Members’ News

29 Jul 2020

Camozzi cyclists still feeling Brighton breezy!

Nuneaton, 21 July 2020 – Recent events have brought fresh challenges to BFPA member Camozzi Automation’s preparations for the planned London to Brighton Bike Ride.

A team of 13 riders are raising vital funds for the Children with Cancer UK charity, by riding the 55 miles from Clapham Common to Brighton seafront, during the September event.

This feat is the latest in a series of endurance events undertaken by Camozzi staff, which have also included the company’s 2019 Three Peak’s Challenge, a full marathon, and several half marathons.

Says Camozzi managing director Adrian Farnham: “Current conditions have presented some challenges to our training regime, but we have adjusted our schedule to comply with social distancing requirements.

“We have quite a lot of keen cyclists in our ranks and a few people who just want to challenge themselves by undertaking a greater distance than they’ve ever ridden before, keeping fit and raising funds for a very good cause in the process.”

Mindful of the very real possibility of a postponement of the Brighton event, Camozzi has developed contingency plans to complete the same distance using either a local route or on exercise bikes at its Nuneaton base, The Fluid Power Centre, if needs be!

Donations to support Children with Cancer UK can be made at:


Gates to Donate More Than $535,000 to COVID-19 Response

19 Nonprofit organizations across the EMEA region receive donations as thousands of Gates employees around the world join forces to support community relief efforts

LUXEMBURG, May, 2020 — Gates (NYSE: GTES), a leading global provider of application-specific fluid power and power transmission solutions, announced charitable donations of more than $535,000 in support of organizations responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Directed by the company’s global headquarters in Denver, the Gates Industrial Corporation Foundation (Foundation) is working with nearly 100 Gates facilities around the world to identify and help fund local nonprofits that are making a difference. 19 charities across the EMEA region will receive a total of $78,500 (£63,400).

“Gates’ global charitable initiative is intended to empower local organizations. We’re tapping into local knowledge to address area-specific needs,” said Josef Parzhuber, President EMEA. “Here in EMEA, we’ve been able to direct our support to 19 charities making an impact in all of the communities we call home.”

Recipients of Foundation donations in EMEA include:

  • Fundacio Del Convent De Santa Clara
  • Artsen zonder grenzen België
  • Croce Rossa Italiana
  • Al Jalila Foundation in Support of Medical Education & Research
  • Friends of Fondation de France, Inc.
  • Nemocnice s poliklinikou Havířov
  • Statutární město Karviná
  • ADRA, o.p.s. (pobočka Dobrovolnické centrum ADRA Havířov)
  • Dumfries and Galloway Health Board Endowment Fund
  • Cramlington hospital
  • St John Ambulance
  • Dokuz Eylul University Research and Application Hospital
  • Covid-19 Foundation, under the aegis of Fondation de Luxembourg
  • Voivodship Specialist Hospital in Legnica
  • Medical University in Wroclaw Department of Heart Diseases
  • Aachener Tafel e.V.
  • Euskirchener Tafel e.V.
  • Darmstädter Tafel e.V.

Responding quickly to the global outbreak, Gates initiated the charitable initiative with a substantial donation to the Hubei Charity Federation to support the medical needs in the area where the virus is believed to have originated. The aid campaign now spans other parts of South and North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa; Greater China; and East Asia and India, including 17 locations across the United States. Among the recipient organizations are chapters of large NGOs, such as the United Way and the American Red Cross, as well as local hospitals, food banks and other humanitarian organizations.

Donations, totalling more than $535,000, are being provided on an unrestricted basis to allow recipient charities maximum flexibility to address the most urgent needs in their area. Among those are Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline medical professionals and health care services and food and housing for the most vulnerable populations impacted by the pandemic.

In addition to its worldwide charitable donation initiative, Gates continues to actively monitor, manage and adapt to the evolving pandemic. Thanks to prompt implementation of COVID-19 safety protocols at all of its approximately 100 plants, offices, labs and distribution centers around the world, Gates has been able to continue serving its customers and maintain employment levels while protecting the health and safety team members, their families and communities.


Moog invests in new manufacturing facility in Tewkesbury

BFPA member Moog is developing a new 184,000 square foot manufacturing facility for the Aircraft Group in Tewkesbury. This state-of-the-art facility will incorporate engineering and administration offices and is expected to be operational in 2023.

The new building, which is being developed in partnership with Barberry Industrial, will more than double the size of the Aircraft Group in Tewkesbury and allow us to incorporate more cutting-edge manufacturing practices, thereby fostering further growth in our Engine and Flight control products for military and commercial aerospace programs.

Moog looks forward to sharing more details soon – for further information, please visit:


NFPC Supporting UK Industry

NFPC moves training forward supporting the needs of UK Industry by providing an extensive range of Technical Webinars and “Follow-on” Practical Skills development training days at the Centre. This interim plan provides a totally flexible approach to training at a time when UK Industry is re-establishing its workforce, supply chains and production levels.

Visit the NFPC Website “Learn Online- Pay as You go- Attend when you can”

Here at the NFPC we have Zoned the Centre to accommodate all aspects of social distancing, whilst limiting Candidate numbers in each ZONE. We have also developed a fully documented “Risk Assessment and Method Statement, clearly outlining how plans to assure your safety and wellbeing.

Our Webinar sessions will be delivered via ZOOM by NFPC Training Engineers with many years of experience and from our lecture rooms within the Centre using multiple Webcams and making use of an extensive range of visual aids. Webinar group sizes will be kept to a maximum of 8, and we plan to provide a totally interactive experience throughout.

For further information feel free to contact John R Savage NFPC Director on or Tel No 01909 504709


Swift lessons in lightweight design: the new bionic concept Festo

What can nature teach us about lightweight structures, adaptive control and collaborative working? The “BionicSwift”, the latest bionic concept from Festo, demonstrates what is possible within robotics.

Lightweight structures are at the heart of the artificial robot bird because in both engineering and in nature, less material, less weight and least energy consumed makes for a successful design. The BionicSwift weighs just 42g despite a body length of 44.5cm and a wingspan of 68cm. This makes it extremely agile and capable of flying loops and making tight turns. Thanks to radio-based indoor GPS with ultra-wideband technology (UWB) the BionicSwifts fly safely and coordinate within a defined airspace. To make the flight manoeuvres as life-like as possible, the wings are modelled on the plumage of real birds. The agility of the artificial birds is not just due to their lightweight design and aerodynamic kinematics, but also to the use of function integration.

The intelligent networking of flying objects and GPS routing used in the BionicSwift demonstrates a 3D navigation system that could be used in the networked factory of the future. By precisely locating the flow of materials and goods, process workflows can be improved, and bottlenecks predicted. Autonomous flying robots are already being trialled as a way of optimising material movements.


Aerodynamic feathers and flying by GPS

Replicating natural flight as closely as possible, the wings of the BionicSwifts are modelled on bird feathers. The individual feathers are made from an ultra-lightweight, flexible but very robust foam, and overlap each other. Connected to a carbon quill they fan out during the wing upstroke, allowing air to flow through. They close during the downstroke to provide a more powerful, efficient flight than previous beating wing drives with fixed surfaces.

Commenting on their latest flying robot, Steve Sands of Festo says: ‟Festo use the natural world as a creative spur for sustainable innovation: studying natural phenomena and applying the principles to engineering challenges. The results are demonstrated as display models, which we call Bionic Concepts. Why do it? Because it stimulates creativity: not only within the Festo development process but also through crowd-sourcing ideas from a diverse external audience. The Bionic Concepts bring together people who are interested in similar key trend topics such as lightweight structures, machine learning and artificial intelligence.“

To see the BionicSwift and many other exciting new innovations from the Bionic Learning Network and the Festo industrial automation development team visit Festo gives the future of safe automation a hand.


BionicSoftHand 2.0 uses a combination of compact valve technology, sensors, electronics and mechanical components to emulate the movements of a human hand

Industrial change has accelerated, demanding a new level of interaction between people, machines and data. Within its Bionic Learning Network, Festo has been studying and developing safe automation systems to relieve people of monotonous or hazardous tasks. The BionicMobileAssistant is a prototype robot system that deploys artificial intelligence to move independently, identifying and gripping objects and adaptively working with humans.

The entire system has been developed in collaboration with ETH Zurich. It has a modular design consisting of three subsystems: a mobile robot, an electric robotic arm and a pneumatic gripper – the BionicSoftHand 2.0 – an earlier version of which was first presented by Festo in 2019. It uses a combination of compact valve technology, sensors, electronics and mechanical components integrated in the tightest of spaces in order to emulate the movements of a human hand.

BionicSoftHand 2.0 wears a tactile glove with force sensors on the fingertips, the palm and the outer sides of the robot hand. This allows it to sense the nature of the item to be gripped, and to adapt its gripping force accordingly – just as the human hand does. Thanks to a 3D-printed wrist with two degrees of freedom, the hand can also move both back and forth as well as to the left and to the right. This means that gripping smaller objects is now possible. In addition, the hand has a depth camera on the inside of the wrist so it can visually detect the objects to be gripped – even if these are partially obscured. The information is processed by a neural network, which has been trained in advance with the aid of data augmentation. Once the hand has been correctly trained, it uses the intelligence gathered to assess objects.

The system would be perfect for differentiating good product from bad product, or for use as a personal assistant: for example as a service robot helping in assembly or assisting workers in carrying out ergonomically monotonous tasks. It could also be used in environments where people cannot work because of hazards or restricted accessibility. This includes maintenance or repair work, data measurements or visual inspections. It is also possible to imagine mobile robots carrying out tasks in areas where there is an increased risk of infection: delivering medicines to hospital patients, supporting the delivery of care in old people’s homes, or waving ultralight sterilising wands within wards.

To see the BionicMobileAssistant in action visit


Bath University ASME symposium on fluid power and motion control 9-11 September 2020 goes online

Bath University’s symposium on fluid power and motion control will go ahead as planned on September 9 – 11, 2020, as an online conference.

Please see below for their revised schedule. If, due to work disruption, you need more time to prepare your paper, please get in touch with the Symposium organisers to discuss as soon as possible.

15 April 2020 – Submission of full-length paper for review

13 May 2020 – Paper review complete

20 May 2020 – Paper acceptance notification / copyright form submission process opens

7th July 2020 – Submission of copyright form

8th July 2020 – Submission of final paper

The submission portal is open

You can find more details and the call for papers on their dedicated web page:

University of Bath’s Centre for Power Transmission and Motion Control want to inform you how the Centre is adapting to the COVID situation across their different services:

Consultancy and research

We are operating as normal for projects that do not require a lab.

Labs are gradually reopening and scheduling will be used to mitigate risk to staff, so delays are possible.

Short courses

Our distance learning course “FP1 Introduction to hydraulic circuits and components” is unaffected, including the tutoring option. For our courses in spring 2021 and later, we will be monitoring the situation and we hope we will be able to run these courses at the university with small changes to group activities.

Due to staff requirements, we had to postpone the Electrical Drives course scheduled for November 2020. Bookings remain valid and we will communicate the new date as soon as we can.

Our team is working on moving the other upcoming courses to online delivery, as summarised below.

If you sign up to these online courses, you will be given early access to pre-recorded lectures and notes. Then, during the scheduled dates, there will be a suggested order of lectures and exercises. At specific times throughout the week, we will conduct live sessions for those exercises as well as for general questions and answers. You will also have the opportunity to use the chat and email systems to send questions to staff.

We believe that this allows the best mixture of flexibility and interactivity given the ongoing situation.

FP1 Introduction to hydraulic circuits and components  
13-16 October 2020 (online)

FP2 Component selection for hydraulic systems
3-6 November 2020 (online)

FPN Noise in hydraulic systems
27-29 January 2021 (online)

After this course, we hope to go back to in-person courses.

You can visit our website for the complete list of courses




Do you have a company news story we could feature?

BFPA would like to help publicise our BFPA and BFPDA members’ company news (free of charge to members) in our newsletter and / or on our website news page and want to feature more news stories from our BFPA and BFPDA members. Each news item will be set alongside a photo / logo / image (which you would ideally supply) and archived by date. We may also be able to publish on our news pages or send out to a wider media list as well on your behalf.

We would love to hear from you if you have any suitable UK fluid power industry news stories such as:

  • Senior staff appointments
  • New buildings being opened
  • Awards being won / presented
  • New industry sales partners announced
  • New acquisitions / alliances etc.
  • Innovative or unusual projects or case studies

Please send any news items to Sarah Gardner – we look forward to hearing from you soon!