Some of the country’s top electrical engineering MSc students swapped the classroom for the factory floor to expand their knowledge at Tratos’ UK multi-million-pound manufacturing facilities in Merseyside last week (Thursday 12th July).
The students from The University of Manchester, who are studying for an MSc in Electrical Power Systems Engineering, visited Tratos manufacturing facilities to understand more about cable design and manufacturing. This trip was coordinated by Academia and Industry to further facilitate the training of young engineers.
Tratos’ facilities in Knowsley now benefit from a large specialist drum twister to lay up large cores – capable of twisting cores up to 400sqmm; a further extrusion line for outer sheaths and an insulation line. The new equipment was installed, commissioned and commenced operation at the end of 2016 and additional equipment is still being installed
The British factory is also home to the company’s UK quality and technical facilities comprising routine, in process, tests such as dimensions and spark test, as well as more complex in-depth testing in their laboratories. Laboratory testing involves detailed dimensional checks, measurement of electrical parameters as well as a suite of tests to assess physical properties such as tensile strength, elongation at break, heat shock, shrink back and vertical flame tests.
The Knowsley factory has recently commissioned a new, state of the art, Faraday cage used to ensure the long term electrical integrity of the cables they produce.
Dr Kostas Kopsidas, director of MSc in Electrical Power Systems Engineering at The University of Manchester said: “We have been aware of Tratos and its working in overhead conductors for a while. When invited to visit their manufacturing facilities it seemed a natural fit with the course and my research in overhead lines and power systems. It has not disappointed; and the students will take away a great deal from this visit today.”
Peter Waterworth, technical and development director at Tratos said: “We place a high value on learning and training, which is why we invested in our own teaching Academy at Knowsley four years ago. By linking with educational establishments, we bring theoretical learning to life and hope these students will return to complete their course and dissertations with a more enlightened view of cable manufacturing.”
Tratos, which began structural expansion work at the plant in 2015, has extended the factory four-fold, bringing an additional 150,000 sq ft of new industrial and office space into use. The investment resulted in 40 new jobs.
The quality of the Tratos development and its manufacturing capability was recognised by the Knowsley Business and Regeneration Awards in November 2017 where the company received the award for Manufacturer of the Year.