Siemens testing 707s for South West Trains

siemens 707 trainIn 2014 South West trains introduced electrical multiple units (EMUS) on some routes from London Waterloo. This along with projects to lengthen platforms and trains on other services is just small part of an £800 million investment to improve rail services on the network. In 2015 South West trains ordered a number of Siemens class 707 EMUs for use on the Windsor to London Waterloo commuter service and the first body shell for the 707s was completed in October 2015 at the Siemen’s factory in Germany.

Last month testing of the 707s began in earnest at the Siemen’s dedicated test track in Widenrath, Germany. The state of the art testing site has been designed to test UK fleets to Network Rail standards and should keep disruption to UK train services to a minimum during the testing phase. Continue reading

Finishing in manufacturing is as important as starting

manufacturing engine partsWhen it comes to manufacturing parts or components the way each one is finished reflects the quality of workmanship. If you don’t finish a job properly, then it doesn’t matter how careful you’ve been with the initial production, cutting or moulding, the end product is not going to look good. And the way the end product looks will always have an impact on saleability.

There could, of course, also be an impact on your costs. If your customer is unhappy with the finish of an order, you may have to start all over again, meaning more waste and increased costs. And there’s the health and safety aspect of poor finishing. Rough or sharp edges won’t be acceptable to your customer and may also cause injuries to those working with them. Continue reading

Solving the congestion and emissions problem

traffic congestionBack in March this year London was set to see the introduction of 5 all electric double decker buses capable of driving up to 190 miles in day on one 4 hour overnight charge. The 5 buses joined a fleet of single deck electric, hydrogen and hybrid buses as part of the effort to reduce emissions in the city centre.

At the other end of the country Stagecoach are operating all electric bus services in Inverness and having worked with manufacturer Optare have managed to extend the range of miles the vehicles can do. In addition to running on electricity, these buses also feature electric heating systems rather than the standard diesel ones. This makes them the UKs’ most efficient electric buses in terms of kWh per mile and they fist of their kind. Continue reading

How waterjet cutting works

waterjet cutting machineEven though waterjet cutting has only come into its own in recent years it may surprise you to know that it has been around since the 1930s. At that time it was used at a low pressure and only for cutting soft materials. Whilst things continued to develop after the war, waterjet cutting became much more effective in the 1970s, when the first reliable high pressure pump was developed.

Whilst the earlier waterjet machines could cut softer materials they could not handle harder materials and metals. The ability to cut harder materials like metal came about following the addition of an abrasive to the waterjet cutting nozzle. This was a technique first used in the 1930s, however early versions of the nozzle were not commercially viable. Further development of the nozzle and the availability of a reliable pump led to a more effective waterjet that could now cut through a bigger variety of materials. Continue reading

Surprising benefactors of motorsport technology

motorsport carsWhen we think of the technical developments in F1 and motorsport generally, we can all probably think of an area in the automotive industry where those developments have had an impact. But do you ever think about what or who else benefits of those developments?
If I was to say that the care of premature babies has been impacted by motorsport technical developments you’d probably wonder how. What about supermarkets? How could they possibly benefit from the motorsport industry?

These are only a couple of examples of where motorsport innovation is being used to solve challenges in other industrial sectors. Continue reading