULICS - PNEUMATICS - ELECTRICAL SAFE, RELIABLE & EFFICIENT SOLUTIONS Services include systems design, build,maintenance & repair, certified accumulator service centre, filtration, hose supply, OEM kitting service, electrical mechanical services, remote monitoring & component distributors of many leading brands. www.rotec.net email@example.com +44 (0)1823 348 900
APPLICATIONS 24 HYDRAULICS & PNEUMATICS September 2023 www.hpmag.co.uk To explore the benefits of additive manufacturing (AM) processes in the oil and gas sector, UK industrial valve supplier KOSO Kent Introl has collaborated with global engineering technologies company Renishaw. To support the company’s adoption of AM, Renishaw has installed a RenAM 500Q Flex at the valve manufacturer’s headquarters in Brighouse, West Yorkshire. As the first UK valve parts manufacturer in the oil and gas industry to introduce the technology, Kent Introl will use AM to rapidly develop and produce components for its customers in a more efficient and cost-effective way. Kent Introl engineers and supplies high-quality valves that perform in severe service conditions in oil and gas applications. The company will explore how AM can help optimise part design, provide on-demand services and improve productivity. It will initially use the RenAM 500Q Flex as part of its research and development of new parts. To meet the changing needs of customers the team will also experiment with AM to understand how to diversify production to deliver rapid part development. “Current material and quality standards set by the oil and gas industry, for example by the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE), means that very few manufacturers use AM in this sector,” explained Matthew Charlton, Technical Director at Kent Introl. “However, when some of our larger customers in the industry began requiring additive capabilities, we developed a strategy to invest in AM technology. Renishaw’s system provided the technical capabilities and support we need — we were also happy to invest in a UK manufacturer.” The RenAM 500Q Flex system uses laser powder bed fusion technology to produce components with intricate geometries that are difficult to achieve using traditional manufacturing techniques. It features four 500 W lasers and automated powder handling capabilities to help engineers reduce build time and increase productivity. The system also has additional flexibility that enables users to quickly change metal powders, which can be beneficial in research and development applications where different parts are tested. “Kent Introl’s investment in the RenAM 500Q Flex system is a significant step forward in the adoption of AM technology in the oil and gas industry,” explained Stephen Crownshaw, AM Business Manager at Renishaw. He continued: “While additive manufacturing bureaus could produce parts for any industry, they may not have the industry knowledge to effectively advise oil and gas suppliers. So, by installing the equipment themselves, Kent Introl can use its industry understanding and growing AM knowledge to develop parts and processes that benefit its customers. The team’s knowledge has increased significantly even from acquisition to installation of the machine, so we’re also looking forward to seeing what we can gain from their knowledge of AM in oil and gas. Charlton concluded: “As we use the RenAM 500Q Flex and understand the benefits of AM, we want to explore how it will enable us, and other manufacturers in oil and gas, to shift towards more sustainable and efficient manufacturing processes that meet the demand of a rapidly changing market.” Industrial valve manufacturer introduces AM to oil and gas
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KNOWLEDGE BASE Steve Sands, Technical Consultant at Festo GB explained to H&P, that having spoken to its customers, it’s clear they are experiencing several change drivers that are affecting their business in multiple ways. These include labour shortages in fields and factories, rising energy costs and the need for higher flexibility and productivity. The result is increasing opportunities for automation and robotics. The desire for increased automation is not just localised says Sands. Global technology giants are investing heavily in robotics. He highlights, for example, that Google intends to leverage its machine learning technologies into robotics. It has also invested in its own household service robotics company, Everyday Robots, with some very interesting mobile robot concepts for homes, offices, and factories. He adds that Amazon and Tesla are also pushing into robotic technology. Both have internal automation needs but see many opportunities beyond their own warehouses and factories. Tesla has already revealed its Optimus humanoid robot, literally making big strides in a short space of time. These new entrants into the robotics sector are bound to be disruptive and further drive the pace of change. Sands explains that pneumatics and fluid power in general still have an important role in automation and are key to delivering new robotic solutions: “Typically lightweight and compact, pneumatics offer fast movements coupled with high force density. The Festo concept Cobot shows how pneumatic 26 HYDRAULICS & PNEUMATICS September 2023 www.hpmag.co.uk rotary drives can be installed in individual joints enabling robotic axis to be combined to deliver speed and significant weight savings. Such robots can be programmed for a degree of accuracy that suits most applications, with a great combination of speed, precision, and repeatability either operating independently in applications like lab automation or working alongside humans in Cobot mode.” Getting to grips Sands highlights that Festo has several robotic development projects in train, looking at ultra-lightweight handling systems, reducing moving masses and making it safer for automated assistance devices to work alongside humans. One of these strands has been exploring the use of controlled pneumatics. This, he says, has evolved into a concept cobot that was demonstrated at Hannover Fair and offered some very interesting features which are now being evaluated in industrial applications. These development concepts don’t just demonstrate an interesting diversification of drive technology, they also incorporate improved - and that means simplified - programming and teaching modes, and more flexible end-effectors. Traditionally, vacuum generated by pumps or venturi nozzles with contact through flexible cups or porous plates has been used for most pick and place applications, with specialist Bernoulli non-contact grippers being deployed for very delicate Rapid developments in robotic automation The engineering automation sector has been coping with the accelerating pace of innovation for many years. Beyond general progress, we also experience step-changes that can be triggered by the alignment of technological trends or a major global event like the recent pandemic. With disruptive technologies like Artificial Intelligence entering the mainstream, there are exciting times ahead. Steve Sands, Technical Consultant at Festo GB explains further to H&P. Festo’s pneumatic concept cobot combines unique drive technology with simplified programming We have seen a rapid increase in the use of robotics in automated drug discovery