Snakes and Ladders

Snakes and Ladders

ometimes a day in the office can be likened to a game of snakes and ladders. One minute you are climbing up the ladder of success, doing well and with one throw of the dice, or a slip on a wet wooden rung, you find yourself sliding back down again. But life can often be like that, with hopefully, a good balance of ups and downs, or the feeling of travelling one step forward and two back.

Reaching the top of the ladder, aspiring for that career goal or............... <continued>

CAN bus: not a public transport vehicle

CAN bus: not a public transport vehicle

You would be forgiven for thinking this blog is going to be discussing the pros and cons of your local bus service or timetable. I’m afraid this is simply not the case. Neither is it going to be anything as entertaining as the famous British sitcom, On the Buses. What it is going to focus on, however, is how a vehicle communicates internally. Still with me?

As a mechanical design engineer with more than a keen interest in old and classic vehicles, I am of course acquainted with a............... <continued>

May the force be with you

May the force be with you

In mechanical design engineering it is sometimes necessary to determine how something is going to react under given circumstances. It is a way of checking how a product will behave when it is actually being used for the purpose it is required to serve. We have been involved with many clients over the years who have necessarily needed to complete a sequence of testing in order to proceed with their design and development project. But what is the best way of............... <continued>

The seed of an idea

The seed of an idea

It is an understatement to say that when it comes to new product development, an idea has to come from somewhere. Whether that may manifest itself as a spark of genius to create something entirely new, or a more subtle design change in how a product looks, feels or operates. In any case, it is a seed of an idea which will have to be rooted and nurtured in order for it to reach its full potential.

Out and about in my local woods the other weekend................ <continued>

Shhhh, Shhhh

Shhhh, Shhhh

You might be forgiven for perhaps thinking this blog is going to focus on Björk’s famous 1995 hit “It’s Oh So Quiet”, but you would, I’m afraid, be sadly wrong. Although highly enjoyable, if you like that sort of thing, the title is actually referring to how we have to behave as a mechanical design engineering business.

Serving clients who may be bringing a new product to market, or who are working on a design improvement to an................ <continued>

Building Bridges

Building Bridges

When you meet someone for the very first time and tell them that you are an engineer, many assume you are in construction; that you build bridges, tower blocks and skyscrapers. I have to then explain that I am in fact a mechanical design engineer, which means I don’t get directly involved in these so-called big scale building projects, but rather you will find me beavering away behind the scenes, so to speak, with the intricate details, the nuts and bolts. Namely, the mechanisms, systems and components that drive or lay behind these constructions................ <continued>

The Long and Short of It

The Long and Short of It

It certainly is really scary how quickly time passes. We came to the realisation the other day that we have been in the new Sanstec workshop for almost a year. It only seems like yesterday when we were having to safely pack tools and machinery in preparation for the move to another premises.

The cost of relocating was indeed considerable, both in terms of time and money. A lot of clearing and sorting was undertaken prior to................ <continued>

Is engineering for me?

Is engineering for me?

So, why choose a career in engineering over banking, accountancy, or teaching, to name a few professions? Well, Sanstec Design’s MD and Mechanical Design Engineering Consultant Alastair Sanderson speaks candidly, in this blog, about his personal pathway and why 20 plus years later, he still finds the industry extremely exciting.

When did you become interested in engineering?

As long as I can remember I have always been interested in................ <continued>

Plastic: Fantastic?

Plastic: Fantastic?

You would surely have to be living on another planet not to be aware that the plastics industry is growing at a staggering and perhaps a rather alarming rate. But more worrying than this is the sheer volume of plastic waste. It is already estimated that more than 10 million tons is dumped into our oceans every year and that, by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish. A recent report by the OECD predicts that global plastic waste could triple by 2060. Whether we are a manufacturer or .............. <continued>

Up Close and Personal

Up Close and Personal

A recent addition to the Sanstec workshop, electronics bench and inventory, has been a new digital microscope. It is something we have been thinking about acquiring for some time, but it was not until we needed to solve a technical development problem for one of our clients, did we actually take the time to research the marketplace and select the right product to suit our needs.

We were very excited indeed, when at last we could................ <continued>

Here’s the Thing…

Here’s the Thing…

Sometimes, one of the very first phrases I hear when taking on a new mechanical design engineering project, is “here’s the thing”. This is the moment you know that you are going to receive details of the engineering problem to be solved. The project, often named as ‘x’ or something more obscure, is used for those more highly confidential development products. Maybe as yet unbranded or named, it is up to the research and development (R&D) team to develop the................ <continued>

Over the top

Over the top

The next time you brush your teeth with a humble non electric toothbrush, take a closer look at the handle.

With a quick first glance, you may only see that another colour plastic has been incorporated into the product, but take a second, closer inspection and you might realise that the plastic not only looks unalike, but feels distinct too. This is a result of using the manufacturing process of overmoulding................ <continued>

Copycat, Copycat, Sitting on the Doormat

Copycat, Copycat, Sitting on the Doormat

No one really likes a copycat, or do they? Well, we all may know someone who seems to constantly mimic other people’s ideas and actions, but how do we feel about it? Within the school gates, it certainly seems acceptable behaviour, to make children feel part of the in-crowd. How many of us can remember and admit to wanting the same expensive branded pencil case, watch or phone, as the other children cherished and enjoyed, when we were at school? But sadly, or gladly, I am................. <continued>

Engineering The Future

Engineering The Future

You don’t have to look very far to read about the various technical advances in engineering.

Whether it be in relation to the latest discovery or scientific breakthrough. New products and ideas are happening all the time and a lot of them sound like they have been lifted from the pages of a science fiction comic or sci-fi movie script. It certainly is an extremely exciting era to be involved in this................ <continued>

Mercury Rising

Mercury Rising

So it was hot, really hot! During last week's record-breaking heatwave, members of the press, media and weather forecasters were talking about climate change and the fact that we will need to get used to higher summer temperatures and more records being broken. Some of us were considered lucky to be working in air conditioned offices, while others like delivery drivers and the bin men were trying to carry on as business as almost usual. With never-before-seen temperatures............... <continued>