EMEX - Engineering, Machinery & Electronics Exhibition
IS AUTOMOTIVE READY FOR HYDROGEN?
MATS W LUNDBERG, HEAD OF SUSTAINABILITY AT SANDVIK, MAPS OUT THE ROAD TOWARDS HYDROGEN FUEL.
With global sustainability legislations shifting the automotive market away from combustion engines, you’ve probably heard somebody utter “my next car will be electric”. If you haven’t, it’s likely you will soon. However, one fuel source doesn’t fit all. Making the green shift in the automotive market will require other sustainable fuel sources.
The move away from petrol, diesel and hybrid cars can seem like a shifting target. Despite deadlines for the ban on such vehicles varying by country, we can be sure that global change is happening — and soon. Automakers and drivers alike will need to adjust to a more sustainable future, but how can you decide which resource will power your vehicle?
BEVs versus FCEV. The automotive sector typically views battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) as competing technologies. While BEVs use electricity stored in a battery that powers the vehicle’s electric motor, FCEVs are powered by fuel cells.
A fuel cell converts energy stored in molecules into electrical energy. Only oxygen and hydrogen are required to power the fuel cell — the former is readily available in the atmosphere, and the latter can be generated through electrolysis.
FCEVs can offer better weight economy, effectively powering larger vehicles such as haulage that need to limit unnecessary weight gain. Vehicles that travel long distances or that need to refuel quickly are also more suited to hydrogen. Hydrogen is also a good choice for longer-term storage, since it is a gas that can be stored in tanks and containers, while battery lifetime can suffer if the batteries are not charged and discharged correctly.
However, hydrogen’s sustainable future relies on the production of green hydrogen — produced through electrolysis powered by renewable resources. Currently, around 96% of hydrogen is generated from fossil fuels, so developments must still be made if FCEVs are going to match the feasibility of BEVs.
Despite green hydrogen’s slow development, across Europe many projects are already underway to test and deploy hydrogen buses, taxis and other large vehicles, spurring on investment in refuelling stations and other infrastructure that will be critical to the roll-out of FCEVs.
For instance, the Joint Initiative for Hydrogen Vehicles across Europe (JIVE) project seeks to deploy 139 new zero emission fuel cell buses and associated refuelling infrastructure across five European countries. JIVE is co-funded by a 32 million euro grant from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking under the European Union Horizon 2020 framework programme for research and innovation. Planned operating sites include the UK, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Denmark.
Elsewhere, British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover is working on a government-sponsored initiative, Project Zeus, that will develop fuel cell technologies for its larger vehicles. While the project remains in early development and the focus is on developing hydrogen powertrain technology, the first concept developed as a result of Project Zeus is likely to be an Evoque-sized SUV.
Getting prepared is vital. As sustainable and viable hydrogen solutions begin to take off, hydrogen infrastructure will also be key to delivering the fuel source to the automotive industry. Infrastructure doesn’t only involve producing the fuel itself, but also the pipework to transport it, and the development of the fuel cells. A key component in this infrastructure is steel.
High quality steel tubes will be an important requirement for gas companies, who will require flexible solutions to set up refuelling stations. Sandvik is already working with leading gas and engineering company, Linde, and is supplying its portable Solution in a Container to help the company build refuelling stations across Europe. The stainless steel alloy tubes transport hydrogen from a storage tank to a dispenser.
Linde’s hydrogen gas is transported under both low and high pressures of up to 900 bars, so Sandvik’s tubes meet strict safety guidelines. The long tubes eliminate the need for conventional fittings, such as cone and thread connections or welding, which normally connect shorter tubes. Removing these connections helps reduce the risk of leakage and station shutdowns.
In addition to hydrogen transport infrastructure, materials technology is also central to fuel cell development. The Sandvik Sanergy product platform consists of a coated strip for a critical fuel cell stack component. The strip is ready to be pressed to bipolar fuel cell plates, eliminating the costly need for individual plate coating. Today Sandvik has a unique, large-scale production facility in Sandviken, Sweden, and is ready for fuel cell technology to take off.
As we move away from petrol and diesel, many automakers are entering new territory. While BEV technology is well underway, it’s important to recognise that other sustainable options may better suit certain automotive requirements. Hydrogen fuel cells remain a working progress, but ongoing investment and their clear potential make hydrogen a strong contender for the industry’s greener future.
HYDRAULINK TACKLES SKILLED ENGINEERING CHALLENGES FOR SEMCO LIGHT, HEAVY EQUIPMENT
A Hydraulink service vehicle on site at Semco, as local technician Liam Armstrong services several pieces of machinery, including the TB 138 4t excavators pictured either side of the ute
The skilled and challenging engineering jobs that others hesitate to do are part of the growing success story at Hydraulink, which is keeping machinery in optimum condition for Australian light and heavy equipment sales and service specialist, Semco.
Semco specialises in light and heavy equipment, construction equipment, used equipment and other machinery such as backhoes, dozers, earthmovers, loaders, excavators, skid steers, compactors, graders, scrapers, tractors and crawler machines.
Mobile Hydraulink sales and service technician (HSST) Liam Armstrong began working with Semco since mid-2019 and has been back almost every day since, to work on hydraulic repairs or customisation requests.
“I was there most recently working on a 4t TB 138 excavator. I installed a quick hitch so that the operator can switch end attachments simply, safely and efficiently, without leaving the excavator cabin,” says Armstrong.
“The other major service was on an 8.5t TB 285 excavator, where I installed a tilting hitch. A tilting hitch has all the advantages of a quick hitch, but also allowed more side-to-side movement, which is useful when working on levelling an embankment, for example, where the excavator can’t drive on uneven ground,” he says.
Armstrong is part of a network of Hydraulink service technicians, who operate through more than 400 service points in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. HSSTs, and the broader Hydraulink network, strive to bring a “can-do” ethos to every job they attend.
Tonie Spaulding, Semco Sydney service manager says Hydraulink’s service is second to none. “Semco places a high priority on reliable service, and Hydraulink allows us to meet this consistently. Hydraulink’s professional work helps us meet our sales targets and ensure maximum machinery uptime.”
Armstrong adds that while he regularly performs routine work, Semco’s customers are often working in challenging and unusual conditions, so they regularly have requests for specific customisations to keep the machinery operating efficiently and safely.
Some further recent hydraulic installations Armstrong has performed on Semco equipment include:
• Case drain. With larger attachments, it’s common for a certain amount of internal oil to slowly drain out, so we installed a case drain that ensures that oil drains back into the tank and isn’t wasted.
• High flow. The first and second auxiliaries are connected, allowing a higher flow than when operating individually. A switch is set up so that the operator can choose to operate them separately or together.
Service optimises safety
Regular servicing of hydraulic components is vital to ensuring the safety of operators, workers and visitors who may be nearby to machinery and plant.
“Hydraulics are powerful, and provide fantastic benefits on site, but if one hose isn’t installed correctly, or has too much wear, it could break catastrophically and cause serious harm. Far better that all hydraulics are kept in good condition, and are replaced when they show early signs of wear, not when it’s too late,” says Armstrong.
“Whenever I perform a job, I check all the other hydraulics too. It’s something that comes right from the top at Hydraulink. It may take me a few more minutes, but if I find a fault, I’ve saved that customer significant downtime, cost and avoided any potential injury.”
The post HYDRAULINK TACKLES SKILLED ENGINEERING CHALLENGES FOR SEMCO LIGHT, HEAVY EQUIPMENT appeared first on NZ Engineering News.
OLDER CRANES DELIVER NEW GAINS
Konecranes modernisations lead the way to new safety and efficiency for EOT workhorses.
Nearly all industries depend on electric overhead travelling cranes (EOTs) for their heavyweight maintenance, manufacturing and process needs. The fleets of these essential workhorses of industry have experienced exponential growth over the last 20 years, with rapid economic growth until the COVID-19 pandemic mothballed some sectors of industry and cut production in others.
Now, this growth is posed to resume, as Asia-Pacific nations focus on renewed export drives and extensive infrastructure and industry projects to stimulate growth domestically.
There is already activity growth in a number of countries. Sectors such as construction, public and private infrastructure, logistics, manufacturing, metals, automotive, steel, mining and energy, waste-to-energy and utilities projects are among major sectors earmarked for expansion — in areas extending from China and India, down through SE Asia-Pacific to Australasia, says global crane manufacturing and service leader Konecranes.
With this resurgence in demand for EOT cranes, will come a renewed focus on achieving the highest standards of reliability, cost-efficiency and safety — a process driven by not only technology innovations in new cranes, but also by modernisations among the existing fleets of EOT cranes as the region has experienced the largest and longest economic expansion in its collective history.
“As thousands of new cranes have entered service over the past 20 years, the countries of the region have built up a massive and maturing pool of existing cranes. Many of these have been under-utilised in recent times, but are substantially sound and can achieve strong cost-efficiency, lifespan and safety gains by being modernised rather than replaced,” says Mark Beckwith, operations manager, Konecranes and Demag Pty Ltd (a member of the Konecranes Group). Some older cranes just won’t be able to compete with the efficiency of new crane technologies, but, for others, overhead crane modernisation can present a cost-saving alternative to buying new equipment. This will assist a wider range of business to benefit from the more efficient, updated technology that is available in brand-new cranes tailored to particular industries.”
Less weight, increased productivity, enhanced safety
Crane modernisation raises operational productivity and profitability, as operators of upgraded equipment see a decrease in maintenance costs and control capital expenditures in highly competitive industries. “If you haven’t looked into crane modernisation, you’ll likely be surprised by the range of safety and productivity enhancements possible through updating older cranes,” says Beckwith.
As well as being a leading global supplier of new cranes and the most advanced crane technologies, Konecranes is the world’s largest crane service organisation, with more than 600,000 assets of all major brands under service contract worldwide. This experience offers a unique combination of insights into the needs and economic lifespans of different cranes of all brands, the different needs in different industries, and how to achieve the best safety, reliability and cost-efficiency outcomes for the optimum investment.
Modernisation substantially reduces the weight of older cranes, as new motors, trolleys, hoists and other components are significantly lighter than original equipment. Reduction of dead weight like this can often increase the capacity of an overhead crane – an important consideration, as the load demands on equipment have likely increased over the years. The objectives of any crane modernisation should be more efficient operation and improved productivity, both of which lead to increased profitability.
Enhanced safety also is a key consideration. Sway control technology, one of the more popular safety upgrades in crane modernisation projects, prevents loads from swinging, while enabling operators to move loads faster and position them more accurately.
A variety of automated features can be added in crane modernisation projects. For instance, cranes in busy, congested facilities can be automated to run on selected safe travel paths. And automated zone control allows a crane to be programmed to operate only in certain areas, to protect personnel and property.
Another high-tech upgrade is distance-detection control, which senses proximity of other cranes on a runway to prevent collisions. Updated cabs also enhance safety and productivity. They provide operators a better view of their surroundings and feature ergonomically designed seats with built-in controls. These features promote operator comfort, reducing back and neck strain, and making the crane easier and less tiring to operate.
Konecranes crane modernisation services encompass a progressive range of cost-efficient modernisations extending up to TruConnect remote monitoring — one of the biggest advances in crane safety and cost-efficient management over the past decade.
TruConnect digital technologies respond to Industry 4.0
TruConnect remote monitoring can be added to Konecranes equipment as well as cranes made by other manufacturers.
TruConnect remote monitoring collects condition, usage and operating data from control systems and sensors on an asset and provides alerts of certain anomalies. Remote monitoring data is used in maintenance planning and in predicting possible component or equipment failure.
“Crane modernisation offers more possibilities than you might imagine for updating old equipment to new standards of productivity and safety,” says Beckwith. Key considerations include:
• Prolonging the economic service life of the crane
• Establishing when critical components are reaching the end of their economic service life and/or design life
• Increasing production demands
• Changing application needs
• Changing statutory requirements
• Rising costs and time spent maintaining your aged crane are rising, with increased downtime in essential processes
• And when a company is considering replacing a crane
Are your cranes fit for the future?
Companies considering whether a modernisation is a valid option can use tools such as a Konecranes’ Crane Reliability Study(CRS) or a Steel Structure Analysis.
Konecranes’ Crane Reliability Study (CRS) and Steel Structure Analysis offer deeper insights into the condition, safety and efficiency of lifting equipment, thus delivering valuable information to better predict and control the total cost of ownership.
Crane Reliability Study is an engineering assessment that evaluates the current condition of a crane and provides a theoretical estimate of its remaining design life and recommendations for next steps. The study looks at structures, mechanical components and electrical systems, and highlights possible maintenance and modernisation needs.
The Crane Reliability Study (CRS) and Steel Structure Analysis can determine the useful and safe remaining life of a crane. Modernisations can include new functionality, automation, increased capacity, speed, hoist cycle, location change, increased span, below-the-hook improvements and renewal or upgrading of electrical components, including PLC and entire crane controls.
A CRS provides an exhaustive analysis and comprehensive report for all makes and models of overhead lifting equipment, outlining the condition of the crane and its current operating capacity. In addition, a CRS report contains recommendations for the future actions needed to maximise the use of the equipment, thereby enhancing safety, improving performance and increasing reliability.
Steel Structure Analysis is a service that has been designed to calculate the remaining fatigue life in the steel structure of a crane and inspect it for any defects. The analysis provides detailed information of the condition and remaining fatigue life of a crane steel structure and can also help determine if the steel structure is suitable for modernisations.
“Sometimes the best option may be a new crane. But the number of existing cranes out there is huge, and many properly maintained cranes can be cost-efficiently modernised,” says Beckwith.
“Modernising a good existing crane to the best global standards can be a very attractive option where the machinery is assessed as fundamentally sound after thorough compliance, condition and safety audits to help to establish which is the best choice for each operation and industry.”
4D PRINTING POTENTIAL COMBINES SMART MATERIALS AND ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING
Chameleons can change colour to attract mates, regulate body temperature or warn off intruders. Similarly, the development of smart materials that can change or react to specific environmental stimuli is being combined with additive manufacturing to allow scientists to design objects that can not only change colour, but also change shape, in response to stimuli. Here, John Young, APAC sales director for automation parts supplier EU Automation, looks at what this futuristic technology has to offer to the world of manufacturing.
Most manufacturing processes are subtractive. Whether it is milling, laser cutting or carving, this involves cutting out, removing or subtracting material. Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, involves adding material layer upon layer.
Originally used primarily for prototyping, 3D printing is beginning to have a profound impact on many manufacturing industries by allowing for more complex designs and reducing waste in the manufacturing process. It has also laid the groundwork for a further technological evolution: 4D printing.
4D printing was coined by MIT architect and computer scientist Skylar Tibbit in 2013. The term is a bit of a misnomer, as 4D printing relies on 3D printing. Rather than adding another dimension, 4D printing offers ‘functionalisation over time’. By combining smart materials with 4D printing, scientists and engineers can 3D print materials that change or modify in response to environmental stimuli. These stimuli might include, for example, temperature, humidity, light or moisture.
From med tech to defence
Objects that have this functionality programmed into them would have enormous benefits and a wide range of potentially transformative applications. Tibbit has stressed the potential of self-assembly, structures that could autonomously assemble themselves under certain conditions. In theory, this would make it possible to erect structures or even entire buildings in places that are usually hazardous or difficult to reach.
Self-adaptability is the next key function that 4D printing promises. Imagine objects or structures that respond to weather conditions for example, by changing shape. This could help reduce costs as fewer parts would be involved in the assembly.
A related function is reversibility. For example, scientists from the Singapore University of Technology have recently made it possible to develop this characteristic without either human intervention or the need for hydrogel. Until very recently, hydrogel was necessary to achieve this outcome, but this lacks mechanical strength and is therefore not suited to load bearing applications.
The final possibility is that of self-repair or self-healing. Imagine implants that can self-heal and thereby limit the need for more invasive surgical procedures, or a leaking pipe on a battlefield that could repair itself without detection or intervention from human beings. The range of possible applications is exciting.
Healthcare is an obvious starting point, with the ability to produce implants or stints that modify in response to certain conditions a fantastic opportunity for medtech. For example, a tracheal stent ─ a tube placed inside a patient to enable breathing ─ could be manufactured with a seal that responds to a certain amount of pressure or water to help keep a patient safe.
Military, aerospace and space applications are also possible. NASA has been developing woven metal fabrics that change shape and are foldable. This could be used for shielding spacecraft or erecting antennae in space. Airbus has been investigating how 4D components could reduce the weight and improve the performance of aircraft.
4D in manufacturing
So, is 4D printing about to revolutionise manufacturing? The short answer is no. We can debate the extent of its potential, but as things currently stand it is a long way from being available in most commercial applications. According to Mordor Intelligence, the 4D printing market was valued at a mere US$62.2 million in 2020.
That market is expected to grow to a more sizeable $488 million by 2026, but there are many obstacles to overcome before 4D printing begins to make a mark on manufacturing in any tangible way.
One obstacle is the limits of smart materials. These are usually made from a limited range of polymers and therefore restricted to specific environmental conditions. It is also difficult to control the speed of transformation with the level of precision required for certain applications. Programming an object to transform is one thing, getting it to transform at the exact right speed is more complicated.
Programming each part and component in a structure is a complex and time-consuming manufacturing process. Furthermore, many of the 3D printers currently available are limited because they can only print 4D structures out of a single material, which further constrains design choices.
According to Tibbit, 4D printing ‘might be the manufacturing technique that allows us to produce more adaptive infrastructure in the future’. For the time being though, the technology is mostly confined to R&D labs and niche innovations in healthcare and defence. So, while manufacturing techniques that produce objects and structures with Chameleon-like qualities are not exclusive to science fiction, manufacturers will have to wait a bit longer before this future tech is widely available for commercial use.
The post 4D PRINTING POTENTIAL COMBINES SMART MATERIALS AND ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING appeared first on NZ Engineering News.
SMC TO SHOWCASE AT FOODTECH PACKTECH 2021
Following a year of uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, New Zealand’s leading trade exhibition will once again resume from 13 to 15 April 2021.
Foodtech Packtech, the authority on the food, processing and packaging industries will open its doors to industry peers at the ASB Showgrounds in Auckland.
SMC Corporation Australia/ New Zealand (ANZ) is included in this year’s stellar exhibitor line-up, and the company promises to impress with its latest campaign.
“The past year taught us to embrace change,” says Shyam Suresh, acting branch manager for SMC Auckland. “Ensuring a flexible approach to our day-to-day business operations – particularly on the factory floor – has proven to be a huge competitive advantage for companies operating in the manufacturing sector. And this is where SMC comes in.”
Smart steps to flexible manufacturing
SMC will launch its latest campaign entitled ‘Smart Steps to Flexible Manufacturing’ at this year’s show. Explains Shyam: “Contrary to popular belief, taking incremental steps toward your digitisation journey can make the biggest difference and will greatly assist in ‘futureproofing’ business operations.”
Rather than upgrading entire systems, the team at SMC is here to show that there are smart and affordable decisions that one can make. “Upgrading your production to become smarter can include steps towards energy savings, newer technologies and/ or improving remote access capabilities for improved efficiencies and reduced downtime.”
Wireless technology, smarter vacuum systems, improved air filtration, Industry 4.0 solutions, robotic end effectors as well as safety communication technology and components are just some of the ideas that can be considered.
Suresh says that a big drive to launch this campaign is the need for reshoring. “Customers want to produce locally made products to compete on a global stage and to ensure shorter supply chains. SMC is assisting customers around the country with their requirements and offers special engineering and design, virtual (and hands-on) support, high stock levels, shorter delivery times and latest technology to support local manufacturers.”
Suresh adds that Foodtech Packtech is the ideal event to showcase its comprehensive vacuum range which is receiving praise both locally and abroad.
“In terms of lightweight engineering, SMC will also use this opportunity to demonstrate how design and materials can be used to help to minimize the weight of the end solution – without affecting its performance. These innovations are especially powerful for robotic applications”,
Suresh says that there will be many new and old ‘favourites’ on show at the SMC booth. “We welcome visitors to join us at booth 2023 throughout the show.”
SMC is also the sponsor of the Izakaya Bar which offers visitors the opportunity to connect more socially with SMC and other exhibitors.
AWS: 2020 WELDING FUME AND RESPIRATORY PROTECTION SURVEY
Even with everything that is now known about the dangers of welding fume, only 20% of Australian and New Zealand welders answered ‘Yes’ to AWS’s survey when they were asked if they felt protected from welding fume at work.
Only 11% of workplaces had engaged an occupational hygienist to conduct air monitoring and the majority of workplaces did not include welders in the PPE decision making process (53%) and expected the welders to pay for their own respiratory equipment (65%). Disturbingly, says AWS, 32% of welders are not using any form of respiratory protection and 37% are still unaware that welding fume had been reclassified as carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Unfortunately, welders believe that ‘cost’ is the largest barrier and the reason why businesses will not introduce better controls to protect their welders. With the results above, according to AWS, it is clear Australia and New Zealand have a long way to go in the promotion of the safety and well-being of welders. Increasing the level of knowledge regarding dangers and protective measures was highlighted as the second largest factor in ensuring welders are better protected in the future.
Where the responsibility lies
The employer has the primary responsibility to ensure that welders are not exposed to health and safety risks while performing their job. If elimination of the risk is not possible, the employer must minimise the risk.
Where substitution and reduction of hazardous chemicals is not possible, engineering and/ or administrative controls as well as personal protective equipment, such as powered air respirators, must be introduced. The dangers of welding fume are very real, but once qualified and quantified, protecting welders can be straightforward. As a result, all welders should feel protected from welding fume at work.
IARC classified welding fume as carcinogenic
In March 2017, scientists from around the world met at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC; Lyon, France) to evaluate the carcinogenicity of welding fume. Based on substantial new evidence through observational and experimental studies, welding fume has now been reclassified from ‘possibly carcinogenic to humans’ as it was originally classified in 1989 to its new Group 1 classification as ‘carcinogenic to humans’. The working group concluded that there is “sufficient evidence in humans” that welding fumes cause lung cancer and limited evidence for kidney cancer.
Air monitoring in the workplace
The employer must ensure that air monitoring is carried out for welding fume if:
• They are not certain on reasonable grounds whether the airborne concentration of the substance or mixture at the workplace exceeds the relevant exposure standard, or
• Monitoring is necessary to determine whether there is a risk to health.
Are welders included in PPE discussion?
When selecting suitable PPE, the employer should consult with the welders. A welder’s knowledge, experience and personal preferences improve the overall decision-making process. As someone who is directly affected by welding hazards, a welder is entitled to take part in the consultation process and selection of suitable PPE. Welders should aim to educate themselves on the risks, understand the appropriate PPE available and look to involve themselves in the consultation process and ultimate selection of suitable PPE.
Protective measures for welders
Regarding PPE, the Cancer Council has advised that welders should wear either ‘air supplied or air purifying respiratory protection’ and use ‘a fullface welding helmet, with a UV filtered lens’. A powered air purifying respirator (PAPR) can provide air over 50 times cleaner than the air inhaled by an unprotected welder. When compared to disposable and reusable half mask respiratory protection, a PAPR can provide superior respiratory protection and does not require fit-testing.
With flip-up PAPR welding helmets, welders can have completely clear and uninhibited views of their workpiece and surroundings, while maintaining their desired level of respiratory protection at all times with no breathing resistance. The powered air respirator goes wherever you go, allowing you to move around your workplace with perfect vision, improved comfort, and uninterrupted respiratory protection. A recent case study from a manufacturing company with over 1,500 employees, including 600 certified welders, found that ‘foreign body eye injuries decreased over 70% year-on-year’ in areas that implemented the PAPRs with integrated flip-up auto-darkening welding helmets. Worker compensation claims decreased markedly while employee morale increased substantially.
Under both the Australian Model WHS regulations and the New Zealand Health and Safety at Work Regulations, the employer is financially responsible for providing PPE to workers and must not charge employees for using the equipment. The only exception to this is if the personal protective equipment has been provided by another person conducting a business or undertaking, like a labour hire company.
What’s needed to protect welders?
Safe Work Australia is currently reviewing the exposure standards for welding fume (not otherwise classified) and is planning to make the draft evaluation reports and recommendations available for comment in the coming months. Following public comment, the recommendations will be considered by Safe Work Australia members. If agreed, these recommendations will then progress to Commonwealth, state and territory ministers responsible for work health and safety as the relevant decision-makers on any changes to the model work health and safety laws or workplace exposure standards.
For more visit www.awsi.com.au.
The post AWS: 2020 WELDING FUME AND RESPIRATORY PROTECTION SURVEY appeared first on NZ Engineering News.
CLIMATE REPORT POSES TOUGH CHALLENGES FOR NEW ZEALAND
The New Zealand minerals sector looks forward to engaging with government on its task of developing feasible, practicable and effective pathways for climate change action.
Straterra, the industry association representing the New Zealand minerals sector, was commenting on the draft advice the Climate Change Commission has provided on emissions budgets for transitioning to a net zero carbon New Zealand.
“There is much in the report we do not agree with, but it does highlight in many areas the real challenges New Zealand will face in seeking to reduce emissions,” Straterra chief executive Chris Baker says.
“The government’s policies for reducing emissions must maintain the competitiveness of effected sectors of the economy and not lead directly to increased global emissions.
“Options where we have an advantage such as electric vehicles and increased generation of renewable and low-emissions electricity are supported but we must be cautious where actions will simply encourage investment and jobs to go overseas and not reduce global emissions. The Commission touches on this risk but does not explore it in any detail.
“The report optimistically talks about replacing coal with biomass and electricity, but the challenges associated with this are substantial. For example, the area of land required for biomass cultivation would run into the millions of hectares.
“The costs of electricity need to be cost-effective for businesses switching away from coal, and there is no guarantee that this will be the case in the future – we are looking for the analysis and how that risk is to be managed.
“Developing mineral resources is an essential part of a low carbon economy, providing minerals needed for infrastructure and green technology, for example, wind turbines, battery technologies, electric vehicles and computer technology. We are pleased the Commission acknowledges the contributions of minerals in this way,” says Baker.
“We are also pleased to note that consistent with the advice already received, the Commission is not advocating a move towards 100% renewable electricity generation. There seems to be a growing recognition that this target would be counterproductive to reducing emissions overall.
“We will carefully scrutinise the document and make a submission as part of the consultation process. It will then be essential for the government to work closely with affected businesses as it considers the Commission’s advice.
“The key point to be made is that the government’s emission reduction policies must not reduce the international competitiveness of the tradable sector as this will simply shift production and emissions offshore with no benefit to New Zealand nor to the global climate.”
The post CLIMATE REPORT POSES TOUGH CHALLENGES FOR NEW ZEALAND appeared first on NZ Engineering News.
E-Volunteer – Provincial Water Sector Advisor
Utilise your water engineering skills to help our partner organisation in Vanuatu from right here in Aotearoa!
This assignment is a result of a partnership between Engineers without Borders New Zealand (EWBNZ) and Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA) and is a 3-month part-time e-volunteering opportunity working from home.
Despite significant donor investment in the WASH sector, the Government of Vanuatu has lacked capacity to coordinate and oversee the multiple stakeholders involved, resulting in fragmented project delivery, duplications, overly complex water systems and often poor outcomes for communities. The newly formed Department of Water Resources (DoWR) is being supported by the New Zealand Government and UNICEF to address the challenges of coordinating the sector. As part of this support, a ‘National Implementation Plan for Safe & Secure Drinking Water’ (NIP) is being finalised and will provide a framework for achieving 100% access to safely managed drinking water by 2030.
The volunteer will work to strengthen the capacity of The Provincial Water Office (PWO) in Efate and assist them in implementing a Drinking Water Safety and Security Plan (DWSSP). This will be achieved through a number of different activities including; providing technical support and advice for PWO staff utilising Zoom or other similar technologies, providing education and training support through online workshops, co-designing a professional development online programme to teach engineering graduates and technicians.
We are looking for a volunteer with:
- Bachelor’s degree in engineering (civil or natural resources)
- At least three years’ experience in water infrastructure design and construction contract administration, supervision or management
- Experience in providing on-the-job training and mentoring
- Able to work from home and utilise appropriate technology to engage with our partner organisation
To review the full assignment description, click here.
PREPARATIONS FOR ROBOTICS TOURNAMENT UNDERWAY
A national competition that aims to get young people excited about STEM is set to be held over the 3-4th of April.
The 2021 New Zealand VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) National Championships will be presented by Kiwibots (The New Zealand Charitable Trust) and held in partnership with the REC Foundation, VEX Robotics and Auckland Unlimited.
Australian and New Zealand sales director for VEX Robotics, Nicole Champagne, says the company wants to see a world where students can be inspired by the excitement of hands-on, minds-on STEM learning.
“Students thrive with hands-on STEM experiences and we love to see this come to life with competitive robotics. They are learning the most important skills across the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) which will provide them the problem-solving skills for our future work force. We are passionate about VEX Robotics in the classroom but know the best opportunity to learn soft skills such as collaboration, communication, time management, problem solving, iteration and developing computational thinking come from competitive robotics.”
National manager of Kiwibots in New Zealand, Janet Van, says: “For many of these students, their future careers may not even exist yet. Programmes and competitions like these ensure we future-proof all young kids/tamariki with the skills that will mean they are prepared for the technological world that awaits them.”
SMC Corporation Australia New Zealand is a sponsor at this year’s event and a representative will be part of the judging panel.
HYDRAULINK GIVES WINGS TO LIGHTNING-FAST AMERICA’S CUP
Hydraulink hydraulic hose and maintenance expertise of the type that keeps Australasian and Asia-Pacific industrial machinery performing 24/7 to global standards will go on display to millions of people in 225 countries when the 36th America’s Cup begins in coming months.
The defending champion Emirates Team New Zealand – and entire field of challengers which will fight it out to meet the Kiwis in the final – all use Hydraulink hoses and fittings to control their complex hydraulic systems, such as the vital foil cant technology.
Rapid and sensitive hydraulic actuation of the foils is vital to the performance edge of each boat as it skims above the waves at speeds reaching 47-50 knots (90+kph) in what is expected to be a lightning-fast defence series from March 6-12.
The super yachts demand quality products that perform where the absolute pinnacle of engineering standards and reliability is required, in the same way that Hydraulink protects the uptime and dependability of individual pieces of expensive machinery and multi-million-dollar mobile fleets and industrial plant.
The event will be seen around the world by the biggest audience ever expected in the America’s Cup’s history, when the 36th America’s Cup begins with the Prada Cup Challenger from January 15-Feb 22. Preliminary races, including the Prada Christmas Cup, commence in December, with more than 120 broadcasters already signed up in the first wave of support announced in October. Digital platforms are expected to help make this the most widely accessible America’s Cup ever.
Hydraulink is widely known in industrial markets as a leading supplier to major construction, civil engineering, infrastructure, manufacturing, resources, mining and energy, forestry, primary industry, transport and marine companies in Australia, New Zealand, SE Asia and the Western USA. The company provides quality hydraulic hoses and fitting and operates to world-class standards of safety and standards compliance, providing maintenance, and service life optimisation for often huge and complex machinery working 24/7 that depends extensively on hydraulics for safe and efficient operation.
Hydraulink’s introduction to involvement in the America’s Cup began when Hydraulink director Lee Short was watching a race in the build-up to the NZ win in the America’s Cup in San Diego in 1995. “A hydraulic leak on the mast boom of Team New Zealand sprayed oil into the cockpit, causing a few issues. I thought, ‘We can do better than that’, so, when the team arrived back ready to defend the Cup, I organised a visit to Team New Zealand and offered our expertise for the next defence. Twenty-five years on we are still the exclusive supplier. This 36th America’s Cup is a bit special though, because we are supplying the hose and fittings for each challengers foil cant system.”
Fellow Hydraulink director Noel Davies says that – while the America’s Cup involvement is a bit out of Hydraulink’s usual line of business – the culture of excellence and innovation it inspires among Hydraulink staff benefits work teams and customers alike of the 400-plus Hydraulink service points.
“We encourage a constant improvement and a can-do attitude that accords with our national spirit. The win by Australia to break the US stranglehold on the America’s Cup – and the multiple successes of New Zealand since then – show just what standards of excellence can be achieved by constant dedication to team excellence, in the sporting arena and in all our workshops and customer’s workplaces. Lee has taken a great initiative in making this happen, and we believe this delivers a strong ethic of excellence throughout Hydraulink,” says Davies.
Short says that – in addition to being the world’s old trophy in international sport – “The America’s Cup is a monumental engineering achievement. The Emirates Team New Zealand Defender alone is the culmination of more than 100,000 work hours from a design-and-build team over the past six months, incorporating the knowledge from the first big boat Te Aihe and the smaller test boat Te Kāhu. With hydraulic systems on board that utilise Hydraulink hoses and fittings, this is a project very dear to our hearts and we are incredibly proud to have contributed to the build of this ground-breaking yacht, which is set to defend the Cup in March.”
The post HYDRAULINK GIVES WINGS TO LIGHTNING-FAST AMERICA’S CUP appeared first on NZ Engineering News.
Sign up here and keep updated with what's going on in your industry!