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) TunnelNew 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 2015Technical Visit to the Anderton Boat Lift - Oct 2013Bright Lights and Engineering Technical Seminar June 2015The 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 2009Wales National Eisteddfod 2019

Technical Visit – Tata Steel- Apr 19

On the evening of Thursday 4th April we were treated to a most interesting tour of the steel coating facility at Shotton (Deeside nr Chester).

 

Steel making at the Shotton site goes back to1895 when John Summers & Sons set up a green field steel works. By the 1970s this vast site employed in excess of 10,000 people. This included a facility, set up in 1965 making Painted steel under the Band Name “Colorcoat”. In March 1980 all Steel manufacture other than the Painting operation was closed with significant job loss.

 

Today we see a modern, well run and profitable steel (Zinc) coating and painting operation. Tata Shotton currently processes 500,000 tonnes of Steel per year. They employ 700 people and turnover £350 Million yielding a profit of £35 Million.

 

We were able to see a recent upgrade to one of the Colorcoat lines (Capex £60Million) which enables 3 coats of paint to be applied to the Zinc coated steel in a single pass. The benefits of this are that Tata can offer a Chromium Free paint system that enables them to maintain their 40 year guarantee at the cost associated with a single pass manufacturing process. This makes them unique in the industry.

 

The plant is highly automated and during the excellent plant tour one cannot fail to be impressed by the level of investment. This investment is aimed at maintaining a leading edge product in terms of quality, performance and consistency. In addition significant ongoing investment in health and safety is very evident.

 

Mike Renfrey (Chief Mechanical Engineer) also showed some other interesting areas of development

3D Printing – Recently the site purchased 3D printing equipment, one area where this has been put to good use is in manufacture of difficult to obtain (often due to obsolescence) parts. An example shown was the manufacture of replacement Electrical Switch Gear handles which were no longer available to purchase. By avoiding the need to replace an entire panel simple because of a broken handle a significant amount of time and money can be saved.

Augmented reality - This is the use of a headset (similar to a virtual reality headset) as a means of communicating e.g. between the site and Engineering offices. Some of the uses foreseen are Electrical fault finding and accurate manufacture of guarding (difficult on an old site without accurate drawings to manufacture intricate guarding on a “right first time” basis). To date this capability has met with significant success.

Electronic Manuals – The idea is to have equipment and operating manuals available in electronic form, on a screen adjacent to the relevant equipment. Clearly there are many benefits not least of which are avoiding the need to search for information and the guarantee that the information accessed is the current version.

 

Overall an excellent visit, a big THANK YOU to Mike and his team


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