Ground-breaking broadcast cameras roll off Sony UK TEC production line in UK first

By Raspberry Jim,

camera 4K - Copy

 

World-class  4K cameras labelled the “next generation” in broadcast technology are set to be manufactured in Wales for the first time.

The top of the range 4K cameras, the HDC-4300, are being produced at Sony UK Technology Centre from this month – marking the first time they have been manufactured outside of Japan.

The news is a significant boost for manufacturing in Wales showing confidence in the facility’s reputation for innovation and the abilities of its highly skilled team.

The Pencoed factory has been producing high-end broadcast technology in South Wales since 1999, manufacturing cameras and camera systems for worldwide distribution and shipping more than 13,000 units every year.

The latest 4k models, which recently won an award at the 68th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards, will be shipped from the facility for the first time this month.

Sony UK TEC’s managing director Steve Dalton OBE said: “For our facility to have been chosen as the only manufacturer outside of Japan to deliver these next generation cameras is fantastic news for Sony UK TEC.

“This is one of many new, exciting ventures for our facility and our highly skilled teams, and we welcome this extremely progressive period here at Pencoed.

“Sony UK TEC was specifically chosen to manufacture this next generation technology thanks to its world-class production capabilities and expertise in creating high-end, low volume, high-value products.

“These cameras are setting the standard in what will be the future of broadcast technology, so this shows confidence in our skilled workforce and the factory’s ability to produce high-end, quality, products for worldwide distribution.

 “Our expert team members have been thoroughly trained in the latest manufacturing techniques making them ideally placed to produce these industry-leading products.

 

“At Sony UK TEC we have nurtured our skilled workforce of over 400 team members ensuring they are experienced, constantly innovative and always striving for improvement.

 

“We are delighted to bring this progressive technology into Wales, which will once again reaffirm our nation’s reputation as a significant manufacturing force on the global stage.”

Sony UK TEC produces thousands of HD broadcast and professional camera systems each year. It also manufactures state-of-the-art products for external businesses, including energy efficient lighting.

The Pencoed facility also houses a Business Incubation Centre and a 30,000 sq ft filming facility – Sony Ffilm Factory 35.

One giant leap for Techniquest as exhibits feature at science centre launched by astronaut Tim Peake

By Raspberry Jim,

TIM PEAKE techniquest 2

 

Cardiff’s Techniquest has taken one giant leap for scientific education by providing its popular exhibits to a new centre launched by astronaut Tim Peake.

 

The educational charity, based in Cardiff Bay, has provided a number of interactive exhibitions to the newly opened Airbus Foundation Discovery Space Stem centre in Stevenage.

 

The specialist centre, funded by Airbus, the Airbus Foundation and the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership in conjunction with North Hertfordshire College, aims to inspire students to explore Stem subjects and promote understanding of space.

 

As part of the exhibition Techniquest’s experts have designed, manufactured, and installed an educational exhibition for the facility, including a controllable robotic arm, an interactive thermal imaging camera, as well as others that allow users to experiment with light, sound, and forces.

There is also a viewing gallery allowing visitors to see ongoing engineering activities associated with the build and test of the European Space Agency’s ExoMars Rover in the Mars Yard.

The centre was launched by Major Peake on the day he announced his return to the International Space Station (ISS).

 

Ahead of this he visited the Cardiff-based educational charity, where he got the chance to meet 200 pupils from across Wales.

 

Airbus expects its new £2.5 million centre to attract 5,000 students every year.

Techniquest CEO Lesley Kirkpatrick said Techniquest’s involvement with the Airbus centre was the perfect partnership and aligned entirely with their educational and scientific aims.

 

She said: “We at Techniquest are thrilled to be involved with the newly launched Airbus Foundation Discovery Space Stem centre.

 

“Their core mission to engage with students across the country, and to promote scientific education through the Stem curriculum, fits perfectly with the work we do in Cardiff.

 

“This progressive facility is reaching out to young people to inspire them with engaging displays, including the ExoMars Rover area, something we as an educational charity are constantly aiming to achieve.

 

“The fact our exhibits are contributing to better scientific engagement across the country is something we are delighted with and we wish the centre every success.”

 

Techniquest is now continuing to work with the facility to develop further exhibits and displays over the coming year, Mrs Kirkpatrick said.

 

The exhibition highlights Techniquest’s reputation for its innovative commercial business work. This involves the centre’s interactive design and manufacturing experts providing installations, programmes and consultancy to organisations around the world.

Thanks to their unparalleled experience in this area contracts are continually secured which all help to support the ongoing work of the educational charity.

Techniquest continues to be a beacon for scientific learning in Wales providing 120-hands on exhibits in Cardiff Bay, along with a Science Theatre, a Planetarium and a shop packed full of Welsh souvenirs and educational gifts.

Miss Wales finalist urges women to explore careers in manufacturing

By Raspberry Jim,

 

Miss Wales 2-3

 

“There is so much opportunity for women in manufacturing”.

That’s the message from delighted Miss Wales hopeful and Sony UK Technology Centre employee Hannah Williams.

The 23-year-old sourcing officer, based at the specialist Pencoed manufacturing facility, has been selected as a finalist in this year’s prestigious pageantry competition.

But the Cardiff University graduate isn’t taking the opportunity lightly.

She is using her time to speak out about the thriving opportunities for women in engineering and manufacturing professions in Wales.

Miss Williams felt compelled to support the industry after graduating with a business management degree from Cardiff University and entering the medical manufacturing sector before joining Sony UK TEC.

As a vital member of the manufacturing facility, Miss Williams helps to support the production of thousands of HD broadcast and professional cameras for global distribution.

She is now hoping that other women will follow in her footsteps and consider a “rewarding” career in manufacturing and engineering.

The Pencoed resident said: “Many women may not even think about a career in manufacturing.

“Luckily I have always been influenced by my family’s roles within different business areas. They previously worked in manufacturing in Wales and this is something that I’ve grown up with.

“Since I have been working in industry and manufacturing I have noticed that although sectors are trying to diversify, it is still proving difficult to attract young women in to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM) professions, therefore the female talent that has reached the senior levels are much fewer.

“I believe there is so much opportunity for more young people to join our industry; I have learnt so many skills, and the innovations you get to be a part of are really exciting and rewarding.”

The Business Management graduate is among just nine per cent of women who make up the engineering workforce across the UK.

According to statistics from Women’s Engineering Society (Wes) the UK has the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals throughout Europe.

As a progressive facility Sony UK TEC has led the way in promoting gender diversity among its workforce, with almost 40 per cent of its workforce made up of women.

The centre is renowned for its innovative approach to business always striving to be at the forefront of progression in the manufacturing industry.

Sony UK TEC  director of professional services Gerald Kelly said: “We are delighted to fully support Hannah in her bid to become Miss Wales.

“We applaud her decision to use the platform to raise funds for charitable causes across Wales and to highlight the benefits of Stem and engineering careers for women.

“Manufacturing is a highly rewarding industry which can lead to a diverse range of career paths for our skilled workforce.

“We wish Hannah every success and look forward to supporting her as the competition progresses.”

Throughout the competition Miss Williams will also be supporting the Beauty With A Purpose initiative, which fundraises for disadvantaged children, and aids charities in more than 100 countries.

Miss Williams will then be heading to the final of the Miss Wales competition on April 8 in Newport.

What are the biggest changes to this year’s banned sports substance list and what does it mean for athletes?

By Raspberry Jim,

Pushing yourself to the limits of physical endurance to claim that all important win is what sport is all about.

Throughout the competitive world you see it time and time again.

Tour De France riders tackling some of the most challenging mountains in the world, international rugby players enduring significant impacts, and weightlifters lifting double their own body weight are just some of the examples.

However, some of these incredible achievements have often been overshadowed by one word – doping.

The controversial practice has surrounded some of sport’s biggest stars and in extreme cases, spawned major lawsuits, sponsorship disputes, and lifetime bans from sport.

With this in mind, the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) constantly reassesses which drugs fall under its banned substances category when publishing its annual Prohibited List. This is also featured on the UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) website. This year’s list, which is now in effect, features the inclusion of drugs which could be used to treat asthma, ADHD, as well as others that reduce estrogen.

Specialist sports lawyer Emma Harris from Cardiff-based Blackfords LLP has represented professionals and sports individuals who have found themselves subject to disciplinary proceedings.

She says the responsibility of complying with the rules lies with the athlete. “Athletes are expected to pay attention to the new lists and to ensure they are up to date with any changes.

“The biggest change which we expect to see in respect of the 2017 list is as a result of the addition of a number of asthma medications.  Our general advice to athletes is, if you have asthma and take medication for it, you should consult your medical team to ensure dosage is at the correct level, over the correct period of time.

“A TUE can be obtained from UK Anti-Doping (on the advice of a doctor), which would cover the athlete for any prescribed medication for their asthma. If they are on prescribed medication, then they should seek guidance from their GP or a pharmacist.

“There’s always a risk that an athlete might have taken the substance before it is added to the list and therefore can be caught due to it still being in their system.

“Those who do breach the rules, could face enforcement by UKAD, this could be a ban of a number of years, a lifetime ban, and even the stripping of titles and medals.  There can be financial implications as well. For example, if there are sponsorship deals then these might be cancelled for breach of contract.

“Testing can happen to athletes at any level of the sport and are completely random. We have seen an increase in the testing of members of university and Varsity teams, as well as semi-professional and professional athletes.

“The implications are serious, and if someone has breached, or is alleged to have breached, they should seek specialist legal assistance at the first opportunity.”

 

Here are five of the new additions and modifications to the 2017 Prohibited List:

Arimistane – This is a hormone/metabolic modulator that controls the levels of specific hormones including Estrogen and Cortisol. It also has a direct effect on testosterone levels.

Why could it be problematic: The drug has previously been praised as being specifically beneficial in bodybuilding in allowing competitors to lift heavier weights. It could also be used to help athletes see a reduction in the stress hormone cortisol, which is linked to weight gain and suppression of the immune system.

Salbutamol Inhalers: Also known as Albuterol or marketed as Ventolin.
Why it could be problematic: This is commonly used to treat asthma. Previously an inhaled dosage of no greater than 1600 micrograms was permitted over 24 hours this has been amended to indicate that athletes shouldn’t exceed 800 micrograms every 12 hours.

 

Higenamine: This is part of the Nandina plant.

 

Why it could be problematic: It has traditionally been used as an anti-asthmatic and can be used as a fat burner which can be found in food supplements. French internationals Brice Dulin and Yannick Nyanga were subject to an anti-doping probe after allegations traces of the substance was discovered in a drugs test.

 

Boldenone: This is an anabolic androgenic steroid.

 

Why it could be problematic: Although traditionally used for the treatment of horses, Boldenone can be used to increase lean muscle mass, strength, and the ability to train longer and harder

Lisdexamfetamine: is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant of the amphetamine class.

Why it could be problematic: It is used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and moderate to severe binge eating disorder in adults.

Nicomorphine: is an opioid drug.

 

Why it could be problematic: It is used in the treatment of severe pain which might be beneficial following injury or intense training.

Tim Peake space capsule made of LEGO and hydrogen-powered car arrive at Techniquest

By Raspberry Jim,

Lego capsule

 

A replica of Tim Peake’s space capsule built using 150,000 LEGO bricks has gone on display at Cardiff’s Techniquest.

The replica of the Russian Soyuz Space Capsule, created by the UK Space Agency and professional LEGO building company Bright Bricks, is set to be exhibited at the science discovery centre from this month.

The design and engineering feat, which is two-thirds the size of the original craft, took 650 hours to build.

It is modelled on the space craft which transported Major Peake to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2015 and routinely transports astronauts and supplies to the craft.

The capsule’s tour to Techniquest comes after the astronaut himself visited the educational charity last year speaking with hundreds of school children about his space travel.

Techniquest CEO Lesley Kirkpatrick said they were delighted to host the “impressive” LEGO creation.

She said: “The replica capsule is extremely impressive and we are thrilled to have it here at Techniquest.

“It is highly detailed in its recreation of the Soyuz capsule, and the level of detail involved is reflected in the manpower which it took to create it.

“I’m sure all our visitors will enjoy seeing this up close and getting a sense of Major Peake’s journey into space.”

However, the LEGO capsule isn’t the only futuristic exhibition attracting visitors to Techniquest this month.

A vehicle powered almost entirely by hydrogen is also being displayed at the Cardiff Bay-based centre from this month onwards.

The Rasa model, which has been designed by Llandrindod Wells company Riversimple, will also feature among the centre’s 120 interactive exhibitions.

The car runs from an 8.5kw hydrogen fuel cell, features slimline tyres, a single speed gearbox, and can reach speeds of 60mph in 10 seconds and drive for up to 300 miles on a 1.5kg tank of hydrogen.

The car is also manufactured using light carbon fibre which means its total weight is just 580kg.

Ms Kirkpatrick said: “The Riversimple Rasa car is really impressive in terms of what it can achieve by utilising innovation, ingenuity and impressive scientific thinking.

“We are thrilled to have it on display here at Techniquest as it is a tangible example for our visitors young and old of the importance of applying science throughout society and the benefits it can bring.

“The model perfectly demonstrates how pressing environmental issues can be solved by using practical scientific solutions, and we are confident it will inspire our younger visitors to explore science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers.

“Not only that, it has been expertly manufactured by a company here in Wales, so it clearly demonstrates the talent and potential for innovation right here on our doorstep.”

Watch the LEGO capsule being created by Bright Bricks here.

Miss Wales finalist urges women to explore careers in manufacturing

By Raspberry Jim,

Miss Wales finalist urges women to explore careers in manufacturing

“There is so much opportunity for women in manufacturing”.

That’s the message from delighted Miss Wales hopeful and Sony UK Technology Centre employee Hannah Williams.

The 23-year-old sourcing officer, based at the specialist Pencoed manufacturing facility, has been selected as a finalist in this year’s prestigious pageantry competition.

But the Cardiff University graduate isn’t taking the opportunity lightly.

She is using her time to speak out about the thriving opportunities for women in engineering and manufacturing professions in Wales.

Miss Williams felt compelled to support the industry after graduating with a business management degree from Cardiff University and entering the medical manufacturing sector before joining Sony UK TEC.

As a vital member of the manufacturing facility, Miss Williams helps to support the production of thousands of HD broadcast and professional cameras for global distribution.

She is now hoping that other women will follow in her footsteps and consider a “rewarding” career in manufacturing and engineering.

The Pencoed resident said: “Many women may not even think about a career in manufacturing.

“Luckily I have always been influenced by my family’s roles within different business areas. They previously worked in manufacturing in Wales and this is something that I’ve grown up with.

“Since I have been working in industry and manufacturing I have noticed that although sectors are trying to diversify, it is still proving difficult to attract young women in to Stem professions, therefore the female talent that has reached the senior levels are much fewer.

“I believe there is so much opportunity for more young people to join our industry; I have learnt so many skills, and the innovations you get to be a part of are really exciting and rewarding.”

The Business Management graduate is among just nine per cent of women who make up the engineering workforce across the UK.

According to statistics from Women’s Engineering Society (Wes) the UK has the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals throughout Europe.

As a progressive facility Sony UK TEC has led the way in promoting gender diversity among its workforce, with WHAT percentage of its workforce made up of women?

The centre is renowned for its innovative approach to business always striving to be at the forefront of progression in the manufacturing industry.

Sony managing director Steve Dalton OBE said: “We are delighted to fully support Hannah in her bid to become Miss Wales.

“We applaud her decision to use the platform to raise funds for charitable causes across Wales and to highlight the benefits of Stem and engineering careers for women.

“Manufacturing is a highly rewarding industry which can lead to a diverse range of career paths for our skilled workforce.

“We wish Hannah every success and look forward to supporting her as the competition progresses.”

Throughout the competition Miss Williams will also be supporting the Beauty With A Purpose initiative, which fundraises for disadvantaged children, and aids charities in more than 100 countries.

Miss Williams will then be heading to the final of the Miss Wales competition on April 8 in Newport.