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Event reviews

the various types of surface effects and helped challenge some of the conventional wisdom in surface coatings. Bryan Allcock from Monitor Coatings illustrated the routes for development of new engineered surfaces and a model for SEM organisations to capitalise upon this area.

Mark Gee from NPL then provided a series of excellent examples of how to solve some demanding surface engineering challenges and the breadth of techniques that NPL are able to offer.

CDE: Armour & Protection Call

for Proposals Tuesday 15th May, Birmingham

The Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) held a themed call on the Tuesday 15th May in Birmingham for innovative and novel protection systems. Delegates came from across the country to gain an overview of the current armour & protection systems from a military perspective and discover how to create a stand out proposal.

This year, the fund is valued at £360,000, from which the CDE is hoping to support ideas of low Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) with ‘seed corn’ money. Typically, proposals are expected to receive around £20,000- £30,000 to take the idea further, however this is subject to change on a case-by-case basis.

and academia. CDE will provide the range in which the developers’ materials can be subjected to ballistics, blasts, or chemical energy. Accurate quantitative and qualitative results are obtained using measuring devices such as accelerometers and high speed video recordings. Due to the success of the previous range testing day, the second one has already been planned for January 2013.

These are short term contracts lasting between 3-6 months. The deadline for proposals is 19th July 2012 at 17:00hrs. Award winners will be notified on 24th August.

Visit /engagement/enterprise.aspx for more information.

by Cymone Thomas, Technologist

Highlights from the KTN Surface

Besides the funding, some more good news was announced. In the past, many SME’s have found it difficult to obtain range time to test their material in a real-life situation and gain valuable results. In response to this, the CDE now provide a free testing service for UK industry

Engineering Event As we push the performance envelope of materials further, surface engineering takes on an increasingly important role. In May, over 60 delegates were treated to an overview of this critical subject matter and introduced to the latest developments in the arena by some of the leading exponents in the UK. Professor Allan Mathews opened, offering a series of rules to help address

18 The National Metals Technology Centre Quarterly Journal

After lunch, David Rickerby of Rolls Royce showed how surface engineering has and continues to play a key role in the Rolls-Royce product portfolio but also how developments are generated and applied to ensure a robust performance. Steve Bomford from Sulzer Metco illustrated the latest developments in sprayed coatings including in-line process monitoring and control, significantly improving robustness and scope of application. In both the morning and afternoon sessions, a series of five minute ‘pitches’ encompassed a wide range of developments, techniques and commercial offerings.

With plenty of discussion, delegate feedback was overwhelmingly positive and the organisers were encouraged to continue along this theme and address some further areas in detail.

by Alan McLelland, CEO

NAMTEC Manufacturing Forum Members Visit to Wilton

Group Fifteen members of the NAMTEC Manufacturing Forum were invited to visit the Wilton Engineering operations at Port Clarence, Middlesbrough in the middle of May this year. This was an excellent opportunity for members to see first-hand the operations of a highly successful fabrication facility supplying predominantly the oil & gas sector.

Bill Scott, Group CEO, presented an insight into the Group and its operations. Bill started the company with Steve Glenn in 1994 and by the end of 2012 expects to achieve a turnover of circa £85 million with up to 800 employees. They started on a small site in Middlesbrough which they soon outgrew and were working from several sites before the current location at Port Clarence, then owned by Kvaerner Oil & Gas, became available. This proved to be a major step forward for the group providing a water front location capable of fabrication and loading out structures weighing thousands of tonnes.

The Group now has 250 design engineers at PD&MS Energy in Aberdeen, an additional 30 at Teesside, and the Universal Coatings operation providing painting and coating facilities for Wilton Engineering and outside customers. The Group also has bases in Dundee, Great Yarmouth and Brazil.

The visit included a tour of the workshops and started with a look at the Universal Coatings operations where they are capable of painting even the largest structures.

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