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Category Archives: News

Good Ideas, Mock Ups and High Fidelity Prototypes

Hallam MD Rob Pickersgill has been reflecting on the development of Hallam’s product design and prototyping activities over the past 10 years. “In retrospect it’s clear that we have made significant progress technically and really can now offer our customers a handheld journey from concept to product launch and volume manufacture. We can even help with grant applications for support for the development of the product, although these days grants are more difficult to find. The design support we offer is not confined to high pressure castings, as we make so many assemblies now. We’ve gained a lot of experience at designing and sourcing other components for our OEM customers, from extrusions in a wide range of materials, to injection moulded plastics, LEDs and circuit boards and other electronic components.”

Hallam has also invested in modern equipment to support the design support process. “We have sophisticated CAD (design), simulation and CAM (transfer to CNC code) software these days plus 3D printing systems and forming machines for the mock ups and we work with a network of specialist ancillary companies for the bits we can’t do in-house. I also confess that I find discussing sales prospects for new products with our customers’ marketing people particularly fascinating. Design discussions with them focus on attaining excellence for the product of course and also process cost minimisation as markets are invariably price sensitive.”

Rob can be contacted directly on 07983315292.

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New Melt Furnaces for Hallam

Hallam is installing two new volume melt furnaces for its high pressure casting foundry. The gas-fired units are highly energy efficient and will facilitate Hallam’s work with customers in developing bespoke aluminium and zinc alloys with tailored or enhanced mechanical properties for specific applications.

Operations manager Colin Woodruff commented; “The new furnaces will finally eliminate the need to melt ingot in smaller localised furnaces, which we still have a few of, and replace these with a comprehensive centralised melt facility. This is a key element of our energy use reduction programme and has many other operational and environmental benefits. It is an exciting development.”

Grant for this project was obtained with the support of the Business Growth Unit, City of Doncaster Council.

Please contact Hallam on 01405 813006 for further details.

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Hallam registers with EcoVadis

Hallam has registered with sustainability assessor EcoVadis, the world’s largest sustainability ratings provider. A sustainability rating is a systematic review of a company’s management of economic, environmental, and social performance.

The EcoVadis score (0-100) reflects the quality of a company’s sustainability management system at the time of the assessment. The rating methodology aims to measure the quality of a company’s sustainability management system through 3 management pillars: Policies, Actions, and Results.

EcoVadis employs strict and well-developed scoring guidelines applied to each assessment by expert analysts. The score allows companies to benchmark against their industry peers, but it also helps position the company’s overall sustainability performance in absolute terms.

Hallam’s first assessment is scheduled for September 2024.

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Hallam Team Visit MACH 2024

Operations Manager, Colin Woodruff, and IT and Automation Engineer, Kyle Walker, visited this year’s MACH Exhibition at the NEC to look at the latest advances in manufacturing process technologies.

Of particular interest were Computerised Tomography (CT) scanners allowing non-destructive analysis of the structure of manufactured components without the overhead of traditional X-ray testing procedures. Colin and Kyle also evaluated Image Dimension Measuring (IDM) systems offering a speedier alternative to probe-based Co-ordinate Measuring Machines (CMMs) for critical dimension checks and Statistical Process Control (SPC) together with the latest developments in robotisation technologies.

Colin comments “The availability of CT scanners for manufacturing is an important development in meeting requirements for automotive, aerospace and medical sector customers. Suppliers are also willing to provide CT equipment on a servitisation basis, alleviating any capital financing pressures. IDM systems represent the next level for SPC and may replace CMM systems entirely in due course.”

CT scanners provide high resolution layered x-ray images and are in everyday use in the Healthcare sector.

The Hallam technical sales office can be contacted on 01405 813006 option 1, anytime.

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Navigating the UK Energy Crisis: Hallam Castings Joins Doncaster’s Sustainability Roundtable

Hallam MD Rob Pickersgill attended a Doncaster City Council Roundtable event on sustainable energy in manufacturing with presentations by Fhaheen Khan, Chief Economist at MAKE UK and Dr Pam Murrell, CEO of the UK Cast Metals Federation. Attendees included Ed Miliband MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Climate Change and Net Zero; Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster City Council and Don Valley MP Nick Fletcher. The event was hosted at the Ardagh Glass Group’s Doncaster complex.

Rob Comments “The discussions covered a wide range of issues highly relevant to the UK energy cost crisis including sustainable technology use and market pricing issues, the latter being extremely complex and another disastrous legacy of privatization. Long term contract prices for manufacturers include high risk premiums and inflated non-commodity costs, are the highest in Europe and 4 or 5 times higher than the prices that UK manufacturers’ competitors in China and even the USA are currently paying. The Government-commissioned REMA report (Review of Electricity Market Arrangements) doesn’t provide a solution to the pricing anomalies in the market, being focused on creating flexibility to accommodate sustainable power rather than alleviating domestic and industrial customer pain.”

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Powder Coating Excellence at Hallam

However you travel, you’re never far away from a Hallam powder coated product!

Hallam’s powder coating process now uses Interpon Redox Plus as a powder primer protective barrier designed to give enhanced corrosion protection of mild steel, galvanized steel, zinc and aluminium.

Colin Woodruff, Operations Manager at Hallam, comments:-

“As well as exceptional UV resistance we can now offer market leading exterior environment resilience in products subject to severe weathering or heavy salt spray exposure. Redox Plus is a pure epoxy primer showing a high cross-linking degree reinforced with barrier effect agents to provide the best barrier protection. Redox Plus is over-coated with an Interpon powder and Hallam’s powder coated products benefit from a wide curing range, excellent retention of mechanical properties, outstanding edge coverage, good anti-gassing and good over coating as a result of using the Interpon system.”

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Hallam is integrating Quality and Management Standards Documentation

Traditionally, UK manufacturers have tended to set up quality and business manuals for each area covered by the relevant standard e.g. ISO 9001 (Quality), 14001 (Environmental), 45001 (Occupational Health and Safety). Each manual has traditionally been set up and audited separately, but the structure of the ISO compliant manuals nowadays is exactly the same – the famous ten clauses beginning “About the organization” (1), “Normative references” (2), “Terms and definitions” (3), “Context of the organization” (4) etc.

The trend is to have one quality/business manual covering all areas to avoid duplication and drastically reduce audit costs. Outside the automotive and aerospace standards, the areas covered are typically the three cited above. Procedures across all areas are referred to in the integrated business manual and kept in linked subsidiary files for reference.

MD Rob Pickersgill comments “The certification bodies we have spoken to are all in favour of this approach and it is certainly a more efficient way to do this.”

If you would like more information on this, please speak to Rob at W Hallam Castings 01405 813006 or 07983315292 or contact him by email on sales@hallamcastings.co.uk.

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Hallam MD, Rob Pickersgill, attends a MAKE UK regional meeting at the AMRC

In March, Hallam MD, Rob Pickersgill, attended an important MAKE UK regional meeting at the AMRC, University of Sheffield, which included a tour of AMRC facilities exclusively for MAKE UK delegates. The meeting was held on the day after the Chancellor’s Spring Statement and MAKE UK’s Bhavina Bharkhada presented a summary of the Statement for attendees.

Rob comments “In my opinion, and I stress that this is a personal view, the overriding sentiment amongst delegates was profound disappointment with the content of the Statement. In particular, there doesn’t seem to be any sign of a new Industrial Strategy emerging, setting out any kind of vision for the future of UK manufacturing and identifying areas for meaningful support. Areas such as energy costs, staff shortages, training needs and capital investment funding, for example. The feeling was that any improved help announced (e.g. investment zones, childcare support, support for over 50s returning to work) was not going to have a material impact.”

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Hallam featured on BBC Breakfast News

In December, BBC Breakfast News visited Hallam to examine the effect of rising energy costs on a manufacturing business using energy intensively. Operations Manager, Colin Woodruff, explained that energy costs were now a major issue for UK manufacturing companies, with costs being much lower in the Far East and the USA. With hindsight, Hallam was fortunate to have secured 3 year contracts for electricity and gas supplies at the beginning of 2022, but would nevertheless be seeking to reduce consumption through innovative investment in advance of renewal in 2025.

Hallam’s MD, Rob Pickersgill, is a member of the Cast Metals Federation Net Zero panel taking part in national level discussions with Government on energy policy, including investment incentives for manufacturers.

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Making Industry 4.0 a Reality Today!

Hallam’s Kyle Walker, IT graduate and automation engineer, presented a paper on “Industry 4.0 – Implementation in Practice” at Doncaster MBC’s Engineering and Manufacturing Forum at Unipart Rail’s headquarters in Doncaster on 11th November.

Other speakers were from the University of Birmingham and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, University of Sheffield.

Kyle’s paper identified the key benefits of adopting Industry 4.0 principles including system integration for improved management information, providing an information platform for “lean” and “agile” manufacturing models, and allowing “blockchain” techniques to be applied to supply chain monitoring for complete transparency.

Operational Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), through the generation of predictive preventative maintenance schedules, would also improve. Industry 4.0 pathways also lead to the worlds of Machine (artificial) Intelligence and Virtual and Augmented Reality.

A fascinated audience was keen to ask many questions at the end of Kyle’s presentation!

 

Kyle Walker: Industry 4.0 – Implementation in Practice

 

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