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
Tungsten study opens up wonder materials
A team of scientists are trying to determine the “fundamental behaviour of plasma-facing materials with the goal of better understanding degradation mechanisms so we can engineer robust, new materials,” says materials scientist Chad Parish of the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He is senior author of a study in the journal Scientific Reports that explored degradation of tungsten under reactor-relevant conditions.
Because tungsten has the highest melting point of all metals, it is a candidate for plasma-facing materials. Owing to its brittleness, however, a commercial power plant would more likely be made of a tungsten alloy or composite. Regardless, learning about how energetic atomic bombardment affects tungsten microscopically helps engineers improve nuclear materials.
“Inside a fusion power plant is the most brutal environment engineers have ever been asked to design materials for,” Mr Parish says. “It’s worse than the interior of a jet engine.”
Researchers are studying the interaction of plasma and machine components to make materials that are more than a match for such harsh operating conditions. Materials reliability is a key issue with current and new nuclear technologies that has a significant impact on construction and operating costs of power plants. So it is critical to engineer materials for hardiness over long lifecycles.
For the current study, researchers at the University of California, San Diego, bombarded tungsten with helium plasma at low energy mimicking a fusion reactor under normal conditions. Meanwhile, researchers at ORNL used the Multicharged Ion Research Facility to assault tungsten with high-energy helium ions emulating rare conditions, such as a plasma disruption that might deposit an abnormally large amount of energy.
Using transmission electron microscopy, scanning transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and electron nanocrystallography, the scientists characterized the evolution of bubbles in the tungsten crystal and the shape and the growth of structures called “tendrils” under low- and high-energy conditions. They sent the samples to a firm called AppFive for precession electron diffraction, an advanced electron crystallography technique, to infer growth mechanisms under different conditions.
SAFE to say it’s coming out of the wilderness
The Maintenance Engineering Societies Kaeser Compressors Network Evening series has provided a first-hand view of the evolutionary change taking place across New Zealand manufacturing and engineering as industry adapts to the modern world. The struggles facing industry were never more evident than the recent third annual evening held at SAFE Engineering in Drury.
A family-owned business since first coming to Drury in 1973, SAFE’s global reputation for forging, heat treatment and metallurgy spans two centuries of technology and innovation, buts its very location, staring at the headlights of Auckland’s urban sprawl casts this 44-year old site as a dinosaur.
The problem facing general manager and MESNZ chairman Barry Robinson is the huge forging plant and its impact on the neighbourhood. According to Barry, the area was a wilderness in the 1970’s and no-one was around to hear the thump of the gigantic forges. But with the largest piece of kit being a 1200T crank forging press, the site is completely out of kilter with the future designated use of Drury as a new suburb. The math of moving the plant simply does not stack up, posing a huge dilemma not only for the family, but for the industrial clients who rely on the now rare capacity. Do not just think old school engineering here when talking about these juggernauts, the forged high tensile rudders for Team New Zealand’s America Cup campaign are just one example of the plants capability. Shut the forging plant and there simply is no alternative for curly solutions in New Zealand.
It’s not all old technology at SAFE, with the company definitely participating at the pointy end of innovation. From its 64KW solar power array to additive powder forging and 3D metal printing, it is no surprise to see companies like Team New Zealand and Rocket Labs on SAFE’s client list.
Whether it is the old school plant, the world leading technology, or simply the Robinson family reputation for providing a hearty feed, just under 100 attendees enjoyed the hospitality and live forging displays at the Kaeser Compressors Network Evening, the discussions and interaction lasting well past the official closing time.
The MESNZ Kaeser Compressors Network Evenings are hosted to showcase local operations and provide networking opportunities for engineers across all regions of New Zealand. The evenings offer the opportunity to take a look at the host operation and discuss common issues and solutions in a relaxed after work environment. Open to interested members of the public, the nights are well patronised. As well as learning first-hand about the capabilities of the host company, the attendees enjoy much appreciated light refreshments and the chance to network.
The Maintenance Engineering Society is active across New Zealand, providing professional development opportunities for maintenance engineers and manufacturing operations to network and share innovations and experiences; both at a national level at their annual national conference or at these regional events. The 2017 National Maintenance Engineering Conference will be held at the Claudelands Event Centre, Hamilton in November.
Engineering society warns of potential tragedy
Maintenance Engineering Society of New Zealand (MESNZ) chairman Barry Robinson says his society engaged with the government seven years ago, highlighting the potential dangers of counterfeit materials.
“The problem is endemic across the supply chain from steels and construction materials to stressed engineering elements. We are not talking single tragedies here, but the potential for a significant event taking out multiple lives,” says Mr Robinson.
The Maintenance Engineering Society says it has for several years gathered evidence of substandard steel, ball bearings, bolts, nuts, plumbing fittings, and others.
“We are talking about vast quantities of very sub-standard materials and products infiltrating our society at every imaginable level, including automobile brake hoses, lubricants, food, health supplements, medicines, drugs and alcohol”.
The MESNZ points to potential issues with leaking houses, the reconstruction of Christchurch and significant infrastructure, and advocates among industry for awareness around false material certificates.
“Most people don’t think of it, but these things form the very core of our society’s ability to function. While the recent cases against Steel & Tube and Timber King highlight internal supply issues for New Zealand, soft trade barriers make us an attractive target for dumping substandard materials and the government appears frozen in the headlights when it comes to providing a solution that does not compromise our free market ethos. Practical and effective supply chain solutions are possible, along the lines of the QualityMark model created by the Beef and Lamb Marketing Board. The government needs to show leadership in seeding such a solution before tragedy strikes or our international reputation is degraded.”
The QualityMark model works by accrediting suppliers who meet stringent product testing requirements. Testing is backed up with regular random sampling, giving continuous assurance to clients. The model was successfully introduced in the 1990’s to combat issues that included counterfeit meat. Such a model applied to the general supply chain would provide elective assurance for the market at minimal compliance cost.
The Maintenance Engineering Society’s members represent manufacturers and industries right across New Zealand industry and regularly report potential issues discovered with counterfeit materials, false certification and incorrect certification.
Hyrdatorq heads Fieldays’ innovation
Hydratorq walked away with the Launch NZ Innovation Award and the Locus Research Innovation Award in the 2017 Fieldays Innovation Awards.
The sun was shining on day two of the New Zealand Agricultural Fieldays, which kicked off with the Innovation Awards breakfast and some of New Zealand’s top innovative brains gathered inside The Fieldays Lab awaiting the outcome of the prestigious awards.
New Zealand National Fieldays Society president Peter Carr said the awards are recognised globally as a launch pad for some of New Zealand’s leading innovations.
While the winners receive reputable acknowledgment of their achievement, all entrants have had welcomed access to industry experts and advice, supporting their future success.
“Innovation is key to the future growth of the agricultural industry and these awards are a platform for all promising inventors to take their ideas to the next level,” Says Mr Carr.
The 2017 Innovation Award winners were:
Fieldays Grassroots Prototype Award: My Apiary for MyApiary HiveMonitor. The novel Bee Management System allows bees to be well fed through winter while saving bee keepers time, travel and money.
Fieldays Established Prototype Awar: Taege Engineering with Power Discs. Rotating discs result in superior tilling of ground prior to drilling or planting, saving time and effort when the ground is unsuitable for traditional discing.
Fieldays Innovation Launch NZ Highly Commended Award: StockX for Prime Stock Platform. Judges felt StockX have done an amazing job, with the capacity to change the industry whilst achieving a high level of collaboration.
The innovation offers a level of independence and transparency to the industry with the judges feeling that this innovation could be ground breaking. Fieldays Innovations Launch NZ Award: Hydratorq with BioFume Ozone. Judges said this innovation has applications across multiple agricultural sectors. The company has taken some older technology and integrated it into a system that has shown some early promise of delivery of significant benefit to the industry. Their delivery mechanism allows ozone utilisation in different agricultural areas including cleaning, bacterial management and bleaching. This minimises the use of chemicals and reduces costs. Judges were confident applications across dairy, viticulture and horticulture will likely see benefits from this innovation.
Always popular, the Innovation Centre once again drew a large number of visitors. There was a hive of activity as visitors all looked for a first glimpse at the agricultural sector’s leading innovations.
Siege of Engineers as VANZ hits Rotorua
On the 16th – 18th May, Rotorua was overcome with a siege of engineers and the like as we all converged on the city like a great swarm to get together for our annual conference. The venue that graciously hosted us while there was the Novotel Lakeside hotel, with its wonderful facilities and helpful staff we were looked after over the course of the conference and the food was pretty good too.
The Vibrations Association of New Zealand (VANZ) is a non-profit organisation focused in the area of condition-based maintenance, both predictive and preventative, and covers all aspects of reliability engineering. The VANZ conference is a premium networking opportunity in New Zealand and Australia to get staff motivated and up-to-date with the latest trends, technology and methods in Predictive and Reliability Engineering. The very first VANZ conference was held in 1989 with about 20 members; this event now attracts a number of delegates from all over New Zealand, Australia and the world. The conference features a wide range of case studies direct from a variety of industries such as infrastructure, power generation, pulp and paper, petrochemical, dairy, food and beverage, oil and gas and refining among others. The annual conference is like a family reunion, we had attendees from all over New Zealand and Australia, as well as people who came from Europe and the USA. We’re glad they could all travel the miles to the bottom of the world to join us and we welcome their contribution. It’s a friendly environment to participate in presentations, round-table discussions, and social events. We also have unique “awareness” sessions to give people a quick introduction, and sessions for managers to understand the risks and opportunities.
Our principal sponsor this year was SKF, we greatly appreciate their support and that of the other trade-stands that took a booth. Many thanks go to all. Our keynote speaker for this year is Egon Doyer, global business development manager for Asset Management and Asset Reliability Services and Solutions has 38 years industry experience and worked with customers in a variety of industries e.g. food and beverage, energy, mining and cement, oil and gas, pulp and paper and chemicals. Prior to his career in SKF he worked for 8 years with MRO Software, the company that developed and implemented the MAXIMO maintenance management system. Before that he held various roles functions with expertise in logistics, supply chain management, as well as IT systems implementation. Since 2007 he has been working at SKF and held several positions all related to Asset Management and Reliability Services and Solutions. It was a pleasure to have him share his wisdom and experience with us all.
At the AGM the happenings of the last year were discussed and new Executive Officers were appointed, Jason Tranter stepped down as president and former VP Glen Pepper was promoted to the position. A new secretary was appointed, thank you Rhiannon Swift, and Tim Murdoch stepped into the vice president position, they all continue to be a part of the VANZ committee while the others take on their new roles, many thanks go to Jason for his leadership within the organisation and the hard work you put into VANZ as President.
We had several awards given out over the week, the Peter Burgess Memorial Award for Best Paper was given to Rhiannon Swift from Vector Energy Ltd for her presentation G-101-2 Carbonate Pump Oil Whirl, then Glen Pepper was presented with the VANZ Life Membership as well as the plaque given to Graeme Finch for his Life Membership from last year.
On the Wednesday night after a jam-packed day of engaging papers we all filed onto a couple of buses after the networking event and headed off to the ‘Adrenalin filled – Off Road NZ’ venue, where we had the option to take a 4X4 truck ride over extreme terrain or the ultimate thrill, strapping ourselves in for a Jet Sprint ride on their fully flood lit lake, jet sprint course. There was also options to buy additional rides or just take it easy and sit around the camp fire and enjoy catching up with everyone. We all met up at the adjacent, warm and fully covered Native Bush Camp hut for a sumptuous, catered meal and drinks before piling back into the coaches and heading back to the Novotel.
Everyone involved with vibration analysis, condition monitoring and reliability improvement has a very important role – but it is a challenging role. So much is at stake with the high cost of downtime, equipment replacement costs, and the potential safety risks. The future of the business can hinge on the reliability achieved by this special group of people. Yet detecting, diagnosing, and preventing these faults takes knowledge, skill and experience. This is where the conference steps in and sheds some light on the new technologies and case studies of experiences in the field, we had a session for the managers on Awareness Day with some hands-on practical sessions for those wanting to get up to date with the latest techniques and equipment from the variety of trade stands that you can see on ours Sponsors page. The main conference on the Tuesday and Wednesday had 2 streams which consisted of papers that covered topics such as bearing defects, gear tooth failure and motor testing, as well as infrared thermography, alignment and precision, Lubrication and RCA.
If you have a thirst for knowledge, enjoy the latest movie from a previous conference which you can find here on our website www.vanz.org.nz and learn first-hand why you should attend the next conference, stay tuned for more info and hope to see you there!
Prius destroyed and battle deployed
Megabots MK.III combat robot warmed up by ripping apart a Prius. Next, it has a Japanese robot’s name on its mind.
After two years of breakthrough science and engineering, MegaBots and Suidobashi are finally ready to bring the world the battle of the century.
The all-new MegaBots Mk. III robot is a fully combat capable 12-ton, 430-horsepower steel crushing beast. Strap in and get ready. Things are about to get absurdly epic when the two meet head-to-head in a battle royale. Details are still under wraps but word on the street as that the clash of metals will take place in August.
Kiwis’ IoT uptake need improving
New Zealand is well positioned for the Internet of Things (IoT), such as fast fibre, however the national tech leader urged for the country to do better.
Around 70% think it will be strategically important but are concerned about potential costs and changes in technology, he says.
“We are launching a collaborative national IoT research project report on June 29 which will unveil some major findings. Internationally, IoT will be one of the technology game changers.”
He says that the project is being managed by the IoT Alliance and brings together major tech users, tech firms, the government, academia and industry groups such as NZTech, TUANZ and InternetNZ, all of whom have an interest in the potential impact of IoT for New Zealand.
“We’re seeing billions of things all connecting with each other, analysing information and automating responses which will drive massive productivity improvements. It is predicted that 100 billion things will be connected to the internet by 2020.
“As we start using IoT we will start to learn from each other and find new ways of driving our traditional businesses. There are gains to be had in every sector as sensors and data identify new and improved ways of doing things. In dairy farming alone, better use of IoT could be worth $448 million in economic benefit to the country.”
Mr Muller explains that IoT connected data will not only help drive economic growth, but can also be used to make New Zealand safer and to improve social outcomes and that the government’s role is to act as a catalyst and to ensure all the right building blocks like security and connectivity remain in place.
“IoT will soon become critical to helping New Zealand raise its productivity and prosperity. Much of the initial hype around IoT has been derived from consumer IoT such as fitness trackers and intelligent fridges. The real value to be had from the Internet of Things is in enterprise and government applications.
“IoT presents a massive opportunity for technology to drive New Zealand’s economic growth. Yet to accelerate deployment and uptake, a better understanding of the opportunities is needed.
“Compared to the G20 nations, New Zealand scores well for IoT readiness due to ease of doing business, government stability, regulatory quality, a good innovation ecosystem and education system,” Mr Muller says.
Initial economic analysis has identified potential economic benefits in the hundreds of millions of dollars for the New Zealand economy through the deployment of IoT in sectors as diverse as agriculture, utilities, manufacturing, logistics and smart city services.
Engineering e2e: students flock to study
In an industry screaming out for engineers, the e2e programme has helped lift the profile of engineering from 10th to 3rd place in New Zealand student’s career considerations.
The Engineering e2e programme has achieved its goal of 500+ engineering graduates per year by 2017, a year early, which will be welcome news for industry, says Minister of Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Paul Goldsmith.
“It’s very pleasing to see all the hard work by Engineering e2e, Futureintech, tertiary institutions, engineering professional organisations and others has really paid off,” Mr Goldsmith says.
The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) has confirmed 511 graduates from priority engineering courses in 2016, a full year ahead of schedule, for a total of 2,151 graduates in 2016. Set up by the Government in 2014, the Engineering – Education to Employment (e2e) initiative promotes engineering as a career to students.
“Engineering e2e’s successful public awareness campaign has already lifted the profile of engineering from 10th to 3rd place in potential student’s career considerations.
“More than 500 additional graduates each year is a step in the right direction though we still have quite a bit of work to do to address the balance of graduates across Diploma of Engineering (Level 6), Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Level 7) and Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) (Level 8) qualifications.
“Our big challenge, supported by employer feedback, is growing enrolments at institutes of technology, which specialise in level 6 and 7 qualifications,” Mr Goldsmith says.
“So I am pleased to see Engineering e2e is working closely with the ITP sector, and with engineering professional bodies to really focus on employer engagement to grow the pipeline of work-ready engineers.”
Engineering e2e has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) and IPWEA is collaborating with e2e on its sponsored degrees pilot programme which is being funded by the TEC.
Sponsored degrees would enable both on-the-job training and the completion of a Level 7 qualification in engineering, like the Bachelor of Engineering (Technology), and are particularly relevant for rapidly changing, high-tech industries.
“Engineers help build the infrastructure that makes up our modern world. New Zealand needs more engineers to meet the growing demand for construction and infrastructure, and this Government is focussed on meeting those challenges into the future,” says Mr Goldsmith.
A JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE BUSINESS WORLD
Top team: Liam Currie (left to right), Thomas McLean, Achsah Stewart and Samara Davis have taken Bottle Bolt from concept to launch.
Kiwi kids pack big engineering punch with Holdsafe launch and Bottle Belt
By Greg Robertson, publisher/editor
Starting a business can be a daunting task for anyone, but a group of Year 13 Palmerston North students have taken on the challenges and met every hurdle in their stride to produce a product that not only solves a problem but is turning heads.
Launched in 2017, Holdsafe has a hierarchy, just like any business, and people doing specific jobs relevant to what’s needed to further the business model. It also has a great product.
To get a word or two in with Thomas McLean, in charge at the helm of Holdsafe as general manager, wasn’t easy at SouthMach 2017. In fact, we went back five times before we were free to talk with the Westmount School student.
What attendees to the show were clambering over to get an eye on was a product that fulfils a niche gap… one of those types of things where the need for the product is only obvious to most after the fact of creation: the Holdsafe Bottle Boost. All 100% Kiwi-made.
“We’ve got a great product and a really enthusiastic team full of ideas, YES has given us an opportunity to do business in the real world while still at school,” he says.
Thomas, his team and Holdsafe are all part of The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES). The enterprise programme uses a combination of teachers and members of the business community to provide an experience that is both authentic and relevant to the current world – immersing them in the business environment – where students live and solve real-world business problems. This helps to prepare them for the next step in life, from school to work. Cedric Charles gives this to the young entrepreneurs. He is Holdsafe’s very appreciated mentor and runs his own engineering hardware supply business, Co-Mac, while offering a lifetime of business and industry know-how and support to the students.
Thomas, along with financial advisor Liam Currie, sales and marketing manager Samara Davis and Achsah Stewart form a tight-knit team with enough product enthusiasm to fill any gas bottle, and through trial and error, good business principles, plenty of solid advice from Mr Charles, and a whole lot of initiative have the business model humming.
“From the first prototype of our trolley designed right up to our current patent-pending design, that we have now manufactured; so many invaluable lessons have been learnt through this process,” says Achsah, administration and communications manager.
“Market validation was a biggie for us. We had two strong and very different potential products which we had no idea on how we were going to decide, and many different viewpoints on why it would or wouldn’t sell. Throughout thorough market validation, (opting away from a healthy ice block concept) we chose the Holdsafe trolley.”
The pupils have had a true taste of business where the bell doesn’t ring at 3pm. Normal school hours became “crazy hours” for this group of pupils, and they have now built a website with ‘shop’ capabilities, manufactured the product through concept and design to completion, and have even exhibited at trade shows.
And although it’s a really neat story, it wasn’t the story or their school uniforms that slowed then stopped the foot traffic past their stand at SouthMach; it was a product that fills a gap and provides a solution to a problem.
‘Here at Holdsafe, we’ve got your back!’ is the company’s catch-phrase; the play on words not shying from a troublesome and injury-prone job of bear-hugging gas bottles around the engineering workshop.
Thomas minces no words, while also taking the opportunity to promote a strong angle of sale for the product, he’s learnt fast: “(Are engineering firm owners) Aware of that large grey health and safety cloud that is continually hanging over your head from knowing your engineers aren’t working in accord with the current health and safety regulations?”
And that’s where he says the sturdy and reliable trolley, the Bottle Boost, comes in, designed primarily for safe and easy gas bottle transportation.
The lifting mechanism means effortless manoeuvring of a bottle onto the welding cart, dramatically decreasing pressure and stress on a staff member’s back.
Features include a heavy-duty steel frame, durable puncture-proof wheels, 100kg capacity, easy-to-use adjustable strap, can be used inside or on rugged construction sites and supports any standard industrial gas bottle range.
The Holdsafe team, having developed a way to safely move the bottle with Bottle Boost, then went on to the securing of the gas bottle which resulted in another stand-out product called the Bottle Belt.
Not only does the Bottle Belt secure gas bottles neatly in place but in turn improves OSH compliance and lowers the potential for personal injury. The workshop is a lot neater too.
The future is bright for the Holdsafe team while Bottle Boost and Belt look set to help with a real-world engineering problem while saving a few backs in the process.
YES, determination – no matter the age – can take you everywhere.
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