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Hoffmann Group UK opens new Birmingham warehouse

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Hoffmann Group UK opens new Birmingham warehouse

One of Europe’s leading system partners for quality tools, Hoffmann Group UK has extended its logistics area by opening a new warehouse in Aston, Birmingham.

Following a £150,000 investment, the Birmingham-based warehouse, which originally opened its door in August of 2019, has increased Hoffmann Group UK’s overall capacity by 45%, making the overall space approximately 4000ft2. The additional space is an important milestone for Hoffmann Group UK, giving the company a greater ability to meet the growing demands of the UK market.

The additional space will enable Hoffmann Group UK to better manage its procurement, storage, distribution and logistics, which will subsequently enhance production workflow and increase productivity. Not only will the warehouse improve the management of Hoffmann Group UK’s services and offer customers more agility and dedicated stock where required, but it will also create additional job opportunities in the area.

The expansion is part of Hoffmann Group UK’s wider vision to double the size of the business by 2023, through more effectively delivering a broad range of services designed to help customers reduce costs and increase productivity. The group’s growth will also be supported by the development of a new international central warehouse in Nuremberg, Logistic City, that will ensure that the business can deliver at over 99%, even during periods of constantly changing market conditions.

As part of Hoffmann Group’s continued investment and expansion in the UK and internationally, the business is increasing technical expertise, introducing dedicated support for large national accounts and additional specialised resource to support services such as inventory management, calibration and repairs.

The new technical appointments come as part of Hoffmann Group UK’s business reorganisation, which was implemented in 2020 to provide the businesses’ growing customer base with a more bespoke, effective service through bolstering the number of experts available to advise and consult with clients.

Alex Puszka, product manager at Hoffmann Group, who will lead the management of the new warehouse and local product assortment, commented: “The new warehouse provides us with the opportunity to develop our local assortment, support local contracts with critical stock and ship hazardous products from the UK. Additionally, it means we will have a UK base for additional services such as kitting, regrind and calibration services and a set up area for our Tool24 vending solution systems.

Tim Paddison, managing director of Hoffmann Group, added: “The new space will support Hoffmann Group UK in its mission to make our customers more successful by simplifying procurement and improving efficiency. In conjunction with our international central warehouse, Logistic City, the new space significantly enhances our ability to provide customers with the right product at the right time, whilst creating capacity for more jobs in this area.”

www.hoffmann-group.com

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Solvay launches ‘breakthrough’ adhesive for aerospace industry

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New adhesive and surfacing technology innovations will increase efficiency for aerospace manufacturers, Solvay says.

The company is launching AeroPaste 1006, 1009 and 1100 adhesive pastes and BR 179 non-chromate primer. These breakthrough aerospace adhesive and surfacing technology innovations not only increase part assembly efficiency but also offer unmatched processing flexibility, making them ideal for ever-increasing production rates.

AeroPaste is Solvay’s new generation of epoxy-based structural paste adhesives that provide film-like property and performance, comparable or superior to leading film adhesives on the market.

Designed specifically to enable rapid assembly and automation, this new portfolio of paste adhesives will support industrialisation requirements in the aerospace industry. AeroPaste will increase manufacturers’ efficiency and output by enabling fast and easy application, and offer excellent tolerance to variations in bondline thickness.

AeroPaste offers manufacturers flexibility and meets a variety of application requirements.

BR 179, Solvay’s next generation, sustainable, non-chromate primer is a breakthrough innovation in the world of aerospace primers. A truly sustainable solution for adhesive bonding, this non-chromated primer provides corrosion resistance comparable to benchmark chromated primers. BR 179 offers superior tolerance to primer thickness variations, excellent mechanical properties and usage flexibility with an out-life of up to 180 days, making it the ideal primer for aerospace fabricators.

“Solvay’s deep understanding of the industry’s needs and challenges is driving our new product developments. By focusing on innovation, process efficiencies as well as sustainability, we provide a step change to our customers” said Mike Blair, head of research & innovation for Solvay Composite Materials global business unit.

Overall, Solvay’s adhesive and surfacing technology support increased production rates, improved manufacturing efficiency and the growing demand for sustainable solutions. Solvay’s technologies are qualified by all major commercial and defence aerospace OEMs and enable the development of light, safe and fuel efficient aircraft.

Attend the company’s on-demand technical presentations and live product showcase 30th at SAMPE neXus 2021 virtual event to get the latest technical information on these innovations.

www.solvay.com

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HP and 3dbpm partnership reveal key additive manufacturing role

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HP and 3dbpm partnership reveal key additive manufacturing role

With 3D printing making an impact on the digitalisation of manufacturing and the disruption of industries, a new study by HP in partnership with 3dbpm Research found that additive manufacturing (AM) is playing a significant role in enabling this transition.

According to the study, which analysed key digital manufacturing trends among leading industrial parts manufacturers in Europe, 96% of respondents agreed that additive manufacturing helps them to get products to market faster, with 100% of respondents recognising the importance of increasingly digitising their production workflows with the ability to produce parts on demand as the biggest driver of this behaviour.

In addition, it was discovered that 63% of European parts manufacturers who took part in the survey will invest from €100,000 to over a million in digitalisation over the next 12 months, as the power of this agile ecosystem and technological capabilities are proving themselves in the most demanding of circumstances.

The HP AM Trends in EMEA Report dissects the motivations and investment strategies of manufacturers across five key European markets: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Benelux and the UK. Led by 3dpbm, a sample of industrial parts manufacturers of varying sizes and across a broad range of specialisations were independently surveyed. The study examines how firms that have already implemented digital and additive manufacturing processes for the production of industrial parts, perceive the benefits of pursuing such a strategy, and to what extent they expect the macrotrend to continue to accelerate in the short and medium-term.

“A digital transformation of manufacturing is underway,” said Guyante Sanmartin, managing director, UK&I, HP Inc. “The leading companies of the future will be those that harness the power of software, data, AI, and digital manufacturing to reinvent and personalise customer products and experiences. Great progress has been made over the last few years, with our HP Multi Jet Fusion technology delivering more than 60 million 3D printed parts since its inception. The need for this technology has increased exponentially over the last 15 months.”

Sustainable impact

The report indicated that sustainability has an influence on the decision to digitalise manufacturing workflows, with 61% of respondents agreeing that it is a relevant factor driver behind digitalisation. In addition, 91% noted that the ability to produce parts on demand was an important benefit, with a further 79% of those surveyed believing that additive manufacturing helps them deal with production challenges – such as the ability to adapt to fluctuating demand.

“The advanced capabilities of 3D printing are creating entirely new opportunities for disruption across industries and with a far more environmentally sustainable approach, which is a significant driver for manufacturers today,” said Dave Prezzano, managing director, UK&I, HP Inc. “For 50% of UK manufacturers, sustainability is a key factor in the decision to digitalise, who are recognising that 3D printing and its intrinsically flexible nature can empower a more circular economy.”

Digital transformation

The report reveals that additive manufacturing operates as a key opportunity in the digitalisation of industrial manufacturing processes, with digitalisation considered a necessity for the near entirety of manufacturing processes by a large majority of survey respondents (96%).

The use of additive manufacturing in industrial parts manufacturing was reported as key to producing more cost-effective components, as well as making better products at faster speeds. UK and German industrial parts manufacturers interviewed are planning the most significant investments in digitalisation and additive manufacturing, with 50% of British and 40% of German respondents saying they intend to spend more than €1 million over the next five years.

Other findings revealed that 83% of survey respondents use additive manufacturing for the actual production of components and tools to make commercial products, with half of them (52%) already making complete finished products which is the final frontier of addictive manufacturing.

Analysis of country-specific trends dominates the second half of the report, providing a clear picture of different approaches taken across key European markets. The report finds that, among all European survey respondents, British industrial parts manufacturers are the ones planning the most significant investments in digitalisation and additive manufacturing, with 50% saying they intend to spend more than €1m over the next five years.

Respondents in the UK also showed high confidence in growth of additive manufacturing in the medium-term future, with 100% expecting extreme growth. When it came to stating what they believed to be the main drivers behind digitalisation, British industrial parts manufacturers stated that on demand production (33%) and the ability to make parts that can’t be produced with traditional manufacturing processes (34%) were key. 50% also stated production flexibility as the main benefit of additive manufacturing.

“We mainly focus on low volume batch production of engineering parts and we produce as many as 750,000 parts per year,” says Nick Allen, managing director of 3DPRINTUK, one of the British industrial parts manufacturers that took part in the survey. “We’ve seen an average growth of 32% over the past few years and we are projecting 55% growth in 2021. The trend towards using additive manufacturing for production is ever-increasing: we have watched the industry evolve over the last 10 years. When we started, we were producing 90% prototypes but now we’re producing around 90% end-use parts. More and more companies are adopting additive into their products and I see no reason for that growth to slow. We, for one, have doubled our capacity over the past 12 months and are looking to further increase it over the coming 12 months.”

This report builds on the findings of HP’s Digital Manufacturing Trend Report published in October 2020, providing a more extensive analysis of key drivers, investment strategies and country specific trends within Europe.

Highlights of HP’s AM Trends in EMEA Report include:

UK

UK industrial parts manufacturers prepared for the largest investment in digitalisation and additive manufacturing

  • British industrial parts manufacturers interviewed are planning the most significant investments in digitalisation and additive manufacturing, with 50% of British respondents saying they intend to spend more than €1m over the next five years and the total of them planning to invest between €500,000 and €1m
  • British industrial parts manufacturers interviewed are accelerating the adoption of addictive manufacturing for final parts production with all the survey respondents (100%) expecting extreme growth of additive manufacturing in the near-to medium-term future
  • 50% of British survey respondents said the key benefit of additive manufacturing is production flexibility (on-demand production, rapid spare parts manufacturing)
  • Sustainability is an important factor behind the decision to digitalise for 50% of the British industrial parts manufacturers surveyed

Europe

European industrial parts manufacturers agree on urgent need for increased digitalisation

  • 100% of respondents recognise the importance of increasingly digitalising their production workflows.
  • 70% of respondents said that the primary driver for digitalising manufacturing workflows is the ability to produce parts on demand.
  • 63% of respondents expect to spend more than €100,000 on digitalisation of their manufacturing workflows over the next 12-month period.
  • 61% of respondents stated that sustainability is relevant or very relevant to increasingly digitalise their manufacturing workflows.

Industrial tooling disruption underway with additive manufacturing

  • Over 95% of respondents indicated that additive manufacturing is a relevant technology for digitalisation in their current manufacturing workflows.
  • 91% of respondents said that they use additive manufacturing to make industrial tools (including jigs, fixtures, and moulds). These tools are used to produce more parts via non-additive processes. Other relevant types of parts include EOAT and automation system components.
  • 52% of respondents use additive manufacturing for making complete finished products

Additive manufacturing improves part functionality and production flexibility

  • 96% of respondents say that additive manufacturing helps them get a product to market faster.
  • 91% of respondents indicated that the ability to produce parts on demand is a key benefit of 3D printing.
  • 79% of respondents said that additive manufacturing helped them deal with production challenges related to Covid-19.

European industrial parts manufacturers are confident on the future growth of additive manufacturing

  • Over 95% of respondents expect the use of additive manufacturing to continue to grow.
  • 83% of respondents are likely to invest in expanding their digital manufacturing capabilities in the next 12 months. For 65% of them, this investment will include additive manufacturing.
  • 92% of respondents are likely to invest in expanding their digital manufacturing capabilities in the next five years. For 77% of them, this investment will include additive manufacturing.

www.hp.com

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Dropping power levels threaten InSight mission

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WASHINGTON — Dust accumulation on the solar panels of NASA’s InSight Mars lander is reducing the power to the spacecraft and could force the mission to end within a year.

At a June 21 meeting of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group, Bruce Banerdt, principal investigator for the InSight mission at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said dust accumulating on the lander’s two solar panels has drastically reduced the amount of power they produce, requiring some instruments to be turned off at least temporarily.

“The dust accumulation on the solar arrays has been considerable. We have about 80% obscuration of the arrays,” he said. The amount of energy available to the lander per Martian day, or sol, has dropped from nearly 5,000 watt-hours shortly after its November 2018 landing to less than 700 watt-hours now, according to data Banerdt presented at the meeting.

The decline in energy was expected, and the mission was designed to have enough power for its prime mission, which lasted one Martian year or 687 days. The continued decline in power, though, is becoming an issue as InSight operates in an extended mission funded through the end of 2022 to collect additional seismic data.

Banerdt said the mission had hoped for “cleaning events” where winds remove some of the dust, allowing the panels to generate more power. Such cleaning events allowed the solar-powered Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, to operate for years, far longer than expected.

Those cleaning events have not taken place for InSight, though, and other attempts to remove the dust, such as shaking the panels, have failed. More recently, the mission tried a novel approach for cleaning the panels: using the lander’s robotic arm to scoop up regolith and then release it near the panels. Winds allowed some particles to bounce off the panels, in the process removing dust, a process known as saltation.

“We had some success with that,” he said. The first attempt at saltation increased energy output by 25 to 30 watt-hours, he said. A second attempt, though, provided only a temporary increase in energy, and a third attempt last weekend offered “a little bit of an increase.”

“This has bought us a little bit of headroom that we didn’t have before,” he said. Energy levels are dropping because of both the increased dust accumulation as well as Mars nearing aphelion, or the farthest point in its orbit from the sun. Mars will reach aphelion in about two months, after which sunlight, and thus power levels, should increase slightly.

Banerdt said the mission is closely monitoring power levels to determine what systems may need to be turned off as aphelion approaches. “It’s going to be extremely challenging to operate through that, especially with the instruments,” he said.

Some sensors, such as for collecting weather and magnetic field data, have already been turned off, or used only sporadically. “We hope to get some of these instruments up to at least do periodic measurements after aphelion,” he said.

InSight’s main instrument, a seismometer, has remained in operation. Banerdt, though, did not rule out having to turn it off near aphelion. “We may have to power off the entire payload for some period around aphelion,” he said. “There may be a month or two of time where we might have to turn off the seismometer, but we’re trying to tighten our belts and sharpen our pencils to see whether we can operate straight through.”

InSight will get a respite after aphelion as sunlight levels increase, but Banerdt warned it will be temporary. By April 2022, energy levels will decrease further, which he said was due to increased dust accumulation on the panels, more dust in the atmosphere and changes in orbital geometry. In a chart he showed, those power levels fell to the “survival energy” line below which the lander cannot operate.

“Unless we get a fairly significant increase in our solar array output, we’re likely to end our mission sometime around that time next year,” he said.

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Registration now open for Subcon 2021

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Subcon is the UK’s premier subcontract manufacturing supply chain show. For over 40 years, the show has continued to deliver high quality content and a variety of UK and international exhibitors.

This year, Subcon will be co-located with The Engineer Expo and new for 2021, the very popular Manufacturing Management Show. Join the manufacturing community from the 14-16 September at the NEC, as we reunite in person for the first time in two years.

The Manufacturing Management Show, will bring together a detailed conference agenda delivering sessions led by leading, big-name companies. The conference will allow attendees to gain expert insight and content from their manufacturing peers.

The Engineer Expo also provides UK engineering professionals with the latest in-house manufacturing and design solutions, alongside cutting-edge developments in advanced engineering technologies.

Visitors will gain free access to all three events, offering unparallel opportunities for learning, networking and engagement.

Register free here: https://bit.ly/3xuJ3Sl

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