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Moving to Norbar’s fourth factory

One of the things about getting old is that you remember stuff from long ago. As we started packing our boxes at Beaumont Road we found an original blueprint of the 1965 alterations to our first building in North Bar Place. It brought back memories of that first premises. I can shut my eyes and see the stairs up to the offices, with Grandfather’s office at the top on the left and the general office a few steps down to the right where my father Ian worked. That memory made me wonder what Grandfather would have thought of the new building.

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Our Wheel Change Infographic – why and how it came about

Our Wheel Change Infographic – why and how it came about.   As new staff members join Norbar, they each have an induction session with the three Directors and my induction session is centred around the Norbar brand and marketing.  Following one of these inductions, a lady joining our electronic production team asked if she could see me because she had a marketing idea.  Much as I love ideas I approach them with some trepidation because it is often the case that the idea will be unworkable for a variety of reasons – cost and limited likely impact being the downfall of most ‘great ideas’.  Why don’t we do TV advertising or why don’t we sponsor a F1 car being favourites.   This lady’s idea was simple: why aren’t we telling people how to change their car wheels following a puncture?  She reasoned that as a torque wrench is required to do the job correctly, would this not be an opportunity to connect an issue that every motorist is a ...

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EvoTorque saves the day!

In the design of our EvoTorque® electronic torque tool we put prototypes thorough an astonishing amount of abuse in order to reduce the likelihood of them failing in the hands of operators.  Tools were repeatedly dropped at various angles, cables were stressed over thousands of cycles, tools sprayed with water etc.  However, we always understood that tools in the field would suffer mishaps that we could never have predicted or tested for.   Such a mishap occurred in the construction of the Atlantic Bridge in Panama where an EvoTorque had been hired for assembly of steelwork.  The story that has reached us is that while one worker was using the EvoTorque, another was moving a 10m long, 5 ton beam with a crane.  The load apparently swung towards the worker in such a way that the only thing preventing him being struck by the 5 ton beam was the EvoTorque.  We are pleased to report that, thanks to our tool getting in the path of the beam, the worker escaped what could have been ...

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Risk Assessment - The Norbar Way

I've been working at Norbar for 14 years, and for 10 of those I've been part of the company's Health & Safety committee. The committee meets once a month and comprises of 15 like-minded employees from a cross-section of departments.   One of the main functions of the meeting is to coordinate the schedule of risk assessments within Norbar. A risk assessment is a systematic and effective method of identifying risks and determining the most suitable means to minimise or remove them. At Norbar we endeavour to individually risk assess each department/area in the company every two years or upon significant change. Obviously as the company grows, so does the amount of assessments required, but it is a great testament to the committee members that for the most part we keep up!   Over the years I have completed numerous risk assessments, and it never ceases to amaze me how there is always improvements to be made to make our company a safer place. We have recently modified our risk assessment document ...

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Who visits our website?

For a couple of years now I have been involved with the monitoring of our website’s performance through Google Analytics, a free tool that provides useful statistics on how many users access our website and how they are engaging with the site. Over the years this information has proved to be invaluable, helping us identify which areas of the website are most in need of improvement. We also use Google Analytics to track how particular online communications are performing. A good example of this would be YouTube.   A few months ago we were provided with statistics from our PR agency on how a particular video was performing within YouTube. When we compared YouTube’s website click through statistics with the amount of referrals from YouTube in Google Analytics, we noticed quite a gap. It transpired that although the link from YouTube was correct to begin with, over the course of time it broke and although it was a website click no one actually landed on our website. Without the use of this fre ...

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Cologne International Hardware Exhibition – What Were People Talking About?

Norbar has been going independently to the ‘Cologne Fair’ for about 27 years now and probably for 20 years before that sharing a stand with our distributor so we have seen a lot of changes.  The significant change this year was the drop from four days to three for the event.  Strangely, we still started on Sunday; it was the Wednesday that was dropped!  Whether the three day show was a good decision was certainly something that exhibitors and visitors were talking about.  From a visitor’s point of view the show is significantly smaller than it was 20 years ago and it no longer takes four days to do it justice.  On the other hand, they would have found stands busier and may have had to wait longer to speak to the people they needed to.  There was talk amongst exhibitors of possibly having to take more staff and having more stand space in order to cope with the concentration of visitors down to three days and this would largely offset the cost benefit of exhibitin ...

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All fired up and ready to go

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)... Later model (note five bolts on the wheels)...   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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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.

NORBAR TORQUE TOOLS LTD. Wildmere Road, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX16 3JU, United Kingdom
Registered Office as above - Registered in England No. 380480 - VAT No. GB 119 1060 05