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Engineering Talks 1.4: Bridgwater engineering student joins us for work experience

Harry Safe work experience

Harry Safe

This week we had a welcome addition to our engineering team at Taunton in form of the lovely Harry Safe, a final year student at Bridgwater College, who joined us for work experience.

 

Name: Harry Safe

Course: Level 3 Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering

 


 

How did you get the work experience at Rotec?

I was looking at the local companies and since my parents know Paul Prouse (Managing Director), I send him an email asking about any opportunities and he agreed to take me on for a week.

 

Is this the only work experience you are doing?

Yes

 

Could you guide me through your week at Rotec?

On Monday I was with Richard Renfree, working on Solidworks, designing disc brakes. On Tuesday I was with Dan Foster, doing electrical work on winching systems. On Thursday I was with Matt Cooke, testing release valves and taking apart flow control valves and today, I am building brackets for the winches I worked on on Tuesday.

 

Any highlights?

Yes, yesterday was pretty good, hands – on work.

 

So you prefer hands-on work to for example design?

Yes, both are good, but yes, definitely prefer the more hands on work.

 

Do you feel the experience benefited you, if so, how?

Definitely benefitted me, it’s a bit of an eye-opener really, it gives me an idea of what’s it actually like to work in the industry, instead of just not knowing anything about the work places.

 

What are your future career plans?

I am working on getting enough UCAS points to allow me to enter the RAF as an officer, which is what I want to do.

Paul Prouse foreword for BFPDA

Rotec’s own Managing Director, Paul Prouse, was selected to hold a chairman position for the BFPDA (British Fluid Power Distributors Association) throughout 2016. In his 2017 foreword for the association’s publication ‘Yearbook & Members Directory’, Paul talks about two of the topics dominating the headlines of newspapers across the world; Brexit and Women in power…

“It is hard to put pen to paper and not talk about Brexit, the topic has dominated the headlines throughout 2016 cultivated continuously by everyone from small SMEs through to large corporate businesses trying to second guess what ‘best strategy’ for their business should take whilst the politicians arguably find themselves with a task to extract the UK from Europe that in reality, the net effect is unknown along with strategy or policy that was never scripted.

I will come back to Brexit. In the meantime, what has also been interesting throughout the year and in part has caused me to reflect on the situation within the trade members of BFPDA and our industry as a whole is the renewed emphasis on women within the industry. The global stage has been dominated by Mrs Merkel, Mrs May and the near miss of Mrs Clinton joining the ranks as respective leaders of 3 of the world’s wealthiest nations providing a healthy balance in tipping the scales that in part have been dominated by men.”

read the FULL ARTICLE

Rotec repair CGG Veritas’ seismic system in Colombia

CGG Veritas and Rotec Hydraulics have a long history of working together.

CGG is a leader in cutting-edge geoscience. Their commitment to providing innovative and sustainable solutions has seen them crowned a leader in their field. The technology, services and equipment they provide is designed to collect data and images of the sub-surface with great precision. CGG help the oil and gas industry to develop a deeper understanding of the subsurface exploration via state-of-the-art software and data analysis services.

Rotec supplied the company with enormous power packs in past and, in 2010, was contracted again, this time to equip their seismic ship Oceanic Sirius with a bespoke air reduction panel. The large panel is designed to work with a system that maps the sea bed for oil industry. Using acoustic sources towed behind the ship to shoot out high frequency sound waves that bounce off of different layers of the seabed’s sub-surface and get picked up by hydrophones, working a bit like an ultrasound. This data is then recorded and interpreted, helping the experts to make informed decisions about new drilling locations.

Find out more about seismic mapping in THIS VIDEO

Power Pack for CGG Veritas

The Rotec reduction panel is designed to routinely regulate between air pressure of 140 bar and 30 bar when not in use and was

Reduction Panel on Oceanic Sirius

Reduction Panel on Oceanic Sirius

manufactured in 2010, installed and commissioned on the ship in 2011, running smoothly until a major overhaul in January 2016, when the system had to go through its pressure equipment certification. The system performed great during the testing, but started having problems following the overhaul.

At first the capable CGG engineers were attempting to tackle the issue with Rotec’s telephonic guidance, but due to the nature of their jobs (12 hour shifts and swapping of engineering crews every 5 weeks with practically zero downtime), it was near impossible. They decided to contract one of Rotec’s engineers to repair the system. Claire Brown was scheduled to meet the ship in Barranquilla (Colombia) in September and after a 25 hour journey and a day’s wait she finally boarded the ship together with a group of contractors that were servicing and working on other parts of the ship.

This is what Claire had to say about the experience

“The hotel I was staying in was lovely, but I was advised not to venture outside. The government is currently building new infrastructure, but the city’s poverty is tangible as things stand at the moment. The relative luxury of the hotel was a stark contrast to what unravelled in front of me on our way to the port. I would have liked to see more of the city or the country of course, to form a more complete picture. The mosquito repellent I brought definitely came in handy; they were everywhere (laughing),”

 

CGG Veritas Oceanic Sirius

After the initial compulsory ship orientation, Claire got shown to the Chief mechanic, and by 3pm she identified and repaired the problem. However they could not test the system while the ship was still docked, as the air powered guns used to blast out the acoustic waves go off rather loudly. Once out at sea the system performed well and Claire spent additional 5 days on board of Sirius going through their kit, and making sure they had everything they needed, ordering additional items.

Claire says “I quite like going off to places and seeing how other people live, but also I like working with different people. The crew was made up of many different nationalities (British, Canadian, Norwegian, Lithuanian, French, Spanish, Filipino and American). These guys are working such long hours, live in a restricted space but they get on so well, it was pretty inspirational. They make light of the stereotypes, for example they dubbed me as the ‘posh’ one, because of my british accent (laughs)”

Update: Claire has been back for a couple of months and there have been no problems with the system. We are looking forward to offering our marine expertise to the company in future.

 

 

Author: Sarka Humpolcova

Date: 03/01/2017

Engineering Talks 1.3 : Interview with an aviation specialist

Name: Richard Quelch

Qualifications: HNC in Mechanical and Structural Engineering

Years of working experience: 34 years

Job Title: Mechanical Design Engineer

Speciality: Aerospace


Where are you from?

Originally from Southampton, but moved into the West Country about 20 years ago. I also lived in Germany, Israel and Brazil for some time, due to work requirements.

 

Do you have any hobbies?

I love fly-fishing and outdoor pursuits in general, such as gardening; Somerset is a great place for all of these!

I also just recently finished working on an innovative Facebook development project called Aquila – a 42 m unmanned solar-powered drone, designed to fly at 90,000 feet , whose goal is to bring the Internet to remote reaches of the world where there is no satellite coverage. The wing is controlled from the ground and flies in around 60 km radius – providing coverage to huge areas. I thought it was a fun and worthwhile project and offered my company’s services; we became a part of a propulsion unit team. It is currently in a test phase, but the plan is to manufacture 100’s of these to employ all over the world.

Find out more about project Aquila here

Aquilla drone during test flight

Are there some other innovative projects you have been involved in?

Errrm… Yes. Unfortunately can’t mention them in any depth as they were for the Defence Department and are secret. (laughs)

 

Sounds like you’ve had an interesting career path , can you tell us a bit about it?

Sure. I guess it all started with an apprenticeship with Siemens. I was part of a project developing a towed array sonar for the marine industry – a piece of defence mechanism used on Submarines. I came out with a HNC in Mechanical and Structural Engineering. I then went on to work for Airbus, Embrear & Dornier – on and off for many years and I ended up working all over the world including Germany, Australia, Brazil and Israel. I was part of their teams developing the A340 and also the A380, from conception to finish. Previous and subsequent jobs were with AgustaWestland Helicopters in Yeovil, where I was involved in the EH 101 and also AW159 – “Wildcat” development – the latest craft currently being deployed by the military.

 

Airbus A340 and A380, Helicopters: EH 101 and AW159 “Wildcat”

What interested you in a job at Rotec?

Well, it’s local, I’ve been travelling most of my life and at 55 I would like to stick to my home (laughs).

I think Rotec has a great future, it’s a company that will expand I think and probably at the correct rate and that appealed to me. Also I enjoy the management as well as the practical side of the job. Rotec have invested in innovative 3D Solidworks software and would like to see it used to it’s full potential and since I have over 15 years of experience of using Solidworks as well as other systems it was a good fit. I am also looking forward to working on some new Rotec product ranges the company are looking to introduce, which I think is very progressive!

 

If you enjoyed this article you might like these: Engineering Talks 1.1: Interview with an apprentice or Engineering Talks 1.2 : Women in Engineering

 

Author: Sarka Humpolcova

Date: 24/11/2016

Richard Quelch helps strengthen Rotec’s development team

Rotec are pleased to announce that Richard Quelch, an experienced Mechanical Design Engineer, joined the development team.

Richard has over 34 years of design and management experience working predominantly in the aerospace industry.

Starting as an apprentice trained mechanical engineer, Richard worked for companies such as Airbus and Princess Yachts, in the UK as well as Germany, eventually starting his own successful company.

He says “At 55 I felt I would like to be based somewhere locally, rather than travelling to Zurich and back like the last summer.” laughs “I think Rotec has got a great future, it’s a company that will expand I think and that appealed to me.”

Richard has worked on some exciting projects over the years, more on this coming soon in the next series of the Engineering Talks.