I am a massive believer in the application of 1st Principles, particularly when it comes to machine breakdowns and faultfinding. It has rescued me time after time on all sorts of problems, in all sorts of places. One of the first elements is being sure of exactly what the machine is supposed to do. There have been occasions where I have been asked to consult on a machine problem and have found that the ‘problem’ Read more


Recently I was stuck in traffic on the motorway and, being a Motion Control engineer, I was musing on the theory of conservation of energy as one does. This led me to thinking about the ways in which this theory also guides us in devising the most cost efficient ways of satisfying our clients need for performance in their production systems. This was probably prompted by a recent project I was asked to work on Read more


Despite years of experience I still find that the issues thrown up by bag making machines have a curious fascination. Producers of the supermarket bags we all love to hate are paid in fractions of pence per bag so speed and reliability of throughput are fundamental to their profitability. As is often the case here again the devil is in the detail. What the producer is looking for is a highest possible continuous cycle rate. Read more


You never quite know when an unusual application will present an interesting motion control challenge. The other day I had a visit from a man who had been commissioned by an artist to create a machine that transfers hand drawing on an iPad into an engraved design on glass. Something like a digital pantograph. It sounds quite straightforward when you put it like that but the devil, as always, is in the detail. My challenge Read more

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