Visit to Borgwarner Turbo Systems – 15th May 2013

Plaque presentation at BorgwarnerThe Northern Area Committee, in conjunction with IET, organised a technical visit to Borgwarner Turbo Systems.  The visit to be hosted by Steve Birnie, Head of Engineering, Nathan McArdle, Engineering Manager, Andy Clayton, Operations Manager, James Finley, Applications Engineering Manager. The state of the art manufacturing facility assembles the turbo chargers that are used in light trucks and commercial vehicles.

An introductory talk was given with an overview of the company’s investment into improving the product range to help increase fuel efficiency.  The Engine Group develops air management strategies and products to optimize engines for fuel efficiency, reduced emissions and enhanced performance. BorgWarner’s expertise in engine timing systems, boosting systems, ignition systems, air and noise management, cooling and controls is the foundation for this collaboration.

The Talk was followed by a comprehensive factory tour, taking in all elements of the manufacturing process including product testing.

This was a tour of an impressive local company using up-to-date manufacturing techniques. The company are to be congratulated on their world-class factory, and the design and manufacture of their products.  The members of the Management team who hosted the event are to be congratulated and thanked for the way they gave a very passionate and enthusiastic talk and informative tour.

The IMechE Yorkshire Region showed its appreciation to Borgwarner Turbo Systems for hosting an extremely interesting visit with the presentation of an IMechE plaque

Safety and Reliability of Joint Replacement - 17th May 2013

Hip Joint visualisation

An account of the remarkable work being done at the Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, University of Leeds was given by Dr Claire Brockett CEng MIMechE and Dr Mazen Al-Hajjar. The focus was on hip and knee joint replacements with a description of how testing is performed in the laboratory to evaluate materials and geometry of the replacement parts. Key requirements are ability to cope with the range of movements required and reliability over the period of use.

In a low speed contact situation such as this it is inevitable that wear willl  occur over the lifetime of the joint. This is evaluated with the aid of dedicated reliability test machines. Superimposed on this is the need to ensure that the materials are suitable for insertion into patients and that wear debris is harmeless. Both metallic and non-metallic components have been investigated and have been found to have advantages and disadvantages. The replacement parts can be suited to individual requirements. The knee joint is in some ways more complex than the hip because of the range of movements involved. Developments on this topic are less advanced and there is a lower requirement. Nevertheless, work is progressing using experience gained with the hip joint.

Claire has over ten years’ experience of working in the bioengineering field  and is currently working on the ankle joint. Mazen’s expertise lies in the experimental studies of the hip joint, specifically tribology, pre-clinical testing of joint replacements and he has been responsible for developing new test methods.

Visit to Boxford Ltd - 20 Nov 2012

presentation of plaqueThe Northern Area Committee, in conjunction with IET, organised a technical visit to Boxford’s brand new factory in Elland in November 2012, and were privileged for the visit to be hosted by Howard Barrett, Boxford’s Chairman and Paul Barraclough, Boxford’s Managing Director. The new factory is a state of the art manufacturing facility that manufactures just about every component that is used in the machine tools made by the company. An introductory talk was given detailing the company’s recent move from Halifax, and showcased the comprehensive range of machine tools manufactured by the company. The company manufactures both basic and CNC machine tools generally for education use, and 40% of their output is exported. The Boxford lathe has of course long been a favourite of the model-making fraternity, but the new machines are now much more versatile and capable of production use. The ease with which the machines can be programmed was demonstrated, followed by a comprehensive tour of the factory.

This was a tour of an impressive local company using up-to-date manufacturing techniques. Boxford Ltd has been awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, the UK’s highest accolade for business success, and the Award is obviously well-deserved. The company are to be congratulated on their world-class factory, and the design and manufacture of their products.

Like many visits, this was well-supported and 27 members enjoyed a splendid event. The IMechE Yorkshire Region was later able to show its appreciation to Boxford for hosting an extremely interesting visit with the presentation of an IMechE plaque.

Efficient Data Centre Cooling

23rd November 2011

An effective event, combining technical details with practicalities

George Hannah, Product Development Director, gave an overview of Airedale and an insight into the advances being made in data centre cooling systems. These centres have grown both in size and in energy intensity in recent years. Dissipation of the heat is crucial to reliable operation of the chips inside. Contrary to initial perception, cooling can be more efficient and effective if the temperature of the coolant air can be raised because it results in improvement in both capacity and efficiency of the refrigerant cycle. Also free cooling can be used on more occasions.  This has the bonus of enabling smaller cooling systems to be specified. Separation of the cool air from the warm air that has done its job is essential – any mixing just raises the air temperature without doing any chip cooling. Warm “aisles” are the answer and as operating temperatures rise, these are better kept enclosed to maintain a reasonable temperature for anyone working inside.  

Professor Harvey Thompson gave an introduction to the recently formed Data Centre Alliance. This is a professional association comprising of industry leaders from across the Data Centre Industry. The objective of the DCA is also to provide members with exclusive access to advice, guidance and academically peer reviewed documentation. Dr Jon Summers, also from the University of Leeds, spoke about CFD modelling to better understand air flow patterns, control of which is vital in gaining efficiency. Some intensive studies have been made using the University’s own servers, the results of which have started to be applied in commercial centres.

A lively discussion was followed by a tour of Airedale’s test facility. The party was divided into groups to view the semi-anechoic test chamber and other environmentally controlled test environments used for both development work and audit testing.

NA Visits the National Railway Museum Archives

12th November 2011

The visit to the NRM included visits to both"Search Engine"- the access to the archives, and the Warehouse. Both of the tours underlined the roles played by a number of I Mech E past Presidents in the development of the Railway.

Sept 2011

Highlights from the event

Institution members, Graduates and students from Leeds University and colleagues from Primary Engineer held a 2 day workshop at the National Science festival in Bradford making balloon and elastic band cars and informing visitors about Engineering careers. Over 200 students with parents and family members attended over the weekend.
A great time was had by all and the stand proved to be one of the busiest in the Atrium over the weekend.

March 2010

The Northern Area were privileged to host the visit to the Region of the Institution's 124th President, Keith Millard. He observed an Our World in 2050 day at Horsforth School, made the first award in Yorkshire and the North-East of the Professional Excellence Award to Cummins Turbo Technologies in Huddersfield, and presented certificates to new Corporate Members and Fellows from  the last twelve months.

© 2011 Institution of Mechanical Engineers. IMechE is a registered charity in England and Wales number 206882