Ford EV production gets 5G boost

Ford and its consortium partners have received government backing for the introduction of 5G connectivity to accelerate electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing.

A 5G mobile private network delivered by Vodafone Business will be installed this autumn in the new E:PriME (Electrified Powertrain in Manufacturing Engineering) facility on Ford’s Dunton campus in Essex. The Vodafone Business 5G solution is set to overcome many of the issues surrounding wireless connectivity in industrial settings, promising reduced delays, wider bandwidth, improved security and reliability, and faster deployment time.
Once installed, E:PriME Dunton will have the fastest possible connectivity alongside the consortium’s second network at welding research specialist TWI, based in Cambridge. Ford will focus on the connectivity of its welding machines. The batteries and electric motors within an EV require around 1000 welds. For a single EV product, the solution could generate more than half a million pieces of data every minute.
For further information www.ford.co.uk

New dates for Southern Manufacturing

Southern Manufacturing has confirmed that it will be returning to Farnborough International next year on 20-22 April 2021.

The show has been rescheduled from its regular dates in February to avoid conflicting with other events postponed from 2020, and to provide the greatest benefit to visitors and exhibitors as they bounce back from the effects of lockdown. The floor plan of the show remains unchanged.
Show director Phil Valentine says: “The first quarter of the exhibition calendar in 2021 is crowded with events postponed from their 2020 show dates, and inevitably this means difficult decisions for exhibitors and visitors alike about how to maximise the return on their time and investment over the months ahead. Consequently, we’ve taken the decision to move the event to April 2021.”
For further information www.industrysouth.co.uk

IMTS 2020 cancelled

IMTS 2020, which was due to take place in Chicago this September, has been cancelled for the first time since WWII due to health and safety requirements imposed by the state of Illinois for holding conventions, which include the availability of a vaccine for COVID-19 or a highly effective treatment protocol.

IMTS will, however, offer two comprehensive digital programmes, IMTS Network and IMTS Spark, over the coming months to assist exhibitors and the manufacturing community. IMTS is fully committed to returning to McCormick Place as scheduled for its normal rotation on 12-17 September 2022. Visitors who have registered for IMTS 2020 have the choice of receiving a refund on registration or transfer their registration to a tax-deductible donation in favour of ‘Miles for Manufacturing’, where every dollar is given to programmes that prepare students for careers in manufacturing technology.
For further information www.imts.com

Subcon to run alongside MACH

MA Exhibitions, which owns and runs Subcon, The Engineer Expo and The Manufacturing Management Show, has taken the decision to reschedule the events from 28-30 September to 26-28 January 2021.

The shows will now take place in halls 7 and 8 at the Birmingham NEC, running alongside MACH 2021, as well as Air Tech, Fluid Power & Systems, Drives & Controls, Plant & Asset Management and Smart Industry Expo.
According to the organiser, the absolute priority remains the health, safety and wellbeing of all exhibitors, visitors and staff. The new January dates will facilitate the delivery of the best possible event experience for everyone involved. All existing exhibitor bookings will be automatically transferred to the new dates and a member of the team will be in touch over the coming days to discuss any questions.
For further information www.subconshow.co.uk

ProtoTRAK proves game-changer for Roant

When Darren Chisnall created Warrington-based Roant Precision Engineering back in 2001, it was as a small precision subcontractor relying on a selection of manual machines.

Now, 19 years on, the company has just completed the takeover of its biggest customer, Eiger Torrance, a manufacturer of mixing, milling and de-aeration systems for the production of paints and printing inks. This investment will secure machining work for Roant Precision Engineering, as well as providing further growth opportunities for both businesses.
“We’ve had a 15-year relationship with Eiger Torrance, working on fabrication and machining of their range of products, and have invested in machinery over the years to support that work, such as the recent arrival of an XYZ XL 1100 large capacity lathe,” says Chisnall. “Therefore, when the opportunity arose to buy the company, it made perfect sense as it protected the future of our business and opened up even greater potential.”
The arrival of the XL 1100 is the latest in a long line of XYZ machines at Roant Precision, the first of which, an XYZ SM3000 bed mill, was a prize won at MACH 2002.
“That first XYZ machine changed how we approached work and was the start of our success,” says Chisnall. “The ProtoTRAK control has served us well as we expanded our machining capacity with more XYZ ProtoTRAK mills and ProTURN lathes. We did need larger capacity though, hence the decision to go for the XL 1100, which was bought specifically for Eiger Torrance work. However, once word got around that we had the capability to swing 1100 mm components weighing up to 4000 kg, we soon found work coming in from other customers.”
For further information www.xyzmachinetools.com