EMEX - Engineering, Machinery & Electronics Exhibition
3D printer winner
Congratulations to Paul Bao of Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Limited, the winner of the EMEX 2016 UP BOX 3D printer prize, sponsored by 3D printing systems.
official show guide now available
A little planning will help you get the most out of your time at EMEX Exhibition
Students use design thinking to solve industry problems
The Design Hub launched this year with 12 students who study Wintec courses from engineering to digital design.
Making breakfast and keeping the coffee coming for a room full of industry partners and Wintec staff was one of the easier challenges given to the first intake of students at Wintec’s Design Hub.
The students were asked to cater for an industry breakfast to present the Design Hub, a new kind of creative environment where students with varied skillsets solve problems presented by industry partners.
The Design Hub launched this year with 12 students who study Wintec courses from engineering to digital design. They are all in the final year of their degrees. Design Hub director Margi Moore will further develop its innovation activities over the next few years as a problem-solving project based at Wintec.
“We decided to start small to test our approaches, gain confidence and learn by doing,” she says.
“We have based our teaching model on the global network of design factories that began in Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland. They have a great track record for innovation which focusses on creating a solution through human-centred design, progressive teaching in positive learning environments, and working together with industry partners.”
Industry partners Paul King and Russell Kean from Opus International Consultants challenged the students to come up with low-cost solutions to enable the remote monitoring of water supply networks. Paul says the experience was rewarding for the students, who put forward many smart solutions.
“The student groups were given several significant real-world problems which they approached with both a professional attitude and great gusto. Without the shackles of a traditional design process (driven by cost), their concept proposals explored new themes that challenged the usual paradigms,” says Mr King.
“Opus International Consultants was delighted to share its expertise with these up-and-coming designers and engineers. We see this partnership as a fundamental part of growing New Zealand’s pool of future talent,” says Mr Kean.
The concept which engages students in design thinking, operates in a dedicated space that is open 24-hours a day. For the students, it’s a new learning concept which operates away from the traditional classroom-based learning. It’s also an opportunity to work in ways they never have previously and prototype new approaches to problems they may not encounter in their chosen field of study.
In their first semester, Wintec’s Design Hub students are working in teams to solve industry problems for Opus and Waikato District Health Board (DHB). For Waikato DHB this includes how students can look at new ways to create interconnectedness online with patients through technologies like SmartHealth, and how Midland Trauma Systems can explore different ways to reduce quad bike incidents on farms. Of all quad bike injuries in the Midland region between 2012 and 2015, 76% were males, 70% occurred on farms, 10% on the road and 76 people sustained spinal injuries.
The walls of the Design Hub room are covered in Post-it notes, ideas are formatted into groupings and inspiration is flowing.
The Design Hub bridges the gap between Wintec and industry, challenging students to think, learn and collaborate in new ways.
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REACHING FOR THE STARS
“It just takes one, Greg,” CNC Direct’s David Thumath told me, at 2.30pm on day 1 of SouthMach17 in Christchurch.
He’s done a few shows. He’s right.
He was referring to the show’s cost to him; one sale or lead to a sale enough to cover most expenses.
His comments had come after we’d ‘guestimated’ show numbers to that point, based off how many Engineering News’ showbags had been handed out – virtually everyone had one so it was a better than average poll.
Attendees were also of better than average ‘quality’ too for the suppliers who spent the dough to show them face-to-face what they had on offer, and ways they could help to improve engineering, manufacturing, processing – and more – businesses.
Their success(es) are still to be measured as the days and weeks pass, with the show sometimes leading to sales well after the break down has been done.
Engineering News and Machineryseller weren’t there to show our prouct, the magazine; we were more there to fly the flag in a segment of the market where we – in part – act as a link. We look forward to these shows, because it’s a rarity to have our readers and advertisers suppliers in one (very big) room. We took pride in being the only industry magazine exhibiting.
We have some exciting things plans for EMEX 2018. Watch this space.
And we took even greater pride when comments flowed at SouthMach from the reaches: engineers from the likes of Rangiora saying, “If you’re into engineering, you’re reading Engineering News”. That legacy far outshines my pen, formed in 1969.
But it’s also great to hear so many are now embracing the multi-media experience of our digital magazine – we still have plenty of work to do on this but it definitely will get to a point to truly complement our print edition. It too, with such things as downloadable pdfs and spec sheets, can add value to the way you do business. Even if it’s just to get creative engineering juices flowing.
Through both forms we intend to continue to show the very best of the industries that engineering is involved with through innovative means, such as out digital edition. Our advertisers are telling us that you like what they have to offer, need what they have to help improve your businesses and are picking up phones. Great. Win:win:win and everyone’s reaching for those stars.
Speaking of engineering wins, a solid congratulations goes out to RocketLAB for their efforts late May. You’ve seen it plastered all over every news site and paper, so we’ll leave the team down there alone this issue so they can get on with producing more great feats of Kiwi engineering.
As always, if you have a cool engineering story about someone doing something great or a new piece of kit really helping to change the way you do business – flick me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with some details and if I get back to you, let’s share the good vibes through the pages and on the screen.
9 DESIGN STRATEGIES ASSEMBLIES FOR DESIGNING MULTIPART ASSEMBLES
Creating cost-effective assemblies often means lower part counts, flexible yet simple product designs, and a look at alternative manufacturing technologies according to US-based ProtoLabs. Two basic tenets of design for manufacturing and assembly best practices are shrink the bill of materials (BOM) and make products easy to assemble. If that sounds easier said than done, read on.
This design tip offers several ways to make your next multipart design less like a root canal and more like a day on the beach. Many of these tips are geared around injection-moulded parts, but some apply to machined and 3D-printed parts as well. These include: symmetrical parts, self-mating parts, family moulds, hardware components, monoform parts, assembly considerations, overmoulding and insert moulding, liquid silicone rubber parts, alternatives processes.
Searching for symmetry
It might be hard to wrap your mind around at first, but many assemblies traditionally constructed of two unique components can often be made from a pair of identical parts. Consider the two halves of a housing for a prototype gear housing assembly. Conventional wisdom might say to put bolt holes in one half, threaded bosses in the other, then use half a dozen or so fasteners and washers to bolt it all together. But this requires machining two separate injection moulds (or machining two unique parts, if a metal prototype is needed). By making the two halves symmetrical, distributing the holes and threads in each part equally and opposite one another, a single mould can be used, cutting tooling costs in half.
But why not get rid of the screws altogether? Replace the clip mechanisms where possible with a living hinge along one edge of the power drill housing and you now have a single-piece design. The bill of materials (BOM) has been reduced by 13 pieces, assembly time has been cut to zero, and there’s just one mould to buy. You’re a hero. You can also, by the way, 3D print living hinges with SLS nylon.
Another way to achieve hero status is the use of family moulds, which are ideal when producing a series of parts with similar shapes and sizes. The two mating parts mentioned above are good candidates, as is any group of parts that make up a complete assembly. Obviously, all must be made of the same material, and the combined part extents must fit within the roughly 175 sq. in. (1,129 sq. cm.) working mould cavity volume.
Everyone’s heard the adage about reinventing the wheel. Designing and manufacturing your own nuts, screws, shafts, pins, keys, and dozens of other off-the-shelf components should be avoided at all costs. Better to redesign your product around standard hardware items, especially if production volumes are expected to rise at some point.
Moving to monoform
The properties that make plastics such as polypropylene (PP) and styrene butadiene (SB) excellent candidates for living hinges also makes them suitable for other flexible components, providing clever part designers with opportunities to simplify assemblies and shrink BOMs—in some cases, a once-complex assembly can be reduced to a single piece. For example, a series of metal shock absorbers in a piece of sporting goods equipment might be replaced with a plastic one, and moulded together with the mating component. Instead of bolt-on metal leaf springs in a small lot of radio-controlled cars, mould them out of nylon as part of the chassis. Nor do designers need to adhere to traditional shapes—a coil spring can easily take a curvy zig-zag shape, or that of an S, C, or sideways W. Just be sure the mechanical, chemical, and electrical properties of the chosen plastic are appropriate for the environment in which they’ll be used.
If a product must be assembled, attempt to make the task easier by orienting the various screws and connectors in such a way that all are accessible from the same side, thus minimising part flipping and rotating. Use common hardware wherever possible, so the worker doesn’t have to reach for different hand tools. Poke yoke (mistake proof) the assembly by designing in alignment pins and guiding features to avoid mismatched parts. And spend a little time in the assembly room: Knowing the issues that emerge at this stage often yields big improvements in part design.
Over and out
Often, two or more components can be moulded together. Rather than welding, gluing, or screwing a rubber grip onto a plastic instrument case, overmoulding creates a permanent bond with no need for secondary assembly processes. The two plastics must be chemically compatible, but an array of material combinations and colours are available. Similarly, the aforementioned threaded inserts can be placed into the mould before pressing cycle start on the injection moulding machine, permanently fixing the metal inserts in the plastic. A large assortment of bushings, pins, and fasteners can be moulded directly into plastic parts, saving time and simplifying designs. Proto Labs currently doesn’t supply common off-the-shelf inserts but expects to do so at some future point.
Liquid silicone rubber parts
Due to its “cold set” properties, extremely agreeable flow characteristics, and disregard for traditional moulded part concerns like sink and knit lines, liquid silicone rubber (LSR) is breaking many of the rules of injection moulding. LSR parts probably aren’t going to reduce assembly part count, but they do eliminate many moulding headaches and are often a great alternative to other “squishy” materials. Complex gaskets and seals can be accurately formed, and because LSR is biocompatible, heat resistant, and withstands sterilization, is a material of choice for many medical and food applications. LSR is also forgiving of large variations in wall thickness, and undercuts are easily accommodated. For the right application, it offers big advantages.
Looking at alternatives
It’s a great time to be in manufacturing. Technologies and materials only dreamt of a few decades ago are now turning the design and engineering world on its head. Industrial 3D printing is one of these. Quantities permitting, parts that once required construction of an injection mould or setup and programming of a CNC machine tool can now be 3D printed in a fraction of the time and cost. What’s more, the “free complexity” that comes with 3D printing often produces one-piece BOMs, thus eliminating assembly, and with part materials suitable for long-term use. Proto Labs has multiple 3D printing options available, including processes that can build plastic, metal, and elastomeric parts. Of course, some multipart assemblies are best done the old-fashioned way, by machining individual pieces and assembling them. Yet even here, the rules of designing for manufacturability and assembly apply. Keep things simple, don’t make what you can buy off the shelf, explore all your manufacturing options, and understand the rules of each. Stick close to the guidelines and you’ll be designing cost-effective and efficient multipart assemblies in no time.
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BENEFITTING FROM CUSTOMISED COOL ROOM FORKLIFTS AND EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE FROM UNITED
Leading Western Australia-based meat wholesalers, DBC, is benefitting from the reliability and extensive service and backup of United Forklift and Access Solutions. The backup from United includes cool room conditioning and a custom-fabricated waste handling rotator attachment to minimise handling and maximise hygiene, ensuring optimum productivity and reliability even in the toughest cool room and waste disposal applications.
United supplied DBC with a CAT 1.8T electric forklift, a CAT 1.8T LPG forklift and a CAT 3.5T LPG forklift on long-term rental agreements, for uses such as in-freezer storage, transporting goods and waste disposal.
“Working in cold environments means that not every forklift can be used for every application. Only electric forklifts can be used in our cool rooms, and they need to be cool room conditioned,” explains Steve Ogilvie, maintenance manager, DBC, which employs over 200 people locally and services Western Australia with high quality meat, as well as their innovative range of ready-made meats. They have a strong focus on customer service and on-time deliveries.
“Cool room conditioning basically involves changing the hydraulic fluid to suit cold conditions, so that the viscosity remains unchanged, regardless of the temperature,” says Mr Ogilvie.
United also supplied a custom-designed rotator attachment with a hold down clamp for the 3.5T LPG forklift, which is used for waste transportation and disposal. It allows the forklift to pick up large bins and automatically pour the waste into a disposal area.
“Previously we had to manually tip the bins to dispose of the waste, which is quite time-consuming when you’re working at height. United’s rotator makes this job much easier and safer too,” says Mr Ogilvie.
“Our forklifts are essential to our business. If we can’t empty out our fridge each day, we can’t re-stock the next day and business grinds to a halt.”
“What we’ve found particularly impressive with United is the service and backup. Their staff are knowledgeable and reliable and if we ever need anything, I have full confidence that they’ll be able to provide us with the support we need.”
The two United CAT LPG forklifts are designed for use in demanding applications and provide the ideal balance of power and performance. They feature a fuel efficient and clean K15 LPG engine, which has lower fuel emissions without compromising on performance.
The United CAT 3-wheel electric forklift is ideally suited for narrow warehousing configurations, where the 3-wheel model has greater manoeuvrability than 4-wheel alternatives. It also features a quiet, clean engine with adjustable power settings for different applications.
In addition to the rental forklifts, United also sold DBC several machines that had undergone a special anti-corrosive treatment for operating in harsh conditions at their skin sheds.
“Sheep skins are treated with salt to preserve them for exporting, so the machines are basically driving around in salt. Keeping them fully operational in such corrosive conditions is a credit to the United technicians,” says Mr Ogilvie.
United and DBC have worked together for over 15 years, with long-term rental options providing DBC with a dynamic forklift fleet that can respond quickly to changing customer needs and business cycles.
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Steel skeleton grabs the PM’s eyes
This year Donovan Group NZ Ltd will launch a new residential housing franchise, which offers a housing system to rival the current industry standard.
Prime Minister Bill English paid a visit to Whangarei to meet with a local company which may have the solution to New Zealand’s housing crisis.
This year Donovan Group NZ Ltd will launch a new residential housing franchise, which offers a housing system to rival the current industry standard.
The building system incorporates a patented innovative steel skeleton structure, with the company’s own unique, patented Structural Insulated Panel (SIPs) system. Together these elements provide an energy-efficient, affordable, eco-friendly and fireproof home which can be erected in record time.
The system is backed by custom-built software that allows customers to design, walk through and price their dream home online, in real time.
“Our Home Direct will be launched later this year and we’re confident that it will be a game changer in the New Zealand residential building industry,” says Jeremy Parkinson, general manager, Our Home Direct.
“The speed at which we can take a residential customer’s concept from design, through to completion is a huge advantage. The system has also created huge opportunities for multi-storey, commercial housing developments.”
During his visit, the PM took a tour of the Whangarei manufacturing facility, where the new residential construction system is currently being developed.
Donovan Group NZ Ltd is a New Zealand owned and operated company which is best known for its commercial steel building franchise success story, Coresteel Buildings.
Rocket Lab’s Matchett betters strong Young Engineer competition
The 2017 Young Engineer of the Year is Rocket Lab’s Lachlan Matchett, announced at the IPENZ Fellows’ and Achievers’ Awards in Wellington recently.
Lachlan (26) has led a large team of engineers to design and deliver Rocket Lab’s innovative Rutherford Engine.
Lachlan is vice president of propulsion at Rocket Lab and has led this project from day one.
He describes it as a “state of the art” liquid oxygen and kerosene pump fed rocket engine, developed from scratch. It has a higher thrust-to-weight ratio than the main engines in the space shuttle.
As a graduate, Lachlan was one of Rocket Lab’s first employees but now manages a team of nearly 30 people.
Rocket Lab founder and ceo Peter Beck describes him as a “phenomenal engineer and leader”.
The IPENZ Young Engineer of the Year award recognises a young engineer who has demonstrated excellence in their career, leadership qualities and contribution to their community.
The other two finalists for Young Engineer of the Year were Virginie Lacrosse of Tonkin + Taylor, who has been at the forefront of liquefaction work in Christchurch, and Oliver Whalley, who has been working on sustainable transport in the Pacific for the World Bank.
Other awards announced included the William Pickering Award for Engineering Leadership, which went to Keith Turner for his outstanding career in the electricity industry, spanning technical, management and governance excellence.
Sjoerd van Ballegooy of Tonkin +Taylor won the Freysinnet supreme technical award for building and construction, in recognition of his ground-breaking work on the effects of liquefaction after the Canterbury earthquakes.
The Angus supreme technical award for water, waste and amenities went to Rex Corlett of Opus for his work on effluent pond design and construction.
Engineer and University of Auckland educator Colin Nicholas won the Turner Award, which recognises extraordinary commitment to the engineering profession and to the community.
Jack Robinson became the first software engineering student to win the Ray Meyer undergraduate award, thanks to his work on a web-based traffic management system. Jack has completed his studies at Victoria University of Wellington and is now working as a graduate developer for Xero.
The IPENZ President’s awards were also announced. The Fulton-Downer Gold Medal, which recognises engineers’ service to the profession and the public, was awarded to Ian Fraser for his leadership, governance contributions and support of young engineers. The Fulton-Downer Silver Medal went to Dipal Raniga for her dedication to promoting IPENZ among students and graduates. And the McLean Citation went to Tina Hall-Turner for commitment and service to IPENZ, over a wide range of its boards and groups, throughout her professional career.
IPENZ named the following new Distinguished Fellows: Bryan Leyland, Murray Milner and Peter McCombs.
These engineers were named as new Fellows: Paul Campbell, Derek Chisholm, Glen Cornelius, Joe Edwards, Tim Fisher, Gordon Hughes, Steve Jay, Charlie Price, Bill Paterson, Richard Snow and Tania Williams.
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ARANZ GEO EXTENDS REACH INTO ENVIRONMENTAL AND ENERGY CHALLENGES
ARANZ Geo is extending its global influence into new areas to contribute geological understanding to the management of some of the earth’s significant environmental and climate change driven challenges.
Shaun Maloney, ceo of ARANZ Geo says, “We’re contributing to a wider variety of projects that target some of the major global environment and energy challenges we face. This is a shift from our origins as a mining-centric business, and will increase our reach and depth to open up a new world of opportunity.
“Our strategy is already gaining traction. We’re contributing to geothermal energy work with NGOs around the world, hydro dams in Turkey, transport tunnels in the EU, and a wide range of water quality and resource management projects.”
One such project sees ARANZ Geo technology contributing to the Yusufeli dam and hydroelectric power plant project, currently under construction the Coruh valley in the north-east of Turkey, which will be the third highest arch dam in the world. The dam will have a height of 273m, capacity of 2.2 billion m3, a reservoir size of 33.63km²; and energy production of 540MW, 1,827GWh/year.
Mr Maloney says, “Consulting heavy-weight iC consulenten based in Austria has a team of engineering geological and geotechnical experts using Leapfrog Geo to establish computer based 3D ground models for the project. These models help bring a new level of insight into site investigation and excavation design.”
Design teams in Austria and Slovenia are also working on the second tube for the Karavanke tunnel, a 7820m long two-lane tunnel tube through the Alps. The tunnel adds to the existing tube of the Karavanke Tunnel constructed in the 1980s, a critical section on the Pan-European Transport Corridor X.
Elea iC is the leading partner of the Joint Venture Karavanke on the Slovenian side, whilst iC consulenten is a partner of the “Planungsgemeinschaft Karawankentunnel” on the Austrian side. Leapfrog Geo is used for geological modelling for both projects.
“The geology in the area is very complex and the initial tunnel encountered difficult geological conditions with frequent strong water inflow, overbreaks and methane seeps. The opportunity with the new Karavanke tunnel is to test emerging technologies and move engineering geology, geotechnics and tunnelling to another level by using 3D modelling in this design phase of the project,” says Mr Maloney.
ARANZ Geo are now contributing technology and solutions to enable dozens of earth, environmental and energy projects around the world, both from their global headquarters in New Zealand, as well as, from a score of offices around the world.
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SOUTHERN CHARM GIVES A DIFFERENT VIEW
When Kiwi engineering history absolutely flakes off your walls, it sometimes must be hard to shake it from the shoulders. In business for seven score and 10 more years, plus a few for luck. In digits that’s some 153 years of engineering under their caps.
I’m talking of Farra Engineering, the iconic Dunedin-based engineering firm and quite possibly the oldest business in New Zealand still trading under its original name.
It is genuinely iconic.
But for an engineering firm that wants to add to its business partners and has upskilled the tools for the jobs – to manufacture more, create more – history doesn’t get the job done. The ‘now’ does, mixed in with a good dose of preparation for the future.
So, although it’s immensely proud of its heritage and thick-as-swede-soup engineering traditions, in my dealings with ceo John Whittaker and divisional manager Machining, Mike Ryan, it was the future they had their eyes firmly on.
This is one business dedicated to not resting on laurels.
They will be (Stand 9) one of many exhibitors at this year’s SouthMACH2017 in Christchurch late May, among the just shy of 100 others who will be pushing their engineering products and services to a buoyant South Island industry.
Along with our Cover Story (pages 8-13), this edition of Engineering News highlights some of the best on offer at this year’s expo. Aad van der Poel of XPO sums up the SI’s premier technology trade show nicely when he says it is the heartland of New Zealand manufacturing.
“If you are an engineer – mechanical, design, consultant, electrical; machinist; communications technician/manager; supervisor; technical operator; operations manager or similar, then SouthMACH offers the tools, technology and services to work smarter,” he adds.
All in one place, talking the same talk: engineering. Get along.
Although I’m still relatively new to the engineering industry and still soaking up as much of what makes the industry tick as possible, the underlying principle of manufacturing and making things is one that I’m very familiar with and it still excites.
Hamilton’s Transmission House Limited (Page 66) is one example of proactiveness in extending upon an offering, and upskilling some aspects to very high international standards. THL is now geared up for Kiwi Motovario assembly.
Although THL has been the Motovario distributor in New Zealand for 28 years, Todd Robbins says that the company has taken an opportunity.
“Our customers will benefit greatly from the new Assembly Centre… it is all registered straight back to Motovario so anything that is built out of here has a worldwide factory warranty so, for equipment manufacturers this allows them to supply anywhere in the world with the peace-of-mind that they have the full support of the Motovario warranty.”
Todd says that Transmission House is now authorised to assemble helical bevel, helical inline and parallel shaft mounted units in Hamilton to those precise factory standards.
Effectively, it means that the Hamilton operation becomes an extension of the Motovario factories and needs to meet strict assembly procedure’s and conditions. That has to be good.
Lastly, if you haven’t got your teeth into our digital issue, make sure you do as it’s far more than just a magazine replication with video in pages, downloadable product pdfs, moving eMotion… just plenty. Go to www.engineeringnew.co.nz to sign up for free, all you need to do is enter an email address. Simple.
See you at the show.
Sky’s the limit with 3D printing
With the help of an Unlocking Curious Minds government grant for almost $30,000, engineering academics Dr Don Clucas and Dr Stefanie Gutschmidt will invite 60 Year 9 students and ten teachers from ten local lower decile schools to take part in a three-day workshop at the University of Canterbury (UC).
The teachers and school pupils will gain first-hand experience using state-of-the-art 3D printing and 3D scanning equipment. As well as learning about exciting new technology, including virtual and augmented reality, 3D scanning and laser cutting at UC’s College of Engineering, they will get the chance to learn directly from local engineering industry experts.
Previously, Dr Clucas, Senior Lecturer in Design and Manufacturing, in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UC, has 3D-printed a prosthetic foot for a penguin amputee at the Antarctic Centre, and 3D-scanned and reproduced items from UC’s priceless Logie Collection of antiquities, thousands of years old.
This year, Dr Clucas and Dr Gutschmidt have moved from 3D printing ancient Greek cups and penguins feet to helping dozens of school pupils get to grips with engineering.
“We know from our statistics that certain ethnic and social groups, especially from lower decile schools, and females, are significantly under-represented in our engineering intake. We know that ability-wise there is no fundamental reason why these people should not be able to succeed in achieving a tertiary degree,” Dr Clucas says.
With this initiative, they aim to increase diversity among future tertiary students in engineering disciplines.
“Innovation through stirred curiosity and thinking is so important to our future economy and society that we need to give more encouragement and guidance to the next generation of potential engineers. With this small workshop on our turf at UC we are reaching out to pupils that may not have either the facilities that higher decile schools have or the family, peer or community support needed to successfully take on the challenge of tertiary education,” Dr Gutschmidt says.
The mechanical engineering academics say the ultimate aim is to inspire and guide the young students and demonstrate that there is no fundamental reason why they cannot succeed at university, providing they prepare themselves at secondary school by studying science and maths, and keep their natural curiosity alive.
“We’re not aiming at the top achieving or older students who have likely already decided their path. We want to inspire the students who are showing good promise with science, maths and technology, and could benefit from a bit of encouragement. At this stage of their studies, Year 9 students still have the chance to choose their subjects and part of our goal is to give them direction.”
Dr Clucas says the decision to also include ten teachers is so that knowledge and inspiration is spread to other Year 9 pupils and older students.
“We want to sustain the momentum and motivation gained from these few days. This way we capture a far greater pool of potential engineers.”
The 60 students will be split into three streams: general mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering and mechatronics. Over three days, 26 – 28 April, the streams will cycle between activities, including 3D printing, virtual and augmented reality, 3D scanning and laser cutting. Each stream will also visit an engineering industry organisation featuring degree-qualified engineers working on the students’ bias topics.
“We will also have industry experts giving short talks and helping with the workshops. All students will take away items they have made, and they will inspire other students at their schools.”
The event will end with a prize-giving where family, whanau and caregivers can come and see what the students have achieved, Dr Clucas says.
Unlocking Curious Minds is a cross-agency programme of work led by MBIE, the Ministry of Education and the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor. Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith announced the funding in February.
NEW GANTRY MEANS STREET(S) AHEAD OF THE TAUPO COMPETITION
Taupo Manufacturing Engineers (TME) is reaching new heights, there is no doubt about that. The business has new premises, is upgrading its website and marketing and now thanks to a new Street gantry crane can give its customers even more than before.
‘If it’s made from metal, we can make it’ is a statement the company holds strong to and is proud of. “We don’t turn people away, we will find a solution to anyone’s problem,” says owner Grant Perry.
The business began in 2004 and Mr Perry did on average 115 hours a week to get the business rolling and all he had was a set of hand tools from his apprenticeship days.
Engineering from 16 years of age as a fitter and turner, he couldn’t have envisaged the 980 square metre workshop the business now operates from on Mahoe Street.
The inside is kitted out with all the usual engineering gear that customers demand and has six staff operating the workshop supported by a management team of three, and now pride of place among it all is a brand new ZX64 Street gantry crane.
It’s the first time Mr Perry has worked in a place that has a gantry, and now he wonders how he ever did without one.
“We’ve always just managed with forklifts and chain blocks and just the shear hassle factor with these… it’s already exceeded my expectations of time saving, it’s just massive,” he says.
“In the old workshop, when the steel truck came in there would be four guys for a good 40 minutes not only getting steel off the truck but then having to get it into the workshop. So, we’ve designed this workshop with a drive through work bay and the gantry can pick up the load with one man for 10 minutes operating it, pick it up put it right by the saw and she’s ready to be cut. Now my staff can get on with other jobs and that means the whole business works a lot more efficiently.”
The gantry was super easy to install. “We had it off the truck and on the railings within about 30 minutes. All ready to be wired up.”
Ease of material handling is one thing, but safety plays a huge part too. “It’s way safer than using a forklift.”
Mr Perry considered going to China to look at cranes up there but after a quick call to a colleague in Australia who had already gone down that road he quickly changed his mind.
“They had the hassle of getting all the design recertified to Australian crane standards and all the electrics weren’t up to Australian electrical standards.” There was a lot of re-work and then if something did go wrong parts would be a nightmare so we went off that idea fast,” says Mr Perry. ‘Local’ made a difference because the after sales service needed to be there.
Freight also played a part, unable to fit in a 40-foot container.
He got two other quotes before going with Street… all within “Cooey,” and “I just thought we can’t go wrong”.
The 3.2 tonne heavy-duty 17 metre span crane is ideal for general workshop use providing a huge array of versatility and does everything down to stairway bannisters – the ideal gantry to play a major role in TME’s expansion plans.
Radio control provides that safety factor that more and more engineering businesses need to factor in with a greater emphasis as well as ease of use, and Mr Perry opted for wire-rope for the heaviest duty possible for the workshop. It’s been specced with travel limits in both directions and the ZX64 hoist’s slack resistant wire rope guide was a big bonus.
“The trolley on the hoist is fully rollered with no rubbing surfaces and has a counter-weightless design which extends the life of the hoist wheels. No gearing is exposed, making it ideal for the often dusty workshop environment, all internal and lubricated in an oil bath meaning we shouldn’t have to look at new drive pinions in 10-15 years’ time.”
Who knows how high this business will get to by then, but one thing is for sure it’s made some massive steps.
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