TransDev and BRECOFLEX backs triple winner in Young Engineer of the Year
When TransDev published its story about the help that it had given to Andrew Cowan as the intermediate level winner of the National Science and Engineering Competition, nobody could have anticipated the success that the past year has since brought him. With his impressive Search and Rescue Robot that features a traction system using the Poole based power transmission specialists BRECOflex ® ATK10 series timing belts with special Linatex® high grip bonded backings, Andrew has now been awarded the senior level UK Young Engineer of the Year prize at this year’s competition – and is the only competitor to have won a prize in every age category for three consecutive years.
In the busy year since Andrew received the intermediate level prize, he has refined and improved the robot’s design and functionality by adding a water cannon, high resolution camera, touchscreen sensor monitor and joysticks to control the robot and camera. Last November Andrew was invited to exhibit his project at the ICT Education Show in November as a guest contributor to the Design and Technology Association’s stand having earlier won a British Science Association Crest Award which requires more than 100 hours of project time linked with mentors from industry such as TransDev.
Now 18 years old and studying for an MEng in Electronic Engineering at Southampton University, Andrew topped his efforts in the 2011 Science and Engineering Competition finals at the Big Bang Fair in March with the senior level engineering prize after being shortlisted with five other candidates in a ‘Dragons’ Den’ style presentation playoff to a celebrity judging panel. As the UK’s new Young Engineer of the Year Andrew will be an ambassador for engineering throughout the UK, encouraging and inspiring young people to pursue a career in engineering.
Ian Osborne, TransDev’s Chairman commented, “TransDev are delighted to have been involved in helping Andrew with his thoroughly deserved award for the Search and Rescue Robot project and wish him continued success for his future career in engineering.”
With a central V-guide for guaranteed self- tracking, BRECOflex ® ATK 10 series polyurethane belts are used with low profile flangeless pulleys that do not protrude above the belt line which was an important design consideration for the Search and Rescue Robot’s track transmission mechanism. These heavy duty belts are part of the BRECOflex POWER range which feature continuous helical tension members with ‘S+Z’ twist to further reduce belt run-off and provide superior resistance to the heavy side loads that the vehicle might experience. Whilst the application is somewhat unusual TransDev have supplied BRECOflex polyurethane belts in similar applications for film industry models but more common uses include high speed conveyors and high torque engine power transmission systems in both endless and jointed belt versions.
Linatex® natural rubber belt backing is one of several materials that TransDev supplies as an adhesive bonding across its wide range of polyurethane and rubber belts with toothed, vee or flat profiles. In addition to Linatex® , which is most often selected for product conveying applications to restrict slippage, TransDev also manufactures adhesive applied belt backings such as Supergrip that can provide a ribbed high friction surface where an incline or diagonal conveyor is used. Bonded backings are also available to provide other surface characteristics including low friction facings that allow slippage as well as other materials that offer improved maximum resilience, increased lifetime with reduced belt wear rates.
A wide range of belt facing materials are also available using TransDev’s in-house vulcanising process where a high vacuum autoclave process can offer even higher levels of durability as well as a seam free bond for the face material as well as the belt. The process is used for application areas to remove or significantly reduce any tendency for material delamination where fast reversals and high friction are apparent. TransDev also offers extensive in house machining facilities to produce belts with flights, pockets, slots and holes for belt lengths up to 70 metres and widths to 600 mm.
Details of the National Science Competition can be found at http://www.nationalsciencecompetition.org/