In an era when skills shortages are prevalent across industry, here at Webtec we’ve become dedicated to increasing the knowledge and skills of our employees, customers and the wider community. From a commitment to our own apprenticeship schemes, to educating and encouraging the next generation of engineers, we practise what we preach. Evidence of this strategy can be seen in a recently completed project that we set for a local school in St Ives, Cambridgeshire.
Sixth-form students at St Ivo Academy were asked to develop a better way of clamping our 180 series hydraulic manifold valves to the standard 180 test rig. The existing method was unsatisfactory as it involved a lot of time screwing and clamping the high-pressure directional control valves in place.
In order to achieve develop the new mechanism, students had to understand how the product functioned, as well as the physics and mechanics of the components and the fluid. They needed to approach the problem from an engineering point of view, but at the same time be creative and work as a team.
The project’s scope saw the budding engineers undertake intensive research and create a risk management plan. A range of concepts were then explored before a final design was identified for development.
St Ivo’s chosen design involved placing a collar around the adapter and using a special clamp to hold the valve in position. Three different components were subsequently CAD-modelled by the enthusiastic and talented team of four, while keeping in mind both cost and quality. In addition, a safety feature was designed to determine if the handle on the clamp was locked in place after being pulled down.
The team was mentored throughout by our specialists Lorena Perez and James Poulten, ultimately delivering a project that exemplifies our continuous focus on training and skills enhancement.
To find discover more about our efforts to engender the next generation of engineers, please click here.