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Maritime maintenance – if it works for ships, it will work anywhere.


In the past, ships had large crews with a fair proportion of them being engineers and technicians whose job it was to keep everything running. They did this by spending much of their time on board ship busily stripping down and reassembling all the various items of the ship’s machinery. Basically,implementing a system of Planned Periodic Maintenance(PPM) in an attempt to avoid costly breakdowns. However,not only is this approach needlessly costly, due to the time wasted stripping down perfectly functioning machinery, it can actually make matters worse by introducing faults during the process of stripping down and rebuilding a perfectly goodmachine. 

Even more of a problem is deciding the correct PPM time intervals. Too short, means more wasted time and cost (and more potential for introducing faults) but not long enough means more unexpected breakdowns. In the case of a ship, breakdowns are not only VERY costly, but they can also be extremely dangerous. Think of a super tanker drifting onto the rocks!

These days, due mainly to increased automation, ships crews have reduced in size and PPM has largely been replaced by a system of Condition Based Maintenance (CBM). This approach relies on the fact that a machine’s condition (degree of wear) can be monitored by measuring things like the temperature and vibration levels of motor bearings. This way,machinery only needs to be maintained (stripped down) when its condition deteriorates beyond an acceptable level. Thatdecision is based on recording and tracking changes in the machinery’s condition over time, i.e. TRENDING.

So how is this achieved in practice? Fortunately, a range of modern low cost, easy to use and highly effective CBM tools are now available. These include vibration analysers like the TPI 9080 Smart Trend Meter that is currently in worldwideuse on board several hundreds of ships belonging to many different shipping companies.

In most cases, the ship’s engineers simply download a ‘route’(a list of machines to be measured) to the 9080 from an onboard computer (PC) running the FREE, subscription FREE, trending software. The engineer then simply followsthe ‘route’ taking the readings as instructed. After the readings have been taken, they are automatically uploaded (via USB or Bluetooth connection) back to the PC, where the all-important trend of the readings can then be seen in clear and easily understood graphs. The PC software will also flag-up any problems and can even send email alerts, all based on the internationally agreed (ISO) alarm levels for rotating machinery.

In addition, various expert system features are incorporated into the software, such as bearing quality assessment, whichis achieved by analysing the frequency components of the vibration data and automatically identifying the classic ‘signatures’ associated with bearing wear. That way, it is very easy to monitor the health of a bearing simply by observing the level of bearing wear displayed on the trend plots.

Many of the shipping companies take things a stage furtherwhere, in addition to the ship’s engineers, readings are also monitored by shore-based marine superintendents, who are using the same PC software. Readings can be transferredbetween ship and shore in a variety of ways including email.

complete CBM system (hardware and software) costs from as little as £1,450 with the TPI 9080, which uses industry standard accelerometers and offers on-meter analysis for the detection of machine faults such as unbalance, misalignment, looseness and bearing wear. The equivalent intrinsically safe certified (IECEx, ATEX and North American) TPI 9080-Exoffers a complete Zone 1 CBM solution for £3,500.

For more information please contact TPI Europe’s head office on +44 1293 530196 or take a look on the website at or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Warwickshire Oil Storage joins EEMUA

EEMUA has welcomed Warwickshire Oil Storage Limited (WOSL) as its newest Corporate Member.

WOSL is one of the main operators at the Kingsbury Oil complex, the largest inland oil storage depot in the United Kingdom, where it stores petroleum products (petrol, diesel and heavy oil) for distribution around the UK.

Deovonne Ferreira, EEMUA’s Head of Membership, commented, “We’re delighted to welcome Warwickshire Oil Storage into EEMUA. The sharing of good practice across different industries and global regions afforded by engagement in EEMUA will help support Warwickshire Oil Storage in the safe operation of its industrial assets as it continues to invest in sustainable liquid bulk infrastructure”.


Forres engineering business gets smart about carbon savings

AJ Engineering – a Forres-based steel fabrication and construction services company – has introduced technology to help manage its carbon footprint and improve efficiency across its operations with the introduction of Internet of Things (IoT) technology.

Securing funding and technical support from CENSIS, Scotland’s innovation centre for sensing, imaging, and IoT technologies, the SME is on track to realise savings on its annual electricity usage as a result of new smart monitoring systems. The project formed part of the IoT Evolve programme, which was funded by the Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to support SMEs in the region with the development and application of IoT technologies.

A series of connected sensors are now in operation across AJ Engineering’s site, enabling the management team to spot exactly where energy is being used and take steps to reduce consumption in particular processes or buildings. The technology has already highlighted significant savings that can be made by reducing the heating and lighting at parts of the plant that had not previously been identified as large consumers of power.


Compared to standard smart meters, the IoT system provides much more granular detail about specific pieces of equipment and circuits, giving the team better insights to support decision-making and its ambition to achieve net zero. Another benefit will be the cost savings on monthly overheads and fuel bills.

Having access to real-time data about the carbon footprint of its operations will also help AJ Engineering to communicate its green credentials to current customers and win new contracts, where partners may require the figures for their own carbon accounting protocols. According to the latest figures from the Carbon Trust, the average SME in the UK generates around 15 tonnes of CO2 annually, making up 44% of total non-household emissions.

Graham Alexander, general manager at AJ Engineering, said: “Introducing this smart monitoring system has opened our eyes to how different parts of the business consume energy. The equipment has allowed us to have a much better appreciation of what aspects of our production and business are the largest energy consumers.

“As well as cutting our own carbon footprint, the technology will have benefits for customers across the sectors we operate in. They are increasingly asking us to supply information about our carbon footprint and the energy consumed by specific processes for their own emissions reporting. With access to accurate real-time data, we will be well-equipped to do so.”  

CENSIS’s engineers developed a modular system with multiple sensors that transmit data wirelessly via a LoRaWAN network – managed by telecommunications company North. An app-based dashboard is available to the company to help interpret and display the data remotely. Using an IoT network was identified as the most suitable option, given the site’s limited cellular coverage and equipment being located in harder-to-reach areas.

The project consortium hopes that the success of this project will inspire other SMEs in Scotland’s manufacturing sector to consider the adoption of similar IoT technologies.


Ally Longmuir, business development manager at CENSIS, said: “This was AJ Engineering’s first foray into the world of IoT and it is great to see the business realising the benefits of the technology almost immediately. Sustainability and carbon accounting are only going to become more critical as Scotland approaches its 2045 net zero target, and this is a great example of how digital adoption can support the wider goals and be applied to almost any industry.”

ifm radar sensors measure distance in demanding conditions

Even in rain, snow, fog and extremely dusty conditions, the new R1Dxxx and R2Dxxx radar sensors from ifm electronic provide accurate and dependable distance measurements. These novel sensors, which use a radar beam to detect even poorly reflective surfaces, have long maximum operating ranges and can be used over a wide range of temperatures. High ingress protection ratings mean they are equally suitable for indoor and outdoor applications.

Both R1Dxxx and R2Dxxx radar sensors have an analogue output, which can be configured as 0 to 10 V or 4 to 20 mA, two digital outputs that can be associated with user-defined distance setpoints and an IO-Link digital interface. The analogue output provides a signal proportional to distance.

When the sensor’s IO-Link interface is used with ifm’s Vision Assistant software extended functionality is possible. This combination can, for example, show the distance to multiple objects simultaneously, display the profiles of objects and even measure the speed at which objects are moving. 

Typical applications for ifm’s R1Dxxx and R2Dxxx radar distance sensors include monitoring the positions of vehicles on loading and unloading ramps and of ships while docking; monitoring the position, size and speed of loads on conveyor belts; and checking the position of cars while they move through a car wash, where the ability to withstand arduous operating conditions is particularly important.

Two versions of the R1Dxxx sensors are currently available. The R1D100 has a beam spread of 40º horizontally and 30º vertically and operates at 60 to 64 GHz. While the R1D200 has a beam spread of 40º horizontally and 20º vertically and an operating frequency between 77 and 81 GHz.

Two versions of the R2Dxxx sensors are currently available. The R2D100 has a beam spread of 140º horizontally and 50º vertically and operates between 60 GHz to 64 GHz. While the R2D200 has a beam spread of 140º horizontally and 30º vertically and an operating frequency of 77 GHz to 81 GHz.

Belzona UK Opens the Doors of its Dedicated Facility in Wales


Belzona UK is proud to announce the official opening of its independent UK Distributorship. This investment into the UK market with state-of-the-art training, distribution, and in-house application service marks a new milestone in Belzona’s industry leading enterprise. 

The three-million-pound facility has been carefully selected and designed to provide the UK market with a new training and application area, featuring a fully equipped presentation suite and newly built practical workshop space, measuring an immense 585sq m, continuing Belzona’s focus on training raising nationwide application standards. A fully stocked and operational warehouse measuring 900 sq m, accompanies the floor space.   

The product training programs, already in operation, hosted EDF Energy on the 16th January, with a sell-out attendance. Catering for Machinery & Equipment, Buildings & Structures and bespoke courses for specific components, the Hawarden facility provides a multitude of opportunities for industry maintenance training. The 2024 training calendar will be available to view on the Belzona UK website soon. 

Philip Robinson, Applications and Training Director, commented, “Today, as we open this new Office, we are reinforcing our dedication to the UK market. Although the Belzona brand has branched out to the furthest reaches of the globe over the years, the UK remains one of the most important markets Belzona has.”  

Philip adds, “Belzona UK now has its own dedicated on demand stock, product application and training centre, all built with the UK market in mind. This provides Belzona UK with the autonomy it needs to best serve its clients for years to come.”  

The official opening ceremony took place on 31st January, just two weeks before its 72nd anniversary with a speech from Director, Philip Robinson and ribbon cutting ceremony, performed by Belzona’s President, Joel Svendsen. Also in attendance were Councillors for Flintshire and Welsh Government officials, including Cllr Gladys and Dave Healey, and Lord Barry Jones, a beloved politician who has served the Flintshire community for over 50 years and been granted the freedom of the county.  

An informal lunch provided a perfect opportunity for guests to mingle with Belzona UK staff and discuss Belzona UK’s continuing commitment to investing in the local community through schemes such as the one percent volunteering scheme and raising money for charities within the Flintshire area, moving into 2024. 

To add a touch of magic to proceedings, a magician delighted guests with slight of hand and close up magic performances, which was followed by a tour of the purpose built training facility to explore the range of repair solutions that Belzona offers to the industry. 

The opening of Belzona UK brings with it the wealth of experience from its staff and the backing of an established brand which will greatly benefit the vast number of UK industries that rely on Belzona products for repair and maintenance solutions. 

For more information, please visit: 

Scholarships with Lantek kickstart an engineering career for five young women


International Day of Women and Girls in Science is celebrated every year on 11th February. Lantek is contributing to the movement through internships where young people under 30 have the opportunity for scholarships in Basque companies with subsidiaries abroad provided by the Basque Government.

Lantek had already experimented with the scheme and, in 2022, having recognised how it provided an opportunity to train and develop new talent, it welcomed four young people, two in the UK and two in Germany, focussed on customer support engineering activities for Lantek’s CAD/CAM solutions.

Colleagues in the UK and German offices have played a major role in making the internships a success, helping them with language, transport, accommodation and generally making them feel at home in their new environment, while Lantek’s HR department worked with them for pastoral care, tutor meetings, and UK visas, ensuring that they felt happy and supported at all times. One of the young people decided to leave the program after 6 months, but the other three Leire Olaeta, and Leyre Barcina and Itsaso Altuna are now full time Lantek employees as of the beginning of 2024.

Shortly after joining the Lantek UK office, Leire and Leyre were selected to be part of the Lantek Bend software competence team working alongside senior engineers. Leire Olaeta says, “Since the selection process started and the first meetings with Carlos, Rodrigo, and Joerg, we felt welcome and a valuable, part of the team.” Joerg Menzel, part of the Lantek UK team mentoring the two young women says, “We have a very mature office with people being able to cover nearly every aspect of our software portfolio. Leire and Leyre saw the opportunity and ran with it – their potential was great, and I am happy to say their contributions make the entire office better.”

In Germany, Itsaso Altuna was mentored by Gwenhael Born helping her with language barriers and the journey from basic German to leading customer installations. He says, “For me, the most difficult part was to avoid micromanagement, giving enough space for her to develop but not so much that she felt left alone. At the end, it went well.” Itsaso Altuna says, “It was kind of a big moment for me when I realised, ‘Hey, I understood that’! I already felt welcomed, but I have felt much more integrated since that point. That definitively came in handy when I heard some talk about a barbeque, I made sure I was invited to that!” she continues, “When I completed my studies, I wanted a job where I could ask questions directly to the client. I started working as a teacher in 2020 because it felt like the secure option at the time. I wanted a challenge that would line up more with my interests, so I jumped in when I was offered the internship at Lantek.”

Lantek is repeating the internship program in 2024. Two young women Elene Arando and Naiara Azkarate have joined the UK office. Elene says, “I was motivated to go out to discover new places and be able to continue furthering my skills. I heard about the opportunity of working abroad and I thought it could be a good option. I came to Lantek UK and the experience has been great, everybody at the office is very nice and I am constantly learning new things.” Lantek is confident that it can repeat the previous success and it hopes to continue growing the Global Training Program in the coming years. 

Denso™ Encourages Customer Confidence Through Free Product Application Training Sessions


At Winn & Coales (Denso) Ltd, it’s extremely important to us that our customers feel confident in applying our corrosion prevention and sealing systems. Ensuring the longevity and cost-effectiveness of every application begins with helping our customers select the most suitable Denso™ products for their individual project requirements, along with offering free product application training that’s available throughout the UK and beyond.

A signature of our commitment to unrivalled customer service, our comprehensive training is available to distributors and contractors alike and can be undertaken at our dedicated training centre in London, on-site, or even virtually, to suit customer needs. Our highly knowledgeable Denso™ regional managers cover the entirety of the UK and Ireland to provide customers with training in correct and complete application methods. Recent training sessions include site visits to branches of Wolseley UK and Jewson Civils Frazer, along with Viking Johnson and Morrison Utility Services to provide training on the Denso™ P1 and P2 Systems – our CESWI 7th Edition compliant protection for ferrous pipes, joints and fittings in the water industry.

To register your interest in our free product application training, contact your local representative for more information or fill in the contact form on our website, at


Matara expands operations and joins forces with Rubix





Matara UK Ltd, specialist in automation, pneumatics and linear motion products, has dramatically increased the size of its aluminium extrusion frame department by nearly tenfold, following an extension to its premises in Tewkesbury, which it will be sharing with parent company Rubix.

After several months of preparation and building work, Matara has taken over the adjoining premises, adding 3000 sq. ft to its shop floor. This much needed extra space has been allocated to Matara’s growing aluminium extrusion frame department, doubling the size of its current floor space. Expanding the premises will provide Matara with extra room to assemble frames, with a much better work flow reducing lead times for its customers. It also provides ample storage space, enabling Matara to stock items in bigger volumes and improve overall stock control.

As part of the Rubix group, Europe’s largest supplier of industrial maintenance, repair and overhaul products and services, Matara is pleased to be sharing this new extension with the Rubix Three Counties branch (previously known as Rubix Cheltenham). It provides the opportunity for greater synergy between the two companies. 

Commenting on this latest development, James Chanin, Managing Director of Matara UK Ltd., said: “Over the past five years, we have put in place a wide-ranging strategy to improve overall efficiency and open up new streams of revenue, resulting in substantial sales growth, despite the uncertain economic climate we are living through. One of the factors impeding that growth has been lack of space. By expanding into the neighbouring premises, we not only improve our stock holding, enabling us to meet customer demand, but are also able to take on more complex orders. We certainly have the in-house skills for this, but until now we simply didn’t have the space.”

For more information, please go to, or contact Matara at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on 01684 850000. 


Tube Tech Unveils Most Advanced Convection Section Automated Rover System to Date


Tube Tech, the leader in premium cleaning and inspection solutions for oil and gas, petrochemical and agrochemical plants, has launched its next generation Mark 7 fired heater rover system capable of remotely eradicating more than 90% of convection section fouling.

The new technology, developed as a result of an extensive research and development programme, holds two patents. It can automatically crawl over intermediate tube support plates and across tubes, requiring fewer access points and enhancing its ability to access hard-to-reach areas. This defining feature enables the system to clean more in less time.

The new automated rover uses lidar technology for distance sensing and can detect blockages or obstructions. Live HD footage provides the operator with real-time feedback from within the convection bank providing an accurate representation of its condition and any areas of concern. Images and videos can also be used for reporting and analysis.

“We have been developing the Mark 7 rover to be the safest, most effective and intelligent system on the market capable of restoring convection section efficiency to design standards,” Derek Sumsion, R&D Manager at Tube Tech explained. “Becoming part of the IGS portfolio of solutions has provided us with access to broader spectrum of advance technologies and expertise which has made the development of this system possible.”

The Mark 7 rover restores fired heater convection sections back to original design thermal efficiency regardless of the level or type of fouling, dramatically reducing CO2 emissions. 

Scott Donson, VP - International Business Development and Technical Operations at Tube Tech, commented:

“The launch of the Mark 7 rover indicates a significant step-change in heat transfer efficiency solutions and provides facilities with a much safer, effective, smarter, and sustainable fouling removal service.”

Tube Tech invites industry professionals to a live webinar and Q&A session on March 7th, 2024, at 1 pm GMT, providing an in-depth exploration of the new system and its capabilities. Interested participants can sign up to watch the event live or on-demand:

Founded in the U.K. in 1988, Tube Tech is the global leader in research-led, high-tech fouling removal and inspection services. As a division of Integrated Global Services (IGS) it is a part of a wider range of mission-critical surface solutions available worldwide.

For more information about Tube Tech, visit:

Schneider Electric: National Apprenticeship Week - Comment


Commenting on National Apprenticeship Week, Kelly Becker, President UK & Ireland, Schneider Electric said:

“Some of the best people I’ve had the pleasure of working with have climbed the ranks through our apprenticeship programme. Apprenticeships offer a dynamic and fulfilling route to success, fostering both technical and interpersonal skills, and the flexibility to shift roles based on business learning, allowing talent to progress quickly. Local programmes like ours allow businesses to plug regional skills gaps and future proof their workforces for years to come, while helping progress the government’s focus on green jobs up and down the country.

That’s why we’re doubling the number of opportunities for our Schneider Electric UK & Ireland apprentice scheme this year. We know that apprenticeships create skills for life, but we also appreciate that there is still a general lack of awareness in the market about their benefits. Often, people don’t know where to start, or perceive roles to be limited to manual labour. As National Apprenticeship Week approaches, it should serve as a reminder that businesses must play a vital role in changing perceptions, including by working with education providers to increase the understanding of the opportunities available.”


New Enerpac SC-Series Battery Pump with ‘Enerpac Connect’ App


Enerpac, the leading industrial tools pump manufacturer, announces the new SC-Series cordless battery pump, a compact lightweight hydraulic pump. The new battery pump allows operators to undertake larger jobs in difficult to access and remote workspaces. With the ‘Enerpac Connect’ app, SC-Series pump operators can instantly access job-specific usage data for traceability and improved precision, as well as a knowledge base of tool information.

Weighing just 9.2 kg including oil and battery, the SC-Series pump takes cordless convenience to another level while eliminating trip hazard extension cords, noise and emission producing generators. With a max. operating pressure of 700 bar, the pump’s high-performance Enerpac 54 Volt, 4 Ah lithium-ion battery provides substantial runtime for high-cycle, high-pressure applications. 

As well as delivering the speed needed to complete applications quickly and efficiently, the high performance, brushless motor offers twice the service life of brushed motors. Moreover, the pump’s fast battery charger minimizes downtime between jobs while providing details of charge status, over-temperature and damaged battery indication.

Precision control

When precision control of tool or cylinder advance is required, the SC-Series thumbwheel speed control can be adjusted during operation for fine incremental movement. In addition, high-precision cylinder retraction is made possible through the pump’s convenient pressure release valve.

The SC-Series pump 1 litre oil capacity gives operators access to a wide range of cylinders and tools. Additionally, the pump’s bladder reservoir reduces the risk of contamination and allows pump use in any position. Accessories for the SC-Series include a shoulder strap that attaches to integrated steel rings for enhanced portability, as well as an optional pendant control.

The heavy-duty pendants operate any Enerpac SC-Series pump and are easy to connect or disconnect when not in use. They feature large buttons, an over moulded grip, lanyard loop and hanger magnet. Multiple seals within the pendant provide IP64 environmental protection.

Enerpac Connect

Underpinning the efficiency and competitiveness that the SC-Series pump brings to any project is the Enerpac Connect app. For the first time, operators have instant and complete access to product specifications, manuals, videos, job specific usage data, and wireless firmware updates. Accessible through convenient use of a smartphone or tablet, tool operators simply scan the QR code on the pump. 

“Enerpac Connect takes the productivity and skills of SC-Series pump operators to another level. It also gives pump owners a comprehensive picture of the tool and its usage, both important factors in job safety and ensuring service delivery. Cordless and compact, we expect the SC-Series to become the ‘go-to’ pump for many users as they make full use of the Enerpac Connect Mobile App for the latest essential tool information,” says Angie Wallace, Global Product Manager, Enerpac.

For more information on the Enerpac SC-Series Cordless Pump, visit

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