University of Bristol partners with Airbus

Airbus landingAirbus signed a partnership agreement with the University of Bristol last week, formalising their commitment to build on training, education and diversity. The agreement was signed at the International Air Show in Paris last week.

Talking about the partnership Thierry Baril, Chief Human Resources Officer of Airbus Group, said: “These partnership agreements underline our commitment to work hand-in-hand with academics and engineering education leaders to develop and secure the competences that the aerospace industry will need in the future.” Continue reading

Robotics and Research

a robotic armAll areas of engineering are evolving and developing and we like to keep an eye on what’s going on, reporting from time to time on innovative and sometimes controversial developments.

When it comes to robotics most of the things we’ve written about have been ground breaking developments that have meant that safety can be increased or that major improvements in quality of life can be achieved.

We even wrote about whether increased automation means that less skill will be required in the future. It seems the answer is no – operators still need to understand what they’re doing, why they’re doing it and what could go wrong. However, automation can and does help improve efficiency. Continue reading

The importance of finishing

Finishing image of industrial spray paintingFinishing any engineering job properly is just as important as any other operation along the production cycle. And by finishing the engineering job, we’re not talking about tidying the file and completing the invoicing. We are talking about the paint or powder coating finish to the product

The appearance of a finished product will always have an impact on the saleability. After all, if something looks rough and unfinished it’s less likely to sell. In addition, there’s the safety impact to consider. Rough edges and burrs can not only put buyers off but can be a serious health and safety risk. So an important part of finishing is to remove those risks. Continue reading

Hybrid Aircraft – Passenger Planes of the future?

Image of aircraftThe constant mission to reduce pollution and produce more fuel efficient vehicles led to major research and development in the auto industry. Now all major car manufacturers have a hybrid vehicle in their suite of offerings.

With air traffic forecast to continue to increase there are demands for additional runways and extra services. This, of course causes conflict. Flight companies want to meet the needs of the consumers, but plans for increasing runways and flight services are meeting opposition due to the anticipated increase in noise and pollution.

Could there be a solution? Can we ever have quieter runways and less pollution? Siemens and Airbus think we can! Continue reading

Research into rail switches at the IRR

rail switchesRail switches or ’points’ are used in the rail industry to guide trains to their correct route. They work by using a tapered set of rails (points) lying between the outer rails that can be moved to direct the train travelling across them.

They make up less than 1% of the entire length of railway routes in the UK, yet they account for 20% of the expenditure on track maintenance. With a working life of approximately 3 years, frequent maintenance and replacement of rail switches is needed to avoid disruptions in services. Continue reading