Annual Engineering Dinner 2024EESW Project Awards 2024Technical Site Visit - AlkegenWales National Eisteddfod August 2023Technical Visit to Atlas CopcoVisit to the Michael Beetham Conservation CentreMersey Tidal Power Project Quadcopter presentationTalk and site visit to Ynni OgwenHydrogen – Helping to meet the UKs Net Zero targetsJoint Lecture with RAeS A 350 – Diverse FutureMarine EnergyAdvanced Manufacturing Research Center (AMRC)STEM activity Raytheon Quadcopter Challenge 2021, Regional Final.Behind the Scenes at the RAF MuseumThe Seven Ways to Engineer ResilienceSixth Form Project Assessments and AwardsTechnical Lecture: - “Climate Change and Renewable Energy – The solutions and their problems”Presidential Visit Oct 2019Technical Lecture Automobile Division Chair’s Address - 100 Years of Bentley MotorsWirral Arts Festival – How engineering and technology are transforming the healthcare sector!Technical Lecture - The U-Battery, providing local low carbon energy? Visit to the Queensway (Birkenhead) TunnelWales National Eisteddfod 2019New Members Event July 2019Technical Visit to Hoylake Station- June 2019Technical Visit – Tata Steel- Apr 19Technical Lecture Arion 5- Feb 19Atlas Copco Visit- Nov 2018Energy Storage Talk- Nov 2018Wirral Arts Festival- Oct 2018Urenco Site Visit July 2018New Members Event July 2018UAS Challenge June 2018Community Hydro visitCammell Laird- Apprentice VisitEESW Big Bang - March 2018Annual Dinner - March 2018Land Rover 4x4 Schools Technology Challenge Jan 18Space Debris Jan 2018IMechE Engineering Heritage Award - The Daniel Adamson - a fully restored 1903 steam shipEngineering Your Future Careers all day Event- NOv 17Vist to Vauxhall Motors Ellesmere Port Nov 2017Quadcopter Challenge - Nov 2017School's Challenge - Nov 2017Skills Cymru 2017Engineering Your Future Careers all day Event - OctWales GB Rally - Oct 2017Region Supporting Team Falcon F1 in SchoolsWales National Eisteddfod - August 2017Presidential Visit and Annual Dinner - March 2017Bangor Science Festival - March 2017Solar Vehicles - Jan 2017Wave Energy Technical Lecture - Nov 2016Technical Visit to Toyota (Deeside Plant) - May 2016Wales GB RallyRegion Supporting Team Tachyon F1 in SchoolsTechnical Visit to RWEs Dolgarrog Hydro Site - May 2016Technical Visit to Electroimpact - May 2016Breaking the Human Powered land speed record - April 2016EESW Big Bang Event and IMechE Award - April 2016Farwell to Magnox - Seminar - Oct 2015From Formula 1 to Everyday Use (part of the Heswall Arts Festival ) 1 Oct 2015Vehicle Technology: Where Next? 1st Oct 2015Visit to Hoylake Lifeboat Station - Sept 2015Bright Lights and Engineering Technical Seminar June 2015Technical Visit to the Anderton Boat Lift - Oct 2013The History and Design of the Sea PloughYoung Person of the Year 2009 AwardVisit to the Deeside Power StationOpTIC TechniumSustainable EnergyProcessing Energy from WasteSir Alec Issigonis The man and his machineWaterside Most Improved Apprentice 2009

Atlas Copco Visit- Nov 2018

On the evening of Wednesday 14th November we had the opportunity of an evening visit to the Atlas Copco facility in Deeside (N Wales, Near Chester). The facility is known to many as “Henrob”. The main activities on site are the development and manufacture of Self Piercing Rivets (SPR) and the associated tooling. The main customer is Automotive (Did you know that the average car body shell contains 2,500.SRPs!!!!).


Henrob was established in 1985 by Keith Jones who first saw SPR technology during a business visit to Australia and subsequently acquired the rights to the Technology. Henrob became part of the Atlas Copco group during 2014.


The evening started with an excellent Hot Buffet (and desserts) which was followed by an introductory talk about Atlas Copco. The (Swedish Based) Atlas Copco group comprises 4 divisions, Compressed Air, Vacuum, Industrial Applications and Power. Henrob is part of the Industrial Applications Division. The group has a turnover of Euro 9Bn and has 34,000 employees. Henrob has 2 facilities, Deeside (UK) and New Hudson MI USA. In total these 2 facilities , employ 600 people, 285 of whom are based at Deeside. Henrob manufacture 4.5Bn Rivets per year. We were then given a tour of Rivet Manufacture, R&D and Tool manufacture.


Rivet manufacture is a cold forging process followed by annealing, plating and sorting. The plating is carried out off site. The rivet manufacturing is highly automated, very few people were seen. It is a truly “Lean” operation with an excellent standard of house keeping. All rivets go through a highly automated, vision system based “double sorting” process to ensure that there is no possibility of a stray incorrect rivet being included in a bag (of 2,000) rivets.


The R&D operation was equally impressive. There are 70 people employed in R&D covering new product development, technical support and tooling design. The R&D labs can develop, and manufacture prototype rivets. There was also an extensive testing facility.


Tooling (For attachment to robots) is designed and manufactured in a separate building. Bought in castings are machined using very sophisticated CNC machines in a well equipped Machine shop. These then go to an assembly shop where a bewildering array of highly bespoke attachments, sensors etc are added to make a fully equipped tool ready to be attached to a robot. Each tool is, in effect, tailor made for a specific application.


Overall this was an excellent visit with overwhelmingly positive feedback.


A big THANK YOU to Tom Wright and the staff of Atlas Copco Deeside


John Pollard  - Regional Chainman  I.Mech.E. Merseyside and N Wales  

© 2023 Institution of Mechanical Engineers. IMechE is a registered charity in England and Wales number 206882