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“RESET, REVIEW AND REFOCUS” TO BEAT COVID-19 FALLOUT- BUSINESS EXPERT
Host of Conquer the Crisis, Business Blueprint CEO Dale Beaumont
Business expert Keith Abraham advises businesses to use the lockdown period to “reset, review and refocus.”
The keynote speaker presented from his home-office during Conquer the Crisis, an emergency virtual conference for small to medium enterprises hosted by Business Blueprint CEO Dale Beaumont.
“You can’t control what the government are going to do, you can’t control lockdown laws, but you can control your mindset,” Mr Abraham said. “We need to have a very clearly defined vision for the next 30 days.”
Mr Abraham suggested businesses take time to figure out what they want to achieve by day 30.
“We have to have purpose. To do this you have to know why. When the why becomes clear the purpose becomes easy. Plan don’t panic.”
He says businesses that plan will make progress and find ways to adapt to this new environment.
“With a plan, you make progress and from that progress you make passion. You want to hang around people with positive energy. You need to make sure you’ve got the energy to conquer the crisis ahead of you.”
He advised that businesses should realise a ‘number one goal’ as this will help to focus progress over the lockdown period.
Mr Abraham has researched how top performing people bring out the best in themselves and their businesses for 20 years.
The conference included the following seminars:
- 5 Ways to Manage Your Cash Flow During a Crisis, with Brett Kelly, founder and CEO of Kelly+Partners,
- The “Post Pandemic” Brand Building Blueprint, with customer experience expert, Amanda Stevens
- COVID-19: What You Can Do and Not Do Regarding Your Staff, with employment lawyer, Andrew Bland
- 7 Ways to Find More Customers in Tough Times, with leading business coach, Dale Beaumont
- How to Better Connect with Customers & Retain Top Talent, with strategic communications expert, Jane Anderson
- Government Support During COVID-19, with business expert, Matt Alderton
- How to Get Back Momentum and Keep It, with best-selling author, Michael McQueen
Watch Conquer the Crisis here.
The post “RESET, REVIEW AND REFOCUS” TO BEAT COVID-19 FALLOUT- BUSINESS EXPERT appeared first on NZ Engineering News.
GOVERNMENT AND BANK UNITE AGAINST COVID-19
The $6.25 billion Finance Guarantee Scheme for small and medium-sized businesses has received praise from BusinessNZ.
BusinessNZ chief executive Kirk Hope says the scheme is a great example of collaboration in a time of crisis.
“It’s great to see the Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank all coming together to protect Kiwis and unite against Covid-19. This will encourage banks to lend to businesses struggling with the fallout from these very challenging times.”
The Reserve Bank has agreed to reduce banks core funding ratios from 75% to 50%, further helping banks to make credit available.
The scheme will include a limit of $500,000 per loan and will apply to firms with annual turnover of between $250,000-$80 million.
The government has also announced a six-month mortgage holiday for Kiwis affected by Covid-19 that has been welcomed by the BusinessNZ network.
“The latest support package will help take some of the weight off the shoulders of affected businesses,” Mr Hope says.
CORROSION UNDER INSULATION SERVICES
The costs of corrosion for companies and the economy can be astronomical. According to National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) International: “The global cost of corrosion is estimated to be US$ 2.5 trillion, which is equivalent to 3.4% of the global gross domestic product (GDP 2013).
By using available corrosion control practices, it is estimated that savings of between 15 and 30% of the cost of corrosion could be realised i.e. between US$375 and $875 billion annually on a global basis.”
A big challenge for the food industry is corrosion under insulation (CUI), which occurs when halogen compounds (compounds of chlorine, bromine, or fluorine) become trapped with moisture in the insulation material, corroding even stainless-steel piping.
Not only is corrosion a major drain on business finances, it also poses a threat to health and safety, an example of which is Ammonia refrigeration pipework. According to a technical bulletin issued by WorkSafe, the uncontrolled release of ammonia from a refrigeration plant is a critical work health and safety risk, which must be managed effectively to minimise the risk of harm. It reported that in 2017, approximately 20 ammonia releases were notified to WorkSafe New Zealand, highlighting the importance of risk assessments and implementing appropriate control measures. In the bulletin, they highlight two main causes of ammonia release, one of which is equipment failure, including corroded pipework.
Stork, a Fluor company – described as a leader in asset integrity solutions – is experienced in providing CUI inspections through a number of non-destructive testing (NDT) techniques and has completed CUI inspections for a wide range of companies across New Zealand and Australia.
A favoured technique for CUI inspection is Digital radiography, a non-invasive method which can be used for wall loss type flaws i.e. corrosion pitting, generalised corrosion and erosion. Coupled with the company’s unique ‘Open Vision’ screening tool, it can complete large quantities of pipework screening relatively quickly without disruption to production, saving the client both time and money. One client, says Stork, reported a cost saving of between NZ $200,000 to $300,000 by not having to remove the insulation.
In order to further mitigate the risk of CUI resulting in an uncontrolled release of ammonia, Stork offers continued proactive monitoring, finding vital information for accurate life expectancy forecasting of the refrigeration piping through erosion corrosion inspection and wall thickness monitoring.
For more information on how Stork can assist with your CUI needs, contact the team on 06 753 6169.
RESPOND TO NEW GENERATION MACHINERY SAFETY NEEDS
Advances in engineering plastics are delivering new machinery and structural safeguarding benefits with light and extraordinarily strong see-through materials such as Wearguard polycarbonates which can be used in place of metals for outstanding protection against hazards.
These transparent and tough materials – which simultaneously facilitate high visibility of processes at the same time as providing protection against hazards – are well suited to industrial machinery retrofits, updates and new technology installations as employers introduce advanced and often high-speed machinery to gain the benefits of digital automation initiatives under Industry 4.0.
“As the pace of industrial change accelerates, employers have a commensurate obligation to update their risk management plans in accordance with recognised Safe Work codes and employer Duties of Care,” says engineering plastics industry authority Laurie Green.
These changing needs – and the see-through protective materials applicable to them – particularly apply to industries that may be employing new technology or introducing new workplace environments centring on high-speed production, distribution and maintenance. The environments against which employees must be protected include impact and injury hazard, moving parts and electrical, heat and chemical processes across a diversity of industries – ranging from mineral processing and bulk materials handling, through to metals fabrication, construction, architectural materials, manufacturing and food and beverage processing, packaging and distribution, says Mr Green, Managing Director of Cut To Size Plastics. Mr Green has more than 40 years’ experience in engineering safely and protective solutions throughout the Asia-Pacific, representing some of the world’s leading brands of engineering plastics.
One of the future-focussed materials from his company’s global ranges of engineering plastics is Wearguard polycarbonate, which is outstanding for its impact resistance (IZOD impact tested to 90 KGfcm/cm) and for its shock load resistance, which is many times that of acrylic clear sheet, for example.
“WEARGUARD IS VIRTUALLY UNBREAKABLE, EVEN WHERE EXPOSED TO ROBUST INTERIOR INDUSTRIAL
These properties make it ideal for see-through safety and indoor and outdoor glazing and protective applications which until recent years required the use of metal or similar material, says Mr Green.
Wearguard is virtually unbreakable, even where exposed to robust interior industrial environments, or to exterior security or protective challenges where it may be required to resist rough weather and vandalism. Applications include:
• Viewing and protective panels and machine guards for safety in industry
• Cabin panels on heavy machinery and materials handling machinery, including forklift side screens
• Acoustic panels on expressways
• Anti-vandal glazing, security glazing, skylights, sign faces
• Shatterproof boat and marine environment windows
• Electrical guards and covers, meter covers, light covers, terminal blocks
• Sight glass tubes for observation of industrial and process liquid levels
Wearguard consistently displays high transparency – commensurate with thicknesses used – and also offers high heat resistance, with a melting point of 150 degrees Celsius. The material is not influenced by sudden changes in temperature and humidity, which makes it ideal for applications such as skylights, sign faces and institutional vandal-resistant glazing. It offers excellent dimensional stability and is readily machined by cutting, drilling or bending.
Cut To Size has expanded its capacity to custom-fabricate Wearguard safety and glazing products with its new Morbidelli Author M100F heavy duty CNC router and machining centre. The new high-speed, vibration-free Italian technology offers unmatched finishing quality and rapid production turnaround for the company’s Asia-Pacific markets, says Mr Green. It can cost-efficiently produce complex components and shapes required for expanding interior and exterior applications. The machinery’s rapid working cycle times and reduction of idle times also enhance Cut To Size’s ability to cost-effectively supply high precision components from its broader ranges of versatile engineering plastics, including Nylon, Acetal, Teflon, UHMWPE, HDPE, PVC and Polypropylene.
THE FOOD REVOLUTION IS (NEARLY) HERE
Wiley’s chief future officer, Brett Wiskar, elaborates on what I4.0 is and how it can deliver value to the food industry.
In the ever-competitive world of food processing, the challenges of changing conditions, be it shifting consumer trends, supply chain constraints or international relationships, are omnipresent. The battle to maintain a competitive edge dictates that the operations and facilities we build today must be prepared to compete in tomorrow’s landscape.
The hype of Industry 4.0 (I4.0) and its relevance to the food processing sector has been increasing since 2013 when the concept was conceived by the German government and for a concept which has existed for only six years, I4.0 is fairly mature. While the concept of I4.0 might be mature, it is not the tidal wave of technological upheaval it is frequently made out to be, nor is it knocking down the door of business. As we shall see, industry is now just starting to transition to something which could be referred to as I4.0, and there’s a long road ahead.
To get a handle on the value proposition I4.0 offers to the food industry we first need a clear understanding of what it means beyond the buzzword. While it’s clear to most people that I4.0 is something involving technology, computers and integration in the supply chain or within a facility, industry consensus frequently ends there.
For clarity, I4.0 can be defined as: “The implementation of ubiquitous sensors and big data analytics connecting cyber-physical systems.”
In practice, this is the collection and analysis of data generated in every aspect of an operation providing previously impossible-to-access insights. These insights lead to enhanced strategic and operational decision-making. This applies to every aspect of food processing — from batch sizes to machine maintenance, to training and performance, logistics inventory, energy and water consumption, waste management and interoperability between process units. I4.0 affects every aspect of the food processing industry and its operations and hard assets.
This is distinctly different to Industry 3.0, which is characterised by the implementation of microprocessors for the automation of production. For example, consider the transition between Henry Ford’s factories and those of Toyota in the ’80s and ’90s. Toyota implemented microprocessors to automate their machines but did not implement prolific sensors and data analysis tasked with enhancing operations through real-time insights. It is these characteristics that are the hallmarks of I4.0.
With those two ends of the spectrum understood, it’s possible to appreciate industry’s progression from Industry 3.0 towards 4.0. Currently, a disappointing 16% of industry members use hard data to underpin process flow improvement. In what could be characterised as Industry 3.0 behaviour, the vast majority of process flow improvements come from human observations.
“ONLY 29% OF MANUFACTURERS HAVE ACCESS TO INSTANT, REAL-TIME INFORMATION ON EVERY PRODUCT THEY ARE PRODUCING.”
In a Deloitte survey, 94% of executives stated digital transformation was among their top priorities but only 37% of Australian executives said they feel ready for I4.0, with many fewer successfully implementing the technology.
These statistics point to an industry taking the first steps in transitioning to I4.0 as opposed to the “here and now” message we often hear in the press.
While it is very likely I4.0 will empower businesses like never before, there are steps processors must take before we can say we’ve reached the aspired position of being a business empowered by I4.0.
The implementation of ubiquitous sensors as a first step is already underway and will continue until we find ourselves discussing what’s beyond 4.0. The next half-dozen years in the food I4.0 space will be characterised by the question “what data should be collected?” As answers become more advanced, there will be a gradual increase in focus on analysing the data to ever greater precision and insight. Finding a balance between what we can track and what we will act on if we track it is the difference between overinvesting or not investing enough to empower outcomes.
Finally, as with any business management challenge, the change will come down to people and implementation. A culture of implementing I4.0, finding the insights and having the team and the resources who are willing to act on them is going to be as large as the technical challenge.
Once the food industry reaches I4.0 what awaits?
Interconnectedness and abundant information will be used to empower enhanced decision-making. I4.0 will empower industry to monitor, synchronise and correlate different elements of business highlighting how separate process units impact one another and the overall operation. Increased data flow will empower accelerated decision-making and response times. This is much more than cutting down on unplanned maintenance time, it’s an industry-wide shift in mindset. A shift away from “you can have any colour you want as long as it’s black” towards mass customisation, shorter supply chains and more effective and efficient activity on the factory floor. The core outcome will not only be an increase in efficiency but an increase in agility.
As a concept conceived in 2013, I4.0 has a level of maturity commensurate with the time it’s been evolving. As sensors and business practices develop, the full value proposition of I4.0 will continually crystallise.
For the food executives of Australia, there are two key takeaways: I4.0 is not here yet but it is coming, and perhaps more importantly, there are very real benefits to adopting this technology. Faster adoption means greater actionable insights and paired with a culture of striving to do better will lead to a true competitive advantage over the laggard in industry.
“While the transition to I4.0 will not be easy, the companies with clear leadership and strong implementation will be the ones to come out on top of the 4th Industrial Revolution,” Wiskar concluded.
METAL ADDS METTLE TO WOOD OFFERING
US Scientists at Georgia Tech are working on a new type of timber that gives wood a shot of metal oxide.
The eco-friendly alternative means that a treated piece of wood resists absorbing water and mould.
The Georgia Tech team uses a technique known as atomic layer deposition that is typically used in the manufacturing of electronics.
An ultra-thin protective coating of metal oxide throughout the entire cellular structure of pieces of lumber. The process involves placing the wood in a low-pressure airtight chamber, then introducing a metal oxide gas. The gas molecules proceed to permeate the wood – they travel throughout it, using its interconnected pores as an internal pathway. As those molecules do so, they react with the wood, forming a metal oxide coating on its inner structure.
Although that coating is only a few atoms thick, it’s highly effective at keeping the timber from absorbing water, even when the wood is submerged. As a result, and possibly also due to other effects of the treatment, the lumber is much more resistant to mould growth over time. And as an added bonus, the treated wood is also less thermally-conductive than regular lumber, allowing it to better insulate buildings against heat loss.
STRUCTURAL STEEL INDUSTRY LAUNCHES LATEST QUALITY INITIATIVE: SCNZ STRUCTURAL DISTRIBUTOR CHARTER
All of Steel Construction New Zealand’s (SCNZ’s) Distributor members have now been independently audited to satisfy the requirements of the SCNZ Structural Distributor Charter.
SCNZ general manager Darren O’Riley says that the Charter is the latest quality assurance initiative led by the structural steel industry, complementing the Steel Fabrication Certification scheme launched in 2014.
“The Charter marks another important milestone for our industry, and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to quality and compliance,” says Mr O’Riley. “It ensures that structural steels supplied to the local steel construction sector are sourced using best-practice procurement; it represents a mark of excellence for structural steel distributors in New Zealand.”
The Distributor members are:
• Alrite Steel & Services NZ
• H.J. Asmuss & Co
• Steel & Tube
• United Steel
• Vulcan Steel
• Fletcher Easysteel
The Charter covers the sourcing of steels for structural and general engineering applications, including structural long sections, plate product, merchant bars and welded sections.
The initiative requires that chartered structural steel distributors operate a Quality Management System (QMS) and satisfies an audit checklist. For example, they must undertake due diligence of new suppliers and monitor their performance, maintain product traceability, engage competent personnel, and appoint an appropriately accredited QMS assessor to undertake the audit process.
Evidence of compliance with the Structural Steel Distributor Charter comprises a valid QMS certificate as well as written confirmation from the distributor’s assessor that the scope of certification meets the requirements of the initiative.
For more information on the SCNZ Distributor Charter go to www.scnz.org.
The post STRUCTURAL STEEL INDUSTRY LAUNCHES LATEST QUALITY INITIATIVE: SCNZ STRUCTURAL DISTRIBUTOR CHARTER appeared first on NZ Engineering News.
NEW TOOLING SYSTEM PROVIDES SPEED AND ACCURACY
Dormer Pramet has launched a high precision, quick-change tooling system for a variety of internal and external turning applications.
Ideal for use on multi-task machines, the polygon shank coupling (PSC) is a spindle interface which promotes higher productivity through reduced set-up time and faster, more precise machining.
It achieves this with a unique tapered polygon cone shank and flange surface, which supports a high degree of rigidity. With an accuracy in X, Y, Z directions of +/-2 μm, the PSC holders provide a high level of repeatability.
In addition, a reduced overhang length minimises vibration and runout inaccuracy for a high-quality surface finish, making it ideal for aerospace and general machining applications.
Connected by a triangular conical structure and cross section, which uses 1/20 taper, the PSC features internal coolant channels and a steel toolholder for high toughness.
More than 130 different items are available, including a variety of tool holder styles, internal tools, interface types and shank sizes.
New tooling system provides speed and accuracy
Wisk and New Zealand Government to partner in world’s first autonomous air taxi trial
The New Zealand Government and Wisk, an Urban Air Mobility (UAM) company, have announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a passenger transport trial in Canterbury, New Zealand. Wisk’s self-flying, all-electric air taxi, called Cora, is the aircraft selected for the trials.
In October 2019, the Government announced that it was establishing an industry-wide Airspace Integration Trial to work with leading, innovative domestic and international industry partners to safely test and demonstrate unmanned aircraft. Wisk, based in the United States and New Zealand, was announced as the first industry partner to join this program.
Wisk ceo, Gary Gysin, says: “We are delighted to now have a signed agreement with the New Zealand Government, which will propel Cora’s entry to the air taxi market. We see this agreement as a sign of confidence in our product and abilities to develop and deliver a safe and reliable air taxi service, starting in New Zealand. As the Minister of Research Science and Innovation Hon. Dr. Megan Woods said in her announcement: “This trial is the first of its kind and Wisk’s innovative technology and commitment to New Zealand make them an ideal partner for advancing the future of travel in New Zealand and the world.
“Wisk has been working with the Government and people of New Zealand since 2017, said Gary Gysin. We are excited about what this agreement and trial represents in our journey to bring safe everyday flight to everyone. New Zealand values innovation, excellence and technology that is safe for people and the environment. Being selected as the partner for this program is an honor and testament to our hard work and steady progress.”
Around the globe, Urban Air Mobility is an emerging, high-value industry and New Zealand is an attractive location because of its thriving innovation ecosystem with unique expertise, people and technology
With the agreement now in place, the planning for a passenger transport trial in Canterbury is now underway. The passenger route is a world’s first and will commence after Cora’s certification by the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority.
The post Wisk and New Zealand Government to partner in world’s first autonomous air taxi trial appeared first on NZ Engineering News.
NEW DATES ANNOUNCED FOR EMEX EXHIBITION
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, trade show organiser XPO has announced EMEX will be rescheduled until later in the year.
The event, which was set to run on 5-7 May, will now be held on the 12-14 October 2020.
“The Prime Minister and the Ministry of Health have updated their positions across the past 72 hours specifically regarding border restrictions that would make it increasingly difficult for previously confirmed offshore exhibitor participation at some of our shows, social distancing, and mass gatherings involving more than 500 people,” managing director Brent Spillane said in a statement released today.
“We support these initiatives to ‘flatten the curve’ of the spread of the virus for the benefit of all New Zealanders above the importance that events hold for the wider economy.
“Our primary focus at the moment is the health and safety of all of our customers and staff, and we know this is the right decision for all.
“We ask that you bear with us while we consider your questions across the coming days. This situation is evolving and there may be further announcements to follow.”
For more information about other XPO trade show dates visit https://www.xpo.co.nz/
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