COVID-19 response – risk management and business continuity

Following the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), BSI has examined how we can support the collective efforts to mitigate the risks to organizations, caused by this global health issue.
After careful consideration of the information available to us, we have made available 11 standards to help guide businesses during these uncertain times. In addition, BSI is partnering with the Emergency Planning College (EPC), part of the Cabinet Office Civil Contingencies Secretariat, to deliver a series of best practice webinars around business continuity and crisis management.
Please click on the link below to view standards and watch webinars. Please circulate the link to your networks or members.

Read more: BSI

Upgrade the software, unleash your true potential

member news: elumatec

Often investment decisions are driven by a few key parameters. Does the machine do what you need? Is it reliable? Are spares available? Is it easy to use? What’s the likely payback period? These are all valid considerations, but one thing is often missed. What would be the benefits of going just a bit beyond your basic needs?

Last year we delivered a machining centre to a business which specialises in bespoke aluminium fabrications and makes extensive use of 2D and 3D CAD technology. They came to us with a wish list, and the model we recommended − an SBZ – 122/74 ticked every box. One of the features of this machine is that it can operate using standard software which makes it a very cost-effective solution. But, before the deal was done, we suggested that the buyer take a close look at the potential of using this machine alongside our eluCad software.

This isn’t about upselling or putting pressure on buyers. It’s about enabling them to think about new ways of working. And yes, there’s an extra cost involved, but the payback can be enormous. This particular customer, took some time to make the decision to upgrade the machine’s operating software but now, they are raving about the decision, which is said to be transforming their operation. We’re not surprised. eluCad has a great reputation − and so it should because it’s powerful.

One of the key benefits for an operation that engages mainly in bespoke work − or indeed for any business that produces a variety of output − is the ability to programme and set up the machining centre in advance. Crucially, this can take place while the machine is operating. The result is a massive reduction in downtime, and the potential for both increased production volumes and shorter lead times. Our customer reported that their machining volume had doubled. In other situations, such capabilities could remove the need to outsource production or ensure a lucrative, time-bound contract was secured.

eluCad can be linked to other software too. Our customer has integrated its quotation system, and setting up production jobs now takes minutes. It can be handled from anywhere in the world, but it’s proving very convenient for our customer’s design team to program our machine using eluCad in the office. Templates are exported directly from the 3D CAD software straight into eluCad, saving substantial time and reducing the potential for errors. Instead of waiting for a job to be completed and starting the whole set-up process from scratch, you can have the next fortnight’s work pre-programmed and ready to be machined.

Imagine the potential of that. Key individuals have more flexibility in how they work. Last-minute changes can easily be accommodated. Accuracy is improved. Waste or scrap reduced. What’s more, because we deliver training that’s built around the customer, we’re able to boost the efficiency still further. We tailor our training to the customer and how they want to work, but we can’t resist the opportunity to offer them a wealth of tips and tricks on everyday tooling and machining.

Next time you’re thinking of a machinery acquisition, keep an eye on the budget but don’t be afraid to think about the potential of investing a little bit more in advanced software. eluCad is designed around the needs of users. It’s quick to learn, variables are easy to program, and the control is spot on. It ensures that CNC technology is an asset to a business and not a barely used luxury that few people know how to handle. Upgrading your software could deliver returns that far exceed your original ambitions.

elumatec offers a range of high-quality machining centres, saws and small machinery for the processing of aluminium, steel and PVC-U. Their UK operations are based in Milton Keynes. Contact them on 01908 580 800 or via email at sales@elumatec.co.uk or visit elumatec.co.uk

Are you SECR compliant?

As of April 1, the first Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) reports are due.

SECR was brought in last year to encourage groups of businesses that fulfil the specified criteria to become more energy efficient and reduce their carbon footprint.

It replaced the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC) with the aim of widening the net and bringing the benefits of carbon zero to more businesses.

The new regulations will require an estimated 11,900 companies incorporated in the UK to disclose their energy and carbon emissions – a far greater number than were required to act under the CRC.

Qualifying companies will need to include information on their UK energy use in line with the SECR framework in their Directors’ Report, or an equivalent Energy and Carbon Report for LLPs, for financial years beginning on or after 1 April 2019.

Where energy use and carbon emissions are considered to be of strategic importance to the organisation, the disclosure may be made in the Strategic Report instead, with a statement in the director’s report to indicate and explain this decision.

Who needs to comply?

Three groups of businesses are affected by the new regulations. Companies that fall within the following definitions must comply unless they meet certain exemption criteria:

  1. Quoted companies of any size that are already obliged to report under mandatory greenhouse gas reporting regulations.
  2. Unquoted companies incorporated in the UK that meet the definition of ‘large’ under the Companies Act 2006 will have new reporting obligations. This applies to registered and unregistered companies. Note that the criteria for ‘large’ differs from the ESOS Regulations.
  3. ‘Large’ Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) will be required to prepare and file a ‘Energy and Carbon Report’.

Unquoted companies or LLPs are defined as ‘large’ if they meet at least two of the following three criteria in a reporting year:

  • a turnover of £36 million or more
  • a balance sheet of £18 million or more or
  • 250 employees or more.

Certain companies that would otherwise be eligible may be exempt if their energy use is low – 40MWh or less over the reporting period.

Whilst not a requirement, external verification or assurance is recommended as best practice to ensure the accuracy, completeness and consistency of data for both internal and external stakeholders.

Energy Management has a proven track record in ensuring companies are compliant with all the latest relevant industry legislation so if you want to find out more about your SECR requirements, you can contact us on 01225 867 722 or email sales@energymanagementltd.com.

The Aluminium Federation are proud to announce that we are supporting KidsOut, The Fun & Happiness charity.

For those who haven’t seen yet, KidsOut have changed their name temporarily to ‘KidsIn’ in response to the Covid-19 outbreak https://www.kidsout.org.uk/kidsin/.

As part of this initiative, the charity is offering a free online World Stories for all children, parents, and adults, Toy Boxes for children in refuge with more indoor games and activities and Disney+ for the children currently seeking sanctuary in a Women’s Aid refuge.

They are also seeking to raise new funds for our services, with our #FunDaysIn campaign inviting the public to take a picture of their Fun Day in, uploading it to social media (remembering to use the hashtag), and donating £5 to KidsOut by texting ‘FUNDAYSIN 5’ to 70085.

They are trying our utmost to spread fun and happiness and hoping this rebranding can do just that.

Kyocera SGS launch new web-based platform to calculate speed and feed calculations

Kyocera SGS Precision Tools have launched a new and improved web-based platform called Tool Wizard® . Tool Wizard is a trusted platform in the market to calculate speed and feed calculations and recommend tools in their portfolio.

The new version offers customers a sleek and streamlined user experience which gives access to over 12,000 SGS standard catalogue tools.

An intuitive three-step process of selecting material, application and tool with updated CAD models displaying tool application scenarios for an enhanced user experience.

Anyone can register for a login and access the platform. https://kyocera-sgstool.co.uk/resources/sgs-tool-wizard/

Emergency grant to cover wages and what this means for your business

The government has announced an emergency grant to pay employee wages. The grant is called the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and it covers:

  • 80% of wages for any staff you retain but who can’t work because of COVID-19.
  • A maximum of £2,500 per employee, per month.
  • As much as three months, until otherwise advised.

You may have heard the term ‘Furlough’ used in yesterday’s speech and although details are yet to be confirmed, we believe this to be akin to lay-off, but paid, while retaining all employment rights.

The government have promised that, “Any employer in the country – small or large, charitable or non-profit – will be eligible for the scheme.” And, in addition to this;

  • You will pay no VAT until June 2020 at the earliest.

This financial grant from the government along with the unrivalled support of Croner means that both the short and long-term stability of your business are secure.

The government is poised to reveal how to claim the grant, so we will continue to keep you updated and guide your business through this crisis.

Kyocera SGS continuing to lead on product innovation

Kyocera -Product Innovation

Innovation can help businesses change how they look at and address long-standing challenges. This is what inspires KYOCERA SGS every day. It’s also what lies behind the company’s continued focus on product leadership and increased investment in research and development to help make this a reality.  Applying insight from its work with industry leaders, KYOCERA SGS is dedicated to creating new products to help companies accelerate their productivity and performance. The strategy is led by its product development team.

The company’s product leadership and innovation has resulted in a range of solutions, including the APR 3 & 4m, bulb tools, PRW & PRB and combination tools. The latest product that KYOCERA SGS has launched as part of this approach is the Z-7, a high performance 7-flute dynamic milling tool. The Z-7 provides an exceptional performance for achieving high material removal rates on lower powered machines and unstable applications. It is ideal for high speed roughing (profiling, trochoidal, dynamic) machining of titanium, Inconel, stainless steels and steels, lower powered machines and components with lower clamping/workholding.

Hugh Welch, Managing Director of KYOCERA SGS, said:

“Innovation is essential to staying successful in industry. Businesses have to be ready to respond effectively to many different types of challenges.  Our product leadership strategy allows us to create the products which will help them achieve this. It means that our customers can look forward to fresh answers to their existing and emerging challenges in 2020 and beyond.”

To learn more about KYOCERA SGS’s vision and values, go to: https://kyocera-sgstool.co.uk/about-us/our-vision-and-values/

Advice on Coronavirus Covid-19

The risk of catching coronavirus (COVID-19) in workplaces is currently low. However, we have a duty to protect the health and safety of our staff (and visitors) and to safeguard the smooth running of our business, so all measures should be taken to prevent and restrict the spread of the virus.

Good Hygiene

We are currently asking all our staff and visitors to follow some simple guidelines as we look to minimise our exposure to Coronavirus whilst at work:

  • Please wash your hands with soap and hot water upon first entering the building. If that is not practicable please use the hand sanitiser provided.
  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and hot water whilst you are here.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue (and then dispose of it) or, failing that, into your sleeve – not into your hands.
  • Minimise contact – for example dispensing with handshakes for the time being.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fit and well to attend a meeting or event.

ALFED are putting in place options for virtual participation, i.e. video conferencing, etc.

Many thanks and hopefully we will all soon be back to more normal circumstances.

04 March 2020

Dissimilar laser welding of aluminium and copper alloys

TWI worked for its members to solve the technical problems of joining aluminium to copper using laser welding technology. An increasing number of enquiries over the past two years from members asking for support in this area led to the successful development of a high-speed laser-technology-based solution.

An increase in manufacturing demand in the automotive industry, for example, for products with high capacity battery cells is leading to interest in the technical solutions. High capacity battery cells use aluminium and copper, as the anode and cathode terminals respectively, to improve electric current flow and boost a vehicle’s performance. Existing electrical connection joining technologies, such as ultrasonic welding and the use of direct conductive adhesives, are deemed too slow for the high demand in a manufacturing situation.

Laser welding is considered an attractive process to industry due to its high processing speed and highly repeatable, fully automated, process. However, laser welding of copper to aluminium presents several challenges. Because of the high surface reflectivity and thermal conductivity of copper, and the poor miscibility of aluminium and copper, keyhole instability and brittle intermetallic formation are common issues found when laser welding these metals. Read more: TWI.

 

Apprentice Levy Funds “not being used”

Figures obtained by the BBC show that employers who are paying money into their
apprenticeship levy accounts are not then using the money to fund apprenticeships in
their organisation. One possible reason is the outdated notion that apprentices can
be difficult to manage.

In this week’s edition of In the Know, we cover:

– Care sector awaits key NMW decision
– Critical resignation letters should not be ignored
– Apprentice levy funds “not being used”
– New immigration system confirmed for 1 January 2021

In The Know wc 170220

 

DON’T FORGET

The Croner Business Support Helpline is FREE to ALFED Members
– please contact the ALFED offices on 0330 236 2800 for details.