A Sheffield-based manufacturer has invested £85,000 in new spray equipment as demand grows for the business’ products.

Panel Systems, which manufacturers architectural, decorative and composite panels, has invested in two new adhesive spray booths costing £85,000.

The investment was for a fully automated, programmable system and a smaller manual booth for bespoke projects.

Panel Systems is based on Parkwood Industrial Estate and creates architectural composite panels which are used by window and curtain walling contractors to create facades for new and refurbished buildings.

The company also fabricates a wide range of external cladding boards such as Trespa, Eternit and Rockpanel to complement its architectural panel products.

Sue Stafford, operations manager at Panel Systems, said: “The new automated spray booth gives better control of spray pattern and adhesive.

“This will help enhance product performance when bonding panels and also ensures that minimal adhesive is wasted.

“The system is fully programmable and should save time and improve efficiency in our factory.

“The manual booth will give us greater flexibility to bond panels using bespoke adhesive to meet customer requirements.”

Less than two years ago, Panel Systems invested £180,000 in a new CNC punch machine to enable it to expand its metal fabrication services to customers.

This equipment meant that the company could create more complex pressed metal components from steel and aluminium.

Source: Joshua Hammond, Insider Media, 22nd June 2017

Sheffield Hallam student named as one of the top 50 women in engineering

Jodie Howlett, a mechanical engineering student, was included in the list, produced by the Daily Telegraph celebrating International Women in Engineering Day, following a year-long placement at Rolls Royce during her studies.

While at the company, Jodie worked on modelling new engines, including Rolls’ ‘ultrafan’ aircraft engine, which is due to be manufactured in 2025.

Jodie spent the third year of her five-year degree at Rolls as a product definition engineer, and will now spend the summer on an internship at the company before returning to University in September for her fourth year.

Jodie said: “I am really happy to be included. It’s by far my biggest achievement. I’ve loved working at the company – working on exciting projects and challenges, and giving me invaluable experience of working for an amazing organisation.

“I’m passionate about encouraging more women to study and work in engineering, which is still a male-dominated industry. I love engineering and I hope to show people that engineering is a profession that can and should be enjoyed by all, as I continue my studies and my career.”

It’s the latest success for Jodie who received the Hallam Award, which the University awards to recognise outstanding skills development, and, in 2014, she received the Duke of York Gold Award for Technical Education. Recently, she was also shortlisted in the top ten for the TARGETjobs UK Female Undergraduate of the Year Award 2017, for which there were more than 630 applicants, and from which she secured this summer’s internship at Rolls Royce.

Jodie also currently hold two scholarships; the RAEng Engineering Leaders Scholarship worth £5,000, and the IMechE First Year Undergraduate Scholarship worth £9,000, which she secured thanks to support from her tutor Dr David Greenfield.

Jodie is also the Yorkshire representative for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) Young Members Board. The Young Members Board represents the interests of more than 65,000 students and young professionals in the UK and reports directly to the IMechE Council.


Sheffield-based heavy engineering company DavyMarkham has underlined its ambitions in the nuclear sector by securing a £20m contract with sister company Amber Precast.

Up to 50 jobs are being created at the historic firm as part of a four-year joint venture with the Alfreton-based business, which includes designing, testing and constructing six-cubic-metre reinforced steel and concrete containers to help with the safe decommissioning of nuclear facilities.

The service is being provided for Magnox Ltd, which is responsible for managing 12 nuclear sites in the UK.

Once the final design and manufacturing methodology have been approved, it is calculated that Magnox will require more than 1,000 of the boxes to store various types of intermediate level waste (ILW) generated during the operational and early decommissioning phases of its power stations.

Once filled, they will be stored in purpose-built facilities at nuclear sites until the UK’s national repository becomes available.

The joint venture between Amber Precast and DavyMarkham is called AID Technologies UK.

Bill Clark, managing director at DavyMarkham, said: “Being awarded this supply contract for concrete ILW containers is a step forward for DavyMarkham in its drive to become the UK leader in providing high integrity containers to the nuclear industry.

“It’s good to see the government and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) supporting strategic UK manufacturing companies which benefits the UK’s nuclear decommissioning industry as well as securing UK jobs. Importantly, it also provides UK manufacturers export opportunities with overseas buyers who are looking for innovative, high integrity products in support of safe decommissioning.”

Working with most of the NDA sites such as at Hinkley, Berkeley, Dounreay and Harwell is expected to provide a strong platform for both companies – which are owned and operated by Hughes Armstrong Industries – to further develop nuclear container, decommissioning products and services.

DavyMarkham, which can trace is history back 186 years, will create a dedicated plant and team of workers at its factory in Darnall to house the construction of the transportable concrete containers.

Source: Matthew Ord, Insider Media, 14th June 2017


Plans for the £20m production facility aerospace giant Boeing intends to build in the Sheffield City Region have been submitted, including new CGIs of how the development might look.

Earlier this year, the company outlined proposals to establish a presence at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), which it helped found in 2001 alongside the University of Sheffield.

Boeing would use the site – to be named Boeing Sheffield – to manufacture high-tech components for its next-generation 737, 737 MAX and 777 aircraft. The systems would then be used on the trailing edge of wings of these models.

The plans, which have now been submitted to Sheffield City Council, state that the facility would primarily be involved in the development of lightweight and strengthened aeronautical components for use in aviation technology, and also comprise office and amenity space.

It would house two production lines – one to manufacture housings from aluminium castings and the other to produce gears from steel bar – creating approximately 10,000 pieces per month.

The proposals added that Boeing hopes to be producing parts “no later than January 2019”.

“The planning application identifies that Boeing may choose to develop the site in two phases to meet their production demand and output,” it said. “Phase one is slightly larger than 50 per cent of the overall development, providing all social and support spaces as well as half production space.”

At the time of the initial announcement in February, Sir Michael Arthur, president of Boeing Europe and managing director of Boeing UK and Ireland, said: “The UK provides Boeing with the talent and infrastructure we need to grow and maintain a high level of productivity and quality to meet our significant order book.

“We are proud to expand our relationship with the UK still further with Boeing Sheffield. Our decision to start manufacturing high-value components in the UK is a step-change in our engagement and a further example of Boeing’s commitment to grow here, supporting the UK’s long-term prosperity.”

Source: Matthew Ord, Insider Media, 21st June 2017


The University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) has completed its £850,000 project to help change the capabilities of robots used in aerospace.

The Flexible Robotic Machining in High Accuracy Applications project was launched by the AMRC to develop an accurate robotic milling system.

The AMRC undertook the project after carrying out three years of robot machining research for aerospace original equipment manufacturers and high-end automotive businesses and identified a demand for the work.

The project has combined an existing accurate robotic solution with CNC machine tool dynamics to enhance the robot’s accuracy and overcome its lack of stiffness and dynamic stability.

The technology has been developed by Electroimpact, a global aerospace automation companies, with UK offices in Deeside.

Ben Morgan, head of the AMRC’s Integrated Manufacturing Group at Factory 2050, said: “We believe there is great potential to achieve a step change in high accuracy robotic machining on the back of our previous research and our understanding of the fundamental mechanics.

“This will create the most accurate large volume machining robot in the world.”

Morgan continued: “The modifications that have been carried out will ensure the robot will be at the heart of our automation research in collaboration with UK aerospace OEMs and Tier One companies.

“The project has the potential to develop accurate and stiff robotic machining for both metallic and composite structures, offering manufacturers increased flexibility and greater efficiency, when it comes to producing higher quality components.

“It would reduce the need for expensive specialised multi-axis machine tools and would have applications in both current and future commercial aircraft programmes as well as in a wide range of other high value UK industries including the defence, automotive and marine sectors.”

Source: Joshua Hammond, Insider Media, 9th June 2017


A manufacturer of glass bottles and jars, which can trace its history back more than 260 years and counts the likes of Vimto, Henderson’s Relish and BrewDog as customers, has posted a rise in turnover and profits despite a ‘volatile economic situation’.

Rotherham-based Beatson Clark increased turnover to £48.2m in the year to 31 December 2016, up by 2.9 per cent compared to the previous year’s total of £46.8m.

Profits also rose at the business, which is based at The Glassworks on Greasbrough Road. For 2016, it recorded profits before tax of £3.29m, an increase of £1m from the 2015 total of £2.27m.

Beatson Clark’s recycling unit also upped production, sorting 17,277 tonnes of mixed waste, of which 13,106 tonnes of glass cullet was reused in its own production.

In 2015 the recycling recycling plant sorted through 10,907 tonnes and reused 8,991 tonnes for production.

Despite these successes, there were challenges relating to Beatson Clark’s international business while Brexit is predicted to cause further challenges.

The business’ strategic report said: “The company has continued to build upon the success of 2015 and improved profitability in the year.

“General trading conditions remain challenging. Management have continued to invest heavily in the Rotherham facility following rebuilding of both furnaces over recent years.

“The volatile economic situation worldwide continues to produce both shortage and excesses in capacity, depending on the type of glass required.”

Source: Joshua Hammond, Insider Media, 31st May 2017