7 June 2016

Aerocom Metals join as official Steel Tube supplier

I'm delighted to welcome Aerocom Metals to the growing list of sponsors, who have kindly offered us a very good deal on T45 steel tube.

The choice of suppliers is limited, and they all supply top class motorsport teams already so they hardly need the publicity, but I think the uniqueness of our crazy project attracted them.



I've been discussing this for some time - indeed I got an outline agreement in January when I met them at Autosport International - but it's not until fairly recently that we've been able to give them an indication of the tube sizes and quantities that we need.

They've got a list of what we need now and the material should arrive at the Vulcan Dezign workshops very soon ready for fabrication to begin.

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Keep watching the blog for more news, or click the links to Like Us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter You can also keep up to date by registering for the newsletter, or joining the supporters club; details are HERE.

Sponsors still being sought: If you'd like to join  this extraordinary journey get in touch with Phil on 01825 761890

Inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers at www.FastCharge.org



Welcoming M J Allen Ltd on board for Precision Machining

Longer-serving readers might recall I met Tim Allen, Managing Director of M J Allen Castings and Machining Ltd, at the Kent Manufacturing Expo last October. We had a meeting shortly after to see if they could help us with parts for the bike, but at the time we agreed there was nothing needed at that time that matched their capabilities, but I promised to keep in touch.




Well, during recent design reviews on the gearbox it occurred to me that M J Allen, based in Ashford in Kent, were an ideal partner to manufacture the gearbox cases as they currently manufacture - from the castings through to finish-machining - the gearbox and differentials for the "County" 4-wheel drive Ford Transit. I remember these vehicles from when I was in the All Wheel Drive Club many years ago. At that time they were after-market conversions but it's now a factory option which is fitted on the Ford production line.

M J Allen clearly have the capability and quality to be supplying direct to a major OEM, so I contacted Tim to see if they could help with our one-off gearbox. We haven't finalised the deal yet, because the drawings are still being prepared, but I'm pleased to say that, subject to seeing them, Tim has offered us help with this very important component.

Tim also forwarded some other machining that I require to one of their group companies, Rydal Precision Tools in Swanley. You can read more about that arrangement HERE.

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Keep watching the blog for more news, or click the links to Like Us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter You can also keep up to date by registering for the newsletter, or joining the supporters club; details are HERE.

Sponsors still being sought: If you'd like to join  this extraordinary journey get in touch with Phil on 01825 761890

Inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers at www.FastCharge.org


Rydal Precision Tools join the project

When I called Tim Allen, MD of M J Allen Ltd, about machining the gearbox cases and a few other bits he generously offered to help. They'll be doing the gearbox at the Ashford factory, but he forwarded some components - machined tie-bars and studding for for fabrication jigs - to Shaun Compton, Managing Director of Rydal Precision Tools in Swanley.



Shaun was pleased to help out and the parts were back with me within a week of dropping off the free-issue material. They now been used to build the dummy capacitor pack (see image) which uses the PE300 panels made just a few miles away at NE Plastics in Sidcup - another lead from Tim Allen which came from our presence at the Kent Manufacturing Expo last year.


Machined tie bars, studding, and other components for the chassis fabrication jigs from Rydal Precision
Image (C) Weald Technology Ltd 2016. All Rights Reserved

We're building quite a consortium of Kent manufacturers at the moment and I’m hatching exciting plans to reward our business supporters with an event in the county. Keep following the blog, or sign up to the newsletter, to be first to hear about it.


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Keep watching the blog for more news, or click the links to Like Us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter You can also keep up to date by registering for the newsletter, or joining the supporters club; details are HERE.

Sponsors still being sought: If you'd like to join  this extraordinary journey get in touch with Phil on 01825 761890

Inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers at www.FastCharge.org




Proud to support Cooden Tax Consultants at Accountex 2016

I was delighted to be able to help out one of our sponsors recently with the loan of the original bike for an exhibition at ExCel in London.

Cooden Tax Consulting have been supporting us for almost a year now with support towards project costs and, more importantly for a company like us, support to make sure we secure our full entitlement to R&D Tax Relief. Simon Bulteel, founder of Cooden Tax Consultants not only makes sure we claim all we’re entitled to but backs it up with full support, including representation on our side of the table, should HMRC choose to challenge the claim. This is really valuable for any company involved in research and development.

Simon Bulteel (2nd Left) and Phil Edwards (3rd left) at Accountex 2016
Image (C) Avant Photographic 2016 All Rights Reserved

Hence we had the bike on their stand at Accountex in early May. We are well aware that our motorcycle stops people in their tracks so you can engage them in conversation - and true to form it did. To the finance directors and accountancy practices that Simon was hoping to meet it was then a relatively simple matter to make the connection between our R&D - hence the exhibit - and Simon’s skill in looking after our Tax Claim.


It is a natural fit, and if you think you might have any innovation in your business have a chat with Simon on 01424 225345 to see what you’re entitled to. The scope is wide-ranging so don't think it doesn't apply to you; you have nothing to lose from a quick chat with Simon.

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Keep watching the blog for more news, or click the links to Like Us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter You can also keep up to date by registering for the newsletter, or joining the supporters club; details are HERE.

Sponsors still being sought: If you'd like to join  this extraordinary journey get in touch with Phil on 01825 761890

Inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers at www.FastCharge.org


10 April 2016

2Spec Design have solved our Gearbox conundrum

I'm delighted to welcome Chris Hughes from 2Spec Design to our growing band of sponsors. Chris is a highly experienced transmission designer and answered my plea for help to design a transmission that would handle the awesome torque and power of the Fast Charge bike.

Chris has been working on the design of the gearbox, alongside GEMMC on the motor development and Rob on the chassis design. We've had a number of iterations of the design - mainly because the constraints on assembly and overall packaging in the chassis are so tight. I'm delighted to say that we are pretty close to resolving it now.

For the technical-minded it's basically a single speed reduction gearbox, using two sets of 31:59 gears to give an overall ratio of 3.81:1. This reduces the motor's peak speed from 22,000 rpm down to 5,750 rpm, after which a standard motorcycle chain/sprockets set gives us 2.5:1 reduction to the rear-wheel rpm of 2,300.


Gearbox assembly. Image (C) Copyright 2spec design Ltd 2016. All Rights Reserved

Gearbox assembly. Image (C) Copyright 2spec design Ltd 2016. All Rights Reserved


Gearbox internal assembly. Image (C) Copyright 2spec design Ltd 2016. All Rights Reserved

As with everything else on the bike, we can't afford to over-engineer "just in case" as we need to keep weight and inertia as low as we can possibly. This gearbox has been designed for a life of about 15 hours - plenty when it's only working hard for a few seconds at a time, but somewhat different to Chris's more usual demands of 250,000+ miles for an automotive transmission!

We've just got to get it made now - and with no budget earmarked for it (it was a late addition to the specification) we're struggling... Can you help? Please get in touch with Phil Edwards on 01825 761890 if you can; I'd love to hear from you.

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Keep watching the blog for more news, or click the links to Like Us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter

You can also keep up to date by registering for the newsletter, or joining the supporters club; details are HERE. Sponsors still being sought.

If you'd like to join us on this extraordinary journey and share the publicity get in touch with Phil on 01825 761890

Inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers at www.FastCharge.org

Special Screws from TR Fastenings

In our quest to keep weight to a minimum our long-term supporters from TR Fastenings have kindly provided us with a big box of specially made aluminium M6 screws. These will be used to secure the busbars.

The weight that we save per screw is tiny, but when you need nearly 1,500 of them it adds us to a few kg's - a very valuable saving.

1,500 special aluminium M6x11 countersunk pozi-head screws we'll be using
Image (C) Weald Technology Ltd 2016. All Rights Reserved

A selection of the 1,500 special aluminium M6x11 countersunk pozi-head screws we'll be using
Image (C) Weald Technology Ltd 2016. All Rights Reserved 
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Keep watching the blog for more news, or click the links to Like Us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter

You can also keep up to date by registering for the newsletter, or joining the supporters club; details are HERE. Sponsors still being sought. If you'd like to join us on this extraordinary journey and share the publicity get in touch with Phil on 01825 761890

Inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers at www.FastCharge.org

NE Plastics manufacture the Honeycomb boards

It was exciting when I visited NE Plastics at their factory in Sidcup, Kent, yesterday to see the first of the PE300 polyethylene boards being manufactured. We are using these to hold the capacitors in place - you can see the capacitors held in them in this recent CAD model of the finished pack.

Small mock-up panel used to test capacitor mounting and busbar assembly
Image (C) Copyright Lyra Electronics Ltd 2016. All Rights Reserved

CAD model of complete pack. the PE300 'honeycomb' panels are used to support the capacitors
Image (C) Copyright Lyra Electronics Ltd 2016. All Rights Reserved

We are also making up a dummy pack, without the capacitors fitted, for use when fabricating the chassis, so the pack just slots straight into place when it's time to assemble the bike. For that purpose we have had a set of PE300 boards cut that only have the holes for the tie-bars that you can see at top and bottom of the pack.

NE Plastics CNC Router
Image (C) Copyright Weald Technology Ltd 2016. All Rights Reserved


Profiling one of the dummy boards
Image (C) Copyright Weald Technology Ltd 2016. All Rights Reserved

Board profile completed
Image (C) Copyright Weald Technology Ltd 2016. All Rights Reserved
A 10mm board having a series of 60mm holes routed for locating the capacitors
Image (C) Copyright Weald Technology Ltd 2016. All Rights Reserved



video

Video (C) Copyright Weald Technology Ltd 2016. All Rights Reserved


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Keep watching the blog for more news, or click the links to Like Us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter

You can also keep up to date by registering for the newsletter, or joining the supporters club; details are HERE. Sponsors still being sought. If you'd like to join us on this extraordinary journey and share the publicity get in touch with Phil on 01825 761890

Inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers at www.FastCharge.org