mikecoop

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So far michael has created 9 entries.

3D Printers and Components at TCT 3SIXTY

As a innovative technology developer, Bowyer Engineering have embraced 3D printing as a tool and stepping stone. We have both print and evolve our printers, updating our machines continuously. With a full machine shop behind us, it is the perfect development tool to print first, second and third evolutions of parts before committing to machining the full prototype. We have the inhouse capability to take your printed prototypes on to the next stage where robust metallic prototypes are required with machined finishes and surfaces. Our machine shop set up, combined with our design and production engineers enables us to inject design for manufacture into all development project. Being a named inventor on numerous patents already under our belt we are happy to support your company evolve your own intellectual property and create your own market niche.

Our own printers are bespoke and contain novel printed and machined components. We are happy to machine printer components, such as nozzles and heat sinks from exotic materials for their specialist finishes, hardness and heat properties.

Come and see us at Stand C42 at TCT 3SIXTY, 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing Intelligence Show at the NEC Birmingham.

Bowyer Engineering supports Andover’s Climate Day of Action

In order to support Andover’s Climate Day of Action Bowyer Engineering attempted our first Carbon neutral day at the factory.

With our new LED lighting and IT infrastructure, the majority of our power consumption as a business comes from our machine tools and compressors. During our factory re-fit we installed a new efficient compressor with reservoir and replaced all the hissing pipes. During the summer months our 5 Axis CNC machines run almost completely from power from our 99.6 kW photovoltaic array, subsidised by power we push into the grid at weekends for the early mornings and evening working.

We are extremely proud of our employees having managed to remove 24 petrol and diesel cars from the Andover roads and supporting the Climate Day.

We had:

• 7 cyclists (including a 44 mile round trip)
• 6 Working from home
• 9 on leave
• 7 Walking
• 1 Electric car
• And 2 running!

Where we could not avoid a carbon footprint, company owners Michael and Heather Bowyer have planted 5 trees to offset this impact. We are very aware of how difficult it is to make an Engineering business environmentally friendly, but I like to think we attempted to make a difference, even in a small way.

 

CO2 Emissions calculations / assumptions
Over the last month Bowyer Engineering has Exported to the grid 5,243 kWh and Imported 7,601 kWh. This created a deficit of around 102 kWh per day (assuming we are currently only working Monday to Friday). This with standard electricity supply would produce 28kg of CO2 per day (Using 3,600 kWh produces 1 tonne of CO2).
Cars to the factory:
82 km @ 180 g/CO2 per km produce 14kg of CO2
10 km @ 130 g/CO2 per km produce 1.3kg of CO2
Working on 1 tree can remove approximately 30kg of CO2 in 1 year requires us to plant 2 trees to cover today only.

Bowyer Engineering celebrating 75 years in business

I would like to thank everyone that made celebrating our 75 years anniversary possible. Celebrating within Covid rules is challenging, but possible, and very important for the morale of all the staff. We look forward to holding an open day when allowed / appropriate.

I am not sure if my Grandfather chose to start the business on St. George’s day on purpose, but I like to think so. With the current economic conditions and Covid environment it is hard to celebrate. As an Aerospace led business last year has been tough, but with appropriate diversification we have kept ourselves busy over the difficult period. I would like to take the opportunity to thank all our customers and suppliers for their continued support, and we look forward to continuing this relationship for many years to come.

The future now

Bowyer Engineering’s expansion plans have seen the arrival of two large 5-axis CNC machines, one twin-pallet horizontal CNC machine and a small mill-turn machine.

In a Q&A session, Bowyer Engineering’s new sales director, Bob Burggy outlines how a new philosophy on future direction will see the company become an even more exciting place to be part of in the future.

Bowyer Engineering was founded in Clerkenwell in 1946 when the company initially worked in the provision of tooling and equipment for the telecommunications industry. In 1969 Bowyer Engineering, by now specialising in volume machining, re-located to a new greenfield site in Andover as part of a London ‘overspill’ agreement.

The company continued to evolve by establishing working relationships with other companies and began to develop and construct automated special purpose machines for use in diverse high-tech industries following a chance opportunity to design and build robotic welding fixtures for a specialist supplier. By 1995 it was rapidly running out of space for new CNC machines and office space and a 400m2 extension was built as well as a mezzanine.

Bowyer Engineering has gained a reputation as solution providers for part or complete projects, and can evolve into new areas as and when required. Following-on from the success of the special purpose machines, and taking advantage of opportunities whenever they arise, the company diversified into instrumentation in the 1980s, subsequently expanding into NDT support in the early 2000s with the provision of EDM notching facilities.

A complete internal rebuild of the premises (then 50 years old) was started in 2018, resulting in 50% more office space and re-planned machining and assembly space. In addition, further expansion has continued with replacement of older equipment in 2020, when two large 5-axis CNC machines, one twin-pallet horizontal CNC machine and a small mill-turn machine were added.

Bowyer Engineering manufactures and repairs instrumentation for gas turbine development and test programmes.

Q) What are the types of performance demands placed on your company by today’s aero customers?

Firstly, reaction time. We can respond much faster to the changes and demands of the major customers we are supporting. As our authorisation loop is shorter, we can make quick decisions and pull the trigger faster on urgent needs for projects.

Secondly, relationships across the business. We pride ourselves at supporting and working with different sections throughout many of our larger company customers. This creates a working partnership and assists the customer to build bridges across inter-departmental resource.

Q) Do you see tier suppliers gravitating towards more military contract work now that some of the civil work has dried up for the foreseeable future?

This has not been the case for us yet. We support niche areas within the civil aviation industry that need to continue. There was an initial 3-6 months dip, as our customer base assessed their situation. Now they have identified the key projects within their business and need to proceed. Military aviation opportunities are still very welcome, and we are well versed in dealing with enquiries from this sector.

Q) Tell me more about the kind of aerospace component contract work you are involved in?

We develop, manufacture and repair on-wing engine inspection and test equipment. We undertake the development in conjunction with the customer, so they do not need to employ a whole department and keep them on standby for when urgent inspection equipment is required. It’s a sensitive area for our customers, so it’s difficult to be specific. Our kits are used on-wing after a specific number of engine cycles to confirm certain components will reach the scheduled service interval.

Q) Is there a particular success story you can briefly talk about?

Our success story has been the support of the Trent 1000 engine, reacting fast for the customer, and getting a support solution together and providing the logistics to get the solution out across the world.

During the pandemic, like a lot of engineering businesses, we’ve stepped up to support ventilator manufacture. MRT Castings, who manufacture several components for ventilators, had a 500% increase in demand. In supporting the cause to defeat the virus during the initial lockdown, we were more than happy to turn 50% of our machine shop over to help. We still have our staff and plant supporting this demand and expect to do this till early this year.

Q) What are your thoughts on the disruptive technology of additive manufacturing?

We’ve always embraced new technology. We see additive manufacturing as an addition to the solution portfolio rather than a competitor. During the early introduction on DMLS, we supported 3D printing companies with the finish machining of components and still support them with overspill for complex projects. The technology still struggles with sufficiently round holes and threads requiring finish machining. In the areas where we work, fully machined components are still the preferred option for pressure rakes and the intricate inspection equipment we manufacture. We conduct 3D printing in-house for trial development parts. We would typically print two or three variants before we machine a development part.

Q) Do you find the current UK manufacturing industry an easy industry in which to do business and keep pace with changing trends?

Generally yes. The changes in ISO, AS9100 and SABRe have been at a pace we can see coming and deal with as they happen. EC legislation for shipping and export has been the biggest challenge, but we have invested and trained our staff, so we feel we are currently keeping pace with the changes.

Q) What differentiates your company from the competition – why should a customer use you over your nearest rival?

Our ability to provide a complete solution. We’re not just a machine shop, an instrumentation and assembly shop, design house or project manage sub-contract services. We can provide a combination of any of these services, which makes us a one-stop shop solution provider. Doing as much as possible in-house enables a high level of control of the services to deliver the projects on time.

Q) Having recently joined the company, what are your aims and ambitions – does the company have a clear vision ahead?

Growth is an important vision for the future; both the expansion of the existing customer base and diversification into new markets are important for Bowyer. Success in the specialised sectors of the aerospace industry has curtailed the move into new markets. However, Bowyer has recently made significant investment in the facility with new plant of the latest technology, expansion and improvements to the workplace maintaining excellent welfare for the workforce.

This, together with new philosophy from senior members of the management on future direction, means Bowyer Engineering will be an even more exciting place to be part of in the future. As sales director, I look forward to adding my experience and networking links to the plan; there is a fantastic sales, project and design team in place ready for the tasks ahead.

Work has started on the way in which we promote the company and the image it portrays. We have enlisted the assistance of local marketing experts to ensure that we are optimising the impact we have on the marketplace. A new look Bowyer is on the cards, but this will come in small steps for a bright and fresher future.

Bowyer Engineering PV Solar Array

I will be the first person to put my hand up and say I am no expert in power generation, environmental consultancy or finance, but there is something very satisfying about knowing your solar panels are crackling into life at 4.50 am in the morning.
We have a 99.6 kWp system on our factory roof. The install was done at the same time our roof was replaced with a modern insulated roof replacing a corrugated asbestos tiles. The size was limited to the local grid’s capacity in our road. Above 100kW, there was a jump in cable sizes at several locations, making the return on investment less attractive. That said the 100kW system covers a lot of our demand and covers the majority of our roof.

 

We are a small Engineering business in Andover that runs a number power hungry CNC machines. Prior to the system going into service we paid around £2,000 per month for our electricity. This has on average halved clearly indicating the payback opportunity for this investment.

Where it works for our business is that we use all the power we generate, so we do not need to rely on the subsidised feed in tariffs to make the system viable. Our system when live as the feed in tariffs expired so our exported power is purchased at only 3 to 4p per kWh. Not having to pay for the power, effectively makes the rate 13.5p per kWh making the investment much more attractive, while only receiving the low rate at the weekend when not in use. With an initial investment of £70k, this project looks to have paid for itself within 5 years. I am sure that with subsidies on feed in tariffs that early investors got an even faster return, we are quite happy with what we have achieved. With a 20 year minimum life on the system it was an easy decision to make.

Moving on from a purely financial investment as a family run business, and personally as a father of 3, I feel it is right to do our best to protect the environment. As an industry perceived as dirty and energy hungry it is nice to move away from that image before we are forced by our customers or legally mandated to do so by the government.

The software that comes with the system gives you feed back on how the system is performing. A sunny May produced over 15MWh of power. With days over 600kWh covering all our energy needs.

We have fitted an Electric Vehicle charging point on the side of the factory, which we allow free charging during daylight ours for employees and customers. This has seen little use to date, but it is important to look forward to the needs in the future.

free vehicle charging pointsvehicle charging points

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The final feature that makes me smile is a little icon that tell me the CO2 reduction and equivalent trees planted. I know this is somewhat of a gimmick, but it makes easier to rationalise as a non-expert what you are doing for the environment. It is difficult to relate to what 128 tonnes of CO2 equates to. Having had the system logging data for just under a year now, we are running at the environmental SI unit of around 1 tree per day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bowyer Engineering PV system:
272 x JA Solar 72 cell photovoltaic panels
4 x Solis 25K 3 phase Inverters

Winner of the Bowyer Buzz

IPADSteve Lawson of Dyer Engineering wins ‘Bowyer Buzz’ challenge at Subcon 2016 exhibition. Steve completed the electronic circuit in 3 mins 10 seconds to win an iPad Air. Well done Steve, hope to see you at next years show.

He is seen here receiving his prize from Heather Bowyer.

Dyer Engineering Ltd,
Solutions House,
Morrison Road Business Park,
Annfield Plain, Stanley,
County Durham,
DH9 7RU

Visit from Mr Katsu Matsuura

KM&JBSince purchasing the Matsuura MX520 5 Axis machining centre Bowyer Engineering has been working closely with Matsuura UK. The collaboration was recently rewarded by a visit from Mr Katsu Matsuura who is the president of the Matsuura Machinery Corporation in Japan. The visit was arranged by Mark Cumberland (Matsuura UK Sales Representative).
A factory tour was conducted by James Bowyer (Managing Director) after which a discussion took place on future machine tool investments.

 

Investment in a Lang ‘Zero Point’ fixturing system has further enhanced the new machines flexibility when servicing prototype requirements and small batch production runs.

 

Bowyer Engineering at the Southern Manufacturing Show Feb 2016

bowyer-southern-manufacturing-show-2016

After a windy start we had a very positive feedback from the 3 days at the Southern Manufacturing show at Farnborough.

Bowyer Engineering Sponsors Cardiomyopathy Charity

cardio

 

Cardiomyopathy is a heart muscle disease that affects 1 in 500 of the population and is the most common medical cause of sudden death in under 35 year olds. In March last year I was diagnosed with Left Ventricular non-compaction (LVNC), a rare type of heart muscle disease which has no known cure. Cardiomyopathy UK are an incredible charity that work on educating medical professionals about the disease and provide knowledge and support to patients and their families. The charity has been invaluable to me since my diagnosis, and by raising funds for them we’ll be able to continue their incredible hard work and support newly diagnosed patients when they’re at their most vulnerable.

I had been blacking out regularly, which increased as I got older, and eventually I was sent for tests which led to my diagnosis of LVNC last year. In April 2014, shortly after my 20th birthday, I had an ICD fitted. It is a small device which sits under my chest muscle with a small wire leading into my heart. The device acts as both a pacemaker and a defibrillator, with the capability of providing a shock four times stronger than that of a household plug socket.

Cardiomyopathy UK (http://www.cardiomyopathy.org) have been incredible over the past year. They have provided me with the information and support I needed at an incredibly delicate time for both me and my family, and helped us to remain positive. They have put me in touch with patients similar to me, provided a source of endless knowledge, and they have provided a helpline where patients are able to speak to a specialist nurse. They also strive to increase knowledge of Cardiomyopathy in the medical world, so that patients are tested for conditions like this sooner when reporting symptoms related to that of the condition, helping to save lives.

Cardiomyopathy UK are a truly amazing charity, who rely on public donations to enable them to spread the word and educate about heart muscle disease, but also to provide support an information to patients and their families. Without our donations newly diagnosed patients, like myself, would not receive the support they need at a terrifying, life-changing time of their lives.

On the 3rd of April I will be abseiling Spinnaker Tower to raise money for Cardiomyopathy UK, so that they can continue to raise awareness and provide much needed support to patients, families and their friends. To make a donation please follow the link to my just-giving page below.