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The Ferrari Testarossa has been a bit of a dream since I was a kid. I was born in 1977, and it was probably one of the largest car icons during the 80s and beginning of the 90s... maybe one of the greatest ever? When I thought I had the opportunity to get my hands on one, I really wanted to look at the very first series for one reason only; they have a unique large centre nut that gives them a very classic look, instead of five wheel bolts.   First series car (note large nut on the wheels)...  http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/images/car/1889/13782/Ferrari-Testarossa.jpg Later model (note five bolts on the wheels)... http://cdn.silodrome.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Ferrari-Testarossa-Berlinetta-1.jpg   My decision to purchase one seemed fairly clear-cut, but the  internet and classic car owner meetings were full of stories of Testarossa’s having lost one wheel causing enormous damage, and I suspect large bills too. Here I have an advantage – working for torque tool c ...

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Our Careers Evening

In January we hosted a Careers Evening aimed at 14-19 year olds looking to understand a little more about Engineering, and other potential career paths once they leave school. The aim of the evening was to show young people that we are an Employer of Choice within Banbury and that we are looking for technically minded electromechanical/software people to join us. Our fantastic team made up of Engineers, both electronic and mechanical, supported by our Quality, Marketing and Procurement teams enthusiastically demonstrated product, and discussed potential career paths with students, potential apprentices and parents.  Our training provider - the Engineering Trust and the HR team were also on hand to guide prospective apprentices through the programme, its structure and benefits. Our talented current apprentices, years 1 – 4 were also available throughout the evening to talk to parents and students, on what it’s really like being an apprentice and why they enjoy working for Norbar. And they d ...

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The ClickTronic Torque Wrench - What Is It?

Norbar’s new ClickTronic torque wrench is a mechanical “clicker” torque wrench with an electronic scale.  This may lead some to wonder where this fits into a torque wrench market that already contains fully electronic wrenches and fully mechanical wrenches. Our answer is that, for many, we believe that the ClickTronic will give the best of both worlds and to explore this statement we need to look at mechanical “clicker” wrenches and fully electronic wrenches and consider what they are best for. Electronic wrenches are invaluable in the quality control environment or for highly safety critical application where you need greater accuracy than mechanical torque wrenches provide and/or you want to record torque tightening data.  However, they need to be used very slowly and steadily to achieve high accuracy.  When you are using an electronic wrench for tightening, it is normal for the target to be set and the wrench will indicate that you are approaching the target ...

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“It’s not Rocket Science”

Over the years I have been involved in the recruitment of many CNC Setters. During the interview process I will usually walk candidates around the CNC machine shop explaining what equipment we have available and the type of work we do, the examples I show them are usually accompanied by the comment ‘its not rocket science’. I am still not entirely sure for whose benefit I say it. Is it for my own in the hope that my dismissal of the difficulty will impress the prospective candidate? Or is it so that our already nervous prospect will not be put off by something he/she may see as complex or difficult? What do we mean by ‘it’s not rocket science’ anyway?? I guess the simple answer is that the parts are not complex or difficult to make or that conversely parts for rockets are somehow far superior to anything we make and we are simply not good enough to make rocket parts! [By 1950, rocket science was generally accepted as being intellectually difficult and outside the capabilities of ...

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Creating the right torque formula for radio cars

Radio controlled cars are big business but I’m not talking about the latest children’s toys here. With the capability to reach 48,000 rpm and powered by 3.5 cc engines, eighth scale circuit cars aren’t for the faint-hearted.   For years now, my passion has been racing. For a short time after my son was born my kit was hidden away at the back of the garage but as soon as my son was old enough, it was him who found it and dug it out and reinvigorated my love for eighth scale circuit cars once again.   The sport, and yes it is a sport, is led by the British Radio Car Association to which I am currently the Chairman. The BRCA promotes radio controlled car racing, in all of its forms, throughout the UK. We are also affiliated with the Motor Sports Association, which often surprises people, but you’d be amazed at some of the similarities.   Eighth scales circuit cars race on purpose built tarmac circuits and feature purpose built racing engines much like our Formula 1 ...

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ISO50001 – Energy Management System

Having recently embarked on a project to gain ISO50001 (Energy Management System) accreditation, a question I’ve been posed a few times has been, “Yeah, but I turn the light off when I leave…..isn’t that enough?”   Well, what is ISO50001 and what is an Energy Management System?……   ISO50001 is the international standard for Energy Management Systems and within this standard it defines Energy Management Systems as such: “To enable an organisation to follow a systematic approach in achieving continual improvement of energy performance including energy efficiency, energy use and consumption.”  This shouldn’t take too long, we’ll be back home in time for tea and biscuits before you know it!   So, first things first, make sure it’s managed from the top and put an energy management team together…..right done that, so what’s next?  How about conducting the energy review and finding out how, where, a ...

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Reflections on Offshore Europe - Business & Personal

Business and Personal – Personal and Business … however one considered it, it was good to be back in Scotland again.    My late Grandmother was Aberdonian and while she left in the 1930s, I have happy memories of sunny holidays spent in the Granite City, visiting my Great Grandpa.  The reason I was there this time was work - Norbar took a stand again at Offshore Europe, in Aberdeen, UK.   Several of the Technical Sales team from Norbar, Banbury, were at the show, manning the stand for the week; which included assisting with erecting the stand as well. Despite the well-documented fall in the oil-price and the reduction in industry activity, the show was busy overall (especially the second and third days).   Aberdeen is a world centre of engineering expertise for the sector and although there have been a number of lay-offs, remains highly dependent on the oil industry. Brits talk of Aberdeen as the “Oil Capital of Europe”.  It’s certainly the ...

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Shortage of Engineers

As I am sure you are aware, there has been huge media attention on the lack of Engineering resource in the EU. Norbar is no different and we have been experiencing staff shortages in this area for some time. We changed our recruitment strategy and have recently used Linked In which has actually helped (despite being inundated with CVs).  We also took the decision that we may need to consider resource outside the EU. Employing people from outside the EU requires an employer to be awarded a ‘Sponsors Licence’.  This is essentially written permission from the Home Office to recruit non-EU people.  However it is not as easy as it seems and I would like to share with you my experience of working through this process as it was highly complicated requiring legal input. In my naivety, I believed that if the most suitable candidate responding to one of our advertisements was from outside the EU we could just apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship to employ them (the old w ...

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The ten things you should know about your torque wrench

Torque wrenches are common place across a variety of industrial processes, commercial garages and even homes wherever there is a precision assembly process utilising threaded fasteners. Considering their widespread use however, there remains a number of things that people get wrong or simply don’t know.  Here Philip Brodey at Norbar Torque Tools highlights the top ten things to consider.    1.      Storing your torque wrench When a torque wrench is in regular use it does not need to be wound back. However, when storing a torque wrench for an extended period of time, users should always wind it down to the minimum scale setting and never to zero.   A fully loaded torque wrench, left in storage for a long period, can cause a ‘set’ in the spring, causing it to weaken over time. On the other end of the scale, by completely off-loading the spring, other components within the wrench may move fractionally relative to each other. When you re ...

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The complications of ISO standards

In my last blog I explained that the working group for torque wrenches had been meeting since 2008 to revise and develop the existing standard for torque wrenches ISO 6789:2003.   The project has taken far too long and sometimes people ask me why we have not finished before. In the following paragraphs I will try to explain some of the reasons, from my perspective. My aim is to give you an insight into standards preparation.   Every ISO standard has an owner, in the form of a Technical Committee. ISO/TC 29 looks after “small tools” which includes drills, milling cutters, abrasive grinding discs as a well as hand tools. The area of spanners, screwdrivers etc are defined as “Assembly tools for screws and nuts” and these are the responsibility of a Sub-Committee called ISO/TC 29/SC 10. Sub-Committees are populated with delegates from member countries. In ISO/ TC 29/SC 10 we have 10 countries who are registered as participating and 16 countries who are observing. More informa ...

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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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