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T Cards Direct have been exhibitors at Maintec since 2002. And this year they are celebrating their 60th anniversary in providing simple cost-effective workflow systems.

Most companies are familiar with the manual T Card Board for planning and coordinating tasks and T Cards Direct have been at the forefront of providing bespoke systems for clients. Having a “Go to Board” at your fingertips can help staff get on with the day-to-day business and assist with customer service.

Over the past 12 years T Cards Direct have developed a simple Online system designed to be used like the tried and tested manual system. Clients often need a clear and precise status of work, and this does exactly that but with all the benefits and analysis tools available digitally. The latest release for T Cards Online is being showcased and will include some exciting new features.

Simple to customize to your application it can seriously help improve the efficiency of your operation. Benefits are seen immediately as you can start using the software as soon as you have registered for the NO-Obligation 21-day trial. This includes our UK based support team providing personal assistance to get you up and running with the minimum of fuss.

We have been a regular exhibitor for the past 20 years, initially promoting the manual systems and now demonstrating the power of the Online System. We have always found it a busy and productive show with a broad range of companies interested in T Cards Online. It is a great opportunity to explore the benefits of the system. The venue has certainly improved over the years and access is fantastic compared to other venues in the UK.

 The new release being showcased is an exciting development for planning and the control of workflow. It includes a new “What IF” engine that can generate automated workflows.

Think of it as an “If This Then That”. Action then consequence. For example, if a card or job is moved to a pre-defined position a consequence or alert is automatically triggered. That consequence could be a clear visual change in colour or an email alert or just a flashing card on the screen. You decide.

One application already being used is to highlight delays when a due date is passed. Showing automatically on the screen rather than waiting for a report or trawling through pages of data.

Come and see how T Cards are the proven management tool to help keep track, allocate and improve efficiency.

This article can also be found in the issue below.



SOCOTEC UK Provides temporary Monitoring System for Railway Assets


 SOCOTEC UK’s Monitoring team were approached to provide a temporary/rental system to monitor the railway assets adjacent to the temporary works on a railway bridge, located on River Way, Harlow, Essex. The client, Essex Highways, and Network Rail required assurance that any structural movements were in-line with predicted ground movements and that any significant movement trends could be identified at an early stage.

SOCOTEC UK’s Monitoring team proposed a monitoring system that included 75m of track tilts installed at 3m c/c spacing on each line, critical rail thermometers, both tilt and vibration monitoring on the bridge piers, and tilt monitoring on the surrounding OHLE supports. SOCOTEC’s scope also included baseline and close-out track geometry surveys, with additional surveys as required if any significant movement had been detected by the automated system. This provided further assurance to the client and Network Rail that all movements were being accurately reported.

The installation works and initial track geometry survey were completed over a single possession lasting 5.5 hours. The data was hosted online, giving the client and Network Rail live access to the data and direct email alerts if any trigger values were exceeded throughout the duration of works.

SOCOTEC UK’s temporary monitoring system provided assurance to the client and Network Rail that any structural movements were in-line with predicted ground movements and that any significant movement trends could be identified at an early stage. This allowed for quick response times and corrective action if needed, minimising potential downtime or disruptions to train services.

SOCOTEC UK’s monitoring system provided effective and reliable monitoring of railway assets adjacent to a temporary worksite. The automated system allowed for a quick and accurate reporting of any significant movement trends, providing assurance to the client and Network Rail that their assets were being monitored and protected. 

If you have a monitoring project to discuss, please get in touch.
Contact us.

SIFER 2023 – Coming back at full speed to plan the future of rail

Every two years, all the stakeholders of the rail industry gather in Lille at SIFER: rail operators, infrastructure authorities, vehicle builders, suppliers, rail transport policy makers and planners. As the most important international meeting point of the sector in France, the exhibition offers unparalleled possibilities to expand participants’ networking, secure business opportunities and the chance to keep up to date with the market’s latest trends.

For over 20 years, SIFER has been at the forefront of the sector’s tendencies and innovations, amplifying the importance given to rail infrastructure and its technological advancements. This year, the show will host for the first time an Innovation Hub. Providing a window on the future, this space will be dedicated to start-ups with highly innovative and creative solutions to tomorrow’s challenges.

Other new feature of this edition, the Railway Industries Federation – FIF will be present with a stand in the form of a "FIF Village". This area will host a dozen members of the organisation, as well as a space for conferences to discuss some of the burning challenges of the industry such as decarbonisation, innovation, or attractiveness in the current professional landscape.

And as always, SIFER visitors will also be able to discover:

  • An exciting exhibition area showcasing the latest products and technologies
  • An on-track display with sections of track laid in the exhibition hall to showcase rail-mounted vehicles and track-related equipment, allowing visitors to experience all rail products in real life

Innovation – Sustainability – Competitivity: 3 key topics at the heart of the conference programme

SIFER offers a platform to debate on current events and the future of the sector. This year again, it will offer a valuable programme of conferences organised by the show partners and several sessions from exhibitors, which will address concrete challenges of the market.


  • SNCF Réseau Conference: “Rail Open Lab, an open association to accelerate innovation in the rail sector”
  • i-Trans Rail Innovation Awards: i-Trans, founding member of the ERCI network of European clusters, organises phase 1 of this railway innovation competition aiming to highlight and reward the skills and know-how of innovative companies offering solutions to increase the competitiveness of the railway sector. 3 companies will be rewarded: “Best Large Company”, “Best SME”, “Favourite Innovation”.


  • BTP Rail Round Tables: “0 emissions: solutions to achieve this goal”; “Hydrogen for railway work machines”
  • Business France seminar: “The decarbonisation of British rail transport” & “Rail transport in Italy: a sustainable mobility issue at the heart of the recovery”


  • UNIFE Round Tables: "Competitiveness of the European Railway Industry: Growing Challenges and Answers"; “Skills and youth – what are the challenges for the European railway sector?”
  • Ville, Rail & Transports Conference: "How to reorganise the French industrial sector in a changing and increasingly competitive environment?”


Associated events to promote knowledge exchange and networking

Alongside the conference agenda, SIFER will host several talk sessions and technical presentations held by some key exhibitors like Altametris, Clearsy, Instituts Carnot, Tenneco, URETEK, Vogelsang, or Wabtec.

Enterprise Europe Network Hauts-de-France and i-TRANS competitiveness cluster will organise BtoB international meetings to allow medium-sized enterprises, start-ups and larger companies as well as research institutes to find new business partners, initiate cross-border cooperation and share innovative technologies in an efficient way.

Numerous exhibitors renewing their trust

Proving the importance of SIFER in the French railway market, nearly 300 registered exhibitors, representing all facets of the industry, will attend the show next March, of which several big names of the industry: ABB France, ROV Development, Rail Europe Solutions, Sirail, Direct SAS, ACC M and more. 15 countries will be represented and 50 new companies will take part this year.

SIFER at the heart of France's leading railway region

The event takes place within the first railway region of France, the 3rd in the world. Hauts-de-France region alone represents 40% of national production. The regional sector achieves €1 billion in turnover, 1/4 of the national market, and employs 10,000 people, which represents 1/3 of the rail industry in France.

Exhibitors and visitors talk about SIFER

We appreciated the general organisation of the show, which facilitates contact between exhibitors and/or visitors, making it a proven place of exchange” - Olivier DEJEAN – Spherea, Mipirail

"SIFER is THE meeting place for the railway industry in France, bringing together the various players in the sector's ecosystem" - SNCF Réseau

We have been exhibiting at SIFER for more than 15 years. It's an unmissable event and you have to be there because it's THE French railway show" - Leroy Automation


The 13th International Exhibition of Railway Technology will take place in Lille, France, from 28 to 30 March 2023.

Opening hours: Tuesday 28 March 2023 10:00 - 17:00; Wednesday 29 March 2023 10:00 - 19:00; Thursday 30 March 2023 10:00 - 16:00.

SIFER is organised by Mack-Brooks Exhibitions, part of RX Global

RX is in the business of building businesses for individuals, communities and organisations. We elevate the power of face to face events by combining data and digital products to help customers learn about markets, source products and complete transactions at over 400 events in 22 countries across 42 industry sectors. RX is passionate about making a positive impact on society and is fully committed to creating an inclusive work environment for all our people.  RX is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers.

Fluke offers free demos, “live” fiber detectors and expert advice to help users make optimal fiber testing choices

Fluke Networks is offering users of fiber optic networks free expert advice, free demos, a cashback offer and free FiberLert live fiber detectors with the aim of helping customers choose the optimal fiber testing solution for their application.

The electronic test and measurement specialist is making this offer in recognition of the increasing preference to use fiber optics for mission-critical links in data centers, networks serving campuses over long distances and backbones in and between buildings. This substantial expansion of the fiber optics market has made it more crucial than ever that users choose the correct fiber test and troubleshooting solution for their installation.

Fluke Networks believes those who are not sure about which fiber testing methodology to use – or want to know more about fiber testing best practices in general – will benefit from an appointment with an expert from the company who will provide free consultation as well as possibly deliver a demonstration on how to determine what the best, most reliable and most cost-effective fiber test solution is for their application.

Those partaking in a demo will receive a free FiberLert detector and a cashback offer to use against buying selected Fluke fiber testers between the 1st March and the 31st July 2023. A free, downloadable fiber selection guide is available.

Robert Luijten, Technical Expert and Training Manager at Fluke Networks said, “Now that fiber is increasingly preferred in the marketplace for use with innovative technologies that support exploding bandwidth demands, it is essential that network professionals make sure they use the best fiber testing solution. We want to give them the maximum level of support in that process and believe our free advice, demo and testing equipment will go a long way to achieving that goal.”

Performance characteristics

Expert advice will focus on various scenarios, such as ensuring performance characteristics of a fiber installation comply with such industry standards as ISO/IEC 14763-3, TIA-568-C or EN50173. Fluke would recommend an optical loss test using equipment like its CertiFiber Pro set which improves the efficiency of fiber optics certification. Benefits of using this optical loss test set with wizard-guided set-up include being able to test a fiber TX/RX pair at two wavelengths in under 3 seconds, test both cores bi-directionally in under 10 seconds, and eliminate negative loss errors by ensuring the correct reference setting is used. Built on the Versiv platform, the CertiFiber Pro set offers multi-mode dual wavelength and single-mode dual wavelength in the same unit. It also provides merged Tier 1 (basic) and Tier 2 (extended) testing and reporting when paired with Fluke’s OptiFiber Pro optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR).

A combination of fiber end-face inspection and OTDR is ideal for users investigating a fault or sub-optimal performance in a fiber installation, says Fluke. The OptiFiber Pro OTDR family provides multiple wavelengths (850nm, 1300nm, 1310nm, 1490nm, 1550nm and 1625nm) to support LAN, data centers, passive optical networks (PONs), fiber in the loop (FTTx) and outside plant applications. Other features include Intelligent Autotest which senses fiber characteristics and adjusts output for maximum resolution, while EventMap automatically identifies connectors, splices, bends and splitters. Also, a SmartLoop function reduces Tier 2 certification times by enabling a fiber pair to be certified (testing from one end) in no more than 30 seconds.

End-face inspection

Fluke experts stress that checking fiber end faces for cleanliness and condition is critical, regardless of what other testing may be carried out. End-face inspection confirms that every fiber connection is clean and undamaged, ensuring maximum possible performance. Typically, inspection cameras such as Fluke’s FI-3000 FiberInspector Ultra or FiberInspector Pro are able to provide total visibility with live view from a 32-core MPO connector end-face to a single-core end-face. In particular, the Ultra features a multiple autofocus/auto-centering camera for real-time imaging and offers the ability to obtain automated pass/fail results within seconds.

Documentation and Data Consolidation

Depending on the modules that are inserted in the mainframe, a Versiv transforms itself into a copper cable tester (DSX CableAnalyzer), fiber loss/length tester (CertiFiber Pro), an OTDR (OptiFiber Pro) or with a camera into a fiber inspection instrument (FI-3000 FiberInspector Ultra or FiberInspector Pro), all with a common user interface.

This is unique in the industry and results in great productivity enhancements.

Now being able to operate different testers with a common user interface is great but what perhaps is even more important that the measurement data gathered by all these different testers can be easily consolidated in a single PDF report by LinkWare PC and/or the LinkWare Live cloud srvice.

Fluke’s free fiber testing guide can be downloaded here and a demo booked here.

SIFER 2023 – Get your ticket

Coming back at full speed, the 13th International Exhibition of Railway Technology will take place in Lille, France, from 28 to 30 March 2023.

The ticket shop is open. Order your ticket now and benefit from a promotional price.

SIFER, France's only B2B international railway exhibition, brings together all of the stakeholders of the industry. Here are 3 good reasons to take part in SIFER 2023:

  1. Strengthen your ties with suppliers and partners
  2. Generate sales leads during the 3 days of the event
  3. Keep up-to-date with industry trends thanks to a remarkable conference programme presenting high-level speakers

This year again, the exhibition will have sections of track laid out in the hall to showcase rail-mounted vehicles and track-related equipment. Additionally, this edition will host several new key features such as an Innovation Hub dedicated to start-ups and a FIF Village presenting a dozen participant members. Visitors will also be able to enjoy a range of associated events aimed at fostering networking and knowledge exchange.

More information: SIFER-EXPO.COM

Better comms with supply chain can help beleaguered water industry

According to leading pump and mixer manufacturer, Landia, there is support for the call by a water company boss for organisations to engage with the public more to address unfair criticisms. However, it believes that there are significant improvements that the industry could implement from within to change negative perceptions that people currently have of the water industry.

Regarding the recent keynote speech made by Yorkshire Water’s chief executive, Nicola Shaw at British Water’s Better Together event, Landia’s Paul Davies said:

”It is true and a shame that the water industry receives so much stick at the moment, especially when plant operators do a fantastic job that is pretty much taken for granted by the public.

“Nicola Shaw is quite right that we as an in industry must be ‘championing the role we play in the environment’ – and much as solar and offshore wind is important, the national consumer media seems completely blind, for example, to great biogas plants such as Scottish Water’s Nigg, and Yorkshire Water’s Energy and Recycling Facility in Huddersfield. Why are we ignored? Is ‘sludge’ simply not a fluffy enough image?”

He added: “The supply chain can play its part in changing criticisms, but to bring us all together, the industry could, for starters, ask important specification questions such as:

  1. How long will the equipment last?
  2. What is its environmental impact?
  3. When the equipment reaches the end of its useful life, can it be reused or recycled?

“At the moment, there isn’t one word on a tender document about the environment or carbon footprint. It is not a good example to keep purchasing the cheapest, sometimes nastiest equipment, especially when some of it contains single-use-plastic. When you specify a large, non-recyclable plastic propeller, are you happy that it will end up being buried in the ground? Is that in keeping with the environmental claims made on your website amid photos of butterflies and sunflowers?”

He continued: “Ask the vast majority of suppliers what it’s like to try to provide genuine innovation to the water industry, or just proven, ‘top quality’, long-lasting equipment, and they will inevitably groan. Often, they’re exhausted by endless, meaningless meetings. Climate emergency doesn’t seem terribly urgent for some in purchasing.

“That said, we in the supply chain are seeing some very encouraging signs of late, with new projects and retrofits. Many of those frustrating barriers are being taken down by young and older engineers with genuine vision, concern for the environment, and a clear picture of equipment’s total cost of ownership.

“So yes, let’s work together, as Yorkshire Water’s Chief Executive said, with better communication and engagement to change the criticisms of public perception’, but let’s get our own house in order too. We need more open-ness, directness and better communication. This will allow operators to be able to do the best possible job in protecting our environment”.

SIFER 2023 - Coming back at full speed

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The 13th International Exhibition of Railway Technology will take place in Lille, France, from 28 to 30 March 2023. 

Staged every two years since 1999, SIFER, France's only B2B international railway exhibition, brings together all of the stakeholders of the industry. By holding this awaited event, Mack-Brooks, Business Unit of RX (Reed Exhibitions),ensures the networking between all the actors of the sectorpromoting business opportunities and allowing participants to keep up to date with market trends and the latest innovations in railway technology.

Proving to be a window on the future for the industry advancements, SIFER will feature this year an Innovation Hub.This space will be dedicated to start-ups with highly innovative and creative solutions to solve tomorrow’s challenges. 

This year again, the exhibition will have sections of track laid out in the hall to showcase rail-mounted vehicles and track-related equipment. Additionally, visitors will be able to enjoy a range of associated events aimed at fostering networking and knowledge exchange, as well as a high-level conference programme addressing the key topics and future trends of the industry such as sustainability and digitalisation.

More information :

Quick wins: Rubix releases report identifying opportunities to double the efficiency of motor-driven systems


Rubix, a market leading pan-European distributor of industrial products and services, has released a new ‘Quick wins to cut energy waste’ report, which addresses inefficiency issues in motor-driven systems. 

Industrial motor-driven systems – including compressors, pumps and fans – represent more than two-thirds of electricity consumption in industry, yet they are typically only around 36% efficient.  At a time when the energy crisis threatens to slow – or even reverse – progress on environmental and financial objectives, improving the efficiency of motor driven systems is a relatively easy win as, with the right interventions, they can be optimised to hit 72%. This cuts energy waste, reduces cost and limits emissions.

More than two-thirds of motors in use across European industry have a low energy efficiency rating, while it’s estimated that a third of v-belts are running inefficiently due to worn pulleys, and 20-40% of electricity used by compressors is lost through air leaks.

In total, energy savings of between 20-30% can be achieved by optimising the whole motor-driven system. This is typically done through a combination of detailed asset tracking, repair and replacement programmes, and ongoing condition monitoring.

Rubix’ ‘Quick wins to cut energy waste’ report sets out the opportunities for efficiency improvement across the system. These include retrofitting variable speed drives to existing motors to ensure they only use as much energy as they need for the job they are doing. Using the correct motor size for the application, switching to energy efficient models and correctly regulating their speed will also increase efficiency. When it comes to mechanical equipment, specifically gearboxes, these can be made more efficient, reducing lost energy, by right-sizing the gearing for the application, replacing worn gearboxes and using energy-efficient lubricants. Driven applications can be improved by identifying and fixing leaks in compressed air systems, using intelligent pumps with variable speed controls and replacing the worn pulleys that can affect the efficiency of v-belts.

Commenting on the report, Jesper Mikkelsen, Group Head of Services at Rubix, said: “The significant amount of energy wasted by inefficient motor-driven systems is hiding in plain sight. Our latest report aims to highlight the problem and offer practical solutions that both reduce the cost and environmental impact for manufacturers everywhere. By addressing these issues, manufacturers can navigate the current economic challenges while building longer-term resilience to the energy crisis and accelerating progress towards net zero.”

To download a copy of Rubix’ new ‘Quick wins to cut energy waste’ report, go to

This article can also be found in the issue below.




M&E Week

With digital sessions, site visits and 2 live event days, Manufacturing and Engineering Week showcases end-to-end manufacturing and engineering solutions and features a programme of CPD-accredited keynote conferences, practical workshops and interactive demonstrations to encourage conversation, business, knowledge sharing and action. Whatever your current design, engineering or manufacturing needs, this is an incredible opportunity to connect with the industry and like-minded peers at this festival of industrial innovation, held on 7-8 June at the NEC Birmingham!




Wireless temperature and moisture reading & monitoring

Easily monitor temperatures or moisture from a distance for one or multiple assets with Brady’s low cost RFID Labels that do not require energy or maintenance. Brady can include sensors in your RFID labels that can be activated by manual or fixed scanners on demand or at pre-programmed intervals.


RFID Temperature Labels


RFID Temperature Labels enable wireless temperature reading and monitoring for a wide range of devices, equipment, machines, racks, cables, pipes and structures. The flexible, temperature sensing smart labels can be applied to almost any surface to support informed proactive decision making.

Why you should consider Brady’s RFID solution for temperature monitoring?

  • Easily monitor temperatures: low cost temperature monitoring with passive, ISO 18000-6C and ISO14443 NFC interface, and ETSI compliant bandwidth RFID smart labels that do not require energy or maintenance. Labels are energised when needed by HF or UHF compliant readers.
  • Applicable to all surfaces: available in a wide range of thin and flexible industrial grade label materials with a variety of adhesives to stay attached to smooth, rough, or powdered surfaces, and to flat or curved surfaces.
  • Complete solution: includes RFID labels, label printer, label design software, RFID reader with hard- and software support.

Potential applications include environmental monitoring, material and equipment monitoring, cold chain monitoring, data centre monitoring, maintenance and safety data collection, and greenhouse monitoring.

RFID UHF moisture label

RFID UHF moisture label is a general-purpose moisture sensor that is designed to detect and measure moisture levels in the surrounding environment, and it works across a wide variety of materials, providing both good read distance and sensing performance. This label is suitable for use in outdoor, indoor and UV exposed environments.

  • UHF moisture label for general applications such as construction, healthcare, retail, industry, supply chain and others. The antenna is designed for application on non-metal surfaces.
  • Polyester tag face material, with chip bonded to aluminium antenna using anisotropic conductive film adhesive, suitable for thermal transfer printing, including RFID encoding.
  • Labels are outside wound and 100% inspected, 500 good RFID labels per roll with bad tags marked.

Discover smart RFID solutions from Brady!

Science and technology trends in 2023

What’s in store for research and development around the world? From super-apps, through psychedelic medicines, to metaverse and sustainable technology, 2023 has something for everyone. Here, tax incentive and innovation management advisers, ABGi take a look…


Super-app is a mobile or web application that allows for integration of multiple online services within one digital ecosystem. The term super-app was first used to describe WeChat, the hugely popular Chinese all-encompassing mobile application. Think of it as a Swiss knife with a range of built in smaller tools (mini-apps) that you can use and customise for different tasks.

2023 will see an increased interest in super-app solutions among developers and end users. This is expected in particular in the ‘west’, where there’s still no equivalent to the Chinese pioneering app. Walmart is reportedly developing a super-app for its workforce in order to create a single, streamlined experience for its employees and managers by replacing multiple vendor-supplier applications. For better or worse, Elon Musk has recently announced plans for his own super-app. It is likely that “‘X’, the everything app”, will have something to do with his acquisition of Twitter.

Psychedelic Medicines

Mental health issues are increasingly prevalent in contemporary societies and conventional medicine appear to have reached its limits in addressing them. The coming year could see a revolution in pharmaceutical industry through engagement with drugs long associated with hippy and party cultures. MDMA, Ketamine and Magic Mushrooms are currently in final stages of testing trials to treat various mental health conditions.

It is hoped that MDMA could be used in treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. Ketamine is being tested to treat addiction related illnesses such as alcoholism. Finally, an active component of Magic Mushrooms – psilocybin – could be used for treatment-resistant cases of depression. Many researchers are hoping that 2023 will see first psychedelic-assisted therapies approved by regulatory bodies in the USA and the UK. It is likely that in the near future currently illegal substances might be prescribed to you by a doctor.


While it might have been recently popularised by Mark Zuckerberg, metaverse is much more than Facebook’s attempt to remain relevant. In a nutshell, metaverse allows people to replicate or even enhance their physical activities in a virtual reality world facilitated by headsets and smart glasses. The technology has been simmering under the global tech surface for a while but many industry specialists predict this year will be pivotal for both the users and developers. As the technology is increasingly becoming part of the public consciousness, we will be seeing more people joining in the fun with big brands hoping to start capitalising on their initial investments in various metaverses. 2023 will also see many smaller and mid-size businesses flocking to the virtual world to start new ventures and services.

Sustainable Technology

Driven by climate emergency and the war in Ukraine, the shift towards green and renewable solutions will only accelerate in 2023. Sustainable technology is a framework for digital solutions that can enable environmental, social and governance outcomes for businesses and customers. The framework adheres to circular economy principles by considering the environmental impacts throughout the entire life span of each product. It is expected that sustainable technology will not only incorporate well-established products but also create new avenues for tech development. In doing so the framework will also provide products and services that enable customers to meet their own sustainability goals.

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