Engineers, designers and consultants from the East Midlands region recently descended on Trelleborg’s design and manufacturing facility in Leicester for an evening of insights into anti-vibration solutions.
Organised by LATi, a networking group bringing together scientists and engineers from business and academia, the event drew more than 20 invited guests from across the region who learnt about the Trelleborg process from the development of custom rubber compounds to procedures for 100% testing. This knowledgeable audience, which included eminent polymer entrepreneur and former LATi Chairman Prof Ray Wetton, requested a tour “as technical as possible” and our host for the day did not disappoint. Bill Mortel, Head of Innovation, began his career as an apprentice 45 years ago and has been with the company since, meaning there’s no part of our design, manufacture or testing processes that he can’t showcase in an engaging and informative way.
Highlights of the tour included witnessing final testing of a chevron spring for the rail industry, where lateral, vertical and longitudinal stiffness were put to the test using custom-designed machinery before being shipped to the customer. But, as Bill explained, testing and logging performance data is performed at every stage of a Trelleborg product’s life cycle – from finite element analysis and sampling every batch of newly mixed rubber, to a host of investigations in product development, including dynamic, compression and directional displacement testing.
With the tour concluded, many visitors stayed on to pick Bill’s brains even further, with a lively Q&A session focused on the future of rubber and ‘where next’ for the industry. Comments from the group included “so impressive, I don’t know where to start!” and “this is what technical networking is all about.”