19 August, 2018

Trade exhibitions: ‘People still buy from people’

25 February, 2016

BFPA’s CEO Chris Buxton highlights the importance of visiting or showing at trade exhibitions in the modern business environment.

The offshore crisis is beginning to bite

01 December, 2015

By Chris Buxton, director and CEO, the BFPA.

Make sure your company has its say….…and get involved with the BFPA technical committees

30 October, 2015

The growing influence of the British Fluid Power Association (BFPA) is now internationally acknowledged. Here in the UK the BFPA runs a number of important committees to which many members individually give their time freely. There in valuable experience and knowledge is used to help frame national legislation that is designed to harmonise and raise standards, safety and professionalism within the industry.

Are you ready for the next ‘big noise’ in UK Manufacturing?

25 September, 2015

BFPA CEO, Chris Buxton comments upon the inexorable rise of Industry 4.0 across all sectors of manufacturing.

New chairman for the Trade Association Forum

21 August, 2015

The Trade Association Forum has announced that Chris Buxton, the BFPA’s director and CEO, has now taken over as chairman of the Trade Association Forum Ltd. The change comes after Isabel Martinson recently stepped down as chief executive of The Giftware Association. The Forum announced the new appointment at its inaugural AGM on Thursday, 9 July at Glaziers Hall in London.

BFPA and Sannam S4 establish a key strategic alliance partnership across India, Brazil and China

21 August, 2015

British founded company, Sannam S4, and the BFPA have established an exclusive partnership to deliver a suite of market entry and business support services across India, Brazil and China to the Association’s members.

BFPA identifies a ‘land-mark’ ruling

17 June, 2015

BFPA CEO Chris Buxton reports on having reached a much needed conclusion with the Environment Agency on the treatment of waste hoses and associated PPE in mobile applications.

Nigel Judd to retire in September

29 April, 2015

Parker Hannifin, the global provider of motion and control technologies, has announced the forthcoming retirement of Nigel Judd, regional general manager of its UK and Ireland sales companies. Judd, aged 65, has decided to retire in September 2015, after almost 12 years in his current role and more than 25 years with Parker.

Change is not an option – it’s a necessity if we are to continue to thrive as an industry

29 April, 2015

With the introduction of the UK Motion Control Alliance (UK MCA), BFPA CEO Chris Buxton examines British businesses and what he sees as their resistance to change against a growing need to embrace it.

Brian Rymer, managing director at I.M.M. Hydraulics (UK), retires

02 April, 2015

At the age of 67 and over 50 years within the Hydraulics Industry, Brian Rymer retired from full time employment as the managing director of I.M.M. Hydraulics (UK) Ltd. at the end of January 2015. Work began for Brian in the industry in 1965 when at the age of 17 he joined Oswald Hydraulics Ltd., a company based in the West Midlands, where he began his apprenticeship in hose assembly manufacturing, and was eventually promoted to works manager.

‘Together we stand – Divided we fall’

02 April, 2015

BFPA CEO Chris Buxton emphasises the importance of representative and trade bodies working together in the best interests of their members and the wider UK Industry.

Government to crack down on late payment culture

06 March, 2015

BFPA CEO Chris Buxton reports on current steps being taken by UK Government to address the cultural malaise of late payment and the role being played by the BFPA.

The BFPA invests time in ensuring that our best students are not ‘lost’ to the non-technical disciplines

04 January, 2015
Regular readers of this column will know that the British Fluid Power Association (BFPA) is passionate about UK manufacturing and the wider engineering supply industry. An equally emotive topic is that of skills, or in some instances the shortage of them, in the fluid power sector. Indeed, this has been a regular theme in both this and many other industry journals over the past couple of years. However, no amount of skills training in the STEM arena is of any use if upon completion of their education, students choose to move out of the industry only to undertake a career in Law, Accountancy or one of the alternative non-technical career paths. This problem has long been recognised, and there are several initiatives that have emerged with the sole purpose of improving the image of engineering as a good and lucrative career for students at all levels. One such initiative is the Arkwright Trust. On its website the Trust states: “We identify, inspire and nurture future leaders in Engineering and technical (as opposed to aesthetic) Design. We do this by awarding Arkwright Engineering Scholarships, through a rigorous selection process, to high-calibre students in year 11 (England and Wales), S4 (Scotland), year 12 (Northern Ireland). Our Engineering Scholarships support students through their A Levels or Scottish Highers and encourage students to pursue Engineering or technical Design at university or through a higher-level apprenticeship and to take up careers in the field.” Every Scholarship is sponsored by industrial companies, universities, charitable trusts, trade associations, professional engineering institutions, the Armed Services, Worshipful Companies, industry regulators or personal donors. To this extent the Trust relies on the support of people and organisations with an interest in the future of engineering and technical design. The BFPA is very supportive of the Arkwright Trust and 2014 saw the Association sponsor three promising young students. The scholarships were awarded at a recent ceremony held at the Mermaid Conference Centre in London and hosted by the Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation. The BFPA’s CEO Chris Buxton said of the initiative: “We have to dispel the archaic view that engineering is somehow a secondary career choice after what is misleadingly termed, ‘the professions’. Young students of the right calibre starting out can now expect to earn significantly more than their counter parts in other areas such as law and some might argue that they will be embarking upon a much more interesting career! It will certainly deliver more to UK GDP.” Buxton continued: “Recently released figures from the Times Good University Guide show that six of the top ten highest earning subjects based on starting salaries are engineering disciplines.” Clearly there is still much work to do in dispelling the old school views on a career in engineering, but at least the BFPA is ‘doing its bit’ to address this challenge.

Disposal regeneration and recycling

25 November, 2014
The Coxmoor Publishing Company book titled ‘Hydraulic Fluids – A Practical Guide’, by Allan Barber, Nigel Battersby and David Phillips, and published in association with the BFPA, is a handy source of information on its subject. Below is an extract from the publication, looking at the theme of disposal regeneration and recycling. At some stage the user of hydraulic fluids will be faced with the need to either dispose of aged or contaminated fluid or to recondition (recycle) the product for further use. Disposal of used hydraulic fluids and their containers Increasingly, restrictions are being imposed on the disposal of all waste materials. Hydraulic fluids are no exception, and users have a ‘duty of care’ to dispose of used fluids correctly, pursuant to local regulations. Waste oils, including used hydraulic fluids, are designated as ‘special wastes’, and users are required by law to keep records of how and when they dispose of these materials. It should be noted that in the European Union, even when a contractor specialising in waste oil disposal is involved, the fluid user has a legal requirements to ensure that the waste fluid is disposed of in an appropriate manner. Many fluid suppliers also operate a fluid disposal service. Levels of oil and other materials being discharged into waste water may also be closely monitored by environmental agencies, and anyone discharging unauthorised materials (or even unauthorised materials beyond agreed limits) can be prosecuted and heavy fines imposed. Once collected, there are several acceptable ways to dispose of waste hydraulic fluids, the three main routes being: energy recovery, regeneration and recycling. Energy recovery In the UK the vast majority of waste industrial oil is burnt as fuel by industries such as power generation, road-stone coating and cement manufacturing. Most waste hydraulic fluid will therefore undergo some basic treatment to remove water and particulates, before being burnt as ‘recovered fuel oil’. Although mineral oil-based hydraulic fluids are not normally mixed with any other type of used hydraulic fluid, small volumes of other non-aqueous fluids (HEES and HFDR) can be co-disposed without a deleterious effect on energy recovery. Oil-in water (HFAE) and water-in-oil (HFB) emulsions are usually disposed of by splitting the emulsion with acid. The oil can then be burnt (or recycled), whilst, after neutralising, the water can be discharged into the sewer for processing. This would have to be in accordance with local regulations and is normally subject to a specific ‘trade waste’ agreement with the local water utility. Regeneration The key to successful regeneration (or recycling) is the careful segregation of each type of used fluid. For example, mixing with metalworking fluids such as cutting oils or coolants will render the used hydraulic fluid unfit for reclamation. Regeneration (otherwise known as laundering) involves the removal of water, particulate matter and acidic degradation products. The fluid is then returned to the user. Additive levels may be replenished after consultation with the fluid supplier. For users of large volumes of hydraulic fluids, on-site reconditioning is now a feasible option that saves the cost of transportation to off-site locations for processing. Recycling Recycling (also known as re-refining) involves the complete removal of the additives and contaminants. This subjects the used fluid to a range of chemical treatments to remove impurities, followed by distillation of the base oil from the additives. The preferred option for disposal of water glycol (HFC) fluids is to recover the base stock components. This involves filtering the used fluid to remove wear metals, sludge and other contaminants. The glycol and water are then separated by distillation; the glycol is recovered and the water recycled or disposed of. The small amount of polymer-based sludge that remains and the solid material from the filtration process should be disposed of through a specialised contractor. Most water glycol fluids are readily biodegradable and are therefore amenable to disposal through the waste water treatment plant. As stated earlier, this would have to be in agreement with the local utility. The fluid can be supplied to the waste water treatment plant either by tanker or through the sewer network. Heavy metals and other contaminants would have to be removed from the waste fluid (e.g., by filtration) prior to disposal. HFC fluids should never be discharged to a watercourse as this could cause a major pollution incident due to the high biological oxygen demand. This is also true for environmentally acceptable fluids (HETG, HEES and HEPG). Containers Medium - large containers, such as 200-litre drums or IBCs (intermediate bulk containers), should be emptied and returned to the supplier or a specialist reconditioner. It is important that the container still retains its original label or markings to identify the previous contents. To obtain a copy of ‘Hydraulic Fluids – A Practical Guide’, contact the BFPA on 01608 647900 or email: enquiries@bfpa.co.uk.

Adhering to hose good practice

10 November, 2014
Martin Kingsbury, membership director, the BFPA, outlines the Association’s range of hydraulic hose courses, and explains how they can improve your ability to install and maintain hose efficiently in order to keep plant and machinery productive, reliable and safe. From a maintenance perspective, hydraulic hoses need to function to the best of their ability, with minimum costly downtime. Using the right grade of hose is also important from a health & safety viewpoint. Although comparatively rare, any high-pressure hydraulic oil injection injury is a serious occurrence and can even prove life-threatening in some instances. With these issues in mind, the BFPA has established three complementary hose training courses aimed at raising the awareness of people who work with hydraulic hoses at all levels; from maintenance personnel, machine operators and field engineers, to system designers and hose manufacturers. Foundation Course in Working Safely with Hydraulic Hose and Connectors The BFPA’s ‘Foundation Course in Working Safely with Hydraulic Hose and Connectors’ is an accredited and certified course aimed at personnel who are involved in manufacturing and installation of hydraulic hose assemblies and connectors. The one-day course comprises a classroom-training period, followed by a practical session on the manufacture of a range of hose assemblies and pressure testing procedures. Hose Assembly Skills Training Programme The BFPA’s practical, workshop-based course titled ‘The BFPA Hose Assembly Skills Training Programme’ follows in logical succession to the Association’s Foundation Course. The Skills Course takes this basic level of knowledge and trains to a fully assessed level of ability in hose assembly techniques. This two-day course covers the various theoretical and practical elements involved in working with hose and connectors. During the course the candidate is trained to an assessed level of ability in working with hose and connectors. Hose Integrity, Inspection and Management Training Programme The BFPA recently introduced a new practical, workshop-based course titled ‘The BFPA Hose Integrity, Inspection and Management Training Programme’. Following in logical succession to the Association’s complementary ‘The BFPA Foundation Course in Working Safely with Hydraulic Hose and Connectors’ and ‘The BFPA Hose Assembly Skills Training Programme’, this course builds upon the knowledge already gained, extending it into management-related areas such as inspection, analysis, identification, registering and recording of hydraulic hose and related equipment. Key themes covered during the one-day course include: hose life expectancy; risk analysis; competence by way of a robust competence assurance system; identify, inspect & record; hose register – recording of a hose assembly prior to it going into service; and visual hose assembly (installation) inspection check list. Authorised training organisations Continuing the successful execution format of the Foundation and Skills courses, the BFPA is now in the process of franchising the Hose Integrity, Inspection and Management Training Programme to a number of experienced private training companies and institutions, as well as to independent freelance trainers. Trainees will then be able to attend the course at their own site location or at the trainer’s own premises. Some of the larger fluid power organisations have already assimilated both the Foundation and Skills courses within their own internal staff training regimes, and are looking to do the same with the new course. Book your place on these courses now by calling: 01608 647900, or emailing: enquiries@bfpa.co.uk. For all the relevant information on training, training dates, overviews of courses and more, visit the BFPA’s new website www.bfpatrainingacademy.co.uk.

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