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BCAS and Primary Engineer announce 2019 winner of the Rogers Knight award 16/01/2020

The British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) and Primary Engineer are proud to announce this year’s recipient of the BCAS Rogers Knight Award 2019 as Allan Crawford from ARC Ltd.

The award is presented each year at the annual BCAS charity ball to an engineering professional in recognition of the impact he or she has had working with pupils and teachers as part of the Primary Engineer programmes. The not-for-profit organisation aims to inspire the next generation of young engineers through whole class project work with teachers and engineers, competitions and exhibitions. 

Open to all teachers across the UK to nominate their partner engineer, the Rogers Knight Award sees hundreds of entries each year, from which the BCAS Board selects just one winner.  

Allan Crawford was nominated by Colette Kilpatrick from St. Nicholas Roman Catholic School in East Lothian, where he has been visiting the children for many years to talk about his work as a mechanical engineer and the huge variety of vocations available within this disciple.

Commenting on his award, Allan said, “I was initially surprised as I didn’t know the school had nominated me, but I am very honoured to have won the award. For me, it was a way to pass on my enthusiasm for engineering to a new generation. Not everyone will want to be an engineer, but I think it is important that anyone who might consider it can hear first-hand from someone who understands and enjoys the work.”

Colette Kilpatrick added, “My school is delighted that 'our' engineer has been chosen to receive the BCAS Rogers Knight Award.  Allan, for many years, has selflessly taken a couple of days out of his busy schedule to visit our school and talk to the children from P1 right up to P7 about engineering and future careers within engineering for the ‘If you were an engineer, what would you do?’ competition.”

Jason Morgan, BCAS President, who presented Allan with his award concludes, “Industry continues to work hard to tackle the engineering skills gap and to widen the pool of young people who join the profession and here at BCAS, we work with our members to ensure that our industry can attract this new talent.

“The Primary Engineer programme plays such an important role in inspiring young people and we are thrilled to again acknowledge an outstanding engineer who has made a significant difference to school pupils’ understanding of engineering. Allan was a worthy winner of the Rogers Knight Award this year from a selection of high calibre nominees.  

“We are also delighted to announce our continued support for the Primary Engineer programme next year, helping to recognise the excellent work of the engineering community across the UK and encouraging the engineers of the future in to an exciting and rewarding career.”

Chris Rochester, UK Director of Primary engineer added, “The Rogers Knight Award plays such an important part in recognising the work extraordinary engineering professionals do around the UK as part of the Primary Engineer Programmes, by allowing teachers to nominate the engineers they have been working with.

“The accolade allows teachers to acknowledge the importance of having inspirational engineers working alongside them and their pupils in the classroom, which would not be possible with the valued support of BCAS and the Rogers Knight Award.”

The Award was inspired by an engineer who lived to the age of 99. Throughout his life, Rogers inspired everyone he met. He was a President of the British Compressed Air Society (BCAS), among many other achievements. The Rogers Knight Award was established in 2015, with the first award presented in November 2016.

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BCAS supports new UK-based supply chain development platform 02/01/2020

​BCAS has announced that it is partnering with Reshoring UK, a new platform designed to connect manufacturers and suppliers across the UK’s engineering market.

Developed through a collaboration between over 20 leading industrial engineering associations, the platform supplies businesses with a wealth of information that they can use to successfully determine a new supplier partnership. 

Businesses can target by industry, sector and region, with the results appearing on an interactive map; these points can then be interrogated to show more data and an individual company website link. Other functions of the website include a search box to find bespoke products and services, with plans in motion to further expand the website over 2020.

Vanda Jones, Executive Director for BCAS, comments: “In a world of constantly changing legislation and standards, it pays to work with a supplier that can offer the right levels of support, backed by engineering and technical expertise.  

“As the only UK technical trade association open to manufacturers, distributors and end users of compressors, vacuum pumps, pneumatic tools and allied products, it is an approach we have always advocated - helping to connect our members with industry end-users to help specify, install, maintain and service their equipment.

“We are therefore delighted to be partnering with Reshoring UK to help businesses source the right engineering expertise, that can help avoid downtime, save costs and maintain the highest safety standards.”

Baroness Burt of Solihull, Patron of Reshoring UK added: “This facility will support the high value and technical requirements of such industries as aerospace, automotive, rail, marine, energy and medical from conceptual design to complete product delivery for companies searching for UK-based support for their businesses.

“The development of the Reshoring initiative is to encourage engagement with our manufacturing supply chain and to recognise the strength, skills and innovation available to manufacturers in the UK.”

Top tips for PSSR compliance

BCAS’s Training and Development Officer, Roy Brooks, provides a brief overview of the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations (PSSR 2000) and his top ten tips for ensuring compliance.

The scope of PSSR 2000 covers a range of activities concerning compressed air equipment. All companies that fall under the criteria of the UK Regulations must have various parts of the pressure system inspected and certified, while owners and users must also document repairs and modifications to ensure safety.

New designs for any pressure system must be approved, then constructed and installed safely. Maintenance and training are key parts of PSSR 2000 to ensure systems are “Maintained so as to Prevent Danger” and that all parties involved in operating the systems understand any risks and emergency procedures. 

The ten reasons that understanding PSSR 2000 is important

For maintenance managers, health & safety managers, plant managers or owners, ensuring compliance with PSSR 2000 is vital. We’ve listed the top ten reasons that you should ensure a full and accurate understanding of PSSR 2000 below; 

  1. Understand the risks and consequences of falling foul of the legislation
  2. Understand the need for correct information and marking of pressure equipment
  3. Understand which pressure systems fall under all the regulations and those that don’t
  4. Understand that under regulation 8 of PSSR 2000 it is the owner/user’s responsibility to ensure a written scheme of examination is produced by a competent person.
  5. Understand examination/inspection under regulation 9, and who is competent to complete this work.
  6. Understand that not all WSE’s available are necessarily comprehensive enough to cover all pressure systems regulations.
  7. Understand that a WSE on the pressure vessels alone is not always a satisfactory document.
  8. Understand Safe operating Limits (SOL)
  9. Understand the importance of maintenance
  10. Understand the need for the keeping of records

To find out more about BCAS’s PSSR 2000 training module, or to book your course, please contact training@bcas.org.uk

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BCAS seeks industry feedback for new apprenticeship standard 13/08/2019

The British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) is seeking feedback on its draft occupational apprenticeship standard for a Compressed Air and Vacuum Technician (CAVT); and is asking businesses to get involved to ensure the standard meets the needs of the wider industry.

As part of the due diligence process, any new apprenticeship must go out to consultation.  BCAS has compiled a proposed occupations profile, which should be read first and can be accessed at www.bcas.org.uk/training/apprenticeship-consultation.aspx before completing a short, online questionnaire which can be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CAVTsurvey. The consultation is open until  1st September 2019, after which time, the Group will review feedback and consider where amendments should be made.  

The occupational standard will then be submitted to the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) to seek approval prior to drafting the apprenticeship end-point assessment plan.

Vanda Jones, BCAS Executive Director explains: “BCAS is the only UK trade association with responsibility for the compressed air and vacuum industry and its business sectors. We recognised that there has been no dedicated apprenticeship available for the future development of engineering technicians into our industry. 

“Recognising the need to fill this skills gap, a Trailblazer group was formed and working with our members and the IfATE, we have developed a draft occupational standard for a Compressed Air and Vacuum Technician (CAVT).

“As a trade body, we are ideally placed to form the working groups to develop the apprenticeship but we also recognise that in this instance we are not creating an apprenticeship for our members alone but for the wider industry.

“As such we need to consult and ensure that the apprenticeship is fit for purpose and are asking our peers and colleagues to get involved.  The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete and in doing so, the feedback will help ensure that this apprenticeship standard meets the training needs of the occupation, and that new apprenticeships are viable, high quality, and widely supported. 

And finally, the development of a wider industry apprenticeship will help to release the funding available from the apprenticeship levy, supporting all businesses in developing the engineers of the future that our industry, like so many others, needs urgently.”

About the CAVT apprenticeship

Applicants will be trained to a high standard and are required to support their employer to supply, install and maintain industrial low and high pressure compressed air systems, as well as industrial low-pressure blower and vacuum systems.

During the apprenticeship process they will acquire and develop their knowledge and practical skills and apply these during their work-based learning. They will be expected to adhere to good engineering practices with specific emphasis on customer care and responsive actions. By successfully completing the apprenticeship, they will obtain an apprenticeship certificate.

The apprenticeship will require rigorous and substantial training of approximately 36-months to achieve full competence, of which at least 20 per cent will be off-the-job training, the remaining 80 per cent will be based in employment, learning on the job. 

The apprentices will have the competences to perform complex manual tests to a high degree of accuracy and precision and to undertake interpretative technical tests as appropriate. They must have the ability to pay close attention to detail and work alone and within a team. They will also be required to prioritise work through good time management and organisational skills, with the ability to achieve demanding tasks and objectives against deadlines while adhering to all health and safety requirements. They must be able to lead and support during their development and have excellent oral and written communication skills. 

The draft occupations’ profile shows what an apprentice will be doing, and the skills required of him/her, by job role. Standards are developed by employer groups known as 'trailblazers'. 

About the draft occupational profile

The Trailblazer group would be grateful for feedback on the draft CAVT occupational profile. In particular, if there are any suggestions on the overall apprenticeship requirements, the duties and the skills required which may improve the recommendations further.  The occupations profile can be viewed at www.bcas.org.uk/training/apprenticeship-consultation.aspx 

To complete the consultation survey, please go to https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CAVTsurvey.

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Driving progress in a changing landscape 04/07/2019

In a world of constantly changing legislation and standards, the British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) plays a crucial role in driving progress in the compressed air industry.

2020 will mark the society’s 90th anniversary and during those nine decades, BCAS has been a trusted and independent source of advice to its members on changing legislation and regulations.  It has also remained very clear about its role as a technical trade association, representing the interests of manufacturers, distributors and end users of compressors, vacuum pumps, pneumatic tools and allied products.

While this strategic direction remains unaltered, the society must continue to adapt to meet the needs of a changing industrial landscape, working with other trade association to gain the collective voice of industry.

Vanda Jones, Executive Director at BCAS provides a brief overview of some of the initiatives that the society is currently undertaking on behalf of its members.

Brexit and the EU

At the time of writing, the prospect of a no-deal scenario continues to dominate UK headlines.  The compressed air industry must continue to take action to ensure it is fully prepared and able to provide best practice advice and support for its customers.

To realise new growth potential through the Brexit process, industry needs certainty and continuity, particularly in relation to regulations and standards. This will help organisations to continue trading, innovating and growing.

BCAS is key member of the EURIS Taskforce, an advisory body that examines the potential impacts of the changing relationship between the UK and EU for the UK Government, manufacturers and the media. 

As well as our continued lobbying to avoid a ‘no deal’ scenario, we are also campaigning for a viable customs arrangement that minimises costs and delays and to ensure that the UK industry remains involved in the future development of European regulations and standards.

Addressing the skills’ gap

The BCAS Board continues to examine the very real impact that the UK’s engineering skill shortage poses, not just within our own business sectors, but the industry at large.

The UK has a missing generation of skilled engineers and, an ageing and decreasing pool of skilled personnel is driving up business costs. A major proportion of the current resource will retire before 2035. BCAS members report difficulties in filling all job vacancies and as many as 46 per cent of employers are reported to be struggling to fill management positions according to the Institute of Leadership Management.

The re-introduction of engineering training products is now a major requirement for education establishments across the UK, especially as more engineering apprenticeship standards are approved for delivery. Our schools, colleges and universities must now look urgently at how they intend to provide the training facilities and personnel that will help deliver the skilled engineers the UK requires.

As a result, BCAS is working with the IFA (Institute for Apprenticeships) to develop its ‘Standard Based Apprenticeship (Trailblazer)’ with the intent that this will be available as an approved standard by the end of 2019.

Industry 4.0

It is clear that Industry 4.0 is now starting to gain momentum, meaning compressed air users need to consider the opportunities it can present for improving performance, identifying inefficiencies and optimising equipment processes.

At the heart of this revolution is data and in the case of compressed air systems, the data that can be obtained and analysed to provide important insights in to ongoing system performance.

While predictive maintenance techniques are already well-established, some operators are using the principles of Industry 4.0 and are looking towards cognitive intelligence as the next step on their journey to improved efficiency.

Not only does this require the ability to manage significant volumes of data, but for operators and their suppliers, to implement robust and scalable management technologies.  This is especially the case for businesses that have invested in compressed air technologies and ancillary systems from a range of manufacturers as there is the need to ensure that this data can interact, using an open platform.

At BCAS, we are working with our members to help capitalise on the opportunities that improved data analytics can offer the industry.

The latest information

In addition to our wide range of training courses, such as our ‘Introduction to the Pressure Safety System Regulations (PSSR) and Competent Examiner courses, we produce a broad range of documents to help educate and guide users and operators of compressed air systems, including:

  • Our new ‘Filtration and Drying of Compressed Air’ best practice guide. This 60-page guide is available for free download from the BCAS website at www.bcas.org.uk/airtreatment and helps operators and specifiers to make an informed choice on which type of air treatment is best suited to the air quality required
  • The energy efficiency white paper, providing practical tips on how to manage your costs
  • The pressure and leak test guide, to ensure your new system is commissioned and maintained properly

Our website also provides a host of relevant guidance and regular industry updates and we attend numerous external events, providing expert speakers offering guidance on the latest issues of concern.

The role of the trade association

In this period of transition, the role of the trade association is vital in delivering practical and impartial advice to UK industry.

Working hard in support of the sector it represents, a trade association will seek to improve standards, raise safety, provide training and encourage research as well as acting as a counterpoint to evolving government policies.

Sourcing a supplier that is a member of a trade association is even more important. For example, in the absence of a regulatory code for businesses to adhere to, BCAS operates a code of conduct that all of its members sign up to on an annual basis.  This can form part of an end user’s supplier audit and act as a minimum standard that the organisation is expected to meet.

When you consider that compressed air is such a vital component in modern industry, it clearly pays to use a BCAS member to deliver the reliable service and support required.

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Lifetime achievement award 02/07/2019

The British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) is proud to announce that Kevin Prince, Director Atlas Copco Limited and General Manager, Atlas Copco - Power Technique Division, is this year’s recipient of the BCAS Lifetime Contribution Award.

Kevin has a wealth of experience that has been gained over the past 37 years across a variety of roles. Starting out as a design draughtsman, his career has touched upon almost every aspect of the compressed air industry; from basic tyre inflation through to intrinsically-safe and explosion-proof instrument air systems required to control deep sea crude oil extraction. 

It is a journey which has seen him remain loyal to just one employer, Atlas Copco, including roles in project and contract engineering, key account management, product marketing as well as three general manager positions and a group role in M&A. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Directors. 

Presented by Jason Morgan, BCAS President and Managing Director of HPC Plc, the award also recognised the active role that Kevin has played within BCAS and the wider industry. 

Jason said: “Over the past 20 years Kevin has devoted much of his time to promoting the values that BCAS provides to its membership and the wider compressed air community. 

“An active committee contributor during the early 2000s, leading to a full board director position that was held for seven years from 2004, Kevin remains committed to the Society and its vital role within our industry. 

“Very much a people person, it is no surprise that no fewer than four managers have progressed to General Manager positions and many more have furthered their own career paths under his mentorship. I’m delighted to be able to present the award to Kevin in recognition of his dedicated service to the industry.” 

Commenting on the award, Kevin added: “I’m honoured to have received this award from an industry that I am proud to be a part of, but any success is always the result of a true team effort. Being a good manager and developing people is key to the success of any business, yes - company results matter, but without good people and giving individuals opportunities to grow and develop, companies cannot evolve.”

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Filtration and drying guide 16/05/2019

The British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) has launched a free best practice guide to help operators and specifiers make an informed choice on which type of compressed air treatment equipment is best suited to the air quality required.

Entitled ‘The Filtration and Drying of Compressed Air,’ the 60-page guide is available for free download from the BCAS website at www.bcas.org.uk/airtreatment and has been produced with the input of leading engineers from BCAS’s members in the field of air treatment and purification.

It is designed to help demystify not only the selection of the correct air treatment equipment but to provide practical advice on which contaminants can be present and their impact on the processes that compressed air is being used for.

Roy Brooks, Technical Development Officer adds: “As technology for compressed air treatment continues to evolve, there is now a wide range of equipment available which can satisfy the most demanding of compressed air treatment needs.  However, with so many variables to consider, the selection of the right equipment can be a complex task, affecting everything from maintenance schedules to the ongoing costs associated with achieving the required standards.

“At BCAS, we act as an independent and reliable source of technical information for the industry, providing impartial advice which can help operators cut costs, improve efficiency and ultimately profitability.

“The ‘Filtration and Drying of Compressed Air’ guide will prove invaluable during the entire specification process, covering all stages of system design; from an overview of the sources of contamination, such as solid particles, water and oil, to the relevant standards for air purity.  It also examines the extensive range of air purification technologies available and how these operate, including after-cooling, dryers, air receivers, filtration grades and condensate management.

“With compressed air energy costs a major contributing factor to a site’s overall electricity consumption, the guide also focuses on the varying energy efficiencies of the different treatment technologies available as well as guidance on the ongoing maintenance of the system.”

The guide is aimed at typical industrial compressed air applications operating at low pressure, with a range between 7 bar g to 20 bar g.  

To download a free copy of the guide, please visit www.bcas.org.uk/airtreatment.  Printed copies of the guide are available from BCAS for £4.00 each plus postage by emailing enquiries@bcas.org.uk

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BCAS welcomes its new president 29/11/2018

In this issue of IP&E, the news from the British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) is that it has welcomed its new president, Jason Morgan, and said a well-deserved congratulations to the winner of this year’s Primary Engineer Rogers Knight award

Jason Morgan, managing director of HPC, who has been BCAS vice president since June this year, takes over the role of president from James Maziak, managing director of Maziak Compressors.

The next few months mark a crucial moment in the society’s history, as Brexit negotiations continue and industry is poised for the impact this may bring. Morgan, together with the Board will continue to provide insight to its members and end-users and to work with other trade bodies to lobby on behalf of industry.

Commenting on his appointment, Morgan says: “The BCAS board is committed to delivering best value for its members and their customers and I’m proud to have been given this opportunity to build on the great work already undertaken by James and the team.

‘I’d like to thank James on behalf of the BCAS membership and Board for all his achievements, drive and energy in leading the society to where we are today. Membership numbers have gown again and recognition should go to both James and the Board for making BCAS the stamp of approval for our customers.”

In addition, Stephen Wright, managing director of Thorite and Allan Dolby, managing director of Direct Air have been elected to the Board, following their roles as Distribution Committee members, increasing distribution member board representation to three seats.  

These elections follow the amendment to the articles of association in 2016, meaning elections now take place every two years, with all members able to cast a vote; helping to shape the future direction of the Society.

Award winner

This year’s recipient of the Primary Engineer Rogers Knight Award is Gary Kelleher, product support sales manager (GB) from Aylesford-based BOMAG, a leader in the field of compaction technology. The award to Kelleher was in recognition of his contribution to furthering the engagement of primary pupils in STEM projects. 

Kelleher was instrumental in not only working with local school teachers to demonstrate how to introduce Primary Engineer to school pupils, he also brought the children’s designs to life by visiting the school during class time, to help them build concept vehicles which demonstrated the importance of planning, measuring, accuracy and design. 

His involvement had a direct impact on the number of pupils from the school entering the Primary Engineer Leaders Award – a competition in which children are asked: “If you were an engineer, what would you do?”, and then submit ideas for new inventions solving an identifiable problem. 

He says: “I am delighted to have received this award, it was totally unexpected. I visited the school to help teachers and pupils to plan the designs of their shoebox vehicles, explaining the value of each element. The smiles on their faces were a picture when their vehicles flew down the ramp in a straight line.

Vanda Jones, executive director of BCAS says: “It is through the passion and commitment of people like Gary that the industry is helping to encourage young people into a future career in engineering and to plug our technology skills gap.

“We can’t think of a more deserving winner and our thanks and congratulations go to Gary and to all the children involved for their enthusiasm and fresh ideas."

Chris Rochester, UK director for Primary Engineer Programmes, creators of the awards said: “We created the Primary Engineer Rogers Knight Award to recognise annually one engineer who goes way beyond the call of duty. Gary’s commitment to the school supporting the teachers to become adept at delivering STEM projects to pupils makes him a deserving winner.”

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Working together to navigate Brexit: 13/09/2018

The topic of Brexit is a daily, if not hourly discussion in companies across the UK. To help its members and end-users speak with a unified voice and help influence UK Government policy, BCAS is now a key member of the EURIS taskforce, an advisory body that examines the potential impacts of the changing relationship between the UK and EU for the UK Government, manufacturers and the media 

Boardroom conversations about Brexit focus on the impact of any future trade deal and what terms can be agreed for the UK's largest market for goods and services.  Elsewhere, employment issues are a growing concern, with industries such as construction and agriculture, which are heavily dependent on EU labour, placing mounting pressure on Government to provide assurances that staffing will not be affected.

Amongst this political backdrop – and as negotiations continue at pace – the industry is now reaching a point where it is time to take joint action to ensure it is fully prepared and able to continue to provide best advice and support for its customers. 

EURIS covers sectors responsible for more than 25% of total UK goods imports and exports with a turnover of more than £110 billion. The body’s key driver is to make sure that manufacturers and suppliers in the UK are able to realise new growth potential through the Brexit process.

'No deal' concern

For instance, only very recently EURIS wrote to the Prime Minister to express concern over a ‘no deal’ scenario. Representing more than 3000 companies in the electrical, electronic and mechanical engineering industries, EURIS outlined how this could cause enormous disruption to UK industry and risk substantial economic damage to its organisations for a range of reasons. In short, a ‘no deal’ scenario would deter investment, lead to higher operational costs, cause supply delays to UK customers, and result in deviation from EU product regulations.

One immediate area that EURIS is looking to highlight is EU-UK regulatory alignment. Adopting or mirroring EU technical product regulations for the long-term is essential for product manufacturers to import and export from the EU post Brexit. Any deviation has the potential to cause considerable confusion, uncertainties and costs. This may result in companies leaving the European markets, at significant economic cost to the UK.

EURIS proposes a new industry-Government plan to develop the right policies and approaches to ensure no regulatory divergence for product regulations. This would facilitate access to European markets and the vast array of global markets that also look for compliance with European legislation and standards as the basis for trade.

To realise new growth potential through the Brexit process, industry needs certainty and continuity, particularly in relation to regulations and standards. This will help organisations to continue trading, innovating and growing.

In conclusion, the challenges are clearly numerous, and it is therefore in interests of industry that organisations with common interests work together on those areas that impact their member network. BCAS is delighted to be able to work with 12 other trade association as part of EURIS, to create a united voice for British industry.

EURIS has launched a new report entitled ‘Securing a competitive UK manufacturing industry post Brexit’. Responding to a survey by EURIS and independent experts at The UK Trade Policy Observatory (UKTPO), 83% of industrial product manufacturers support continued regulatory alignment in order to remain competitive in a global market with respondents overwhelmingly saying they see no benefit in moving away from the EU regulatory system for industrial and manufactured products.  

The full report can be viewed here: http://www.euristaskforce.org/position-papers/securing-competitive-uk-manufacturing-industry-post-brexit/

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Changes to Standard and news of award winners 11/05/2018

In addition to commenting on changes to ISO 8573-2 standard for oil analysis, BCAS (British Compressed Air Society) has news of two award winners – one ]has received a lifetime achievement award; the other is encouraging more young people to become engineers

Following a periodic review of the existing ISO 8573-2 standard (Published 2007), which specifies test methods for the sampling and analysis of liquid oil and oil aerosols, a number of changes have been implemented.

These changes will enable more environmentally-friendly solvents to be used as well as making the standard easier to adhere to. The primary reason for the change was to offer a greener solvent, as the existing standard specifies an ozone-depleting substance, which is both difficult to procure and expensive.
The secondary change was to introduce gas chromatography with flame ionization detection, while continuing to allow the existing infra-red spectrometry, again with flame ionization detection.

The new standard is now up-to-date with current detection methods and is easier to use and understand with clearer notes and diagrams.

The document also includes a description of an alternative oil aerosol detection method using glass tubes. It is worth noting that this is for indication purposes only and cannot be used to comply with the new standard.

The new standard can be purchased from the BSI website.

Llifetime achievement award

BCAS presented its Lifetime Achievement Award to Rodney Stafford, at this year’s Motion Control Industry Awards. Rodney, who has worked for HPC compressors for more than 45 years, was a Past President and board member of the Society and was awarded the accolade in recognition of the ‘significant and consistent contribution he has made to the motion control industry over the duration of his career.’ 

James Maziak, current President of BCAS, who presented Rodney with the award, said: “Rodney is a true champion of the vacuum and pressure industry. Starting as a regional sales manager for HPC in 1975, he has helped shape the company to become the successful business it is today, playing a key role in developing accounts in the automotive industry and with major gas group, plant hire and construction companies to name a few.

“He has also played a wider role within the industry as a strong supporter and Past President of BCAS, taking on many different roles and responsibilities during his time on the board.

“Rodney’s contribution, together with his generosity in giving his time and sharing his expertise to others throughout the industry cannot be underestimated and we are delighted to present this Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution.”

The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented jointly by BCAS, The British Fluid Power Association and the British Fluid Power Distributors’ Association.

Nurturing the next generation of engineers

“Inspiring…never a dull moment…fun!”  This is how Vicki Goldsworthy, a strategic production manager at Futaba Manufacturing UK and winner of the BCAS Primary Engineer Rogers Knight Award for supporting the Primary Engineer programme in schools describes her involvement with the scheme.

BCAS is encouraging its members and end-users to take part in the scheme, which gives pupils the opportunity to work with engineers and to enable teachers to embed engineering into their learning. Importantly, the programme is encouraging young people in to a future career in engineering and helping to plug our technology skills’ gap.

Vicki, who has been involved in the scheme for about four years, added: “This year alone, I’ve probably talked to 600 children or more. That’s just one person, taking a bit of time out of their working day. Just think what we could do if the whole industry got involved? 

"So, it’s great to see that BCAS is encouraging its members to take part. I can guarantee that you’ll definitely get out more than you put in."

If you’d like to get involved with the Primary Engineer programme or Leaders’ Award, please email Chris.Rochester@Primaryengineer.com for more information.

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F-Gas update and membership offer 08/03/2018

BCAS (British Compressed Air Society) explains an update to the EU Fluorinated Gas (F-Gas) regulation and gives details of a free associate membership offer that will be launched at Air-Tech 2018

The Fluorinated Gas (F-Gas) regulation aims to move end users away from using harmful refrigerant gases to more environmentally friendly options, by limiting how much HFC-style gas can be sold each year.

The quantity of HFCs that can be placed on the EU market will be cut in stages and by 2030, only 20% of the volume of HFCs that were sold in 2015 will be available. In 2018, about 40% of supplies will be cut meaning that HFC refrigerant prices are likely to rise sharply as the market starts to feel the effect of supply shortages.

Although it is not illegal to continue using HFC gas, it is against the law to knowingly top-up refrigerant equipment with the wrong gas, but there are a number of ways that end-users can reduce the impact on their business.

The best long-term solution is, of course, to convert systems to lower GWP alternatives or to swap out the equipment where financially viable.

If capital investment is not feasible, a good short-term measure is to use recovered gas. This can be carried out until the 1st January 2030 if the gas has been reclaimed from the same type of system. Best practice must be used when recovering gases if they are to be used during routine maintenance after 2020. This is when the ban comes in for using virgin gases with a global warming potential (GWP) above 2500.

It is illegal to knowingly allow refrigerant equipment to leak gas, so continuing with routine servicing is critical. In particular, as long as the gas is ‘compliant’ the maintenance provider can still recharge – which means customers can use cheaper, recovered gas too.

Free associate membership

At this year’s Air-Tech exhibition (10th to 12th April 2018), BCAS is offering 12 months’ free associate membership – worth £975. Relaunched for this year’s show, the offer is available exclusively to customers of current BCAS members and has proved popular with many end-users.

Free membership provides UK companies with a host of BCAS benefits, including discounts on training and publications, as well as access to compressed air codes of practice and the society’s social events.

Commenting on the offer, Vanda Jones, BCAS executive director said:  “For those who use compressed air, there are many benefits to be gained by becoming a member the British Compressed Air Society.

“BCAS membership gives access to a comprehensive range of products and support services, which have been developed specifically to meet the needs of the compressed air and vacuum industry. Put simply, it can help companies perform better and raise their profile. It also enables companies to get involved with the industry’s engineering and technology community, from networking to contributing to government consultations and submissions.”

Experts will be on hand throughout the show to advise customers on improving the safety, reliability and profitability of their vacuum and pressure installations, and will have details on:

•  The latest BCAS training courses available for your team – from online learning to classroom training and the diploma in compressed air management

•  A wide range of technical data produced by the society, including best-practice guides, white papers and technical updates

•  Updates to the latest regulations that could impact on your business, including the pressure systems safety regulations, the new fluorinated gas (F-Gas) regulations and the phase out of HFCs.

For further information on the free associate membership offer, please contact Vanda Jones, stating your company name, along with the name of the supplier of your compressed air services – vanda@bcas.org.uk, Tel: 020 7935 2464.

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