UK Manufacturing and the Brexit impact

general manufacturing imageWe’re just getting to the end of the year and on the face of it UK manufacturing seems to have weathered the initial Brexit storm. There will undoubtedly be ups and downs over the next couple of years as well as uncertainty whilst the exit terms are negotiated.

Can you foresee what’s going to happen and be ready for every eventuality? Of course not! All you can do is make sure that you keep an eye on what’s going on and keep up with how the latest developments could have an impact on your business. There is little point in panicking and making huge changes until the unknown becomes known. By all means review things to see where you might need to change policies and processes if certain scenarios come into play. You may even go so far as to get some documents drafted and approved for use so that they can be brought into play immediately should your anticipated change become a reality. And for some of the big manufacturers who have many European offices and employees from other European countries in place, that is, in all likelihood happening right now. Continue reading

Engineering highlights of 2016

general engineering imageAs 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

Building of the new Aston Martin facility begins

aston martin DBX conceptEarlier 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

Boom Supersonic Passenger Aircraft Unveiled

Boom supersonic passenger aircraftSince the withdrawal of Concorde, there has been little news of any supersonic flight service to replace it. In fact development in supersonic passenger aircraft appeared to have stalled with cost and economic viability seeming to be one of the reasons. Concorde, despite being a beautiful aircraft was, after all, a flight service used only by the wealthier in society. But that could be set to change with the unveiling of the Boom supersonic passenger aircraft.

The Boom supersonic passenger aircraft is promising flights from London to New York in 3.5 hours with a return ticket price of $5000 – a similar price to the cost of a current business class flight. Whilst for many of us, this may still be unaffordable, when the flight time is more than halved, it’s a cost many businesses will be more than happy to pay.

The aircraft will have just 40 – 50 seats and the technological and material advancements since Concorde, mean that aircraft can be produced and maintained more cost effectively and those savings can be passed on through the lower ticket price. Continue reading

Hyperloop One agree deal with Dubai Road Transport Authority

Hyperloop capsuleHyperloop One has agreed a deal with the Dubai Road Transport Authority to assess the delivery of a hyperloop system that will reduce the time taken to travel from Dubai to Abu Dhabi.

The system which works using a vacuum-sealed pod transport system could potentially reduce the time taken to travel the 90 miles from Dubai to Abu Dhabi in as little as 12 minutes. Whilst initially the aim is to concentrate on what a hyperloop system can achieve across the United Arab Emirates (UAE), there is speculation that it could be expanded at a later date to build links with neighbouring Gulf countries. The current travel time by plane between Dubai and Saudi Arabia is 2 hours; with Hyperloop that travel time could be halved. Continue reading