April/May 2007

FEATURE

Creating a sustainable business model

Photonics companies appear to be divided into two categories. There are those that focus on developing and protecting intellectual property. They expect their products to sell themselves, in the classic ‘technical solution looking for a problem’ syndrome. Then there are the copy-cat manufacturers that lack the creativity and ambition to innovate, and will do anything for a quick buck.

FEATURE

The middle man

In an industry comprising so many component parts, it is inevitable that the distributor has a major part to play in getting product from manufacturer to engineer. But, in today’s world of instant communication and cost-effective global delivery, is the distributor still relevant?

FEATURE

Analysis in the palm of your hand

Viticulture and winemaking combine both the artist’s intuition and the scientist’s precision to create the perfect bottle. From the pruning of the vines to the crushing, fermentation, and ageing of wine, literally hundreds of factors feed into the sweetness of an Asti Spumanti or the fruitiness of the Barolo.

FEATURE

Making a mark

Lasers have made a natural home in heavy manufacturing. But they are also making increasing inroads into lighter manufacturing industries, and into engineering maintenance and legacy components renewal.

Fashion apparel

Few industries experience the scale of pressures facing the fashion and apparel industries: time to market, cost and globalisation.

FEATURE

From runway to operating table

Flying may be safer than driving a car, but statistics show that more fatalities actually occur during take-off than during any other period of flight. Previously undiscovered technical failures and problems on the runway may arise, and if the plane takes off too quickly the tail may hit the runway and crash the plane before it’s even left the ground.

FEATURE

Building on precision

The story of the Swiss watch industry is fairly well known. A small, independent and mountainous country needed to make something to earn money. It needed to make things that were small and yet valuable enough to justify the difficulties of transporting them across mountains to its major markets. Watches were ideal and over the years the word ‘Swiss’ – when applied to a watch – meant quality, accuracy and precision engineering.