The much discussed “productivity puzzle” continues to haunt the UK economy. Whilst the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that manufacturing productivity in the last quarter of 2016 grew by 1.7% on the previous quarter, overall growth still lags behind the curve.
Nevertheless, UK manufacturers recognise the need to enhance their productivity in order to compete; the latest Executive Survey from the EEF clearly confirms this.
The survey reveals that, in order to achieve their business goals in 2017, there is focus from UK manufacturers on productivity through three methodologies: 1) process innovation, 2) investment in technology and innovation, and 3) continued work to ensure flexible supply chains. Often the approach is quite holistic, taking on more than one of these aspects at a time.
Of the survey respondents, 56% report that they will be undertaking process innovations to increase productivity in 2017. Medium sized firms (those with 101-250 employees and quite possibly the unsung heroes of our manufacturing economy) are the most likely to be doing this, with seven in ten citing it as an action they will undertake. Complementary to this, half of companies expect to increase investment in technology and innovation in the next 12 months.
Judging by the rich number of enquiries and purchase orders we are currently seeing, it is clear that our customers are excellent examples of the proactive UK manufacturer. You are looking to us for process innovation in areas like very fast light curing of adhesives and coatings using UV and/or visible light, and sophisticated mixing and degassing. You are looking to us for technology and innovation in material application automation and precision, and surface treatment. And you are looking to us for reliable and fast delivery, consistent with supply chain efficiency. Our case studies illustrate how you have successfully worked with us in these and other areas.
This investment in productivity will enable our customers to maintain their competitive edge in a constantly and rapidly changing world, and respond flexibly and quickly to their customers’ requirements. We are delighted to be a part of it.
The new Thinky ARV-10K Twin planetary mixer offers the mixing and degassing capabilities of the Thinky technology in a size suitable for larger production. The planetary action on the twin 10 litre containers results in repeatable and fully homogenous mixing, combined with simultaneous deaeration and degassing down to sub-micron levels.
This twin mixer system offers a maximum mixing capacity of 20L. The vacuum is applied to the individual containers, reducing the vacuum volume and saving process time when applying and returning to atmospheric pressure. The synergies of planetary centrifugal mixing whilst under vacuum means that no air is added during the mix, and any air in the material is removed down to sub-micron levels. Unlike typical vacuum degassing processes, this happens without concerns about excess foaming and spillage, and in much shorter cycle times. Volatile compounds can be processed without vacuum.
The Thinky ARV-10K Twin is fully programmable, and brings control and consistency to mixing processes where guaranteed uniformity and low tolerance for even micro-bubbles is required. Critical areas include pharmaceutical formulation, fuel cells, batteries, precision composite fabrication, and thermal management materials.
We have added a “how to” video to our YouTube channel. Setting Up a Pressure Pot for Dispensing is a short visual guide for preparing a pressure reservoir for dispensing materials such as adhesives, paints, lacquers, solvents, inks, coatings, oils and many other low to medium viscosity liquids from a pail or bottle.
How to set up a pressure pot for dispensing
Ensure you are wearing correct PPE. Consult with the SDS safety data sheet for your material.
Remove the threaded thumbscrews and lift off the reservoir’s lid.
Place an open bottle of liquid in the centre of the reservoir.
Return the lid to the top of the reservoir whilst assuring that the dip tube is positioned inside the bottle of liquid.
Tighten thumbscrews evenly.
Ensure the regulator is fully closed before connecting the air line.
Connect all material and air lines supplying pressure to the reservoir.
Slowly increase pressure by gently opening the regulator until desired material flow is reached.
Don’t forget to depressurise the pot after use by gently loosening the air release valve.
Student Roy with James from our Order Fulfilment Team
Last week we welcomed two local students for the week as part of the Gosford Hill School work experience programme. The two students, currently studying for their GCSE’s, got stuck in to everyday life here at our offices in Kidlington, with Roy keen to understand some of the commercial aspects of a business, while Goncalo picked up some organisation and logistics skills in the warehouse. Both students spent time with more than one of our teams and were exposed to different aspects of our operations, accounting, sales and marketing, and how they work together to function day to day. It was a real pleasure to have the boys with us, to give them a small boost along their journey, and to have supported our local Kidlington community.
The tendency for some nanoparticles to agglomerate or cluster into denser masses can lead to homogeneity and performance issues in their subsequent use. Existing methodologies to de-agglomerate them do not always produce uniform results, or can be invasive and wasteful.
The Thinky PR-1 Nanoparticle Dispersion Machine is a desktop unit which can disperse carbon nanotubes (CNT), graphene and other 2D nanomaterials, within a closed container. The nanoparticle deagglomeration is very even and consistent, is highly reproducible, and is typically accomplished in a few minutes.
The Thinky PR-1 uses mechanical rotation and multi-directional ultrasonics to achieve a rapid and even particle dispersion. It has a temperature limit control in the ultrasonic bath to counter the temperature rise of water and materials as a result of ultrasonic energy, avoiding changes in physical material properties. The system is compatible with quantities as small as a 5ml capacity vial to a 200ml capacity stainless steel container.
The Thinky PR-1 offers benefits to researchers and developers in sectors such as drug delivery, imaging, tissue engineering, and biosensors. Nanomaterials prepared with the Thinky PR-1 may then be mixed with other materials in a Thinky planetary centrifugal mixer.
We are looking for an Internal Sales Executive to join our team here in Kidlington, just north of Oxford.
You would love this job if the thought of helping our customers with their technical challenges combined with the thrill of winning purchase orders turns you on. We have a consultative sales approach, so a technical background is required (minimum is a science A Level), combined with good communication and relationship skills.