Technology can help solve some of the most complex challenges

A PIONEERING engineering company in Cumbria is set to host some of the world’s leading innovators to help demonstrate how cutting edge technology can help solve some of the globe’s most complex challenges.

Forth Engineering has been chosen by Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, to showcase nuclear technological expertise at a special demonstration event which will attract experts from as far afield as USA, Canada, Japan, Sweden and Spain, as well as from across the UK.

Atkins, one of the world’s most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies, chose Forth as the venue because, as well as wanting to display its own products, it also wanted to shine the spotlight on some of the UK’s leading SMEs.

Dr Leanne Cowie, Graduate Project Manager for Atkins Nuclear and Power in Europe, Middle East and Africa, explained why Forth’s base at Maryport was the ideal venue for the September 18 event.

Dr Cowie said: “Atkins has a huge portfolio of technology which we want our clients to benefit from.

“This is a great opportunity to see how Atkins’ technological and digital capabilities can add value to projects, to see our products in action, and a chance to network with subject matter experts from across the field. We are hoping to attract a large selection of our nuclear and energy clients.

“Atkins has a collaborative relationship with a number of companies where we use their facilities to test products.

“Working with SMEs like Forth is beneficial for everyone. It helps them, it helps us, and it helps the community.”

Among the displays, attendees will be able to experience a virtual reality tour through a CANDU (Canada Deuterium Uranium) reactor which is a Canadian pressurised heavy-water reactor designed to generate electricity.

The tour is designed to show how, by using digital technology, potential problems can be spotted, and solutions discussed and found, long before construction begins, which also saves time and money on a project.

There will also be a display of a specialist robotic arm developed by robotics company Kinova designed to access areas where people are unable to reach. It’s operated by an easy-to-use controller, similar to a hand-held gaming controller, to enable users to direct it instinctively. It can also be programmed with barriers to prevent it touching or accessing certain off-limits areas.

Three months ago, Atkins and Swedish company SpinChem AB signed a five-year license and collaboration agreement to deploy Spinionic™ solutions in the nuclear sector.

And there’s a chance to see SpinChem’s Spinionic™ product first-hand at the demonstration day at Forth.

Spinionic™ uses Rotating Bed Reactor (RBR) technology to process liquid radioactive waste in contaminated tanks which significantly speeds up the clean-up process.

Advancements in 3D printing will also be demonstrated showing how by adding moving parts and pressure valves to 3D models they can be successfully deployed in a range of environments and industries.

A 3D immersive reality ‘igloo’ developed by Igloo Vision, which has bases in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia, will show how immersive virtual reality can be used for up to 12 people in a 360-degree visualisation environment, such as walking through a detailed simulated site, which is ideal for design review sessions with clients or for stakeholder engagement.

A drone display will also show how aerial technology can provide a different perspective and bring all the facets of a site to a client’s desktop at survey-grade level accuracy.

There are also some fun challenges lined up for attendees.

There’ll be a chance to use the Kinova robotic arm in a Jenga/tower building competition, and the opportunity to use the multi-player aspect of virtual reality technology to take part in Atkins’ world record city-building project which Atkins' employees from all over the globe have been involved in building.

Mark Telford, managing director of Forth, said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with Atkins and look forward to welcoming these pioneering companies and attendees to showcase some of the world’s most advanced digital technology.

“It’s a real coup for Cumbria to be hosting such an event, and we thank Atkins for helping us showcase that this part of the world is home to SMEs, such as Forth and others, who have the expertise to help provide innovative solutions to solve some of the world’s most complex challenges in the nuclear industry, and other industries, around the globe.”

The Nuclear Technology Showcase will run from 10am-6pm on Wednesday, September 18. It is a drop-in event which takes place at Forth Engineering, Risehow, Flimby, Maryport. Registration is still open for the event. To register go to: eventbrite or click this link