3 June 2014

Greenpower recognised by UK’s leading examination boards


Supporting our Supporters... a series of articles providing industry updates about the companies that are supporting our World-Record EV Challenge.

“Greenpower Education Trust is delighted that its long-running, successful STEM enrichment project for young people has been recognised by two of the UK’s leading examination boards – OCR and Pearson.

OCR are launching four new Cambridge Nationals engineering qualifications for the 2014/15 school year. Each one is a GCSE equivalent and will be mapped to the Greenpower IET Formula 24 car design and build as a practical resource for students to use in the exam.

Likewise Pearson are launching their two new specialist BTEC First Awards: the Pearson BTEC Level 1/Level 2 First Award in Engineering Design and Product Investigation and the Pearson BTEC Level 1/Level 2 First Award in Engineering Electronics and Computer Control Technologies.

Once again, the Greenpower IET Formula 24, and 24+ design and build will be closely mapped to these awards and will be able to be used as a practical resource within the qualification. This work with leading education providers is a great endorsement of the high standards of engineering enrichment Greenpower has been offering to schools over the last 15 years.”

For more details about Greenpower see HERE


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Lightweight Fastening Solutions in the Automotive Industry

Supporting our Supporters... a series of articles providing industry updates about the companies that are supporting our World-Record EV Challenge.

As part of an on-going programme to increase its services and products and, in particular, to assist existing and new customers achieve the weight reduction requirements and high torque demands of the automotive industry, TR Fastenings came to an agreement with Phillips Screw Company in early 2013 whereby it could manufacture, under licence, Phillips’ complete range of industrial drive systems.

Established as an industry leader for its engineering and manufacturing capabilities, TR Fastenings already owned the Pozidriv® trademark for the UK, Pozi® in the EU, and also the MAThread® and Torx® licences, and therefore, according to Geoff Budd, Managing Director at TR Fastenings, (pictured left) “it was a natural progression to manufacture the famous Phillips Drive Systems”.
Since 1933 the Phillips Screw Company has been the leader in the development of high performance fasteners for the automotive. Beginning with the 1936 Cadillac (the first car to use the original Phillips screw and screw driver in production) today the Phillips Screw Company is still leading the way to greater efficiency with the introduction of a range of new drive systems, including the MORTORQ® Super high strength internal drive. This innovative system provides the lowest head height possible while reducing overall weight. Furthermore, in transmission applications the MORTORQ® Super drive has provided unparalleled tool life, yielding a six-time increase that has resulted in fewer line stoppages for tool changes and greater productivity.

Other new innovations include Phillips’ new External MORTORQ® Super bolt, originally designed for the aerospace industry, but which is quickly gaining applications in the automotive market.  The reduced head height and weight of the External MORTORQ Super bolt provides superior torque transfer that is optimized in the removal direction to assure ease of service in the aftermarket (the bolt head design is also compatible common hex and bi-hex sockets) and at end of vehicle life recycling.

Benefits & Applications
In addition to manufacturing the Phillips Drive Systems at its factories in the Far East, TR’s Application Engineers are working closely with its Automotive Tier 1 customers at their Design and Engineering Centres across Europe, Asia and the USA, providing technical advice and support on their use in numerous automotive applications, including car seats, cockpit modules, PowerTrain, door and instrument panels, steering systems, chassis and transmissions, as well as engines and brakes.

Chris Black, Director of Global Automotive New Business Development at TR Fastenings, comments: “Phillips’ Drive systems appeals to our customers requiring more sophisticated engineered applications. These fasteners have up to 25% less material in the head, giving it the advantage of both weight reduction and less material used -  very much a value added product.”
With this broad stable of high-performance systems, Phillips Screw Company and TR Fastenings continue to provide the best solutions to automotive fastening requirements.


For full information about TR Fastenings see HERE

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Organic Black Coating Now Available from TR Fastenings

Supporting our Supporters... a series of articles providing industry updates about the companies that are supporting our World-Record EV Challenge.


TR Fastenings is delighted to announce that it is now able to offer a unique superior black organic finish to all its metal fasteners. This UV-resistant coating delivers a high level of corrosion resistance, no hydrogen embrittlement issues and can be applied over most metallic materials as well as over zinc plating/phosphating or mechanical plating to form a black, decorative finish that can withstand up to 240+ hours of salt spray.


Typical applications include hardware, automotive components, springs, clips and rivets –wherever fasteners are on show and need to be both cosmetically outstanding and of the highest quality. Customers who have already requested this finish from TR Fastenings include the luxury marine brand Sunseeker.



Ideal for Marine, Audio and Industrial Applications you can find out more on the TR display at Seawork2014 - details HERE.
For full information about TR Fastenings see HERE





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APC announce the iMOD X-Series™ Ultracapacitor from Ioxus

Supporting our Supporters... a series of articles providing industry updates about the companies that are supporting our World-Record EV Challenge.


APC Hi-Rel are delighted to be offering the new iMOD X-Series™ from Ioxus, a new series of module systems for a common, single-piece extruded housing for application across all of its axial ultracapacitors.


Recognizing an inherent design issue responsible for disproportionate heating and aging of centre cells in basic modules, Ioxus created the iMOD X-Series to correct these flaws while reducing cost, minimizing design time and increasing reliability. The iMOD X-Series allows for every cell to be in thermal contact with the outside of the housing, therefore allowing for even heating and cooling, as well as a reduced heat generation. This reduction in heating and better cooling allow for even aging of the cells, to create a longer lasting, more reliable product.

The iMOD X-Series simplifies system design and installation for the end-users of multiple applications including hybrid buses, rail services, automotive systems, wind turbine pitch control, and backup power/UPS. By doing so, the iMOD X-Series product line reduces the effort required to design module-to-module termination and monitoring connections, as well as simplifies the mounting arrangements. The patent pending, single-piece extruded housing and common components across the Ioxus product family means all of the required components are the same, regardless of the module voltage or capacitance.

“The introduction of iMOD X-Series once again demonstrates Ioxus’ dedication to developing products that offer the highest technical performance while meeting the customer’s needs,” said Ken Rudisuela, chief technology officer at Ioxus. “By sharing common components in our modules, we’ve designed ultracapacitors that can easily fit into standard racks with no shelving required and at 50 percent less volume than our competitors. With installation this simple and performance this high, it’s clear that Ioxus has separated itself from the pack and that our ultracapacitors are the most suitable for use in all transportation, industrial and energy applications.”

For the full story see the press announcement HERE


For more details about APC Hi-Rel see HERE and for Ioxus Inc. see HERE



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Ioxus to help Long Island Rail Road reduce energy consumption


Supporting our Supporters... a series of articles providing industry updates about the companies that are supporting our World-Record EV Challenge.


Ioxus has announced its ultracapacitors are being fitted to the railway wayside traction power on the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR). The ultracapacitors will provide voltage support to assist the traction power system, capturing and storing the energy produced by the train, using it to facilitate better acceleration and allowing for greater energy efficiency and reduced energy consumption.


Ioxus ultracapacitors were selected for use on the LIRR by Electrical Power worX Corp (EPX), a company specializing in the engineering and development of energy storage systems. Marcus Emerson, Sr. Electrical Engineer/Project Manager of EPX, said: “We are fitting the ultracapacitor bank in 20-foot shipping containers, where it will sit on the railway traction power feeds and interface with a high power DC-DC converter. Its high-duty cycle and efficient throughput will be integral to successfully providing voltage support and reducing energy consumption, improving the LIRR trains’ performances.”


EPX selected Ioxus to supply ultracapacitors to the LIRR following consultation with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). NYSERDA made its decision following successful demonstrations that detailed how Ioxus’ ultracapacitors would help the LIRR reduce energy consumption by up to 30 percent and improve railway operations. For the full story see HERE          


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TR proud to support London to Barcelona Bike Ride 2014 for Chestnut Tree House

Supporting our Supporters... a series of articles providing industry updates about the companies that are supporting our World-Record EV Challenge.

Ian Carlton, Quality Director at TR Fastenings and a group of friends have decided to embark on a 1000 mile cycle to raise money for a very worthy charity, Chestnut Tree House. The organisation is the only children's hospice in Sussex and cares for 300 children and young adults from 0-25 years of age with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses from East and West Sussex and South East Hampshire.

Some of the team cycled from Lands End to John O'Groats in 2012 to raise money for Chestnut Tree House and decided they wanted to challenge themselves once again by cycling for 10 days from London to Barcelona. Team LonBar start their challenge from Big Ben in London on the 13th July 2014 arriving on the 23rd July in Barcelona. You can support their efforts at the Just Giving page HERE

For full information about TR Fastenings see HERE

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Haslemere Motorcycles go Retro

Supporting our Supporters... a series of articles providing industry updates about the companies that are supporting our World-Record EV Challenge.


If you like one off Bonneville based specials, Haslemere Motorcycles is the place to see some special and unique machines, now that they've teamed up with British Café Racers to produce café racers, professional "Shed-build type" customs, and Flat Trackers - all of them one-off specials bespoke to order and made for you!


Spokesman Mark Lucock says "We are an old company, with a history going back to the 60's, and having been making one-off Bonnie’s for over 10 years, we felt it was time to get serious!"


For more information on British Cafe Racers click on the link, and to see more about Haslemere Motorcycles see HERE


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Pentagon Plastics are proud to develop UK Manufacturing skills

Supporting our Supporters... a series of articles providing industry updates about the companies that are supporting our World-Record EV Challenge.


In the past it was felt by many British companies that moving production abroad is the way ahead.  After many years of people opting to have the manufacture of their components moved overseas we now see the wave of change growing stronger as companies look to re-shore their work back to the UK. Obviously this brings with it both a great boost to the UK economy but also to the Manufacturing Industry that has been perceived by many as a dying trade...…

At Pentagon Plastics, unlike many other UK manufacturing companies we have enjoyed 42 years of steady growth and last year had our best ever trading year!  Standing firm against the recessions that brought similar companies to their knees or who buckled under the strain of overseas manufacture, has not been easy but a strong belief in the service we offer has seen us win through.

Going forward we know we face another challenge as do many companies in our industry, this is the challenge of finding young (or any for that matter) skilled engineers to work in our on-site Toolroom where we produce, basic and high end Mould Tools along with Modular Insert Systems.  The ability to also repair existing tooling and complete modifications requires skilled individuals.

We found ourselves in the fortunate position last year were we needed to recruit a skilled Toolmaker to work in our toolroom alongside our 5 existing engineers, due to increase in demand of our services.  This was indeed a very exciting point as it reaffirmed to us that the desire for UK manufacturing is indeed on the up and that we have a firm standing alongside our peers.  The down point however was the lack of CV’s that came through the door when the position was advertised through various channels…..

Although there were candidates with engineering experience many had long pursued alternative career paths when their historic employers ceased trading some ten to twenty years back and with the growth at Gatwick Airport. This meant that many candidates had been out of the industry for a substantial time and would not be able to hit the ground running which was the one thing we needed at the time.  Evidently these candidates were also mostly of a certain age.  We are at a point in our business where we are looking ahead to the next 20 years of trading and want to add skills to our existing team that will be staying with us (we hope) for many of those years to come and not planning their retirement in the near future!
In May 2014 after many months of looking for a skilled Toolmaker to join us we were delighted to welcome our most recent recruit to the Pentagon team.  He comes to us following the closure of his own business where his partners decided it was time to hang up their overalls and enjoy the fruits of their hard earned labours.  Lucky for us Colin is not ready to down tools yet and is looking to continue his good work in engineering and comes to us as a real asset at a pinnacle time as we move forward into out next business chapter.


This now opens up new avenues to our business going forward and we are hopeful that we will be able to take on an apprentice in both our Mould Shop and Toolroom next year, as we now have more resource to meet customer orders and a wealth of knowledge and skill to impart on those who are looking to step into UK manufacturing.


Our recent search for a skilled engineer within the manufacturing industry only highlights even more the current Skills Gap that we are facing.  With fewer apprenticeships having been offered and the wave of youth focusing on a University degree and a desk job (not to say these are not worthy choices) we now have a massive void that needs filling if UK manufacturing is to continue its growth.


This is why we have decided to take steps to raise awareness of the array of career opportunities that manufacturing offers.  We have done this by ‘getting down with the kids’ and using threads of social media, forming alliances with local schools and universities, offering work experience to both school children and those currently looking for employment opportunities and opening our factory doors to students of all ages to see for themselves what it is we actually do.


We are hopeful that we will be able to make small waves and raise awareness of our strong and diverse industry to those coming up through the ages and help secure the future of not only our own Injection Moulding business but the UK manufacturing industry as a whole. Not everything can be made by computers and robots; we need people to build our future!


For full information about Pentagon Plastics see HERE


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Caged Laser add new tube-cutting laser from Amada

Supporting our Supporters... a series of articles providing industry updates about the companies that are supporting our World-Record EV Challenge


Caged Laser Engineering, of Frome in Somerset, has recently added a new laser to their equipment list. The Amada FOII Rotary Index laser is a supremely versatile machine which includes an innovative Rotary Index allowing the operator to easily switch between flat sheet cutting to tube or pipe cutting on one of three shuttle pallets.

For more details of Amada laser equipment see HERE
For information about the capability and capacity of Caged Laser Engineering see HERE



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Ioxus opens new ultracapacitor manufacturing facility


Supporting our Supporters... a series of articles providing industry updates about the companies that are supporting our World-Record EV Challenge.



Ioxus Inc, has announced the opening of its second manufacturing facility in Oneonta, New York. The 22,000 sq. ft. plant, located less than a mile from Ioxus’ headquarters, will create increased capacity for both electrode manufacturing and module assembly to meet rapidly increasing demands for Ioxus products worldwide.



“Customers love our products, and that is why we are seeing Ioxus ultracaps designed into a broad array of products including buses, trains, cars, heavy machinery, solar panels and other industrial equipment. The expansion of our manufacturing facilities allows us to meet the supply requirements of major new customers in these applications. Worldwide, Ioxus now utilizes over 100,000 square feet of manufacturing capability in four locations.” said Mark McGough, CEO, Ioxus.



Ioxus’ new site will add more than 30 new jobs in the Oneonta community, increasing the number of US employees to 150. For the full story see HERE



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