Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Molecular extraction from biological samples

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Following on from the recent series of articles on the subject of industries you probably didn’t know exist, this latest one is on molecular extraction from biological samples. There are many reasons that molecules may need to be extracted and this technology is used by many different industries such as the nuclear industry (for example, in a radiation monitoring system); the defence & security industry; life sciences, safety; and environment & recycling.

How is this done?

The most common method of sample preparation involves initially disrupting the sample with a tissue homogenizer before extracting the molecules of interest. Machines such as the Precellys Tissue Homogenizers are used here to provide a good range of fast and reproducible solutions to achieve any type of sample preparation. These products are designed to avoid cross-contamination with optimal tissue grinding or cell disruption. Sample preparation is critical to master molecules extraction from biological samples.

When is this used?

This is used for many different purposes such as the following:

In cancer research

Hard tissues such as those from tumours can be particularly difficult to homogenize, and animal models are often used in cancer research. molecule extraction and tissue homogenisation is used here to facilitate the creation of samples used in analysis and research.

In agronomy

Agronomy is the science of soil management and crop production. Sample preparation is currently a major part of research into new GMO foods, food allergies and plant studies. These often require ground, hard samples such as seeds, roots or frozen food, which are particularly hard to grind.

In forensics

Samples of very hard materials such as bone, teeth, and hair are commonly analysed in forensic laboratories. These samples are analysed in order to extract, for example, DNA from bone or teeth or drug extraction from hair.

In pharmacology

Pharmaceutical research is currently big business but begins with molecule identification from a natural or artificial model. Animal toxicology model analysis requires the homogenization of tissues.

In environmental analysis

Soil and environmental analysis often focus on microbiology studies and pollution impact on wildlife. Microorganisms included in a biological matrix are often a particularly difficult challenge to analyse.

In microbiology

The study of microorganisms is critical in industries such as bio-production and health research. And they are often very difficult to analyse due to their thick cell walls, which makes nucleic acid extraction difficult.

Written by Chris

October 28th, 2019 at 11:22 am

Posted in Miscellaneous

A new approach to preventable lifestyle illnesses

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Did you know, according to many doctors, for humans, biological ageing, by itself, is not a major problem until your about 80. In other words, take preventable ‘lifestyle’ illnesses out of the equation and many of us would be fit and healthy right through to our 9th decade – preventable lifestyle illnesses are the major problem – not ageing.

In the UK, these ‘preventable’ illnesses are linked to diet, smoking and inactivity and cost the NHS £11 billion per year, according to Public Health England, with conditions like type 2 diabetes at near-epidemic levels.

Sir Muir Gray has held various senior positions within the NHS and is very highly regarded. According to him, ‘wellness rather than illness’ should become the focus of the UK national health strategy. In other words, ‘Instead of giving lifestyle advice to healthy people and tablets to the unwell, we should be giving “activity therapy” to the 15 million people who are swallowing pills every day.’

However, this is not a new idea. For example, UK Active has warned that neglecting ‘preventative’ strategies and choosing to focus on illness instead if wellness with eventually bankrupt the NHS.

So, if we agree that the old focus is not working and we should try this new approach, where do we start?

UK Active have recently called for a £1 billion regeneration scheme to transform leisure centres into ‘community wellness hubs’ combining GP drop-in centres with gyms, swimming pools, and libraries to encourage and facilitate individuals leading healthier lifestyles.

Of course this regeneration would take a huge investment in the creation of new resources such as new tennis court construction, swimming pool construction, increasing the availability of gyms, and the construction of school canopies, however, to avoid many preventable illnesses, this would be a small price to pay – both metaphorically and literally – compared to the billions spent every year on preventable illnesses

Written by Chris

August 22nd, 2019 at 2:12 pm

Posted in Miscellaneous

The fascinating world of ceramics

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I have to admit I knew very little about the ceramic industry when I was tasked with creating an article for a manufacturer of vibrating screens & sieves; industrial agitators and mastelli; electric pumps for the ceramic industry; magnetic iron removers & filters; and products for companies that are specialised in industries where materials screening is required. However, it turns out that this is a large and fascinating subject.

The English word ‘ceramic’ comes from the ancient Greek word for ‘potters’ and ‘potter’s clay’ and is a solid material comprising of inorganic compounds – metal, non-metal or metalloid atoms primarily held in ionic and covalent bonds. The most common examples of ceramics are earthenware, porcelain, stoneware, bone china, and brick. The earliest known ceramics made by humans were pottery objects such as pots, vessels or figurines made from clay. Later ceramics were glazed and fired to create smooth, coloured surfaces, to decrease porosity. Ceramics are now used throughout the world in countless domestic, industrial and building applications as well as in art. In modern times, newer ceramic materials have been developed for use in advanced ceramic engineering, such as in semiconductors.

The discovery of ceramics from archaeological digs provides a lot of very important information helping us to understand historical cultures, ancient technology and the behaviour of ancient civilisations. They are a very common artefacts found at arachnological sites among the most common artefacts to be found and are generally found as fragments or chards of broken pottery. By analysing these fragments and shards, it’s possible to distinguish between different cultural styles providing invaluable historical information about peoples from the past.

Ceramic art is also a fascinating subject and these items take many forms such as pottery, tableware, figurines, and sculpture. We have evidence of a long history of ceramic art in almost all developed cultures, and often ceramic objects are all the artistic evidence left from vanished cultures. Examples of ancient, vanished cultures include the Nok who lived in Africa over 2,000 years ago, the Nabateans who existed from around 312 BC, the Clovis people who lived in the deserts of New Mexico around 9000 years ago, and the Catalhoyuk, a very old Neolithic civilization who lived where modern-day Turkey now stands from 7500 to 5700 BC, living in mud-brick housing similar to other extremely early civilizations – they seem to have disappeared around 8000 years ago. Much can be learned from these early cultures by examining ceramic fragments they left behind.

In the modern world, the production of ceramics for all domestic and industrial applications has mainly been industrialised (besides the production of art) and there is a whole industry built up around the production of machinery and associated maintenance supplying this industry. An example of one of these companies is Bi technology who produce vibrating screens & sieves; industrial agitators and mastelli, electric pumps for the ceramic industry, and magnetic iron removers and filters. This Italian company specialise essentially in all those industrial departments where materials screening is required.

Written by Chris

July 25th, 2019 at 3:39 pm

Posted in Miscellaneous

Filler Metals in Fabrication

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For many metal fabrication purposes, aluminium is relied up on for its versatility, strength, and often, its corrosion resistance – used in hundreds of applications right the way through from ship-building all the way to aerospace manufacture. However, certain procedures must be followed during the welding process to ensure proper application, for example, pre-cleaning procedures, careful control of heat input, and use of appropriate welding equipment. However, one of the most important considerations is the use of the proper filler metal.

Aluminium alloys 4043 and 5356 are two of the most common filler metals and are available in wire form for GMAW (gas metal arc welding) and in cut-length filler rods for GTAW (gas tungsten arc welding) In more than 85 percent of aluminium applications, 4043 and 5356 filler metals are the appropriate alloys for the job. They also are the most readily available in the marketplace and the least expensive to purchase

One of the most reputable manufacturer, supplier and repairer of heat exchangers is Mataconcept, located in Chaponpost, just outside Lyon in the South-East of France. They now also provide a complete range of welding products including filler metals which are used in all kinds of industrial applications where aluminium-silicon based alloys need to be welded. For example:

  • TIG rod : Filler metal, in rod form, for TIG welding (Tungsten Inert Gas) aluminium-silicon alloys.
  • MIG wire : Filler metal, in wire form, for MIG welding (Metal Inert Gas) aluminium-silicon alloys. This process is in direct competition with the MMA welding. It is the most frequently used welding process in the 21st century.
  • METALU rod : Non-corrosive, aluminium flux cored wire, in rod form, for flame brazing or welding aluminium-silicon, aluminium- copper and aluminium-brass alloys.

The Metaconcept Group also supplies pure tin ingot along with alloys in the form of various sized ingots and billets. The billets are vacuum cast in just one step and therefore offer the best quality price ratio on the market. Bars and flat bars are also available and are often easier to handle for small foundries. These products are mainly used for surface treatments, for manufacturing flat glass, silverware and white metal casting.

Written by Chris

July 22nd, 2019 at 1:10 pm

Posted in Miscellaneous

Essential Mixing Technologies

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Processing Magazine recently wrote an excellent article on the subject of essential mixing technologies subtitled ‘For fast-growing food processing companies, efficient powder-blending and high-shear mixing is key’ on the subject of the different types of mixing and blending machines used by start-ups and small food businesses.

In the article they talk about a couple of the different types of blending and mixing machines such as the ribbon Blender and High-Shear mixers and also discuss the pros and cons of buying outright vs. rental, concluding “Trial or rental programs offer a way for manufacturers to determine if a certain mixer is the right choice before a large capital expenditure. Visiting a testing facility to run a demo mixer and complete a batch or two using actual raw materials is even better. Some testing laboratories allow un-witnessed simulations, but the manufacturer’s expertise on the characteristics and properties of specific products will boost the trial’s chances for success. Plus, this allows observation of how the mixer operates and a chance to learn useful techniques and identify any potential issues well before the equipment is delivered. Ask about optional features that could help increase productivity, lower operating costs and simplify cleaning.”

Sofraden is an expert in the design and manufacture of the industrial mixer machine. A French manufacturer of mixing equipment founded in 1991, they design and produce a full range of industrial mixers for different applications. They design and manufacture a standard range of high-performance mixers which meet the needs of most industrial applications. They’re also able to design and adapt our standard machines according to your specific needs or to manufacture special mixers.

Their range of machines include an intensive industrial blades mixer (for batch or continuous processes), a vacuum mixer dryer (batch processes), a reactor-disperser (a high viscosity mixer), a rotary drum mixer (for batch or continuous processes), a ribbon mixer (for batch processes), an overlapping paddle mixer (for continuous processes) and laboratory mixers

Written by Chris

May 29th, 2019 at 3:53 pm

Posted in Miscellaneous

How Many Surveillance Cameras are there in London?

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Have you ever stopped and wondered how many cameras have recorded you on an average day during, for example, a regular trip to the shops or your usual commute to work? Well the answer may surprise you if you live in London or some of the other CCTV hotspots around the world

The most recent estimates tell us that there are at least half a million CCTV cameras in London alone. Over recent years there has been a huge increase in these for several reasons including the price of the technology plummeting and the legal and insurance requirements placed on many businesses to help improve their security. Domestically, CCTV also helps deter crime, certainly in London where crimes rates are often higher, and the population density is greater.

To help ensure the safety of travellers, there are over 15,500 cameras in current use in the underground alone. Within King’s Cross and St Pancras there are over 400 cameras alone recording around 80 million travellers per year.

To answer the original question, it’s estimated that the average Londoner is captured on CCTV around 300 times per day (the London Underground footage is kept for an astonishing 2 weeks!)

But what about the cost of installing such a huge number of CCTV cameras? Estimates put this cost at over £300 million.

Worldwide the estimates are that there are a staggering 25 million CCTV cameras currently in operation with Britain accounting for between 4 and 5.9 million of these in total. The very high percentage of London CCTV cameras is also reflected in the surprising fact that Wandsworth borough in London has more CCTV cameras than Boston, Dublin, Johannesburg and San Francisco put together.

But who makes these cameras that are installed all over the world? It turns out there are thousands of different commercial & monitoring camera manufacturers in the world with China manufacturing the vast majority of the components that go into these devices. The most well know camera manufacturers include companies such as Bosch, Canon, Cisco, D-Link, Extreme CCTV, GE Security, Honeywell, Logitech, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, & Toshiba. Lesser known manufacturers include Visio Probe who manufacture cameras such as their industrial inspection camera or their remote inspection camera.

Written by Chris

April 23rd, 2019 at 4:17 pm

Posted in Miscellaneous

LED advertising

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Traditional advertising has seen more of upheaval in the past few years than at any time since the first business in mediaeval times decided to put a wooden plank above its door advertising Mrs McReedy’s Herbal Cure-All Remedies. The move away from physical wood, paper or plastic installation has been swift and adopted by many of the biggest organisations in the world such as Coca-Cola & Nike. An LED display or LED advertising hoarding is a flat panel display, which uses an array of light-emitting diodes as pixels for a video display. The brightness of this type of display allows them to be used outdoors where they are visible in daylight and direct sun for store signs and billboards. They have also become commonly used in destination signs on public transport vehicles, in recent years, as well as variable-message signs on highways. LED displays are capable of providing general illumination in addition to visual display, as when used for stage lighting or other decorative purposes.

The main benefit of an LED screen display is the fact that they can be programmed and updated remotely meaning they can be real-time and do not require a technician to physically visit the hoardings. Traditionally, and certainly for the larger advertising hoardings you’ll find in bigger cities, you’d need someone with a ladder and bucket full of wallpaper paste to turn up and replace the signs. However, we can certainly see a time soon when nearly all large format advertising signage will be replaced with dynamic LED screens. Of course, one of the other main drivers behind this is the fact that the price of LED panels has fallen massively. You can now be at the cutting edge of advertising technology for the fraction of the price it once would have cost.

Written by Chris

March 21st, 2019 at 3:37 pm

Posted in Miscellaneous

Picking the Right Business Sign

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If you’ve ever had to squint at a sign you’ll know just how important size and lettering is. It’s important for your new sign to be able to grab the attention of potential customers and get the desired message across. At Image Sign Studio in Sheffield and Rotherham, they help you to create the most effective, eye-catching and professional signage for your business. From assisting you in choosing the type of sign to the material, the size, shape and even the finer details such as the lettering options e.g. acrylic letters and acrylic cut out letters. They are here to help every step of the way.

Important Considerations When Choosing the Sign Size
First of all, the size of your sign makes a big difference, to help determine the most effective option for your specific needs have a think about the following:

• The distance you want the sign to be seen from
• The shop-front size (or size of the preferred location for the sign)
• The available shape space

What Material Should I Use?

At Image Sign Studio, they offer a range of sign materials including aluminium, stainless steel, Perspex and wood and they are able to create a broad selection of styles. Below is a brief overview of some of the key sign materials that they use:

Aluminium

Aluminium signs are very popular. They are affordable, strong, professional in appearance and versatile. Aluminium is easy to customize making it a great option for your signage needs.

Dibond

Dibond is polythene encased in aluminium. It is lightweight, rigid and holds its shape.

Stainless steel

Signs made from stainless steel are highly durable, weatherproof and are an excellent option for use outside.

Perspex

Perspex is a very versatile material that creates signs suitable for indoor and outdoor use. It is durable, lightweight and easy to cut into the desired format. Perspex is great for use in illuminated signs such as light boxes.

Wood

Signs made from wood are often heavyweight, can tolerate all weather conditions and are very strong and durable. They are also very versatile and look great.

Choosing a Letter Style

They offer a range of lettering options including acrylic cut out letters, 3D lettering, illuminated lettering and more. The lettering you decide on makes a big difference to the final look of your sign.

Acrylic Letters

Choosing acrylic letters is not only a great option for adding dimension to your sign but is also very affordable and fully customizable. The acrylic cut out letters are created with precision and are long lasting and durable.

Letters for Illuminated Signs

Choosing lettering for an illuminated sign such as halo lighting or illuminated letters is a great way to ensure your sign is advertising your business 24/7.

Top Tips When Choosing a Sign

A sign is a great way to attract customers to your business. It is important to use a professional sign maker to ensure your business has an effective, professional and well-designed sign. Below are some of our top tips when choosing a sign:

• Remember your audience
• Stay on brand
• Simplicity goes a long way
• Sign size and lettering are very important

Call Image Sign Studio today on 0114 261 7617 or visit them online at www.imagesignstudio.com

Written by Chris

January 10th, 2019 at 1:23 pm

Reasons to get a virtual tour

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Not everyone is sold on creating a virtual tour for their business but the below reasons will show you why they are definitely worth your time. 360 Virtual View are a professional virtual tour company operating in and around Sheffield, Derbyshire and the Peak District and they’ve helped many businesses showcase their properties, businesses  and showrooms using virtual tours. Don’t shy away from this technology as it can provide you with so many benefits.

Increase the likelihood of receiving bookings

A virtual tour allows potential customers to get a more accurate feel for what you have on offer, increasing their confidence in you and your product and making it more likely for them to visit. Google shows that businesses who have a virtual tour on Google My Business experience an average increase of 85% in on-line bookings so by helping your customers get to know you better from the comfort of their homes definitely boosts your bookings.

Increase interactions with potential customers

It can be difficult to engage with new customers and attract people to your business using social media and on-line tools. This is where a virtual tour comes in. Virtual tours offer an excellent, natural solution as they provide an engaging post that can be accessed by anyone and at any-time. A virtual tour generates more interest and once it’s been created and posted on-line you don’t have to do anything else but sit back while potential customers enjoy the opportunity and experience of touring your business before actually visiting.

Showcase your business around the clock on-line

As mentioned above, once your virtual tour is posted it is available to potential customers at their convenience. This means even when you’re closed for the day your virtual tour can still be accessed and viewed 24/7. This increased exposure helps your business sell more and gain more customers.

Reach more customers with little effort

Having a virtual tour available is a natural draw for people, you’ll experience an increase in the number of customers visiting your site as well as your store. A virtual tour is an interactive experience and people will like, comment and share encouraging others to take a look too. Your customer reach will naturally increase and people will find the virtual tour a more personal and inviting touch.

Give your business a competitive edge

By having a 360 virtual tour you can get your business displayed on Google Street View allowing potential customers to find your location and take a look around your business before actually visiting. Many people take a look at nearby businesses using Google Street View so there is no doubt this will give you a competitive edge and will generate more custom.

Find out more

360 Virtual View is a professional virtual tour company, working around Sheffield, Derbyshire and the Peak District. If you’re looking for a Sheffield virtual tour or would like to find out more about our stunning virtual tours then do not hesitate to contact us. 360 Virtual View offer a range of services suitable for all business types.

Call us today on 0114 383 0711

Written by Chris

November 23rd, 2018 at 11:21 am

A Virtual Tour as easy as 1,2,3,4

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Virtual tours are becoming increasingly sought after as effective marketing material. With the realization of their online value for potential customers, many businesses are now investing in virtual tours. With the sudden growth comes misunderstandings and uncertainties about what you can expect from a virtual tour company. As an experienced and highly regarded virtual tour company operating in the Sheffield, Derbyshire and Peak District areas we wanted to help customers get the most from their virtual tours, so below are 4 questions to ask your virtual tour company before hiring.

1) What equipment will you use for the virtual tour?

It’s important to ensure the company you choose is experienced, there are a lot of amateurs jumping into the business and if you don’t use the right equipment you won’t get the high definition that is needed for a virtual tour. Ideally, a DSLR camera should be used in order to get the image quality that’s necessary. A gimmicky camera will not produce the same level of quality and will not impress your potential clients so make sure the virtual tour company is using high quality and professional equipment.

2) Can I see some of your previous virtual tours?

Find out how many virtual tours the company has done before and take a look at their previous work. You can often find some examples of the companies work on their website so it is definitely worth taking a look. You can get an idea of how experienced the company is and by reviewing some of their work you can know the standard of the tours they offer. Pay attention to detail as if you were reviewing your own business’s virtual tour.

Not sure what to look for in their tour examples? Below are some top tips:

  • Lighting is very important for photos and this remains true for virtual tours. The lighting needs to be right otherwise you miss important details or your eye is drawn elsewhere.
  • Transition between rooms. You want the transitions to be smooth, it shouldn’t be clunky or feel unnatural.
  • Are your eyes being drawn to the right features?
  • Unwanted features. Are there features in the tour that take away from the experience? e.g. bins, faces, personal information etc.

3) What rooms will be photographed?

It is important to ask this so you can be clear on what will be included in the tour. This is an important question as sometimes photographers pick and choose which rooms to include, this can be for good reason and produce an effective end product but if the photographer isn’t experienced it could just be them trying to simplify the project.  

4) Should the business be empty for the tour?

The virtual tour company will be able to offer suggestions on whether staff or clients should be around for the virtual tour. More often than not, the virtual tour is more effective when there are no people so the focus can be on what your business has to offer customers.  There can be occasions where there are benefits to having people around so it’s definitely something to discuss with the photographer.

If you’re looking for a virtual tour Sheffield, Derbyshire or Peak District then 360 Virtual View will be able to help. Experience is key to producing seamless virtual tours, if you’d like to see our previous work, get in touch by calling 0114 383 0711 or via www.360virtualview.co.uk

If you’re looking for a virtual tour Sheffield, Derbyshire or Peak District then 360 Virtual View will be able to help. Experience is key to producing seamless virtual tours, if you’d like to see our previous work, get in touch by calling 0114 383 0711 or via https://360virtualview.co.uk

Written by Chris

October 18th, 2018 at 11:47 am