Author Archives: mathew foster

Case Study: Arcadia at Glastonbury Festival

(Last modified: February 11th, 2019)

The British music festival season may now be over for this year but the 5th October sees the return of the annual Glastonbury ticket sale for next year’s event.

73688Last year over a million people applied for 150,000 tickets which sold out in record-breaking time. Dolly Parton, Kasabian and Metallica all took to the Pyramid Stage during the summer and it would be no surprise to see a greater demand for the event in 2015.

For those who haven’t witnessed Glastonbury Festival first-hand, one of the most spectacular aspects of the site is the area hosted by Arcadia. The Bristol-based company combine sculpture, lighting, special effects, music and pyrotechnics to create of the most extraordinary audio-visual experiences you will ever witness.

Created using welded metals from recycled military hardware, some of the world’s biggest DJ’s have played the spider-like stage and Metals4U spoke to directors Pip Rush and Bertie Cole regarding the process of sourcing the metals, the importance of recycling…and dancing policemen!

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According to Pip and Bert, the creative process is very much a “chicken and egg” scenario were the materials they come across can often steer a creative idea in an all-together different route. Alongside the duo are a team of other creatives ranging from artists, technicians and performers (some from different companies) to feed into the process and make it what it is.

Experts such as Sir Henry Hot provide the know-how for the fifty-foot flames using computer-controlled techniques…and cause the ground to rumble! BlinkinLAB create the most incredible UV video mapping content for the spider legs, whilst overall the collaboration between the different disciplines is seamless.

Arcadia use a variety of materials to create their stages and these are all recycled parts from jet engines, helicopter blades through to customs & excise scanners.

“We go on a ‘scrap tour’ once a year, which consists of a UK wide motorbike journey taking pictures of everything we find that looks useful. Then we send a lorry round to pick up the good bits at the end (hoping they haven’t reached the crusher yet). We use a bit of everything… plastics, wood and all sorts of metals”

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Material testing is a vital part of any engineering project and Arcadia are no different. Ensuring the materials are safe with structural integrity is essential and Bertie further explained the process:

“Arcadia work with structural engineers to assess the type of metal the structural components are made from and then use computer modelling to calculate the structural strength of the components assembled into complete structures.”

With upcoming events in Thailand and New Zealand, the crew at Arcadia are continuing to push boundaries and create new ideas for the future. When asked whether they had any future creations in the pipeline the duo stated: Always… the world is full of scrap and we’re starting to travel further afield.”

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Many well-known DJ’s have graced the Spider.

Mary Anne Hobbs, Fatboy Slim and Norman Jay MBE have all claimed that it is one of the best and most bizarre stages they have played, which hosts the finest Funktion One sound system in the world. Pip and Bert don’t have a favourite act but they have many stories to tell, with dancing policemen being a particular highlight.

“We had a couple of exited policemen climb on it for a dance once which was pretty funny…not sure if they still have a job though!”

The 2014 event saw Arcadia claim their very own area adjacent to The Park which attracted an estimated 70,000 people for the main acts. Alongside the Spider stage, Arcadia built on their creative recycling ethos with a number of interactive structures in the Mechanical Playground.

Developed by American sculpture and artist Christian Ristow, ‘The Hand of Man’ is a 26-foot long interactive piece which is capable of picking up old cars and crushing them. Operated by a cyborg-like hand glove, the creation is open to the public and is one of the many mind-blowing creations which take the evolving world of creative recycling to a whole new level.

To find more information about Arcadia head to: http://www.arcadiaspectacular.com/

More information about Glastonbury Festival can be found at: http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/

(Images supplied and used with kind permission from Arcadia. Many thanks to the team at Arcadia for their time and help)

Inventing The Modern Car

(Last modified: February 11th, 2019)

The design and stylings of the humble car is an area which is in constant change, with innovations within the industry coming around all the time.

As science and technologies continues to advance it is inevitable that the auto-mobile will follow suit. Whether purposefully designed for use in the car, such as air-bags, or if it was an indirect inclusion after being developed for other markets, such as the stereo, the modern car has taken influence from many different sources.

The car industry is truly global with different brands of manufacturers being present in 47 countries worldwide. In the year 2013, this combined creates an industry which is worth approximately $888.5 billion.

The success of the car industry can be attributed to the innovators and creators who were pioneers in their field. With a number of projects sent in and gratefully received from customers at Metals4U who have worked with cars, we thought that we would pay homage to the industry and its innovators with a timeline of the landmark breakthroughs!

Inventing the Modern Car Infographic

 

Guide to UK Engineering – Hints, Tips, and Job Opportunities

(Last modified: February 11th, 2019)

Over the last few years there have been a number of articles that predict a shortage in the number of engineers in the UK. Speaking in the annual Engineering UK 2014 report, business secretary Vince Cable stated “The UK will need around 87,000 graduate level engineers per year over the next ten years: 2013 was 36,000 short of this”. This forecast is said to result in hindering the recovery and growth of construction, manufacturing and associated industries, as well as the wider UK economy.

Attempting to find a cause, an article written in The Engineer suggests that the shortage is caused by the previous generation of skilled workers gradually retiring, Cameron 12leaving behind a talent vacuum. There has been comment from key figures implying that the solution to this lies in the investment of time and money in the education of key engineering skills at school level.

However, a report for the Royal Academy of Engineering, ‘Thinking like an engineer: Implications for the education system’, states that the problem is not at higher education level but rather at primary and secondary education levels.

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Phillips 66

Phillips 66

(Last modified: February 11th, 2019)

Phillips 66 is a US based petrochemical company with a significant presence in the UK, with a highly advanced refinery in North Lincolnshire. The complexity of the refinery allows it to produce a wide range of petrochemical products, from anode coke to diesel and LPG.

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norgren

Norgren

(Last modified: February 11th, 2019)

Norgren is a manufacturer with its roots firmly planted in the pneumatic and hydraulics industries. Described as a “world leader in motion and fluid control technologies”, they produce many well-known product brands as well as bespoke solutions for clients.

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JCB

JCB

(Last modified: February 11th, 2019)

JCB manufactures a range of heavy or labour saving machinery, serving the agriculture, construction and demolition industries. The company produces more than 300 varieties of machine to be sold in over 150 countries.

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Renishaw Logo

Renishaw

(Last modified: February 11th, 2019)

Renishaw specialises in high-precision products and services. The company’s routes are in touch-trigger probes and measurement styli innovation. Today, they are a market leader in measurement devices, motion control, precision machining and spectroscopy.

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Cameron Baloons

Cameron Balloons

(Last modified: February 11th, 2019)

Cameron Balloons has a long history of manufacturing hot air balloons, and is responsible for around 70% of the hot air balloons in the UK today. The company manufactures bespoke designs for a range of applications – from sport to pleasure, marketing to record-breaking attempts.

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Martin Baker

Martin Baker

(Last modified: February 11th, 2019)

Martin Baker has a long history within the aviation industry. The company has a history of designing and manufacturing propeller planes, as well as supporting the war effort’s production of warplanes. The company’s specialism, however, is with ejection seats – claiming that over 7,000 lives have been saved by their products over more than 60 years.

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