Positive, Pro-Active and Strategic

Positive, Pro-Active and Strategic

There's a lot of doom and gloom about at the moment, to say the least. Some of the recent news articles, political tensions, economic issues, reports on climate change and general 'pointing the finger of blame' are not exactly inspiring, positive or very re-assuring at all, never mind the fact that some of the news is quite frankly downright shocking.

We could of course comment on the various situations in more detail, give our opinions and express our concerns, but we don't think that would ..... <continued>

Design Validation

Medical Devices: Design and Development Validation

Well, what a busy few weeks we've had, I've genuinely been rushed off my feet whilst we transition between previous commitments and a substantial new assignment with a long term medical devices design and development consultancy client of ours.

It's been particularly good to be back working with some old colleagues, (older in years as well), re-kindling some great working relationships, and developing some new ones in a place that we are relatively ..... <continued>

Face to face

Face to Face: A short interview with Alastair Sanderson

We all know that in the business to business environment people tend to buy from people with whom they form a connection with, lots of the reasons why we work hard to try and build quality relationships with our clients.  This got me thinking that maybe I should allow myself to be interviewed, over a coffee naturally, so you can all learn a little more about me.  Who knows, you may read something that resonates within your own life.

Q: Where did your love of all things engineering begin? ..... <continued>

Sugary Treat Friday

Sugary Treat Friday: Time to say thank you

It's always a bit of challenge when it’s time to leave one project and move on to the next. You say goodbye and farewell, thinking about the next project that's already started to consume some of your thinking time, still wondering how things really went on the one you're leaving, but also what challenges the next engagement will bring.

To sweeten (literally) the departing/leaving/finishing experience and particularly in acknowledgement of the effort that your client’s 'people' have ..... <continued>

Tank Driving

Tank Driving: "mind your head"

I was in Leicestershire over the weekend as part of a gift generously bought for me by my family. Husbands Bosworth to be precise, because that's where you can get an opportunity to drive around some fields in a FV432 Armoured Personnel Carrier, in this case fitted with a L7 GPMG (de-activated of course).

Thanks to Armourgeddon and particularly Joe who was my instructor for the session on Sunday morning, navigating me, (as commander of the tank), as we ..... <continued>

Engineering Change Control

Engineering Change Control - an important process

Over the last couple of months we have been working hard, utilising PTC's Windchill and CREO 5, to help our client complete a number of important changes and updates to their products, to reflect the various engineering changes that are required.

The 'process', generally known as Engineering Change Control, is the overall method of ensuring that an existing product is kept up to date with the best engineering specification that the manufacturer can achieve. Relating to safety and ..... <continued>

1968 Austin Pickup

Classic Car extreme recovery - Part 2

Classic Car extreme recovery - Part 2 and counting.....

After our recent blog about our sister company, Sanstec Garden, asking for us to help it to extricate a 1968 Austin Pickup from a customer’s garden, as it very much appeared that it would need some sort of engineered solution to effect a recovery, we had quite a lot of feedback. So, following receipt of these interesting comments and general curiosity on the subject, we thought we ought to provide a little bit of an update on the progress we've made so far ..... <continued>

When one door closes

When one door closes another one often opens

Stay positive…when one door closes another one often opens……..

Providing our design engineering services directly to our clients as a company, means we need to be ready and ‘available' to work. This of course is a real challenge and one we constantly face month to month and sometimes even on a day to day basis. I’d love to tell you that we always get it right…….. but of course that wouldn’t be true, with circumstances sometimes completely changing after just one phone call and ..... <continued>

Outsource

To keep in-house or outsource

How does your organisation procure your support services?

A company/business is an 'organisation', so defined because it's an organised set of constituent parts that form/co-operate/function together to perform the intended core/primary tasks which are the reason for the business in the first place.

By the nature of the fact that the company/business is an organisation, whether it's directly or indirectly, it will need several support services which are ..... <continued>

Classic Car extreme recovery

An Interesting Engineering solution

Classic Car extreme recovery

An interesting engineering challenge, requiring a lot of diversified problem solving, was recently presented to us by our sister company, Sanstec Garden, after a client asked them to help out in resolving a particularly sensitive and potentially destructive situation.

Well not really a case of some cataclysmic event, but rather a very awkward and particularly fragile object that was hindering progress on the maintenance and ..... <continued>

Version management

From PDM to PLM - Business and Process Improvement

We're off to the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull on Thursday next week to spend time learning more about Business & Process Improvement, by transitioning from PDM to PLM. Thanks to Concurrent Engineering, who are hosting the session, there's free registration and parking, plus we get treated to a buffet breakfast and coffee.

Knowing that it's organised by Concurrent, we are expecting an informative and productive time and it will be really useful to hear from ..... <continued>

Version management

Multiple CAD Platforms and Version management

Working alongside a variety of clients means that we need to keep our design engineering software up to date and aligned to the various new releases. We spend a lot of time working on establishing the capability within the latest version and essentially exercising its capability in relation to the previous version. Having more than one CAD system, which includes, CREO, Solidworks and Inventor, ensures that we are kept very busy updating and understanding the changes in the individual ..... <continued>

Developing vehicle technologies

Developing vehicle technologies: creating better drivers?

I need radar; or rather my car does, so I can look ahead beyond what I can physically see. What I'm actually saying is my vehicle needs some way of helping me to make better driving decisions in a simple way and less complex than perhaps a fully autonomous response, some way of warning me that what I am about to do is hazardous.

After another recent delay (and subsequent cancellation) getting to an appointment, I'm confronted yet again by the conclusion that people are ..... <continued>

User experience

'The continued decline' of UK Manufacturing

Is there a perception that there is a ‘continued decline’ of UK manufacturing and is it true?

Following a recent announcement in the press that a company with production facilities in Suffolk are 'having' to re-locate their operations outside the UK for 'economic reasons', we decided to conduct a quick bit of research into whether or not we could identify whether this was actually a general trend for manufacturing-based companies. Just in simple terms and trying to remain objective, to provide a bit of an overview of the ..... <continued>

User experience

The User Experience - 'UX' anyone?

It sort of baffles 'us' slightly, well a lot actually, that more manufacturers aren't, shall we say, a little more 'user centric' (to use some of the relevant terminology), during the design and development process. After all a product is really an experience to the user and only a 'product' to the 'someone' who makes it. We're not saying that all manufacturers have no UX focus as such, we're just saying that sometimes when you 'have an experience' with a product, you might wonder if the design of it could have been a little ..... <continued>

Factory

'UK Manufacturing' under pressure....

Overcoming the challenges of 'NPD' outside the UK.

I was concerned and saddened to read in the news at the beginning of the week that BOSCH Lawn & Garden in Suffolk have decided to close their UK manufacturing facility based in Stowmarket, as production is being re-located to the Power Tools plant in Miskolc, Hungary in Eastern Europe. Our thoughts and feelings go out to those families that will be affected, the local businesses and community as a whole. There is some good news though, as the ..... <continued>

Automechanika

Automechanika: We’ll see you there....

We're looking forward to attending the Automechanika trade fair which is held at the NEC between the 4th and 6th June.

This will be our first time at an Automechanika event and leads on from our previous involvement in the general automotive sector with client projects completed on motorbikes, remote control systems, UAV transportation support, autonomous robots and robotics for products in manufacturing. We've worked on various design and development of ..... <continued>

Triumph Daytona

'A' Class Surfacing - Triumph Daytona 'bodywork'

When I was out and about the other day, I found myself admiring some motorbikes parked along the High Street in Colchester and realised I'd become distracted by the design of the different models. I was particularly interested in the similarities and differences of the design and branding for the different manufacturers.

Anyway, that got me thinking about some work undertaken quite a long time ago - nearly 20 years in fact - we had previously done for a consultancy that worked for ..... <continued>

Majenta Solutions

Majenta sells Autodesk division to Symetri

CAD Reseller Developments: Symetri acquires Majenta Solutions's Autodesk Division.

Early April we received the news that Majenta Solutions has sold its Autodesk Division to Symetri. With the general busyness of the last few weeks, it's taken me a while to research and digest this news to see how it might affect us as a company and perhaps the industry in general.

Majenta Solutions has supported our use of Autodesk products, in our Product Design Suite Premium package, following its acquisition of ..... <continued>

Sanstec sign

New Sanstec external signage designed and commissioned

For some time now, we have had a lack of 'proper' external signage at our workshop in Colchester, which has caused a bit of confusion experienced by visitors and delivery drivers alike.

One of the reasons for the delay in getting something arranged was that we couldn't decide whether or not we liked what was on offer for the cost. Being a creative and a rather particular design company caused us to procrastinate for quite a while. In the end, we took it upon ourselves to design a new main workshop sign in-house. After looking at a few examples ..... <continued>

CREO 6.0 now available

Keeping up with CAD: CREO 6.0 now available

Thanks to PTC and our active maintenance package through Concurrent Engineering, Sanstec Design gets all the latest updates and product communication notifications as soon as PTC releases them.

We're particularly interested to see that CREO 6.0 is now available and can be downloaded etc through the normal channels. We'll be going ahead shortly, with downloading and installing our own copy, so that we can start to get familiar with the latest ..... <continued>

CREO Simulation

Brief Review on CREO Simulation Live

We recently attended a couple of webinars (5th February 2019 - thanks to Root Solutions and to PTC for inviting us and hosting them), about the functionality in the recently released 'Creo Simulation Live' from PTC.

This new 'product' has been fairly well hyped in the industry during its general release, so I'm sure you'll already know it has updated functionality which is powered by ANSYS that allows you to get "real-time feedback on your design decisions ..... <continued>

Component Rationalisation

Component Rationalisation

Whilst undertaking routine grounds maintenance at our workshop recently, our Viking petrol lawnmower had an unfortunate 'coming together' with a 'stray bit of concrete', which took a 'chunk' out of the blade and shattered the bottom of the aluminium blade carrying bush.

On repairing the lawn mower, (thanks to Ernest Doe in Colchester for supplying the part), we noticed that the original blade bush assembly of 4 parts, consisting of an aluminium cast bush, a plastic pulley and two screws, had been  ..... <continued>