Blogs

Opinions and viewpoints from across the industrial spectrum, raising key issues of relevance to the engineering design community.


Facing up to cyber threats

The advent of Industry 4.0 has meant that connectivity is increasingly a given in new component design. The ability to relay and feed back information about its performance and conditions now has to ...


Design matters…

It would be nice to think that the value of design to the UK’s economy would not need highlighting. However, the reality is that it is often a misunderstood concept and consequently underappreciated.



Industry must step up on technical education

The first 52 colleges and post-16 providers to teach new ‘T Levels’ were named on 27 May. T Levels are courses, which will be on a par with A levels and will provide young people with a choice ...



Electrifying vehicle technologies

Despite appearing to be a modern phenomenon, the first electric vehicle took to the road in 1832 and in 1899, outselling all other available options, including steam and gasoline powered vehicles. ...


Disruption is the new normal

In the technology sphere, ‘disruptive’ can sometimes seem an overused term. So much so, in fact, that it almost feels rare to encounter a new product or technology that isn’t instantly labelled ...


How thin cell batteries are revolutionising industry

In 2011, Chinese engineers claimed to have made the world’s first shrinking device. While it may sound like it came from a film, the device only creates the illusion of a smaller object, rather than ...


Should robots pay taxes?

Robot tax? A tax on robotics is as absurd an idea as a tax on pencils. As Britain’s political parties discuss a potential tax on automation and robotics, Nigel Smith, managing director of Toshiba ...




Bridging the skills gap with automated engineering

According to the State of Engineering Survey by Engineering UK, the industry requires 265,000 new skilled entrants annually in order to meet demand by 2024. Here, Martyn Williams, managing director ...


What now for driverless vehicles?

The recent death in Arizona of a woman after being hit by a self-driving car operated by Uber has inevitably cast a shadow over this area of technological development. In no small part this is ...


Robotics boom creates components shortage

A global surge in robotics manufacturing has created a shortage of common industrial components required for other industries, according to suppliers. For example, the increased demand for bearings ...



The ultimate light-weight military vehicle

The sheer variety of military vehicles currently out for tender demonstrates the lack of consensus on military vehicle design at present. However, it does also highlight the willingness of original ...


Taking a closer look at tantalum

Last month, comic book fans flocked to cinemas as Black Panther hit the screens. Underpinning the film’s plot was fictional metal vibranium, which powered the titular hero’s kingdom of Wakanda. ...


Innovation needs protection to thrive

As modern British innovators go, it is fair to say that Trevor Baylis CBE perhaps exemplified a certain archetype. With his invention of the wind-up radio, he perfectly represented the independent, ...





A guide to thin section bearings in industrial robots

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) often highlights consumer trends towards robotics and this year, the spotlight remained on robot personal assistants. Inspired by the show, Chris Johnson, managing ...


The requirements of a successful acquisition

A year on from its acquisition of UK based professional battery manufacturer Accutronics, global battery manufacturer Ultralife Corporation is now reflecting on the key strategies that allowed the ...


Making smarter investments in automation

Highlighted in the Government’s Made Smarter Review, industrial digitalisation technologies (IDTs) are transforming the manufacturing industry — that’s artificial intelligence (AI), 3D printing, ...


Collaborative robots – risks and rewards

When you are contemplating how to complete a challenging, tedious, dirty (or even dangerous) job there is usually a heightened sense of satisfaction when you actually get it completed. That sense of ...