Northern Crucible visits United Cast Bar

A very impressive Northern Crucible event was held at Casa Hotel Chesterfield on the 18th of June, 2019. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss various ways of smart manufacturing and energy saving, in particular in heavy industry, such as metallurgy, foundries or anyone who uses furnace type equipment. As usual, the event attracted a melting pot of manufacturers, academics and service providers, who together represent the shared enthusiasm, knowledge and experience to push boundaries and ensure continuous improvement.

The highlight of the event was a very engaging site visit to United Cast Bar, where we all got to witness a remarkable process of casting the record-breaking diameter iron bar in the world. The complex process was timed specifically to coincide with our visit, so the attendees were able to see it for themselves. James Brand, the MD of the company, has shared his experience in using an innovative method allowing 15% energy saving in their cast processes. James was also happy to share this good practice with other companies.

On return to Casa, we had a detailed discussion of the observed method with the supplier of the energy-saving system currently used at United Cast Bar. The Question and Answer session involved most of the audience in participation, which indicated the importance of the topic to the local industry.

The continuation of the event saw academic input from Ben Steer (University of Sheffield, Engineering student) and Dale Riahi (AMRC, PhD student), who discussed further smart technology and new ways of making production even more efficient. As part of Norther Crucible, academic perspective is always there for manufacturers in order to break barriers between cutting edge technology fresh from scientific papers and its implementation in the real world.

Northern Crucible is determined to explore smart manufacturing for the benefit of its members

In our June event (Casa Hotel, Chesterfield, 18.06.2019, 18:00), we continue to investigate smart manufacturing, including cost-effective ways to save energy. The event will include a site visit to United Cast Bar, where we will see a unique functional high energy saving solution.

The event starts at 18:00 in Casa Hotel, Lockwood Lane, Chesterfield, S41 7JB. On arrival, please report to reception and you will be guided up. This event is fact finding. Please bring your questions, suggestions and enthusiasm for innovation.

Event sponsor: Professional Energy Purchasing Ltd.

Northern Crucible High Value usage energy saving event

April’s Northern Crucible event: 30th of April, 6.30pm. The venue: the National Fluid Power Centre, Carlton Road, Worksop, S81 7H.

In our April event, Northern Crucible members discussed real case studies focusing on real engineering solutions. Members heard presentations from Professional Energy Purchasing, GridBeyond and United Cast Bar. We have discussed one of the most acute costs in metal industry, energy, and looked into ways of optimising its use and storage from three view points: that of manufacturers, energy brokers and the National Grid.

If you are an engineer or a plant manager (or just involved in running a manufacturing business), you are eagerly invited to join the Northern Crucible group and benefit from this highly informative exchange of knowledge, experience and ideas.

Kayleigh Thompson, Professional Energy Purchasing Ltd
Shawn Duckett,
Account Director, GridBeyond
James Brand MD 
United Cast Bar
National Fluid Power centre. The tour
John Savage, founder and Director of the National Fluid Power Centre (NFPC) (middle)
John has had an amazing 50 year career working in the fluid power industry from Mining Apprentice to Lifetime Contribution Award in Fluid Power and Control and the Joseph Bramah Medal awarded by IMech E. Supported by an Industry Advisory and Strategic Planning Group consisting of over 50 World Class Companies, the NFPC has become the UKs flagship Training Centre for specialist short courses involving HYDRAULICS, ELECTRO-PNEUMATICS and APPLIED ELECTRONICS AND CONTROL.
John will give a short presentation about the Centre and how improved levels of knowledge and skills can save energy in Fluid Power Systems and improve performance, productivity and machinery up-time