The TGM Creative team (Rachael Smith positioned second-from-right and Andrea Leadbetter positioned middle). New Plymouth-based TGM Creative has made a rewarding entry to PrintNZ training programmes, with its print specialist/graphic designer Rachael Smith being named as one of five finalists in this year’s Apprentice of the Year Awards. With judges now in the throes of determining the ultimate winner, TGM Creative owner Andrea Leadbetter says the process has “really opened our eyes to the benefits of extra staff training”. “Rachael is currently our only staff member in a PrintNZ training programme and this is the first time we have entered this award,” says Mrs Leadbetter. “As a design, print, web and marketing agency working with many of Taranaki’s largest organisations, it is important that the company offers the most qualified and experienced specialists across all areas and this qualification was no exception. We can now offer specialist print knowledge to the Taranaki business community that wasn’t previously available.” In regards to Ms Smith specifically, Mrs Leadbetter describes her as being an “extremely organised person” who takes her role within the company “very seriously”. “Helping clients to produce the best solutions for their printing requirements is something she does on a daily basis, so completing her print apprenticeship one whole year early with three of her five assignments achieving excellence was no surprise to us. “She also actively participates in assisting the organisation with continuous improvement and helping other staff members to improve their own delivery through streamlining systems, as well as regularly updating quality manuals. “Additionally, Rachael has some medical challenges, so she has juggled this whole process in between regular visits to her specialist in Wellington, life-changing surgery and full-time work — and has co-ordinated it so she causes the least amount of disruption in the workplace.” Ms Smith […]
After four years of effort and support by a lot of different people in industry and academia, HERA has finally reached the stage where they can showcase the work they have been doing in the Above Ground Geothermal and Allied Technologies (AGGAT) programme with the first AGGAT Global Conference to be held at the Sky City Convention Centre on 30th April. This is THE opportunity area for New Zealand companies, especially in providing niche solutions to the market. What makes this conference special is its timing, which is immediately after the World Geothermal Congress (WGC) held in Melbourne the week before. Delegates from around the world will be coming to WGC and some will be arriving in New Zealand for geothermal site visits right after and some of these will be attending the AGGAT Global Conference. What is needed to make this inaugural conference a success is support, to build on for the future. Registration is easy just go to www.aggat.co.nz and be part of this ground breaking experience. The great thing about the AGGAT programme is it is here for you and we want you to ask what it can do for you. Come to the conference to find out. Look forward to seeing you there!
-Doug Green This latest noise going on about Campbell Live has, quite rightly, a lot of people up in arms. The show is a bastion of strong support for community and political issues and of John Campbell keeping an eye out for the little guy. The program has never pretended to be anything else and has tackled some pretty large issues such as the Christchurch earthquake for the common cause. When insurance companies are slow paying and builders take too long putting up, Campbell Live informs and forces the protagonists to face the antagonists and stand to attention. What TV3 management does with its programming is its business. If they want to make an ill-considered opinion to get rid of the show they have the right to do so. If they want to have egg all over their face and make a silly decision that is also their right. But they must remember the viewer, the public way out there in the suburbs, is quite capable of switching off – or switching over – when palaver ruins their evening. If no decent current affairs is available – or to be replaced by some variety show or the second coming of the man or woman looking for a partner- then forget it. The public is not going to stoop to that level and, who knows, may switch over to SKY News Australia, the BBC, Fox News or CNN where there are plenty of current affairs shows run by decent presenters like David Speers and Megyan Kelly who discuss the same issues (as John Campbell does). In case you think I’m rooting for John Campbell and ‘a lefty’ I am merely looking for a sense of fair play, a balance. There are ‘blue’ voters in NZ and there are ‘red’ voters in […]
Incentives for firms to invest in innovation are welcome, says BusinessNZ. An $80 million increase in funding for Growth Grants announced today will provide more incentives for companies to increase their research and development, BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly said. The Growth Grants, administered by Callaghan Innovation, are allocated to firms that spend at least $300,000 per year, and 1.5 percent of their revenue on R&D for two years. Mr O’Reilly said the funding was well-targeted. “Given budgetary constraints faced by the Government, it is positive that the choice has been made to allocate funding where it can be most effective – in prompting innovation by New Zealand companies. “Innovation in goods and services is the best way for New Zealand firms to compete in world markets, and to counteract the effects on exporters of the strong dollar. “Funding premised on R&D investment by firms themselves is sound policy which will be welcomed by the many New Zealand firms seeking to innovate and upgrade.”
PICTURE:Sustainability concept in chemistry involves replacement of toxic chemical components with bio-compatible analogues in attempt to produce environmentally friendly materials and technologies. Principles of Green chemistry and Sustainability concept have largely influenced research and development in chemical sciences. These principles include convenient degradability and minimised toxicity. It is a well-known fact that common chemicals are mainly based on toxic, bio-incompatible substances, which are dangerous for the environment. On the contrary, natural components are biocompatible and have no toxic effects. Nowadays, chemists undertake numerous efforts to replace toxic substances with corresponding natural analogues, and fortunately, change of just one component sometimes does increase environmental compatibility and reduces harmful impact. This approach has been used in attempt to create biocompatible ionic liquids. Ionic liquids, also called molten salts, liquid electrolytes, or ionic melts, are salts, which are liquid at temperatures below 100ºC. Spatial directionality and segregated nano-structuring found in ionic liquids provide them with unique properties, one of the most startling of which is the possibility of ‘fine-tuning’: each ionic liquid consists of cation and anion moieties, and by varying them, individually or together, certain properties of the IL can be changed. Being non-volatile and non-flammable substances, ionic liquids were believed to become a replacement to traditional volatile and flammable organic solvents, and have found application in such various fields of modern chemistry and technology as organic synthesis, catalysis, electrochemistry, nuclear fuel processing, and others. Originally, ionic liquids were considered as ‘green’ chemicals; however, their biological potential has quickly become evident. Now it is established that ionic liquids may affect life at all levels, from single biomolecules to whole ecosystems. The authors tested a series of common and amino acid-based ILs and showed that ionic liquids containing anions or cations based on the amino acids Glycine, Alanine, or Valine generally demonstrate cytotoxicity […]
It has the ability to morph (change shape), propel itself and turn quickly in water (i.e. super-manoeuvrability) efficiently and silently, lending itself to future possibilities in surveillance and inspection. Scientists in Singapore have developed a new octopus-inspired robot which can zip through water 10 times its body length within one second, in an ultra-efficient manner. This first-ever ultra-fast propulsion and super-manoeuvrability demonstrated in underwater vehicles is unprecedented; and is the work of researchers and an engineer from the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART). This ground-breaking research validates the physics of shape change (that forms the basis of jet propulsion of cephalopods) to give additional thrust to underwater vehicles. Inspired by the speed at which cephalopods like the octopus, flee from danger by inflating its mantle cavity with water to a bluff-body shape and then quickly expelling it to dart away, the researchers started building an octopus-inspired robot in November 2013. The end result is a polycarbonate 3D printed streamlined skeleton which had no moving parts and no energy storage device other than a thin elastic outer membrane. It works like blowing up a balloon and then releasing it to fly around the room. The 27cm long robot is inflated with water and once released, rapidly deflates by shooting the water out through an aperture at its base to power its propulsion. As the rocket contracts, it can achieve more than 2.6 times the thrust of a rigid rocket doing the same manoeuvre, while creating minimum turbulence – an important feature in underwater research / survey vehicles. The skeleton within the robot keeps the final shape streamlined, while fins at the tail, help in stabilisation. When a fish escapes by swimming fast, it bends its body and zooms through the water, losing some energy to the surrounding water and […]
The Research and Development Survey released last week by Statistics New Zealand showed some good news but falling R&D expenditure as a proportion of GDP is of concern – a broader R&D strategy is needed from Government to improve this, say the New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association (NZMEA). NZMEA Chief Executive John Walley says, “Total R&D as a percentage of GDP fell from 1.25% in 2012, to 1.13% in 2014. To put this in perspective, the OECD average increased from 2.33% in 2012, to 2.4% in 2014. On the positive side total business R&D increased $53m (4%) from 2012 to 2014, however Government R&D expenditure fell $40m (7%) in the same time period.” “Investing less than comparable countries in R&D as a percentage of GDP is a negative leading indicator – R&D drives complexity, capability and innovation in our economy, all things we need to play a competitive game in the future.” “In a modern economy products and services increasingly rely on R&D and intellectual property to continually improve and innovate, this is particularly true for the high tech and elaborate sectors.” “Manufacturing plays a disproportionately important part in our overall R&D expenditure (contributing 20% of total R&D); although manufacturing R&D spending fell $14m (3%) between 2012 and 2014. In recent years many have deferred investment of out necessity; due to lower returns from an unfavourable policy environment driving an overvalued currency, and global market conditions – a necessary deferral but it does risk future competitiveness.” “A broader, more inclusive R&D strategy from Government, such as R&D tax credits would better encourage more businesses to invest more in R&D – with positive flow on effects to growth, incomes and employment. Such policies to encourage R&D are common place around the world, and we need to ensure New Zealand has […]
The RFG-1000 Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge is packed with features including a large backlit LCD display, auto linear compensation and sound velocity measurement. The full kit includes an aluminium carry case with foam insert, stainless steel calibration block and 10mm 5MHZ transducer with couplant. This item which will serve basic thickness gauging applications very well.
Teamed with advanced inverter electronics for smart control functionality, standard asynchronous motors providing IE2 or IE3 efficiency and permanent-magnet IE4 synchronous motors can deliver servo-level dynamics and agility. Based on state-of-the-art frequency inverters for motor-mounting, wall-mounting, or cabinet installation, Nord Drive Systems implement highly precise positioning tasks, safety applications, and sophisticated functions such as synchronisation, coordinated multi-axis operation, winding control, and flying shear. These systems are significantly more economic than conventional servo technology solutions since the purchase costs are much lower and since there is a much larger variety of available system components, including a very versatile gear program that allows for a wide range of custom-specific configurations. The frequency inverters feature a real-time microprocessor (cycle time 10 ms) and support free programming of drive-related functions according to IEC 61131 to relieve the workload of external PLCs. 200% overload reserve capacity ensures high operating safety, for instance in crane and hoist systems. Employing field-oriented control technology, these controllers achieve excellent consistency under flexible loads and from near standstill up to the motor´s rated speed, even without an encoder. Furthermore, the drives provide high starting torques and speed feedback can also be implemented. The top-of-the-range frequency inverter SK 540E from the control cabinet line integrates a universal encoder interface for SSI, BISS, EnDat profile 2.1, and Hiperface. Nord´s line-up of distributed inverter technology covers the performance range up to 22 kW, while cabinet devices range up to 160 kW. The German drive expert provides full-scale mechatronic drives, manufacturing geared motors and electronics units and programming logic functions in-house.
While solar panels can provide free power it’s necessary to have good quality charge controllers to maintain the performance of the storage batteries. The solar charge controller regulates the power collected by the panels to avoid damage to the battery through excessive charge or discharge at night. The best solar charge controllers can add as much as 30% to the life of a battery if they perform their job well. Leading battery accessory company, Projecta, has been at the forefront of this technology in New Zealand and Australia and it has now upgraded its range so they look as good as they perform. The new Projecta 20-Amp and 30-Amp solar charge controllers have been re-designed in a new all-white casing that blends into any caravan, motor home or boat interior. And, now included as part of the range is a remote control that allows the user to monitor and control their solar power system away from the controller. Ideal for automotive and deep cycle batteries, the streamlined Projecta solar controllers continue to feature 3-stage charging, which maximises battery life and performance. The in-built temperature sensor adjusts the output, guaranteeing a thorough charge in all conditions, preventing over-charge or discharge, thus ensuring the battery is always ready for use. The controllers are designed to be left connected to the battery indefinitely to keep them fully charged, monitoring its condition and performing a process called ‘float’ charge to maintain the battery in optimum condition. The convenient ‘low voltage disconnect’ function will disconnect the DC load before the battery voltage falls too low, preventing damage resulting from over-discharge. Once the battery is recharged, the DC load will automatically reconnect. Featuring ‘load control’ users can switch the DC load on/off without having to physically disconnect the load or appliance. When switched to ‘off’, the […]