Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Increasing Demand for Civil Engineer Contractors in the UK

Civil Engineering Contractors
Civil Engineering Contractors in North Wales, the North West and the rest of the UK will be in high demand in the next five years, but despite the shortage of skills women still account for less than 10% of the sector’s workforce.

June 23rd was the second annual National Women in Engineering Day, which was organised in a bid to focus attention on the wide-ranging career opportunities available to girls and to help develop a passion for engineering in future generations of women.

The Royal Academy of Engineering suggests that we will need more than one million new engineers and technicians by 2020. In order to provide this number, we will need to double the current number of annual engineering graduates and apprentices.

The UK has the lowest proportion of women in engineering in Europe. However, it is important to understand that in order to tackle this crisis, inspiring girls to pursue a career in engineering is becoming imperative.

National Women in Engineering Day is the brainchild of the president of the Women’s Engineering Society, Dawn Bonfield. Bonfield saw the 95th anniversary of the organisation last year, as an opportunity to celebrate the work that women do in engineering and to encourage more girls to enter the profession.

The bid to increase awareness and engagement for the National Day exceeded expectations over social media, with their design hashtag - #NWED – trending above both Wimbledon and the World Cup.

Although great efforts are being made to address the skills shortage of civil engineer contractors in North Wales, the North West and the rest of the UK, it is mainly boys who are being targeted. However, the civil engineering sector is one of the most appealing in comparison to other industries.

According to EngineeringUK, mechanical engineering has the lowest proportion of female applicants which ranged from 6.4% in 2009/10 to 8.4% in 2012/13. During the same period, the proportion of female applicants to aerospace engineering declined to 7.6%. The proportion of applicants in general engineering and civil engineering was similar in 2012 and 2013, at approximately 16.4% and 16.5% respectively.

The question is, what is it about civil engineering that means it bucks the trend so dramatically? Many say that it is because it is easy to see how the work of civil engineering contractors improves the lives of so many people.


Atkins led a careers research study, which showed that four in ten women in the industry became an engineer through a family connection such as a father or friend who were also an engineer. This highlights the importance of having a role model, as for women this might give an awareness of what civil engineers actually do and can break down the stigma that civil engineering is only for men. 

Friday, 3 July 2015

Hygienic Cable Glands Are the Way Forward For the Food, Drinks & Packaging Industry

SKINTOP Cable Glands
The food and beverage industry has some very strict hygiene rules set in place and all for good reasons, but one simple way to ensure your equipment is abiding by these rules is to ensure you have the right cable connections.

Lapp has a wide selection of hygienic cable glands available to choose from, ensuring there is a product for you, your industry and industrial applications. One important feature to consider when either designing products for this industry, or selecting your desired product for use in it, is to have smooth, stainless steel surfaces.

Lapp Group’s SKINTOP Inox is a hygienic cable gland which fundamentally provides everything you need for the use in the food, drinks and packaging industry. Standard cable glands when expected closely have exposed threads, tiny openings and protruding surface features, making them less than ideal from a hygiene perspective.

The SKINTOP Inox is made from food-grade 316L stainless steel and features enclosed, sealed threads. Its exterior surfaces have no gaps or protruding features that can trap particulate or microbes. In addition, the number of tooling flats has been reduced to two, which blend seamlessly with the surrounding housing surfaces.  Lastly, these hygienic cable glands feature integral food-grade silicone O-rings for IP 68 protection at 5 bar.

Besides from their outward appearance and internal seals, the new hygienic glands meet the same high performance and ease-of-use standards as other SKINTOP products. This includes operating temperatures ranging from -30° to 100°c, a wide clamping range of 7 – 13mm with M20  x 1.5 threads and is compliant with ISO 14159 standards for machinery hygiene.

The very first model of this range was first introduced later last year, with alterations being made to create the ideal cable gland for use in one of the strictest industries for hygiene.

If you wish to find out more about this particular product, other available items which may be better suited to your industrial application or to contact Lapp directly regarding any other queries, please call 020 8758 7800 or send an email to: sales@lapplimited.com


Thursday, 2 July 2015

Aeroderivative & Stationary Gas Turbines: What's the Difference?

Gas Turbines
The use of small and lightweight gas turbines with high efficiencies is vital to the oil and gas industry, as well as to the growing field of distributed power generation. There are two varieties of gas turbines which you can choose from for your chosen field: stationary industrial gas turbines and aero-derivative gas turbines.

Aero derivative turbines are much more compact in their design and a lot lighter in comparison to the stationary turbines, as the stationary version can way up to three times more. Aero derivative turbines are easy to transport, extremely robust and capable of reaching full speed in next to no time.

This type of gas turbine is used in the field of aviation and is based on turbine engines for aircraft. They can be found operating on the high seas, in the middle of desserts or even in freezing cold regions. These types of engines were originally designed for use under extreme conditions for flights that take place at altitudes of over ten kilometres, hence the quality and robust design.

In order for the turbines to be of such high quality, the inspection and testing of hose assemblies and industrial hoses is crucial to ensure safety at all times.

Aero derivative turbines aim for higher efficiency, short starting time and rapid load changes without any significant impact on lifetime, which makes their design different from stationary industrial turbines. Additionally, they are characterised by optimised weight, modest space requirements and very brief inspection and service times.

Although the quality features and overall design is far more impressive and preferable than that of the stationary variation, the cost of all these features can be dear. The price increases by approximately 20-25% more than stationary turbines of similar output. In exchange for the high price, they can be started more frequently at around four to five times more often, from switched-off to maximum speed. Therefore this provides many benefits.

The secret that lies behind these advantages is the way the aero derivative turbine is built, materials used and the cooling technology. Many parts are made of aluminium, titanium or nickel alloys which go on to create a lightweight machine. The thinner walls results to the turbine warming up quicker.


There are up to three shafts in an aero derivative gas turbine and since these are not mechanically linked, they can be operated at different speeds. When you combine all these factors together, it is very noticeable that aero derivative turbines are much more efficient and worthy of their value as opposed to stationary turbines, hence the reason they are becoming more popular within the industry.