News

Meteor wins Hydrometry Framework contract

Meteor Communications, the manufacturer of remote environmental monitoring systems, has been awarded a framework contract by the Coal Authority to supply a range of hydrometric services, dataloggers and sensors to enable the continuous monitoring of mine water.

Meteor Communications successfully bid for Lot 3 of the Hydrometry Framework, which is comprised of 7 lots and will run for four years with an estimated total budget of £400,000.

“Meteor are delighted to have been selected by the Coal Authority for this framework contract,” explains Meteor’s MD Matt Dibbs. “Our systems and services are utilised across the UK by the Environment Agency, Water Utilities and Consultants and it’s great to be able to bring our expertise to the Coal Authority.”

The Coal Authority seeks to enhance the future prospects for people and the environment in mining areas, and to contribute to the delivery of the UK Government’s industrial strategy and the environmental, social and economic priorities of the UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments. This includes managing the effects of past coal mining and dealing with mine water pollution and other mining legacy issues.

Pickering Interfaces augments PXI microwave MUX with the addition of 67 GHz terminated switches to support 5G and semiconductor test

Pickering Interfaces, the leading supplier of modular signal switching and simulation solutions for use in electronic test and verification, has augmented its 4x-785C range of SP4T & SP6T microwave multiplexers with the addition of 67 GHz terminated SP4T / SP6T modules to support the latest requirements of the 5G and semiconductor test sectors. The 40-785C (PXI) and 42-785C (PXIe) modules feature internal relay terminations that can improve signal integrity. Devices feature panel and remote mount options that enable users to locate the switches at the most convenient location for their application; remote mount options occupy a single chassis slot but can control up to three switches, saving space.

The 4x-785C family is based on industry-leading superior quality Radiall mechanical microwave switches. The addition of 67 GHz 50 Ω internally terminated switches allows unused channels of a test system to be terminated in the characteristic impedance of the signal path, thus maximising signal integrity.

Remote mount options connect each switch to the control module via a 1.5 M cable providing flexibility in switch positioning. This reduces the length of RF connections, thus maximising performance and minimising cabling costs. Chassis slot count is minimised as only 3-slots are required for a single configuration – or 6-slots for dual panel mount switch – or just a single slot for the remote mount versions.

Comments Steve Edwards, Switching Product Manager at Pickering Interfaces: “To aid with test system health monitoring, the 4x-785C family is provided with a switch cycle counting feature. Determining the number of operations per channel can help manage the wear-out process by allowing alternate lower usage paths to be substituted for high-use channels.”

Pickering also offers a range of high-quality interconnection cables to support RF applications, and their standard three-year warranty covers all modules.

Farnell launches Global Women in Engineering Survey 2022

Farnell, an Avnet company and global distributor of electronic components, products and solutions, has today announced the launch of the annual Global Women in Engineering Survey in partnership with the element14 Community. The survey is an opportunity for professional women in engineering to share their insights and experiences, shedding light on career development as well as the broader challenges and opportunities within the electronics engineering industry.

The survey opens on International Women in Engineering Day (June 23), and will run for two months, closing on Saturday, August 20. The global survey is designed to gain direct insight from all members of the industry to understand current barriers to achieving equality and how to further diminish discriminatory practices in the workplace while painting a vision for the future. Results of the survey will be announced in September 2022.

Dianne Kibbey, Global Head of Community and Social Media for element14, said: “This year we have added new questions addressing issues highlighted in the analysis of previous survey responses. While it’s clear that our industry is moving in the right direction, there is more to be done. We are also looking forward to uncovering even more amazing success stories of women who are achieving great things in our industry.”

The 2021 global survey drew responses from 370 people. Most of the respondents were aged between 25-54, and just over half said they had more than 10 years’ experience in the electronics engineering industry. The survey showed that while women in engineering are gaining support from all genders, they are still underrepresented overall and experience various degrees of discrimination.

The 2021 research further highlighted that all respondents believe the most important goal for the modern workforce is to achieve is the equal treatment of all genders. This year’s survey will be a key indicator of whether that positive trend has continued.

Other key findings of Farnell’s Global Women in Engineering Survey 2021 included:

  • All genders have similar views about the benefits women bring to the engineering industry and believe that inequality needs to be addressed. Elevating more women into leadership positions where they can act as role models and mentors to other women will strengthen the implementation of equality policies and reduce inequality and sexism in the workplace.
  • The research showed strong agreement on many issues, while some key differences were uncovered. Despite women citing good pay as a benefit of working in engineering, they still believe that the gender pay gap is still an issue.
  • One powerful finding was that women were less worried about the need to travel for work than other genders perceive them to be. Only 15% of women surveyed suggested that reduced travel would be beneficial to their work-life balance and career prospects in contrast to the 25% of all other respondents who believed this to be true. This response suggests a further reduction in one perceived barrier to advancement in engineering careers for women.

There was an overwhelming response from all genders encouraging women to be more confident, trust in their abilities and embrace the challenge of working in engineering. Some of the top drivers leading women to enjoy a career in engineering included the opportunity to work on diverse projects, being involved at the birth of next-generation technology and establish and nurture a good work/life balance.

Farnell’s continued support for the survey will provide a comprehensive view of the challenges professional women working in the electronics engineering industry continue face and how they can successfully turn them into life-changing opportunities for themselves and the organisations they represent.

To get involved in Farnell’s new Global Women in Engineering Survey, go to: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/FarnellWiE2022

Sentronics partners with HORIBA UK to unveil new Fuel Consumption Sensor for the automotive market

Sentronics is pleased to announce its partnership with HORIBA UK to launch the next generation Ultrasonic Fuel Consumption Measurement Sensor, the HORIBA RealFlow: Powered by Sentronics, for the automotive industry.

Featuring the latest innovative advancements and patented technology in ultrasonic fuel flow sensing, the HORIBA RealFlow provides true under-bonnet installation and real-time measurement of fuel consumption for automotive validation and verification test applications. With an improved flow measurement accuracy of ±0.5% over an expanded turndown range of 1000:1 it offers unrivalled performance compared to its predecessor. The RealFlow is suitably equipped to measure ultra-low fuel flowrates found in high efficiency road car engines, but in the same small package.

This on-vehicle technology has been trusted to uphold compliance and monitor fuel usage in the upper echelons of competitive motorsport over the last 5 years and now the low flow variant presents an opportunity for vehicle test houses to unlock these high levels of accuracy, reliability and repeatability. 

Innovative digital processing techniques are harnessed within the instrument to measure time of flight with unprecedented levels of precision commonly associated with bulky, expensive laboratory equipment. With no restrictions on mounting orientation, the small, robust RealFlow is well-suited for direct installation in any engine bay making it an ideal tool for R&D and emissions testing to the RDE and WLTP standards.

HORIBA UK is embedded within the automotive testing industry and provide cutting-edge products, technologies, solutions, and services to vehicle manufacturers. The launch of the RealFlow now adds the capability of precision fuel consumption measurement for on-vehicle testing and perfectly complements the OBS-ONE Portable Emission Equipment that measures engine/vehicle performance under real road conditions. 

Neville Meech, Managing Director at Sentronics, said, “We are delighted to partner with HORIBA UK to launch the RealFlow to their automotive distribution network. Leveraging HORIBA’s extensive global presence, sales support network and their automotive test instrument expertise, our collaboration ensures our Low Flow Fuel Meters are more widely accessible through the HORIBA sales channel.”

Richard Carter, Director at HORIBA UK, said, “Adding this patented technology to our existing line-up of HORIBA emissions testing products continues to show how HORIBA leads the way with innovation-first testing devices. We are excited to now be offering the RealFlow to our customers.”

For more information and to discover the HORIBA RealFlow, please visit: https://www.horiba.com/int/automotive/products/detail/action/show/Product/realflow-4955/

 

Manufacturing & Engineering Week opens its doors to innovation and the best of UK industry

The very first Manufacturing & Engineering Week got off to a flying start at Birmingham’s NEC with 5221 visitors attending over the two-day live event to celebrate the very best of British innovation, creativity and best practice.

The four collocated exhibitions – Design Engineering Expo, Engineering Expo, Manufacturing Expo and Maintec – attracted 209 exhibitors from across the breadth of UK manufacturing and engineering. A wealth of solutions were on offer, from design and development to processes, assembly, control, robotics, maintenance, skills development, sustainability and many more.

At one of the first live shows since Covid, exhibitors were keen to show their wares, with many reporting a large number of good leads during the event as well as some sales.

Major show sponsors igus, Farnell and Wurth Electronics gave the event a definite thumbs up, emphasising how valuable it was to meet so many high quality visitors. Matthew Aldridge, Managing Director of igus, said: “It’s been a great event. We’ve met the right people and we’re definitely going to be here next year,” while Simon Meadmore, Vice President Product & Supplier Management, Farnell, was equally enthusiastic: “It’s exceeded our expectations. It’s definitely something we will do again. We’ve had really engaging conversations and it’s great to be back in this kind of format and seeing so many people attending the event.”

James East, Managing Director UK & Ireland, Wurth Electronics, also emphasised the value of attending: “It’s been a really good event. We’ve had loads of face to face interactions in the last couple of days – we’re definitely going to be signed next year and we can’t wait.”

“We were excited to see that so many exhibitors and visitors chose to join us to celebrate the very best of UK engineering talent,” says Natig Asadullaev, Exhibition Director of organisers Nineteen Group. “Bringing so many innovative ideas and creative people together made the entire event a great success and the ideas and solutions that Manufacturing and Engineering Week produced will help the UK meet its challenges and make the most of its opportunities.”

Bringing people together was the aim of CONNECT+ Live. This was a concierge service that pre-qualified engineering, manufacturing process and management professionals and buyers from buildings, supply chain & industrial maintenance sectors and matched them with a selected number of exhibitors for face-to-face meetings at the event. Newbridge Events, an expert agency specialising in business matchmaking, matched buyers’ needs with the connect+ suppliers, ensuring they found the solutions to meet their requirements.

Twenty exhibitors were involved, and 142 meetings and introductions were made. Key buyers to benefit from the meetings included Jaguar Land Rover, British Sugar, Draexlmaier, National Grid Gas Ltd, BT and DuPont.

Even before the event opened its doors, a day of digital sessions whetted the appetite for more, with some of the UK industry’s leading lights, such as Prof. Juergen Maier CBE, Chair of the Digital Catapult, Co-founder of vocL and former Chief Executive of Siemens UK, giving their expert views on the issues and opportunities facing engineering and manufacturing today. Lessons learned and questions raised throughout the week were also addressed in an online round up session with industry experts after the event, featuring Ben Fletcher, Chief Operating Officer of Make UK.

With innovation being a key focus, one of the most popular attractions for visitors was the Innovation Zone. As well as an AI enabled car, a vertical take-off biplane and an F1 simulator, visitors could also take an early peek at the New Holland T6 Methane Power, the world’s first 100% methane powered production tractor. A first for the UK market was also the first bike made from recycled plastics. Motion plastics specialist igus has designed a robust, durable urban bike made entirely of plastic, from the frame to its bearings and even the toothed belt.

Another focus of innovation and a popular highlight of the show was a challenge built around the famous 1980s Great Egg Race television show. Both days saw engineers eager to show their skills by getting a raw egg safely over a wall and into a bucket. Winners on the first day were Expert Technology Group, while Hunter Selection came out top on day 2.

Education was a major theme of the week and conference theatres in each of the four events featured CPD accredited high-level keynote presentations, panel discussions and case studies. Opened by the Secretary of State, these sessions filled all available seats with something for everyone across UK industry, covering sectors including aerospace, automotive, food and beverage, motorsport, energy & renewables, pharmaceutical, space and FMCG, with a particular focus on SMEs’ and OEMs’ strategies.

Topics under the spotlight included the future of the sector, digital transformation, incorporating AI, Net Zero, diversity and skills gap, Brexit and beyond, cyber security, navigating changing laws and more.

Companies large and small also brought their experience to the event in the form of workshop sessions that showed how they solved challenges for customers with the latest innovative technology.

With so many exhibitors rebooking onsite, plus a large number of visitors also expressing interest in taking stand space next year, the live shows will be held in the larger Hall 4 in 2023 on the 7-8 June at the NEC, Birmingham. The collaboration with Rapid News Group will continue for 2023, giving visitors free access once again to the colocated Med-Tech Innovation and TCT 3Sixty events taking place in adjacent halls. In addition, Automechanika Birmingham, the leading trade show for the UK automotive supply chain sector, run by Messe Frankfurt, will also take place the same week. Access to all shows is free of charge.

During the event, Nineteen Group also announced its acquisition of Hennik Group, organisers of Digital Manufacturing Week and the publishers of The Manufacturer. Hennik brings excellent connections with a large number of industry professionals, as well as digital expertise that will help Nineteen Group offer additional opportunities for the sector.

The next chance to showcase UK industry is on 7 July with National Manufacturing Day, a UK-wide Open House that lets local communities see first-hand the potential careers and jobs on offer in this exciting sector. The day will encourage all age groups from school leavers to more experienced workers looking at reskilling to consider the possibilities of a career in manufacturing.

Encouraging the next generation of female engineers

According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, 35 per cent of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) students in higher education in the UK are women. Taking place annually on 23 June, International Women in Engineering Day is an awareness campaign to raise the profile of women in engineering and focus attention on the amazing career opportunities available to girls in this exciting industry. To show its support for the campaign, global engineering technologies company, Renishaw, speaks to Lucy Spiteri-Beale, Early Careers and STEM Outreach Tutor/Technician at Renishaw about how the industry can encourage more students to pursue STEM careers. Lucy began her career at Renishaw as a Degree Software Apprentice and is based at Renishaw’s New Mills Headquarters site in Gloucestershire, UK.

Why did you become an engineer?

Growing up, my father and grandad were really into technology, so I understood a lot about computers from a very young age. During a college A-Level taster day, a teacher showed us a video of the careers you could go into with computer science. I fell in love with the wide range of jobs that you could do, including software engineering, and that is where my passion began.

When I was looking into attending university, my dad worked for Renishaw and suggested that I consider apprenticeships. My school was very orientated towards university degrees, so this wasn’t something I had considered before. I chose to do a software apprenticeship with Renishaw because it gave me the freedom to have a job and get a degree at the same time, which has led me to where I am in my career now.

Why did you move from software engineering into education outreach?

I have always loved working with children and even considered becoming a teacher for a while. During my first week at Renishaw, I was introduced to the STEM and Women in Engineering ambassador roles that were available to us. I immediately applied because it gave me the opportunity to work with children and become an engineering role model to young girls. You can’t be what you can’t see, so I wanted to be someone visible to the next generation of female engineers.

I decided to move into education outreach full-time because the ambassador work is what I loved most. I use my engineering knowledge and coding skills every day to come up with new activities to inspire the children. The best part is when children have the ‘lightbulb’ moment and are really engaged in the challenges they’ve been set.

What advice would you give to girls considering a career in engineering?

Engineering is commonly seen as a subject focusing on Maths and Physics, but I did A-Levels in English, Photography, Maths and Computer Science. People with many interests and from many disciplines can access an engineering career because engineering requires a wide variety of skills, such as creativity and problem solving. If you are making a product or software, it needs to work, but also to look good and inspire customers to use it – so an artistic, thoughtful, and creative approach is really helpful.

Finally, don’t let the idea of being the only woman in a room put you off. Many engineering firms, including Renishaw, are working hard to push past this stereotype and we are seeing far more women in the industry. I hope that in the future, this issue will be a thing of the past.

What can schools do to encourage girls to consider an engineering career?

Showing real-life female role models to girls will make their goals seem more achievable. Schools can get girls involved in workshops that provide them with exposure to engineering and the opportunity to learn more about different engineering topics, so they can find an area that they are interested in, and they can grow their passion from there. Engineering doesn’t just have to be in a laboratory or a dirty factory, the majority of things in our day-to-day life requires some form of engineering, so everyone can find their specific engineering interests.

Find out more about Renishaw’s education outreach programmes at www.renishaw.com/education-outreach.

Vaisala achieves excellent sustainability metrics

In May 2022, Vaisala, a global leader in weather, environmental, and industrial measurements, received an ESG Risk Rating of 9.7 and was assessed by Sustainalytics to be at negligible risk of experiencing material financial impacts from ESG factors.

Marjo Hietapuro, Sustainability Manager at Vaisala

This means that, when it comes to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risk factors, Vaisala is a very low-risk investment thanks to its strong ESG risk management. Vaisala’s ESG Risk Rating places it in the 2nd percentile in the electronics equipment industry assessed by Sustainalytics. More information about the analysis and Vaisala’s rating can be found on Sustainalytics website. In addition to Sustainalytics, Vaisala’s sustainability work also received the Carnegie Sustainability Award 2022 on May 31, 2022.

“We have been continuously improving our sustainable business practices, and I am happy to see all the work we have done reflected in Sustainalytics’ ESG evaluation. Nonetheless, while ESG risk management is important, it is also crucial that businesses align their strategies with our planet’s challenges. Vaisala’s greatest sustainability impact stems from the use of our products, as our customers can study, mitigate, and adapt to climate change, for instance,” comments Marjo Hietapuro, Sustainability Manager at Vaisala.

Sustainalytics’ ESG Risk Ratings measure a company’s exposure to industry-specific material ESG risks and how well a company is managing those risks. This multi-dimensional way of measuring ESG risk combines the concepts of management and exposure to arrive at an assessment of ESG risk, i.e., a total unmanaged ESG risk score or the ESG Risk Rating, that is comparable across all industries. Sustainalytics’ ESG Risk Ratings provide a quantitative measure of unmanaged ESG risk and distinguish between five levels of risk: negligible, low, medium, high, and severe. Learn more about the ESG Risk Ratings on Sustainalytics’ website.

In the rating, Vaisala receives great scores in all categories ranging from carbon footprint and supply chain management to employee matters. However, sustainability is all about continuous improvement.

“The ESG rating by Sustainalytics is a testament to the sustainability work we do in Vaisala every day. We also want to continue developing, and most recently, we committed to setting a science-based target and have put more focus on diversity and an inclusive work culture,” Hietapuro summarises.

What is Sustainalytics?

Sustainalytics, a Morningstar company, is a leading independent ESG research, ratings and data firm that supports investors around the world with the development and implementation of responsible investment strategies. Sustainalytics works with hundreds of the world’s leading asset managers and pension funds who incorporate ESG and corporate governance information and assessments into their investment processes. The firm also works with hundreds of companies and their financial intermediaries to help them consider sustainability in policies, practices, and capital projects. For more information, visit http://www.sustainalytics.com/.

Anritsu and Tektronix demonstrate PCI-Express 6.0 base specification test system at PCI-SIG Developers Conference 2022

Anritsu Corporation President Hirokazu Hamada announces Anritsu is demonstrating its Signal Quality Analyzer-R MP1900A series as part of a PCI-Express (PCIe) 6.0 Base Specification test system, along withTektronix Inc.’s DPO70000SX real-time oscilloscope and silicon-proven Synopsys PCI Express 6.0 IP. The demonstration will be conducted during the PCI-SIG Developers Conference at Santa Clara Convention Center, 21-22 June, 2022.

PCIe 6.0 utilises Forward Error Correction (FEC) as a key technology to assure the integrity of 32-Gbaud PAM4 (64 Gbps), low-SNR signals affected by transmission path loss. The result is more complexity associated with evaluating devices under test (DUT). The demonstration will highlight a more efficient testing solution using automatic Base Specification calibration and signal-quality evaluation by a Tektronix DPO70000SX real-time oscilloscope, combined with Anritsu’s industry-first MP1900A supporting error-correction analysis to measure FEC symbol errors in real-time.

In the demonstration, the Anritsu MP1900A will generate a stressed compliant signal calibrated by a Tektronix DPO70000SX oscilloscope based on PCI Express 6.0 Base Specification. The signal is transmitted to the Synopsys PCI Express 6.0 IP to measure bit errors using the DUT internal error counter. Additionally, bit errors will be measured by the MP1900A PAM4 Error Detector in DUT Loopback mode. Using its FEC function, the MP1900A will analyse and display FEC corrected/uncorrected errors and post FEC error rate, while the Tektronix DPO70000SX real-time oscilloscope analyses the signal waveforms from the DUT.

In addition to the PCIe 6.0 Base Test, a complete PCIe 5.0 LEQ test will be also demonstrated.

The Signal Quality Analyzer-R MP1900A is a high-performance BERT for measuring high-speed computer interfaces, such as PCIe 6.0, PCIe 3.0 to 5.0, and USB3.2/4.0, as well as ultra-broadband communications interfaces, including 400 GbE/800 GbE. Due to its excellent test reproducibility and easy operation, the MP1900A is a PCI-SIG-certified instrument for compliance tests up to PCIe 5.0. The joint demonstration supporting the new PCIe 6.0 standard will help advance PCIe worldwide.

Congratulations to Powelectrics’ Nicole Lowe

Well done to Nicole Lowe, Powelectrics’ Customer Relations Manager, who has just completed a course on Project Management at Staffordshire University as part of her continuous professional development!

Nicole has been part of the Powelectrics Team for over ten years. Her role involves the coordination of ordering, production, installation and support of IIoT solutions to ensure the very best overall experience for the company’s customers! This new qualification is helping her to expand her role to manage complex IIoT projects.

The course covered technical and behavioural competencies to help Nicole with leadership, decision-making and problem-solving when planning and delivering a digital transformation project.

Nicole told us: “I was a teenager when I started at Powelectrics, so you could say I’ve grown up here! I’ve certainly learnt a lot, speaking to customers every day and getting involved in all aspects of the business!

“The company has grown too, with new premises, new products and services and plenty of new faces. Powelectrics are enjoying record growth and my role has grown too. Thank you to Powelectrics for supporting me to gain new skills to help my lovely customers!”

Dave Oakes, Powelectrics MD added: “Nicole is a huge asset to Powelectrics… a perfect customer champion and a true team-player, willing to get involved in ad-hoc projects, such as ISO certification. She uses her thorough understanding of our procedures to contribute strongly to our continuous improvement.

“She has seen Powelectrics through periods of rapid change and growth and takes everything in her stride, appreciated by customers, suppliers and colleagues alike.

“Well done Nicole on this latest achievement!”

Powelectrics offers over 30 years of expertise and practical experience in instrumentation and digitalisation. The company delivers IIoT solutions globally, customising its versatile suite of IIoT technologies to gather data from a vast range of sensors, machines and IIoT devices.

Please click here learn more about Powelectrics IIoT Connected Sensor Solutions. 

To see over 30 case studies, showcasing our capabilities, please click here.

What can Powelectrics do for you? 

Please browse the Powelectrics website and get in touch with any queries you have or applications you would like to discuss. Call +44 1827 310 666, email sales@powelectrics.co.uk or use this contact form.

 

TTI Europe signs distribution agreement with Teledyne Relays

TTI, Inc. – Europe, a leading specialty distributor of electronic components, announces a new distribution agreement with Teledyne Relays, an innovative leader in manufacturing switching products.

Through the agreement, TTI now stocks Teledyne’s extensive product line-up of hermetic electromechanical relays, coaxial switches, and solid-state relays across Europe. The product portfolio covers wide-ranging applications, including, aerospace & defence, test & measurement, datacom & telecom, medical and industrial control.

“The Teledyne brand enables TTI to deliver technically advanced switching products and extends support for our customers,” said Ronald Velda, Director of Supplier Marketing for Connectors and Electromechanical Products in Europe, TTI. “We look forward to building our relationship with Teledyne to deliver high sales performance over the coming years.”

About the deal, Stuart Crawford, European Customer Services and Distribution Manager, Teledyne, said: “As a stocking distributor, TTI gives engineers direct access to our switching products and, with their extensive sales network, enables us to reach more customers.”

To learn more about the Teledyne Relays switching products available from TTI, please visit: https://www.ttieurope.com/content/ttieurope/en/manufacturers/t-z/teledyne.html