Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - NAMRC newsletter
Bulk additive manufacturing cell ready to build
£120m decommissioning orders Sharing in Growth Ceramic machining
Fusion challenges Fit For Nuclear Women in engineering
Nuclear AMRC News Q3 2015
the K-TIG system can rapidly join
The K-TIG system is a high-speed,
single-pass, full-penetration arc welding
technology that can produce welds 10-100
times quicker than conventional tungsten
gas arc welding. For example, it can join
13mm thick stainless steel with a single
weld at a rate of 300mm/min.
K-TIG can be used to join a wide range of
metals, including stainless steels, Inconel
and titanium alloys, but is particularly
strong in medium to heavy-gauge
Target applications include pressure
vessels, where the technique can reduce
health and safety risks for welders by
removing the need for them to weld
inside the vessel. K-TIG is yet to be widely
adopted by the nuclear industry, however.
"We need to understand the principles and
the parameters of keyhole TIG welding, and
prove its use for civil nuclear applications,"
says Xiaoying Honey, welding engineer at
the Nuclear AMRC. "To get buy-in from
companies, we need to demonstrate that
it does satisfy their requirements, and help
industry to understand the process and
be prepared to adopt it."
Initial research at the Nuclear AMRC
will investigate the technique's use with
nuclear materials including duplex stainless
steel, and compare keyhole TIG with
plasma welding for plate and pipes. The
team will also investigate the technique's
effects on residual stress.
The K-TIG technique uses a high current
arc to open a keyhole through the join
between two surfaces, producing a weld
made of 100 per cent parent material. It
can produce a stable keyhole at much
lower energy densities than other keyhole
welding technologies such as electron
beam, laser and plasma arc, thanks to a
combination of arc pressure and surface
tension in the liquid weld pool.
The technique is relatively tolerant of
imperfections in fit-up, and doesn't need
expensive edge preparations for many
applications. It consumes as little as five
per cent of the energy and gas used by
K-TIG was developed by Australia's
Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial
Research Organisation (CSIRO), and is
marketed in the UK by WB Alloy Welding
The Nuclear AMRC is evaluating a new
keyhole welding technique which promises
to deliver significant productivity benefits
for nuclear applications.
tungsten gas arc welding
Joined-up approach: Nuclear AMRC arc
welding team with technology specialists
from WB Alloy and K-TIG.
Like a heavy-duty version of the now-
familiar 3D printer, the bulk additive
manufacturing cell can build high-integrity
parts from the ground up, and add features
to large forgings such as pressure vessels.
The new facility is funded by the High
Value Manufacturing Catapult.
The 10 by five metre cell features a six-axis
Kuka robot arm, mounted on a three-
axis nine metre gantry, plus a two-axis
manipulator with 3.5 metre turntable. The
robot initially carries a Toptig arc welding
system which integrates the wire feed
into the welding torch, developed by Air
Liquide specifically for robotic welding
The robot will work directly from model
data to lay down weld material and create
three-dimensional geometries. As well as
creating nearly-net shape parts, the cell
can add non-critical structural features
to large pump and valve casings or
pressure vessels, reducing the initial size
and complexity of expensive forgings or
"We're looking at the whole system of
additive manufacturing with this cell –
both the technical process development
and the business side," says Udi Woy,
Nuclear AMRC technology lead for additive
manufacturing. "Manufacturers aren't so
concerned about developing the process,
they just want to build something that
meets customer requirements in a more
The technology builds on previous
research at the Nuclear AMRC and its sister
centre, the AMRC with Boeing, into the
shaped metal deposition technique which
builds parts from welded wire.
The new robot is able to carry a selection
of end effectors, allowing the Nuclear
AMRC team and partners to investigate a
range of welding technologies using metal
powder and wire, and to inspect and finish
parts in a single set-up. The design of the
cell helps avoid contamination problems
that can arise in traditional powder-bed
The flexibility of the cell will also allow the
technology to be more easily introduced
into established factories.
"One of the limiting factors of additive
manufacturing is how disruptive it is when
you introduce it into a stable production
line," Woy says. "If you can buy tools that fit
into your production line and use whatever
systems you have available, that reduces
entry costs and allows more manufacturers
to expand their capabilities."
To see inside the cell and watch a
timelapse video of its installation, go to:
ready to build
The Nuclear AMRC now offers world-leading capabilities
in bulk additive manufacturing, with the installation of a
£1 million automated cell built by Kuka Systems UK.
Stuart Kirk, software engineer for
Kuka Systems, puts the six-axis
arm through its paces.
Looking at the whole system: Udi Woy,
Nuclear AMRC technology lead for additive
Nuclear AMRC News Q3 2015
The Nuclear AMRC metrology team is
helping Westinghouse UK stay on top of
measurement for manufacturing at its
Springfields fuel facility.
High-precision measurement and
verification are vital for nuclear
manufacturing, but many companies are
experiencing skills shortages. Metrology is
often not covered in engineering degrees
or apprentice programmes, and many
companies rely on computerised and
automated measurement systems without
necessarily grasping the underlying science.
"There has been significant technological
advances in the world of metrology
over the last few years but, combined
with the reduction in apprentice training
opportunities, this has resulted in a decline
in knowledge of first principle metrology,"
says Derek Ball, head of fuel component
supply at Westinghouse's Springfields fuel
manufacturing facility. "The wide use of
coordinate measuring machines, both
touch and contactless, has improved
the capability for measurement but has
introduced a number of unknowns."
To help the Springfields team maintain
their capabilities, Nuclear AMRC head of
metrology Carl Hitchens devised a one-day
workshop covering the fundamentals of
Over 30 Westinghouse engineers attended
the workshop in its pilot phase, and are
already putting their learning into practice.
"The course gave delegates an insight into
how to verify information provided by non-
tactile measurement methods," says Ball.
"Without exception, all delegates found the
information of great value and many have
since used the techniques to verify suspect
Demand has been so high that the
AMRC Training Centre has developed the
workshop into a formal one-day course,
and is integrating it into its core engineering
apprentice curriculum. The Training
Centre is also preparing to launch a new
dimensional metrology apprenticeship.
CMM operators still need to know
the fundamentals of metrology.
Metrology team shares fundamental knowledge
The success of a Nuclear AMRC
collaborative research programme with
Rolls-Royce has been recognised in the
company's internal awards.
The research, part of the Civil Nuclear
Sharing in Growth (CNSIG) programme,
focused on improving the cost
competitiveness of production for a
range of challenging components and
assemblies. It was voted runner-up for
Rolls-Royce's annual President's Award.
"We were up against over 40 other
projects, so this was a fantastic result,"
said Nuclear AMRC projects director
Alan McLelland. "This is one more
acknowledgment of the really excellent
results from the programme."
The CNSIG cost competitiveness research
included a series of targeted R&D projects
under the core themes of welding,
machining and assembly. The programme
included work on a complex heat
exchanger sub-assembly, which cut the
time needed to insert thousands of tubes
through a series of plates by more than
half, and research into portable machining
R&D recognised by Rolls-Royce award
Nuclear AMRC News Q3 2015
Ceramic inserts are used in industries
such as aerospace for their excellent wear
resistance at high cutting speeds on hard-
to-machine heat-resistant alloys. They
are often used without any coolant, to
maintain the localised heat required to cut
alloys such as Inconel.
Coolant can still bring benefits to ceramic
machining by increasing tool life, but its
delivery has to be carefully managed to
avoid fracturing caused by thermal shock.
The Nuclear AMRC is working with tier one
member Sandvik Coromant to test tooling
which combines ceramic inserts with high-
pressure coolant delivery, and to optimise
cutting conditions for applications in the
civil nuclear supply chain.
"Working in partnership with the Nuclear
AMRC provides a perfect collaborative
environment to identify, design, test
and deliver a fully optimised component
solution," says Steve Weston, advanced
machining application centre
manager for Sandvik Coromant.
The project is focusing on Inconel, a
nickel-based heat-resistant alloy widely
used in reactor components and jet
"Inconel's superior yield and tensile
strength make it extremely difficult to
machine effectively," says Eva McLeod,
project engineer at the Nuclear AMRC.
"This research will expand our knowledge
of new machining techniques, develop
effective methods of machining difficult
materials, and help us understand more
about the benefits of using ceramic inserts
such as improved surface quality and
reduced machining time."
Initial trials on the Nuclear AMRC's Hermle
C60 mill-turn centre have shown that the
concept of combining ceramic inserts with
high-pressure coolant is sound, delivering
a significant increase in metal removal rate.
The ongoing project will aim to define
optimal cutting conditions for a range of
materials and applications, and to build a
business case to show the cost and time
advantages of the technique.
can keep cool
The Nuclear AMRC machining group has
bolstered its professional qualifications
with a round of awards from the
Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
Carl Hitchens, metrology lead and deputy
machining group manager at the Nuclear
AMRC, has been awarded Fellowship of the
Institution. This is IMechE's highest class of
membership, and recognises exceptional
commitment to mechanical engineering.
Head of machining Jay Shaw, technology
researcher Dr Kathryn Jackson, metrology
engineer Simon Cavill and project manager
Charles Carpenter have all been awarded
Chartered Engineer status by IMechE.
And advanced machine tool operators
Terry Dutton and Geoff Moreman have
been awarded IMechE EngTech status.
As of July, the 28-strong Nuclear AMRC
machining team has four PhDs,
six Chartered Engineers, two EngTechs,
11 Masters degrees, and over 350 years
"I am extremely proud and honoured to
lead such an amazing group of highly
skilled engineers," says Shaw.
Professional awards for machining experts
Nuclear AMRC machining specialists
are investigating the use of ceramic
cutting tools with high-pressure
coolant, a combination which could
deliver significant improvements in
Proof of concept:
ceramic cutting trials
on the Nuclear AMRC's
Nuclear AMRC News Q3 2015
AMRC launches degree-level
The University of Sheffield has launched a new scheme to
help young people gain advanced engineering degrees as
part of their apprenticeships.
Working within the Nuclear AMRC for the
past year has been an enriching experience.
I've worked with cutting-edge machinery,
engineers leading research in their field, and
more technical knowledge than you can
find in a textbook – I really can’t imagine a
better work placement.
I have split my time between practical
experience, writing reports, and research. In
every area of the industry I am passionate
about, the Nuclear AMRC has supported
me from the very beginning. The team have
understood that I have had to be conscious
of my final year of study, and have done
everything to help me prepare for it.
In my time here, I have been involved in
a heat exchanger assembly project and
cryogenic machining research. I was given
the chance to pick a research project that
appealed to my interests – after months
of planning, working closely with Sandvik
Coromant, and two successful machining
trials (see p5), I will be taking this project
with me into my Masters degree.
By being made accountable for the
work I produced, trusted to make logical
decisions, and standing as a representative
for a globally respected company, I have
started to understand the kind of engineer
I’d like to be. My research and report writing
skills have improved, as have my time
management and ability to handle pressure.
I have also become involved with the
Women in STEM network at the University
of Sheffield, which has found me playing
Giant Jenga with primary school children
on a Sunday afternoon, and solving disaster
scenarios with young aspiring female
engineers. I also helped plan women in
engineering events at the Nuclear AMRC,
something I am incredibly proud to have
been involved with.
I will come away from the Nuclear AMRC
as a more experienced, well-rounded
engineer with a plan for my future, and an
appetite for ceramic inserts! We placement
students will return to university inspired
by the engineering accomplished in this
building, and by everybody who makes the
Nuclear AMRC such an enjoyable place to
Becoming the kind of engineer I’d like to be
Eva McLeod is studying mechanical engineering at Sheffield
Hallam University, and spent the past year on placement
at the Nuclear AMRC as an assistant project engineer.
Nuclear AMRC News asked her about her experiences.
New generations: Eva McLeod helps aspiring
engineers at a women in engineering event
The new vocational pathway will
allow apprentices to study advanced
manufacturing degrees from Foundation
to Masters level with funding from their
employers. It will extend the award-winning
AMRC advanced apprentices scheme to
allow young people to continue from an
apprenticeship, A-Levels or BTEC into
The tailored curriculum will reflect the
skills, experiences and learning styles of
apprentices, while meeting the needs of
their employers. It will be provided through
the University of Sheffield and the AMRC
"The new pathway will be delivered with
a curriculum which will provide academic
rigour alongside practical skills and high
quality employer-led training that is
designed to meet business needs
and create the professional, creative
engineers of tomorrow," said Professor
Keith Ridgway, AMRC executive dean.
"The innovative new model of work-based
learning is expected to attract different
groups of students than traditional
academic models, increasing diversity
within cohorts and ultimately within the
The programme is supported by a £1.6
million grant from the Higher Education
Funding Council for England (HEFCE), and
was announced by science and universities
minister Jo Johnson during a visit to the
New learning model:
Jo Johnson meets
apprentices at the
AMRC Training Centre.
The election of a new government in May
2015 brings a fresh focus for all matters
of policy. Most important for the Nuclear
AMRC is the view that the government will
take on energy and industry.
For the past seven or eight years,
the government has maintained four
fundamental priorities for a new era of
civil nuclear power: developing diverse
technology for new nuclear power
stations; agreeing economic electricity
prices from new plant; developing
advanced manufacturing in the UK; and
creating long-term, sustainable, high-value
jobs in the UK.
The first two of these priorities emanate
from DECC, and are part of a policy to
drive an economic transition to a low
carbon economy with security of supply.
The second two come from BIS, and are
targeted at creating economic value in
These priorities have stayed pretty
much the same through the last two
administrations, and I anticipate that
they will probably stand in the new
Conservative government. However, how
these goals are achieved could be very
different. Severe austerity measures could
change the way support is provided by
government to achieve these priorities.
To provide diverse technology in new
build, three reactor designs are being
developed, all from overseas technology
vendors. The nuclear island and turbine
island technology for these new units will
all be sourced overseas, but opportunities
will be available for UK companies. It is
likely that at least 55 per cent of the value
of these new stations will be sourced
locally, although the bulk of that work
will be civil construction. The policy of
overseas technology development in the
UK is unlikely to change.
Electricity pricing for a new nuclear
station is a thorny issue for the new
administration. Large nuclear power
stations are expensive to build, and
attracting private investment has proved
difficult. The opportunity for the new
government is to re-assess electricity
pricing mechanisms, and to review
and reconsider the role of central
government in supporting the risk of new
nuclear stations. Collaboration between
industry and government to mitigate the
investment risk of new nuclear power
could be on the agenda.
Developing advanced manufacturing for
the civil nuclear industry remains a priority.
The opportunities for UK manufacturers
will likely be in balance of plant and non-
safety related components, and this will
remain a major opportunity. The challenge
for the new government is to support the
development of the nuclear supply chain
with central funding in times of austerity.
There is a real risk that failure to support
supplier development will render UK
companies even less competitive.
The civil nuclear marketplace is a likely
source of jobs in the UK, but there needs
to be a high level of collaboration between
technology vendors, site developers,
suppliers, and regional and central
government. Alongside the trade
associations, the Nuclear AMRC plays a
key role in this collaboration. Together, we
need to maintain a focus on exploiting the
opportunities for UK companies in new
To keep the UK at the top table of nuclear
nations, this parliament will also need to
take long-term decisions on funding for
nuclear R&D, supply chain development
and skills, as well as supporting new
nuclear technology. New overseas
developers may invest in the UK, including
the vendors of small modular reactors, and
these developers will want dialogue with
central government to understand the
value of investing in the UK.
The role of Nuclear AMRC is to help central
government understand the opportunities
for UK suppliers, to support the creation
of economic value for the UK, and to help
UK manufacturers win work with overseas
Mike Tynan, CEO, Nuclear AMRC
New government, new agenda
The Tynan view
Nuclear AMRC News Q3 2015
Graham Hart gets fit
for international growth
Process engineering specialist Graham Hart is targeting further international
growth after completing the Fit For Nuclear programme.
Transforming delivery: Chris Hart and
Graham Hart (Process Technology) Ltd
specialises in the design and manufacture
of high integrity heat transfer and pressure
equipment for energy, petrochemical,
process and other industries. Founded in
1973, the Bradford-based firm currently
employs around 40 people with a turnover
of £3 million.
Managing director Chris Hart started the
F4N programme in July 2012, after learning
about the programme at an AMRC Forum
"We had a vision of what we wanted to do,"
Hart recalls. "We were very much open to
improvement, but we lacked understanding
and experience in the key areas of nuclear
The initial F4N review identified a number
of areas for development, starting with
strategic management. F4N allowed the
management team to put a framework
around its vision, Hart notes. "We knew
what we wanted to do, we knew all the
building blocks that had to go into place,
but it was the ability to put it in a framework
and say where are we and where do we
need to go, and which element do we need
to push forwards on first," he says.
"We aligned our vision with a mission
statement, and made decisions based on
that. The mission has very much focused us
to keep on track and concentrate on what
we set out to do."
The company formed a new development
team to take a detailed look at the business
from sales through to delivery, and identify
where they could achieve the greatest
"The development team represents every
department and function within our
business. This combined knowledge and
experience assisted us greatly in building
up our value stream map and the resultant
future stream map," says technical director
Charles Byrne. "This bright and clear vision
for potential growth was clear for all to
see – but we knew we could only achieve it
with the assistance and intervention of the
F4N team and their training partners."
The company continued to push
performance in its own facility, with training
in lean practice for all staff, and a new
graphical system for factory planning and
resource allocation. This in-house tailor-
made software delivers real-time data for
project tracking, and helped the company
increase on-time in-full ratings to 100 per
cent – a value that has been maintained
As well as leadership training for the
management team, the company
introduced a rigorous system of shopfloor
training and work instructions based around
nuclear industry SQEP principles. The team
also changed the focus of the company's
HR selection process from recruitment to
talent acquisition, allowing them to bring
in skilled individuals who identified with the
firm's core values of safety, professionalism
"We've completely changed the manner
in which we approach manufacture of
our high integrity equipment for all of our
customers," Byrne says. "A combination of
in-house and external training has allowed
us to visualise different ways of maximising
shop capacity and reducing lead times in
manufacture. This has produced a more
solid foundation for forecasting reduced
lead times for new orders."
Having determined where Graham Hart's
strengths and values lay, the team looked
at its suppliers. "We had to increase
our existing supply chain to meet with
companies who understood and valued
the nuclear standards we are all expected
to adhere to," Byrne says. "Thankfully, the
number of suppliers is increasing all the
time through programmes like F4N and the
RCC-M users group. It's becoming easier to
locate and meet with companies who share
a nuclear mindset."
The company's F4N journey did take
longer than the team expected, Hart
acknowledges. "We had to readjust
ourselves as a company and realign our
strategy, but that's been a really good thing.
It's almost been like doing due diligence –
it's paid big rewards overall, not just in the
"Invoking the change to a nuclear culture
can be difficult with an existing workforce,
but it's become easier as time goes on,"
Byrne adds. "People are running alongside
the programme, and the language they're
using is changing. People do believe in it."
After taking a stand at last year's World
Nuclear Exhibition in Paris, Graham Hart is
now talking to a number of companies in
the French civil nuclear supply chain and
has received several invitations to quote
for Hinkley Point C. The team are also
talking to top-tier nuclear groups in the UK,
and building relationships in the process
industries in Saudi Arabia.
"Our literature carries the F4N and Nuclear
AMRC logos," Hart says. "Whether it's in
France, Saudi Arabia or any other country,
the initial response is always one of
curiosity that soon leads to respect when
they know what the logos mean."
SS Tube Technology is an award-winning
motorsport supplier with no previous
experience in nuclear. In his third diary
column, MD Daniel Chilcott updates
us on a VIP visit, some key business
achievements and the company's
continued focus on Fit For Nuclear.
Two years ago, we launched our
apprenticeship initiative. We were aware
that, in order to continue to grow and
maintain such a high level of quality, we
needed to develop our own new pool of
talent. The apprenticeship scheme allows
us to not only focus on measurable skills
such as welding and CNC control but also
the culture – we've put a real emphasis
on maintaining our can-do approach
alongside continual improvement and a
real respect for health and safety.
The scheme has received substantial
interest from high levels, so much so
that on 12 June 2015 we were lucky
enough to host the Prime Minister, David
Cameron. Mr Cameron visited our HQ
manufacturing site in Oxford, and was
particularly interested in our apprentices
alongside our ongoing recruitment of
graduates, who together will surely
become the leaders of tomorrow within
The visit also allowed us to showcase
our sister companies within the Polar
Technology Management Group: Lentus
Composites, advanced composite
products; and Horizon Engineering,
precision machining of high performance
metals and composites. Both companies
offer complementary technologies to SS
Tube Technology’s precision engineering-
led fabrication and thermal management.
While training and succession planning sit
firmly on our F4N continual improvement
plan, we are also still working hard to
increase capacity and improve our
business systems. As we scale the
business, this will ensure that we do
not get held back by systematic related
By relocating our thermal insulation
products department to our new facility
during the summer, we are increasing
capacity by over 100 per cent. At the same
time, we are applying lean tools such as
linkage and flow principles to remove
waste in the process. We also hope to
receive financial support through the F4N
programme towards this initiative.
In parallel, work continues with our SAP
rollout, which is crucial for our growth.
We have now built most of the system
foundations and, before launching, we are
working on how this integrates with our
other business tools. We want to ensure
that we minimise the time it takes to enter
data, through good system integration.
This not only minimises room for error,
but also speeds up the process from
customer requirement to output of their
Fit For Nuclear (F4N) helps
manufacturing companies get ready
to bid for work in the civil nuclear
F4N was developed by the Nuclear
AMRC with leading industry partners,
and is delivered in partnership with the
Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS),
part of the government-backed Business
F4N was expanded and relaunched in
October 2014, with the aim of supporting
at least 300 manufacturers over the
following two years. As of July, over
500 companies have engaged with the
expanded programme, with over 130
completing the initial online assessment
and site visit.
With support from the Regional Growth
Fund, F4N offers grants of around £10,000
to participating companies based in
England, to help them close performance
gaps or improve their competitive position.
Ten funded projects are already underway.
To begin your F4N journey:
Premier capabilities: David Cameron admires SSTT's laser cutting machine.
£1.5mof funding available to help
take a share of the significant
opportunities presented by the
UK's nuclear energy market.
Nuclear AMRC News Q3 2015
Based in Chippenham, Wiltshire, Colston
is a long-established engineering
subcontractor serving clients in transport,
defence and civil nuclear.
"Colston has been a jobbing engineering
shop for a long time, so it's picked up
what's come in," says Matthew Heaton, who
joined as MD in autumn 2013. "We haven't
really exploited it, but if a nuclear flask
comes through the door, we can do that."
The company has worked with civil nuclear
clients including Babcock, BNFL and
Reviss for some 20 years. Heaton realised
the sector's growth opportunities after
a meeting with John Ruddleston of the
Manufacturing Advisory Service.
"John came down, had a walk around, and
said we should think about Fit For Nuclear,"
Heaton recalls. "He explained how the
market was going to grow and what the
market was. F4N seemed to fit the
capabilities we had, and there were a lot of
management things in there that I wanted
to do anyway, so it was handy as a tool to
drive change through the organisation."
The initial online assessment was pretty
straightforward, Heaton says. "I'd filled
some similar things out before, so had
a good idea of what it was looking for. I
thought we'd be as honest as we possibly
could with it, because there wasn't any
point being otherwise. It said we were in
the right ballpark, but needed to do some
The main area identified for development
was around skills development. "We were
the classic small engineering company
– everyone does everything, but no one
had much formal training, particularly
in management training," Heaton notes.
"There was also a gap in how we cascaded
down company objectives to each
department and individual objectives for
The company was able to access external
funding to support management and
shopfloor supervisory training, and Heaton
introduced regular meetings to drive
improvements and make sure that all of
Colston's 30-strong workforce were on
"On any improvement programme, people
do wonder why you're doing things, but if
you don't do it you won't have a tomorrow,"
he notes. "People did understand why we
were doing this, that nuclear is a key market
for growth, so it was important we were
aligning ourselves with what the customer
base is looking for."
Colston completed its F4N action plan in
spring 2015, and is now taking further steps
identified by Nuclear AMRC supply chain
specialist Martin Ride.
"Martin's audit gave us the next level to go
for, to align ourselves with what guys like
Alstom are going to require," Heaton says.
"It's making sure these guys know who
we are, and being involved in all the major
programmes that are going on. We want to
increase our customer base, and let people
know that we're here and what we can do."
With Hinkley Point only 40 miles down
the road, Colston is well positioned for
supporting EDF's new build. Heaton is also
working with the Nuclear Decommissioning
Authority, and participating in its SME
"Colston is a great example of an
established UK manufacturing business
wanting to further develop nuclear," Ride
notes. "Matthew has made tremendous
use of the F4N programme to drive
improvement plans into the business, and
to do much more."
F4N has been the big driver for change,
Heaton says, by helping his team focus
on the steps they needed to take to drive
improvements and achieve the goal of
doubling turnover in the next five years.
"It certainly got us moving faster and
doing the right things – the things we
probably wouldn't have done if we weren't
incentivised to do it," he concludes. "Fit
For Nuclear has really made us think about
what we do, and what we're good at doing."
Ready for growth: inside
drives change with F4N
Colston Engineering's new managing director used
the Fit For Nuclear programme to drive business
improvements and make sure the company was
ready for coming opportunities.
Can-do attitude: Colston has produced nuclear flasks and other assemblies.
Sellafield places orders
worth £120 million
Nuclear AMRC signs up to
decommissioning supplier charter
The Nuclear AMRC has signed up
to the Nuclear Decommissioning
Authority's supply chain charter.
The deals announced by Sellafield Ltd in
May include two contracts to produce
boxes for long-term waste storage,
awarded to Cambridgeshire-based
Stainless Metalcraft and Teesside-based
Darchem Engineering, plus a contract with
Tata Steel to support the safe removal and
storage of waste.
Stainless Metalcraft is working closely
with the Nuclear AMRC through the
Civil Nuclear Sharing in Growth (CNSIG)
programme (see Nuclear AMRC News 19).
The new contract, worth up to £47 million,
will see Metalcraft produce over 1,000
waste boxes for Sellafield over the next
10 years. In the first phase, worth up to
£8 million, Metalcraft will develop a new
production facility at its site in Chatteris.
"This is a landmark contract for the
business and we're genuinely excited by
the potential it offers," said Metalcraft
managing director Austen Adams. "Since
joining the Civil Nuclear Sharing in Growth
programme just over 12 months ago, the
team has invested a huge amount of time
and effort to develop their understanding
of the decommissioning process, honing
the skills and processes required among
the team, and this contract is just reward
for all their hard work."
The boxes will be produced from stainless
steel to exacting quality standards. Each
will safely contain around three cubic
metres of intermediate-level waste, dating
from the early days of the UK's nuclear
programme, in long-term storage. The
decommissioning programme at Sellafield
and the other NDA sites will require many
thousands of such boxes over the next 30
Darchem Engineering, which has been
awarded a similar waste box contract
worth up to £50 million, has worked with
the Nuclear AMRC through the Fit For
Nuclear programme. Part of the US-based
Esterline Technologies Corporation,
Darchem specialises in the design and
manufacture of high-integrity engineered
products and thermal insulation systems.
Sellafield also announced that Tata Steel
will be awarded a contract worth £20
million to support the safe removal of
waste into modern storage facilities.
The four-year package of work will see
Tata Steel Projects, another of the 10
businesses receiving intensive support
from CNSIG, modify and refurbish an
existing fleet of high-integrity containers
and doors used to provide shielding during
the safe transfer of waste.
The UK's decommissioning programme
is worth around £1.5 billion a year to the
supply chain. Engineering and quality
requirements are often similar to those of
nuclear new build, and companies with
experience in one area will be well placed
to win work in the other.
"These are excellent examples of the
success UK manufacturers are having
within the nuclear sector," commented
Mike Tynan, chief executive of the Nuclear
AMRC. "Stainless Metalcraft, Darchem
Engineering and Tata Steel Projects have
all taken significant steps to invest in their
capability and competitiveness in the
past few years, and these contracts are
evidence that strategy is working for them.
We are delighted to support them in their
The charter applies across the NDA's estate, and aims to foster good working relations
across the supply chains for the individual site licence companies, of which Sellafield
Ltd is the largest. Suppliers are encouraged to sign up to a set of principles encouraging
mutually beneficial and rewarding relationships.
Landmark contract: Austen Adams, MD of
Stainless Metalcraft, one of two companies
celebrating major waste box orders.
Sellafield Ltd has announced contracts worth
up to £120 million with UK manufacturers.
Nuclear AMRC News Q3 2015
IMI Truflo showcases
NIS Limited has expanded its engineering
capabilities with a new accreditation for
demanding structural components.
Based in Chorley, Lancashire, NIS is
a specialist integrated engineering
company, providing bespoke design and
manufacture of plant and equipment for
nuclear and other high-integrity markets.
Its core products for the nuclear market
include mechanical handling equipment,
gloveboxes and containments.
The new qualification – EN 1090 Execution
Class 3 – allows NIS to produce supporting
structures made of steel up to strength
class S700, and structural components
made of aluminium alloys. The EN 1090
standard has four defined execution
classes, covering increasing engineering
requirements and complexity.
Nine precision machining companies from
the South West of England visited IMI
Truflo Marine to see how a world-class
nuclear manufacturer operates.
The visit was organised by the Nuclear
AMRC and Somerset Chamber of
Commerce's Hinkley Point C supply chain
team. Truflo is one of 10 key nuclear
suppliers receiving intensive business
development and training through the
Nuclear AMRC's Civil Nuclear Sharing in
Growth (CNSIG) programme.
A specialist producer of high-integrity
valves and actuators for critical
applications, primarily for the naval marine
sector, Birmingham-based Truflo has over
50 years of experience in civil and marine
nuclear, and has produced some 120,000
valves for nuclear applications.
Truflo employs over 100 people at its
factory in Birmingham. It is part
of the international IMI engineering group,
which has a global turnover of some £1.7
billion and 12,500 employees worldwide,
and is IMI's centre of excellence for ball
Truflo entered the CNSIG programme in
late 2013. Since starting the development
phase in autumn 2014, the team have
taken part in a string of targeted
improvement projects. Recent activities
include lean projects in the factory to
reduce waste and improve flow; work with
the purchasing team to improve supplier
delivery; value analysis; and advanced weld
"Our business here is to help Truflo
become more competitive and win work,"
Jonathan Matthews, CNSIG programme
lead at Rolls-Royce, told the visiting
manufacturers. "If they become more
competitive, that makes our supply chain
more competitive, and that allows us to
flow that down to our customer."
Truflo's CNSIG activity has been led by
sales manager Beth Threlfall and nuclear
business development manager Rob
"Change management is a big challenge
for a long established engineering
company," Threlfall noted. "There has been
a lot of pain in recognising areas where
we weren't performing as well as we have
done, but now we're seeing the results."
As well as presentations from Truflo
managers and a tour of its workshops, the
day included presentations from Jamie
Driver, senior supply chain engagement
manager at EDF Energy, and Pete Staveley
of Fort Vale Nuclear talking about the
progress his company has made through
the Fit For Nuclear programme.
Sharing in knowledge: visiting manufacturers &
the CNSIG team at Truflo's Birmingham factory.
Lean factory: Truflo logistics manager Tony
Maxwell shows guests around the workshop.
Hayward Tyler has announced further details of its factory
expansion, which will create the world's most advanced
facility for specialist motor manufacture.
Sharing in Growth
The Civil Nuclear Sharing in Growth
programme (CNSIG) aims to develop
the UK manufacturing supply chain for
civil nuclear, and help key suppliers win
work in the nuclear industry at home and
CNSIG is part-funded by government
through the Regional Growth Fund, and
supported by industry leaders including
The 10 companies receiving high
intensity support are:
Ansaldo NES – www.ansaldo-nes.com
Goodwin International –
Graham Engineering –
Hayward Tyler – www.haywardtyler.com
James Fisher Nuclear – www.jfnl.co.uk
Metalcraft – www.metalcraft.co.uk
NIS Ltd – www.nisltd.com
Tata Steel Projects –
Truflo Marine – www.truflo.co.uk
Hayward Tyler unveils
centre of excellence
Hayward Tyler produces high-integrity
pumps and electric motors for the most
demanding applications. Alongside a
series of intensive business development
projects as part of the CNSIG programme
(see Nuclear AMRC News 18), the company
is investing in a major expansion and
upgrade of its Luton factory, supported
by a separate £3.5 million grant from the
Regional Growth Fund.
The redevelopment is extending the
workshop by over 40 per cent to 6,300m2
allowing Hayward Tyler to potentially
double its production capacity. The new
centre of excellence has been designed
in line with the company's Fit For Nuclear
action plan, and will include single-
piece flow lines embedded with lean
manufacturing methodologies, dedicated
clean assembly areas and test pits.
To optimise the new factory layout,
Hayward Tyler is using Lanner Witness
simulation software and Virtalis 3D
modelling technology, with support
from the Nuclear AMRC's head of
visualisation, Dr Rab Scott. Detailed
modelling of product flow has already
allowed the company to reduce lead time
for its main product by an additional 10
Hayward Tyler is also investing heavily in
tools and resources to develop its offerings
for the nuclear and subsea markets,
including additional capabilities in finite
element analysis, rotordynamic analysis,
thermal modelling and computational fluid
"This strategically planned investment
will deliver an extended, fit-for-purpose,
facility and continuous improvement
based environment capable of designing
and manufacturing performance-critical
motors and pumps for our chosen growth
markets," says chief executive Ewan Lloyd-
The new centre of excellence will be fully
operational in July 2016.
Fit for purpose:
3D model of Hayward Tyler's expanded factory.
Nuclear AMRC News Q3 2015
Culham is the research arm of the UK
Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), and
the national laboratory for nuclear fusion
research. The centre is currently expanding
its facilities to better work with industry in
areas including materials analysis, robotics
and remote handling.
The science behind nuclear fusion is
relatively simple. You take lightweight
atoms – such as the hydrogen isotopes,
deuterium and tritium – and bash them
together until they fuse into heavier
elements, with a small loss of mass
releasing a large amount of energy. The
basic reaction is around 10 times more
powerful than uranium fission.
In theory, a gigawatt-scale fusion power
plant would require just 500kg of fuel
derived from water each year, with far less
active waste than fission reactors, and no
risk of a runaway reaction.
The engineering is rather more
challenging. Culham is home to the Joint
European Torus (Jet), currently the world's
largest and most powerful fusion reactor.
Jet has achieved a record-breaking output
of 16MWe – but needed an energy input of
24MWe to heat the fuel.
The main problem is that fusion only
occurs at very high temperatures, of up to
200 million degrees C. And to keep that
superheated plasma contained and away
from the walls of the reactor chamber, you
need extremely powerful magnetic fields
– Jet's tokamak design creates a toroidal
field of up to 3.45 Tesla, to contain just
10mg of plasma.
Jet has been operating since 1983, and
will be superseded by the international
Iter project, currently under construction
in the south of France. Iter is designed
to produce 500MWe output for 50MWe
input, and is probably the most complex
engineering project ever attempted. The
Culham team are using Jet to test and
develop new systems and materials for Iter,
such as beryllium and tungsten tiles to
line the plasma chamber.
Culham is also home to the Mega Amp
Spherical Tokamak (Mast), a more compact
design which reduces the requirement for
magnetic containment. Mast is currently
in the midst of a three-year, £35 million
upgrade which will allow it to test systems
for a prototype fusion power plant.
Much of the material and components
for the Mast upgrade come from UK
companies – including Outokumpu in
Sheffield, which is providing 316L stainless
steel, and a host of civil nuclear suppliers
such as Helander Precision and Oldham
UKAEA is now developing new facilities
at Culham to help share its expertise
with UK industry, and to develop the first
demonstration fusion reactors beyond Iter.
Later this year, it opens a new materials
research facility, as part of the wider
National Nuclear User Facility alongside
centres at the National Nuclear Laboratory
and the Dalton Cumbrian Facility. Services
will include micromechanical testing of
samples from both fusion and fission
Construction is also well underway on the
new Remote Applications in Challenging
Environments (Race) facility. UKAEA has
extensive experience in remote handling,
and has developed and deployed systems
for a variety of uses including welding, tile
installation and diagnostic surveys in Jet's
The new centre will provide engineering
companies with a world-leading
concentration of test facilities and
expertise to develop and apply new remote
application technologies. Race also draws
on the robotics and remote handling
expertise of the Nuclear AMRC, National
Nuclear Laboratory, National Physical
Laboratory and The Welding Institute, and
will play a major role in the government's
robotics and autonomous systems
Culham Centre for Fusion Energy:
Supply opportunities at Iter:
Nuclear AMRC engineers visited the Culham
Centre for Fusion Energy to better understand
the manufacturing and engineering challenges of
experimental fusion devices.
from a distance:
advanced remote handling
equipment pictured inside
the Jet plasma chamber.
Power networking: Nuclear AMRC staff visit
the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy.
Westinghouse VP supports
women in engineering
The Nuclear AMRC invited Professor Dame
Athene Donald, professor of experimental
physics at the University of Cambridge,
to discuss gender balance in science and
engineering. Her talk, titled 'Engineering:
an unsuitable job for a woman?', focused
on what educators and employers can
do to overcome the implicit hurdles that
women seem to face.
With the UK facing a pressing shortage
of engineers, neglecting or discouraging
women from the profession means that
employers risk losing half the potential
pool of talent. Having a diverse team also
brings a lot of benefits, Donald told the
audience of over 100 staff and students
from the University of Sheffield AMRC and
Department of Engineering.
A mere 8.5 per cent of engineers in the UK
are female, half the proportion in France
and the lowest in Europe. In Latvia, at
the top of the list, around 30 per cent of
engineers are female.
"We are the lowest of the low," said
Donald. "What that tells me straight away
is that the issues around female engineers
are not about genetics. It is about culture."
While much of the problem stems from
cultural issues such as gender stereotyping
at early ages, employers can take actions
to support and retain female employees.
Positive role models and mentoring
schemes can be valuable, but it's vital for
companies to monitor their employment
"You need to have a snapshot of where
you're at – how many women enter, where
do you lose women," Donald said.
"It's clear engineering has a long way to go
as a profession in making sure that all of
those young women that have the
enthusiasm and aptitude are encouraged
to enter the profession," she concluded.
The Athena Forum is an independent
organisation focusing on diversity
in science, technology, engineering,
mathematics and medicine.
An unsuitable job for a woman?
Cindy Pezze, vice-president of global technology development
and chief technology officer for Westinghouse Electric Company
in the US, visited The University of Manchester to mark National
Women in Engineering Day.
As well as discussing innovation and
technology at Westinghouse, Pezze gave
an evening presentation on the current
lack of women in science and engineering
roles and the steps needed to encourage
more women to pursue engineering
National Women in Engineering Day, held
on 23 June, was founded by the Women's
Engineering Society to raise the profile and
celebrate the achievements of women in
this vital field.
"This national event is extremely
important in terms of raising the visibility
and importance of STEM and women
in engineering fields," Pezze said. "It's
fantastic to see more and more of these
initiatives taking place. If you've influenced
just a few women to seek out engineering
careers as a result of these activities, then
Encouraging girls into engineering
careers will not only increase diversity and
inclusion, she noted, but also help to fill
the vast future job requirements of the
Pezze, who over the course of her 31-
year career with Westinghouse has held
positions of increasing technical and
business responsibility, highlighted the lack
of gender balance at senior levels in global
companies and the under-representation
of women in science and engineering
The event was chaired by Professor
Grace Burke, director of the University's
Materials Performance Centre and Electron
Microscopy Centre, who noted that
she had been the only woman studying
metallurgical engineering during her
degree. That, as well as currently being
one of very few women researching in her
field, instilled her with a desire to increase
the numbers of women in STEM roles.
"From my perspective, I think it’s really
important to inspire and motivate the next
generation," Burke said.
During her visit to Manchester, Pezze also
met staff from the Dalton Nuclear Institute
to discuss research at the Manufacturing
Technology Research Laboratory. Pezze
also crossed the Pennines to visit the
Nuclear AMRC's main facility in South
Industry and academia can do more to support women in
engineering, according to the chair of the Athena Forum.
Professor Dame Athene Donald at the
AMRC Knowledge Transfer Centre.
The University of Sheffield,
Advanced Manufacturing Park,
Brunel Way, Rotherham, S60 5WG
The University of Manchester,
Sackville Street, Manchester, M13 9PL
tel: +44 (0)114 222 9900
The Nuclear AMRC is here to support manufacturing
companies, from SMEs to global giants, which are seriously
interested in winning business in the nuclear sector.
If we can help your company, we want to hear from you.
Work with us
We help manufacturers through supplier development and
We can work with you to raise your quality, capability and cost
competitiveness to meet the needs of the global nuclear industry.
And we can develop world-leading manufacturing processes and
technologies. We have the production-scale facilities and the
manufacturing expertise to help you improve cycle time, reduce
lead time, improve quality and reduce costs.
Our capabilities and services are open to all UK manufacturers.
We provide a responsive service to help you solve your
manufacturing challenges and win new work.
We also offer full membership, giving you access to our generic
projects and the opportunity to determine our core research.
To find out more about how we can help your business,
contact Peter Handley, Nuclear AMRC business development
Tier 1 members:
Tier 2 members:
THE ART OF WELDING