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An end to over-bolting? [Part 1]

The aerospace sector, like most manufacturers, have traditionally used more, or larger bolts, than is strictly necessary in their assembly, in order to offset the effect of poor control of the bolted joint.  With ever increasing pressure to design lighter structures to increase fuel efficiency, this practice is fast becoming obsolete.    Over-bolting is not confined to the aerospace sector. Even the humble car wheel uses four or five bolts to secure the wheel, when in reality the job could be done with fewer and smaller bolts if greater control was applied. This reduced un-sprung weight of the car would also, as a result, improve the acceleration, braking and ride quality of the car. Similarly, in the aircraft industry, the cost of over-design, particularly its effect on fuel efficiency is even more noticeable. The rule of thumb is that a 1% weight reduction results in 0.75% reduction in fuel consumption; therefore a considerable saving potential. Over 80% of the fully laden take-of ...

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Two Become One!

Back in the late seventies or early eighties, walk into any engineering company in the UK and you would find rows of drawing boards each with an engineer beavering away with his or her set squares, Rotring pens and eraser shields. Most of these engineers would have been mechanical, with only a sprinkling of electrical engineers probably hidden away in a side office. These electronic engineers were a little different to those of today - electronic control was still fairly primitive. Remember this was the era of the mainframe computer sitting in a sterile office environment which generally only served the accounting side of the companies. The PC as we all know it did not really appear until the mid-80’s. There was of course electronic control but predominantly via relays, cam timers and drum sequencers that were bolted or affixed in some way onto the creations of the mechanical engineers. This was however all about to change forever; in 1968 General Motors in the USA decided that it wanted to replac ...

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Three Birds With One Stone

As part of our commitment to reduce Norbar’s carbon footprint we are planning to install solar panels on the roof of our Wildmere Road property. An initiative which could generate up to 500 kW of renewable electricity. We will be doing the work in association with a not for profit organisation called the Low Carbon Hub (LCH). The LCH is a social enterprise based in Oxford, with a core aim of reducing carbon emissions across Oxfordshire. It works alongside businesses, schools and local communities to install manage and maintain renewable energy technologies.   The LCH scheme is very neat. From a company perspective it provides an opportunity to reduce your carbon emissions, contribute to the local community and save money all in one go! It works by sharing the financial benefits from the government feed in tariff between the LCH investors who have provided the funding to install the solar panels (or other renewable scheme), the business whose roof (in the case of solar panels) is used to mount th ...

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A Simple Solution To A Common Problem

No matter what your profession, or the industry you work within, we encounter problems that are designed to test our ability to think outside the box.  Yet, sometimes there are solutions that are both simple and elegant. I recently came across such an instance that I would like to share with you.   The issue is taking data from Norbar’s measuring instruments via RS-232 and getting the data in to the customer’s own software. Norbar already offers software to manage data, coming from our instruments but, for a variety of reasons, this is not always suitable. Some customers are very wary about installing any third party software for fear of introducing viruses for example, while others might have their own tried and tested templates and don’t want to switch to Norbar’s software. Frequently, these customers have to rely on manually entering data which is time consuming and prone to error. The MicroRidge Wedgelink cable offers an ideal solution, and with Norbar’s meas ...

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Continuous Improvement – “Are we nearly there yet?”

Continuous Improvement (CI) sounds so straightforward on paper and from the outside it gives a perception of a company or organisation that is heading in the right direction; but is this really the case and are they embracing it in the right way?From my experience I have seen both extremes and I often question where we fit into this scale. If the truth be told, I still don’t really know and to a certain degree, does it matter? After all “as long as we are heading in the right direction, surely we are embracing Continuous Improvement right? Well no, not necessarily”Continuous Improvement can be a very controversial subject. On so many occasions I have literally seen people run a mile at the mere mention of those 2 words but in other cases I have seen people talk and demonstrate it with such passion and belief, you would have no reason to question it. So, how can a subject matter provoke such diverse reactions when the intentions are only for the good?The fact of the matter is there is no single answer. Perhaps ...

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Good customer service is at the heart of Norbar's philosophy

It goes without saying that excellent customer service is a vital part of a successful business and at Norbar this is no different. In fact, we pride ourselves on delivering the very best service to our customers at every stage. We don’t just see the customer service team as a group of people who deal with complaints or who are called upon when people have an issue that needs resolving. Exceptional customer service starts from the first contact that is made with the customer to the last, and our staff are trained to always ensure that each and every one of our customers receive the very best service from any member of the Norbar team they encounter. This customer focused ethos is part of Norbar’s philosophy, something that we instil in all of our staff from the moment they join us, and something that we continually strive to uphold. Our Customer Relations Manager, Stephen Maxfield, has blogged about the mantra that his team upholds: Good customer service is about giving the customer an e ...

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Mathew Hodgkins - Technical Sales Engineer

I have been with Norbar Torque Tools for nearly seven years, with my first role being a Trainee Sales Engineer. I have worked my way up through the company to my current role of Technical Sales Engineer. The primary objective of my role is to support the internal Customer Relations team, who deal with the day-to-day order entering process and are the first point of contact for customers. I also support the network of distributors that we have, and the end users that contact us on a daily basis. The Technical Sales Engineers are essentially the ‘safety net’ for when something goes wrong or when a customer has a technical enquiry. The role involves a lot of interaction with the distribution network that has been set up to enhance maximum productivity for customers. It involves daily support via email and telephone about potential applications for Norbar products. However, our support offering for customers doesn’t end there. We regularly visit end users to evaluate applications and sol ...

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Excellent customer service...what does it mean?

Customer service is something I’m very passionate about and have been for over 30 years. Over these years, I have managed many teams in the sales arena, internal and external, large and small, and the one thing they all had in common was a passionate customer focus. Good customer service is the lifeblood of any business. You can offer promotions, promise the world, slash prices to bring in as many new customers as you want, however, unless you can retain those customers and generate repeat business, your company won’t be as profitable as it should be. It’s all about sending the customer away happy – happy enough to pass positive feedback about your business along to others, who may then try the product or service you offer them and then become repeat customers. It’s a well-known fact that people buy from people, and Norbar’s customers are no different. Our customer will always have a choice, so it’s down to us to make sure that when they are in the market for a ...

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A massive step forward with T-Box technology

For the first thirty years that Norbar manufactured torque measuring instruments we were not too concerned about what people did with the data that the instrument produced. Of course, the earliest versions did not even provide a means of electronically transferring the data from the instrument to any other device, so the provision of RS-232 in the 1980s seemed like an advance, but a costly one, because we charged over £200 extra or the privilege. Also, it took so much space in the lid of the instruments (TWA and ETS) that you could not have RS-232 and an internal battery pack.  Those were the days! The real Norbar instrument geeks will remind me that RS-232 was not our first means of data transfer – that was Binary Coded Decimal (BCD) on the ETTA instrument of the ‘70s and ‘80s, but I am going to gloss over that! Thankfully, RS-232 became standard on instruments from 1994 although there is now a question of whether new generation products should include it because ...

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Vibration White Finger: More care needed when choosing tools

Around 300,000 people in the UK suffer from Vibration White Finger (VWF) – an industrial illness caused by the use of vibrating tools and equipment. Traditionally a miners disease, widespread use of modern vibrating apparatus means workers across other sectors are now being diagnosed. The commercial vehicle industry is one such sector and concerns are being raised about how much is being done to fully protect staff in this area from the effects of VWF. Commercial vehicle garage workers are often expected to use an impact gun on a regular basis, but we’d suggest the use of a torque wrench instead which is not only more accurate but also protects the operator from the effects of this unpleasant condition.    If impact has to be used we would say use it sparingly and only to tighten bolts to a specific point well below the required final torque. Using a properly calibrated torque wrench beyond this point will finish the job without the dangerous vibrations. Intelligent purchasing ...

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Norbar News & Updates

Read about Norbar’s news and developments in the UK and across our international network for the latest updates on the fascinating and fast-moving world of precision torque engineering.

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Norbar apps are available free for download on Android and iPhone and are invaluable tools for engineers.

Our Torque Unit Converter provides instant conversion across Metric, SI and Imperial units.

The Torque Extension app calculates the exact torque wrench setting value for required level of torque to be applied.

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Precision torque engineering is a wide and complex field which is critical to many sectors of industry and poses many questions to those seeking information about its features and practical applications.

Here are some of the key queries we regularly encounter.

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Use Our Calculators

Norbar has devised easy-to-use online calculators that support the correct application of torque in three key areas:

  1. Unit conversion to assist international measurement definitions.
  2. Torque extension for setting correct values
  3. Torque tension to identify precise levels of torque to be applied for individual applications.


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Norbar Torque Tools Inc. 36400 Biltmore Place, Willoughby, Ohio 44094, USA