22 Feb 2021
Hydraulic ram manufacturer Ram Reman moves forwards with plans
In July 2020, BFPA member Ram Reman Hydraulics welcomed Daniel (Danny) Collins into the Wimborne based business as Branch Manager.
Ram Reman is a 30 year old manufacturing business based in Wimborne, purchased by Rotec Hydraulics in 2015, the site now employs a staff of nine. The company specialises in making bespoke and small quantities of hydraulic cylinder rams used in many industries for movement and power, under control.
“Joining a new company over lockdown has certainly presented a few challenges. The welcome I have received from the team along with customers old and new has been encouraging. We have a great selection of lathes and milling machines to enable us to make some unique rams as one offs or for bespoke projects. In the workshop we either make Hydraulic rams from scratch or refurbish supplied rams. Our work comes from a wide variety of industries including haulage, marine and plant hire firms” says Danny.
“We hold a large selection of stock including tube, pre-honed to different diameters as the base for our cylinders in materials such as stainless steel, chromed stainless or chrome on mild steel and a wide range of seals and components. We are often presented with a ram from a piece of machinery for which spares can no longer be purchased. We use our teams’ expertise to design and turn a replica in the correct material for the job which the ram is required to do” continues Danny.
The Ram Reman workshop is set up to produce up to a maximum of five identical items, therefore they do not produce rams for the mass market. We help when a bespoke project requires a number of individual rams to move different parts in sequence – think of a ferry door opening flat, for loading and unloading freight – Ram Reman manufacture each of the rams that enables this process to happen at the push of a button.
“We are really pleased to have recruited Danny as Branch Manager, during a slightly different period of trading. Having now settled into the role, Danny’s experience is perfectly suited for the plans we have in place for 2021, to build the exposure of the facility across the south west” says Richard Lang, Rotec Hydraulics, Sales Director.
With a BFPA Q Approved workshop, the company is behind the current campaign to stop the re-ending of hydraulic hose, to promote the ongoing safety message further.
The Ram Reman client base stretches across the south west, from coast to coast. Rams are integral in the workings of such a diverse range of equipment used regularly in everyday life, passenger lifts, booms on construction machinery and agricultural equipment through to more bespoke equipment for the oil and gas industry and presses used in manufacturing.
“Our links to sister company Rotec Hydraulics enable us to call up on the rest of the team for enquiries for full hydraulic and pneumatic systems, Accumulator Recertification and their Hydraulic Technology Centre expertise across the south west” sums up Daniel.
With four children, mostly now grown up, when not playing bowls in the summer, or taking one of his girls to Swim training, Daniel and his partner dote on their granddaughter.
Photo Supplied – Daniel Collins, Ram Reman Hydraulics Branch Manager
Webtec Continues to Support Young Engineers of the Future
The Roy Cuthbert Scholarship for 2020 has been awarded to Thomas Chaplin. The award, which was named after Webtec’s founder, a passionate engineer and entrepreneur who passed away in 2013, is part of the wider UK Arkwright Engineering Scholarship Scheme. BFPA member Webtec is proud to be a supporter of this prestigious national programme which has been providing scholarships to students since 1991.
Webtec recognises the importance of encouraging young talent into engineering and in addition to the Arkwright Scholarships the company also actively supports other programmes including the Primary Engineer® Leaders Award and the Engineering Education Scheme (EES).
The highly respected Arkwright Engineering Scholarship is designed to inspire and equip the next generation of UK engineering talent. This year, the programme awarded 300 esteemed scholarships to bright and aspiring 16-year-old students from across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with 45 per cent of these presented to female students and 38 per cent to young people from non-selective state schools.
“We are passionate to support the next generation of engineers and the Arkwright Scholarship offers a great opportunity to help talented students achieve their full potential. We would like to congratulate Thomas on being awarded the Roy Cuthbert Scholarship and wish him all the very best in his future career” commented Martin Cuthbert, Webtec’s Managing Director.
Now heading into its 30th year, the Scholarship provides young people in the UK with a fully sponsored programme of hands-on experience, professional mentorship and careers guidance throughout their A-levels and Scottish Higher qualifications.
The Arkwright Engineering Scholarship 2021 Programme is now open to all Year 11 students in England and Wales, S4 students in Scotland and Year 12 students in Northern Ireland. If you are a school or student who would like apply for The Arkwright Engineering Scholarship Programme, please visit: https://www.arkwright.org.uk/arkwright-scholarships
FPE Seals demonstrates its position as industry leader with launch of Helpzone
A worldwide distributor and manufacturer of seals and hydraulic cylinder parts is demonstrating its position as an industry leader with the launch of its Helpzone.
BDPDA member FPE Seals, which is headquartered in Darlington, has introduced Helpzone to its website to use the team’s knowledge and expertise to support customers in need.
The platform features product demonstration videos, as well as guides and blogs to answer commonly asked questions in the industry, which supports Aftermarket and Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) operations for fluid power systems.
Steve Ellis, FPE Seals managing director said: “Finding solutions for customers is part of what makes FPE who we are, and we wanted to share our knowhow with existing and new audiences that would find it helpful.
“Helpzone is yet another channel we can use to offer everyone that needs it access to our team’s skills and capabilities, no matter where they are based.”
In addition to Helpzone, FPE Seals continues to offer advice over the phone or at its in-branch trade counters, which have been made Covid-secure. The firm has remained operational throughout the pandemic, continuing to supply parts needed to keep essential industries moving.
The firm also offers a free legacy service, where existing seals are sent to the team to be identified and matched for replacements. For customers needing a bespoke approach, its in-house manufacturing team also designs and create seals to order.
Steve added: “Helpzone will only continue to grow as we create more videos and guides.
“We’ve created a platform which can provide support to our customers and others in our industry whenever they need it, and that’s something I’m very proud of.”
Established in 1984, FPE Seals employs 71 members of staff across its branches in Darlington, Doncaster, Aberdeen and Breda, Netherlands.
For more information on FPE Seals and to view its Helpzone, visit www.fpeseals.co.uk/helpzone
PHOTO: FPE Seals Helpzone can be accessed via its website
PCE Automation uses Festo technology to put STANLEY® knife production at the cutting edge
Festo automation technology is being used to help STANLEY® Tools in the UK to meet continued demand for its renowned safety knives, while continuing to maintain the highest standards of safety and quality.
Festo automation sits at the heart of a new rotary assembly cell designed and supplied by PCE Automation Ltd. The new production cell also contains Festo mini slides, axes, cylinders, valves and grippers – all of which contribute to the high precision alignment required for STANLEY knife assembly.
Josh Roberts, Festo Business Development Consultant, says: “The STANLEY knife rotary assembly cell presents a great example of how automation can be applied to replace manual repetitive tasks and deliver benefits, such as improved productivity and quality.
“PCE involved Festo at the earliest possible stage, which meant we could work in partnership and combine our respective specialist knowledge as system builders and automation specialists to deliver the optimum solution for Stanley Black & Decker.”
Cutting edge solution
The customer required an assembly cell that could be used to produce safety knives with two different sizes of blade capable of swapping production efficiently between their 9mm and 18mm width options. To meet demand, a cycle time of 20 parts per minute was necessary. In addition, Stanley Black & Decker needed a compact solution to fit in the existing footprint at their UK production facility.
PCE Automation Ltd won the contract to design and build the new automated assembly cell under competitive tender, against international competition. In partnership with Festo, they were able to demonstrate the levels of responsiveness and aftersales support that their customer was looking for.
Their solution is an eight-station rotary assembly cell featuring Festo automation. The blade handles are held in position on the central rotary assembly and the components, including blades, are placed with high precision to build up the final product. The fully assembled STANLEY knives are subject to camera inspection for quality control as they leave the cell on a conveyor.
The customer did not want the assembly cell to require constant overseeing by an operator. So, hoppers are used to feed components down to vibrating bowl feeders. The hopper feeds will keep the cell running for approximately one hour without the need for operator intervention. The bespoke vibrating bowl feeders were manufactured by PCE’s sister company Premier Bowl Feeders.
Introducing the knife blades into the assembly cell raised a particular challenge for PCE. The 9mm and 18mm length blades are presented to the assembly cell in stacks of 400, but each blade is only 0.4mm or 0.5mm thick, which makes them tricky to pick and place accurately. There was a real risk of the blades jamming and halting production if not correctly positioned, so it was critical to be able to pick off one blade at a time and place it in the correct orientation. PCE used magnets to hold the blades effectively. Festo grippers are used to pick and place all the other components.
The nerve centre of the new rotary assembly cell is the Festo CPX-AP-I (see box-out), which acts as a single control network and facilitates the use of a single cable for all communications and power. It also allows flexible positioning of valve terminals and other components around the assembly cell – all of which simplifies installation and lowers overall cost. Festo DGST precision mini slides and grippers are used for accuracy and repeatability in presenting the plastic components for assembly. These are complemented by DFM guided actuators and air preparation units from Festo’s core Blue Star range of best priced and availability, pneumatics.
Ellen Blackie, Senior Project Manager, PCE Automation, comments: “As an existing Festo Integrator, we had every confidence that their product portfolio would offer the quality and precision that the STANLEY knife assembly application demanded. Breadth of product choice, coupled with Festo’s on time delivery record and parts availability, were critical in helping us win the Stanley Black & Decker contract. As a systems builder, we appreciate the proactive support that Festo offers in exploring alternative solutions. We also found their online software tools particularly helpful, especially the ability to track parts and lead-in times online.”
Festo is a member of the BFPA.
STANLEY safety knives are being produced more rapidly and without loss of quality using a PCE Automation rotary assembly cell featuring Festo technology.
A combination of Festo DGST mini-slides, axes, cylinders and grippers are used to pick and place the STANLEY knife components with high precision and repeatability.
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