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Professor Philip Beckley

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our dear friend and colleague, Philip Beckley, on 10 June 2016.  Philip worked in the electrical steels industry for almost 40 years and his contribution to the technology earned him
international renown.

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Philip was born on 25 May 1936 in Parkend, UK. He attended Monmouth School before joining the RAF, where he developed an interest in radio and radar. In 1957, he went to the University of Southampton, UK, where he obtained an honours degree in General Science and met his wife-to-be, Mary.

Following graduation in 1960, he joined the Steel Company of Wales at Orb Works, Newport, as a trainee metallurgist. He was soon appointed Senior Physicist and then Principal Research Officer. In 1983, Philip became Manager Technical and Research at the plant. He continued to hold this post after the formation of European Electrical Steel. In 1995, he was awarded the Stokowiec Medal for his work on high alloy silicon steels. After retiring in 1996, Philip continued to work as a consultant until 2007.

In 1969, he was awarded a PhD by Cardiff University, UK, for his thesis, Some aspects of the relationship between loss, domain wall motion and ageing in grain oriented silicon iron, and was later awarded a DSc by the University of Southampton. In 1972, he was appointed a Fellow of the Institute of Physics. Five years later, he was appointed a Fellow of the Institute of Metals and of the Institution of Electrical Engineers. On his retirement he was made an honorary life member of the UK Magnetics Society.


Philip was a Visiting Professor at Cardiff University. He was a member of industrial
advisory committees and stimulated student interest in industrial magnetic materials
through a range of lectures and demonstrations. He maintained a close relationship
with staff and students at the Wolfson Centre for Magnetics, providing professional
advice to staff and mentoring postgraduate students.  Philip was passionate about developing young students into materials scientists and engineers. He was heavily involved in the Teaching Company Scheme, which enabled new graduates to progress to a doctorate from Cardiff University by undertaking an industrial research project based at Orb Works.


He was also a natural entertainer – who could forget his lecture to the UK
Magnetics Society where he wore steel-plated-boots and used an electromagnet to
suspend himself upside down to demonstrate the strength of the magnetic field and
the concept of magnetic permeability? School children at the talk were mesmerised. He was also a source of encouragement to the children that came to Orb Works for work experience and was delighted to see some return as graduate trainees.
Philip gained a reputation as an internationally renowned technical expert. Regularly
presenting papers at national and international conferences, he also represented the
industry on the British Standards Committees and the International Electrotechnical
Commission Committees on Magnetic Alloys and Steels.


Philip led a full life outside of work. He was a family man, had an antique wireless
collection and authored two technical books. He was also an active committee member of the Newport and District Materials Society and served as President from 2000–2002.  Philip showed great enthusiasm for whatever he did. He was well liked and his technical expertise earned him the respect of his peers. He will be sorely missed by his family, friends and the world of magnetics and electrical steels.
He leaves his wife Mary, children Kate and Peter and grandsons, Tom and Danny.

Tata Steel opens new R&D facility at Warwick

Tata Steel opened the doors on its new UK research centre today at the University of Warwick’s Science Park.

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Engineers and researchers will be working on new steel coatings, including graphene, at the company’s new advanced coatings research laboratories.

The opening marks the first phase of Tata Steel’s relocation of its UK R&D work to the University of Warwick campus. Tata Steel researchers will develop a range of new materials to meet customers’ future demands, such as for renewable energy generation or more fuel-efficient cars and planes.

Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, Chairman of the Warwick Manufacturing Group, and Hans Fischer, Chief Technical Officer of Tata Steel’s European operation, opened the new centre.

Lord Bhattacharyya said: “We are delighted to welcome Tata Steel here to the University of Warwick. Advanced steels research is crucial for the nation, and for manufacturing. This move shows Tata Steel’s long term commitment to research and development within the UK.”

Hans Fischer said: “This new facility demonstrates our determination to develop innovative products which help our customers become more competitive. We will be working with world-class scientists and researchers to create new steels for customers who are shaping the low-carbon technologies of tomorrow. I’m delighted to be strengthening our ties with UK academia that are already well rooted here at Warwick, as well as at Cambridge, Sheffield and Swansea universities and Imperial College, London.”

Debashish Bhattacharjee, Tata Steel’s Group Director R&D, said: "Opening this new R&D centre at the University of Warwick is a major step towards consolidating and strengthening our R&D in the UK through collaboration in a single location with a knowledge centre and with some of our customers. This will help us accelerate our open innovation activities and our processes to manage how we create new ideas and translate them into value addition to our customers."

The new centre will ultimately have a combination of metallurgists, product engineers, data scientists, researchers and technicians.

In the next phase further laboratory facilities will be built at the university, ultimately leading to the establishment of a hub for advanced steel research which will also accommodate Tata Steel’s three professorial chairs in steel research at Warwick, together with their academic research teams and a comprehensive array of research equipment.

Surface Engineering Department Manager John Collingham, who is one of the first to move into the new building, said: “The university campus is a dynamic and inspiring place to work, with many new buildings under construction, including the National Automotive Innovation Centre and the Advanced Steel Research Centre. Our new facility and our team of highly motivated and enthusiastic researchers will be the catalyst for a new generation of innovation.”

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For further information please call Bob Jones on +44 (0)207 717 4532 or email bob.jones@tatasteel.com

 

About Tata Steel’s European operations

Tata Steel is Europe's second largest steel producer, with steelmaking in the UK and Netherlands, and manufacturing plants across Europe. The company supplies high-quality steel products to the most demanding markets, including construction, automotive, packaging, rail, lifting & excavating, energy and aerospace. Tata Steel works with customers to develop new steel products that give them a competitive edge. The combined Tata Steel group is one of the world’s largest steel producers, with a steel capacity of more than 28 million tonnes and 80,000 employees across five continents.

Manufacturer Power Partners selects Cogent Power as its Supplier of the Year

Power Partners, a U.S. manufacturer of overhead electrical distribution transformers, recently selected Cogent Power Inc. of Burlington as its Supplier of the Year.

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Cogent Power Inc., based on Laurentian Drive, is one of dozens of Power Partners’ suppliers. It makes the electrical steel core needed to produce the transformers.

The electrical steel core goes into pole top transformers that step down electrical power for use in homes and businesses across the U.S.

Cogent designs and manufactures transformer cores and components, including distributed gap cores, toroidal cores, and flat-stacked sheets and products.

Cogent, a Power Partners supplier since 2008, now produces all of Power Partners’ needs for the product.

“…. It’s a trusted advisor position; they know we will deliver the right product at the right time,” Frank Guilbault, manager of business development for Cogent, said in a press release.

It is the second straight year Cogent has received the award.

Power Partners is a manufacturer of distribution transformers; it has produced more than 8.5 million transformers at its facility in Athens, Georgia.

Cogent Power is a Tata Steel Enterprise.

Tata Steel takes next step towards creation of new R&D base

Scientists developing stronger and lighter steels to meet the demands of the 21st century will have access to the latest research facilities thanks to a deal between Tata Steel and the University of Warwick.

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An agreement has been signed between Tata Steel and the university’s Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) which marks the next stage in the creation of a new UK research and development centre for Europe’s second largest steelmaker.

The first step will be the opening of a research facility at the university this autumn where more than 40 Tata Steel scientists will be based.

Within two years, Tata Steel will relocate all its UK-based R&D specialist equipment, including electron microscopes, to expanded facilities at the university where a range of new materials will be developed to meet customers’ future demands, such as for renewable energy generation and more fuel-efficient cars and planes.

Karl Koehler, Chief Executive of Tata Steel’s European operations, said: “This development will allow us to work with world-class scientists and researchers to create new steels for customers who are shaping the low-carbon technologies of tomorrow.

“Our new UK R&D facilities will enable us to speed up the development of new products that help our customers become more competitive.”

The WMG announced in March it is establishing a £20 million Advanced Steel Research Centre at the university. This world-class centre will provide a unique national resource and will complement Tata Steel’s presence at the university.

Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, Chairman of WMG, said: “With Tata Steel we are creating a national focus that will help ensure that the UK steel industry has the knowledge, technology and skills to be able to compete in the huge international steel market.”

Tata Steel will carry out collaborative research with the University of Warwick as the hub, involving academics and industry experts from other organisations in the UK and around the world. They will work on programmes to help improve steel production, including research into emerging and breakthrough technologies. Research will focus on developing next generation products for major steel-using sectors including automotive, construction, energy & power, engineering and lifting & excavating.

Tata Steel has strong research links with academia in the UK. The company sponsors three joint Chair positions at the University of Warwick, an endowed Professorial Chair at the University of Cambridge and other Chairs at the universities of Sheffield, Swansea and Imperial College, London.

Tata Steel is the largest operator in the UK steel industry, employing around 17,000 people, and is a major supplier to many strategically-important UK manufacturers.

The company is the key partner in establishing The Proving Factory – an innovative partnership with high-tech companies in the automotive supply chain to help develop the technologies of tomorrow.

Cogent Power supports ECO design transformers

The delivery of a consistent highly efficient electrical steel is essential to maintaining high performing transformers within the grid.

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The quality of the chrome-free insulation coating we apply to our electrical steels as well as the exact tolerances we maintain, ensure that the high performance of our materials is sustained throughout their lifecycle in application.

As global demand for electricity continues to grow, so does the requirement from the power industry for products that enable electricity to be generated and transmitted more reliably and efficiently.

The broad range of grades from Cogent which include – M080-23DR, M085-23DR, M090-27DR and M095-27DR – support this requirement by enabling the production of highly efficient steel cores housed within the transformers used in energy transmission networks.

Cogent Hi-Lite

Hi-Lite is the ultimate non-oriented ultra-thin gauge electrical steel. Its unsurpassed material properties enable the development of high frequency applications with exceptional performance. Fast-forward to the “best of the best” in materials science, design support, tooling and stamping.

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Today’s high-tech electrical steels are essential in the manufacture of the cost-effective stators and rotors needed for a huge range of electric motor applications, as well as in generators and transformers. They ensure high magnetic permeability and low power losses, to secure peak performance. Power losses in electrical steels derive from several factors. Eddy currents, induced by the alternating magnetic field, play a critical role. Rolling steel to a thinner gauge confines these eddy currents to a smaller volume, reducing ‘classical’ eddy current losses. Losses can of course also be limited by increasing the silicon or aluminium content, for improved resistivity.

For application frequencies beyond the standard 50 or 60 Hz, thinner steel may be needed to maintain low losses. The Hi-Lite range, available with a Suralac®7000 insulating coating, and now also with the Suralac®9000 bonding coating, has been optimized for medium to high frequencies (200 -2500 Hz). For the most extreme applications, we have developed Hi-Lite NO 10, the thinnest wide strip electrical steel on the market.