Posted on 15/03/2012
Want to know what an engineering design development lab looks like? Take a peek into Slipstream Design’s lab where we take ideas off the drawing board and develop products that solve real world problems. With full ESD protection, a whole host of electrical and mechanical equipment, surge testing and RF test equipment, we’re fully equipped to handle anything you throw at us.
With Slipstream’s 1000 square feet of dedicated development space in full flow, we’re enhancing quality further by introducing systems which enable us to track components from origin to finished product, ensuring premium, end-to-end quality in all that we do.
At the same time, our drive for continuous improvement carries through to new on-line accounting and stock control systems that reduce lead times, ensure consistently high quality and enable efficient buying resulting in cost savings which we’re able to pass on to clients.
For more information on how we can help you with your next development challenge contact us email@example.com
Posted on 19/01/2012
FEA (also known as Finite Element Method) enables products to be tested in a virtual environment quickly and at low cost. Using 3D models we apply materials, loads and constraints to test, analyse and refine product designs.
Slipstream has used FEA to test products used in a range of industries, including automotive, electronics, mechanical engineering and renewable energies. The technology can be applied to most engineering disciplines including structural, electromagnetism, fluid dynamics, machine design, acoustics, vibration and thermal.
Basic steps to solving an engineering problem using FEA include:
- De-featuring – we suppress or remove model geometry/features which are not required for the purpose of the analysis.
- Preprocessing – we define the type of analysis, assign model material properties, determine loads and restraints then discretise the model (create a mesh / split the model into finite elements).
- Solve – we compute results to the desired accuracy.
- Post processing – results are analysed.
For many companies, FEA can be both time consuming and complex so outsourcing provides a perfect solution.
For more information about how FEA can help with your next design challenge, contact Slipstream Design http://www.slipstream-design.co.uk/contactus/
Posted on 16/11/2011
We’re always looking for new and challenging projects, so when we were asked to design and manufacture heat shields for an icon from the classic car world, we jumped at the chance!
Our client wanted to fit custom made heat shields to protect the bodywork (and passengers!) from the heat generated by the monster five litre V8 engine.
To keep the client’s costs to a minimum, instead of 3D scanning we created handmade templates which could then be 2D scanned and imported into our CAD package.
Whilst it took us a couple of iterations before we were happy with the templates we were able to create some great results.
Once the client was happy with the templates, we manufactured the panels by laser cutting them to our design.
Alternatively if you are interested in ordering our AC Cobra LeMans 289 heatshields drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on 31/10/2011
We were recently asked to develop a prototype optical encoder for a PMM/PMG machine. We developed the model as part of a larger permanent magnet motor/generator (PMM/PMG) assembly.
We created the 3D CAD model shown here to allow careful consideration of the sensor configuration for the correct electrical angle for the PMM/PMG. By creating a 3D model of the assembly, we were able to quickly and clearly understand how the model works, as well as check clearances and alignment of the optical sensors prior to manufacture.
This project is one of many where we use CAD to vastly reduce development time and overall project cost.
Our ability to work on complex electronic and mechanical problems means we’re able to offer you the best solution – whatever your requirements.
Blogged by Slipstream Design Team
Posted on 13/06/2011
One damp day on a Welsh farm
Gripple is a name that may not be familiar to those of you not from the Yorkshire region, but few companies have such a powerful ‘grip’ on the global market place like Gripple.
The story of Gripple started way back in 1986 when Hugh Facey (founder) , then a wire salesman and budding entrepreneur found himself discussing the woes of fencing with a local Welsh farmer. It was this conversation that planted the seed in Hugh’s mind and became the basis of the 1st Gripple.
It took two years of development in a small corner of Estate Wire, but in 1988, the original Gripple was launched in the UK. Three years later and Gripple Ltd. was formed and throughout the 90′s Gripple became a name synonymous with fencing and trellising.
Gripple extends range with mass market appeal
With flourishing product sales around the globe it would be easy to see satisfaction with ones achievements, but not Gripple. Innovation forms part of their core business. Gripple saw potential in the industrial market and by introducing a range of load-rated kits spawned from the original rope-grip Gripple they took the market by storm.
Walking around the factory its impressive to see how one good idea has become a multi million pound, multi award winning range of products and all round success story. The factory is located in the Old West Gun Works on Saville Street, located a short walk from Sheffield’s vibrant city centre. From the outside it looks like a run of the mill industrial unit save the steel sculpture of a spider adorning the side entrance. On the inside it a state of the art manufacturing facility with large open plan offices, the odd mind map, and cutting edge machinery show casing manufacturing in the UK.
When asked why he (Hugh) hasn’t moved the manufacturing site to eastern Europe or China like many other manufacturers he simply replied “Why would I need to?!?”
The process is highly automated and requires very low human intervention. Manpower is not a large part of the annual budget so its not a drain on the annual budget. Then there’s the interesting point that Hugh makes. His staff are the most important part of the business. That’s why every permanent member of staff in Gripple owns parts of the business. Now its becoming clearer why this company is so different from many others like it, why the staff care and why they remain profitable even in tough economic conditions.
Innovation is key
“One thing we try and encourage is innovation in all areas” Mark Edmonds, MD
Gripple has been built around one unique patented idea that has allowed them to heavily invest in state of the art manufacturing capabilites. With a spend of around 4-5% annual turnover on R&D its clear to see they are constantly looking for gaps and ways to open up the market. By setting themselves internal targets such as “25% of the company’s income should come from products which didn’t exits 4 years ago” ensures Gripple stay at the forefront of their respective markets for years to come.
Working in partnership with local universities such as Sheffield Hallam means they have access to a wealth of young minds and can help students with a practical examples of how their skills are utilised in the workplace.
No job descriptions…
…combined with great working conditions, no management charts or HR department and a staff canteen to rival most chic coffee houses it certainly breaks the mould of a traditional manufacturing factory. Hugh is a firm believer that as long as everyone knows their role within the company no job description is required. He feels this gives employees the opportunity to work to their strengths and with good management, ensure a smooth running operation.
Overall Gripple is unlike any factory I’ve ever visited or worked in and it’s clear there is a real sense of pride and care that’s evident from the cleaner to the founder. Gripple have shaped an industry from an idea and shown how innovation is still strong in the UK. They should be an inspiration to companies big and small and have laid a business framework based on innovation, equality and open-mindedness. Gripple could be likened to the Google of the engineering community, more savvy tech start up than old engineering workshop.
Now where did I put that sketch pad, I’ve had great idea for a…
Blogged by Dale Jones – Design Engineer