Futurologist Jeremy Rifkin claimed that 3D printing is the beginning of a third industrial revolution. This means it would subsequently succeed the production line assembly that dominated manufacturing which started in the late 19th century. What if he’s right? Imagine printing a new valve for a broken tap or a brake disc for your car. In contrast, perhaps something simpler like a new plate when your little ones drop the good dishes. The possibilities are essentially endless given the right materials and machines. Continue reading
McLaren has announced that it is to construct the new McLaren Composites Technology Centre (MCTC) in Sheffield. The facility is the result of a £50m joint investment with Sheffield City Council and the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).
The facility, which will create 200 jobs will be the first purpose built facility outside of the existing McLaren site in Woking, Surrey. The centre will be responsible for the research and manufacture of carbon fibre chassis for current McLaren automotive cars and also for future models. With work on the new centre due to start shortly, it is anticipated that there will be 2 years of research and development before advanced carbon fibre chassis will be manufactured from 2020. This will mean that at this point in time almost 60% of all McLarens will be UK sourced. Continue reading
After a year of various design stages the SpaceX Hyperloop competition weekend took place at the end of January.
Hyperloop, the project to revolutionise the future of travel is some way off but the involvement of SpaceX CEO Elon Musk continues to fuel the excitement around the project, keeping it very clearly on the agenda of engineers worldwide. Pods gliding through low pressure tubes delivering people and cargo from A to B at speed and with no turbulence, may seem like something from a sci-fi movie, but with some systems tested last year and more scheduled for this year, that future could become a reality in the next 5 years.
As we approach the year end we thought we’d take a look back at some of the new and innovative engineering stories and reports that came out this year.
There were some astounding breakthroughs in the medical and healthcare sectors as well as enhancements in the more run of the mill procedures.
Osseo integration (the practice of using pins to implant directly into the bone) has been in the news throughout the year. Despite many successful surgeries overseas, growth in the use of the procedure has been relatively slow. A UK pilot of the procedure for military personnel who have lost limbs launched in September this year. If successful it is hoped the use of the procedure can be adopted more widely. Continue reading
Earlier this year we reported on the great news that Aston Martin had decided that St Athan in Glamorgan was to be the site for their new facility in South Wales. There were more than 20 sites worldwide under consideration but a host of positive factors meant that St Athan was the ideal choice. This week the sale of the land was finalised and the official green light on the development given.
Work has already begun on the first phase of the development which includes building reception areas, offices and a staff restaurant. Phase 2 which includes access to the super hangars that will house the manufacturing arm of the site is planned for April 2017. Local welsh firm TRJ Contracting has been awarded the contract for the works. Continue reading