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November 21, 2017

In order to overcome the challenges of chip formation and evacuation when drilling non-ferrous metals, cutting tool and tooling system specialist Sandvik Coromant has unveiled its CoroDrill® 880 CVD diamond-coated insert grades, GCN124 and GCN134. The super-hard properties of the diamond coating provide long tool life and combine with innovative chip breaker and geometry designs to guarantee superior performance when drilling materials such as aluminum.

“Making holes in aluminum can be a challenging task,” explains Patrik Pichler, Global Product Manager, Indexable Drilling Tools at Sandvik Coromant. “Ductility and softness cause the material to make constant and prolonged contact with the insert’s cutting edges. As a consequence, the aluminum adheres to the cutting edge and creates a built-up edge (BUE) that makes chip formation and evacuation difficult.”

GCN124 and GCN134 diamond-coated insert grades are designed to offer the lowest cost per hole in most ISO N materials thanks to long lasting insert tool life and/or greater productivity. The increased productivity could be gained from elevated cutting data as well as a result of less machine downtime thanks to fewer insert changes. Further advantages available to customers include easier handling in production thanks to the reliability and longer life of the inserts as well as enhanced surface finish inside the hole, which results from the ability to resist BUE and smearing effects. Reduced insert consumption will also help lower stock levels and environmental impact.

Among those set to benefit are automotive manufacturers drilling and boring aluminum components, such as cylinder blocks, cylinder heads, knuckles, housings, brake calipers, control arms, transmission cases, steering-column covers, and yokes. Moreover, the diamond-coated inserts will also offer competitive gains to any company producing ISO N parts as well as those performing niche composite applications, such as drilling GFRP rotors/blades for the wind turbine industry.

To highlight the potential of the new grades, when drilling a 22 mm diameter blind hole to a depth of 84.1 mm in a cylinder head made from 6061-T6 aluminum (90-100 HB), CoroDrill 880® mounted with the new N124 (peripheral) and N134 (central) inserts extended tool life from 700 to 3,024 pieces; an impressive 332% increase. The new insert permitted increased cutting speed, allowing productivity to increase by 33%. In total, some 300 hours of production time were saved, while overall cost per hole was reduced by 23%.

Similar success was achieved when performing through-hole drilling (22.5 mm diameter) in 20 mm-thick automotive front control arms made from AISi1Mg-T6 aluminum (150 HB). Here, the new CoroDrill® 880 diamond-coated inserts helped elevate tool life from 3,000 to 30,000 pieces. Productivity also improved by 10% as a result of less machine downtime for insert indexing, while cost per hole was reduced by 17%.

GCN124 and GCN134 are now the First Choice insert grades for ISO N materials. They complement the existing H13A, uncoated insert from Sandvik Coromant, which remains the recommended insert in applications involving shorter production runs and/or difficult interrupted cuts.

The standard CoroDrill 880® range features indexable insert drills from 12 to 84 mm (0.472–3.307 inches) in diameter, with drill lengths of 2, 3, 4, and 5 × D. With Sandvik Coromant’s Tailor Made offer, it is possible to order intermediate diameter and length combinations as well as different connection types and sizes such as HSK, Coromant Capto®, or cylindrical shank. One of the Tailor Made options includes the ability to design customized step and chamfer drills for specific components.

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November 14, 2017

Manage staff performance with Armstrong’s Handbook of Performance Management: An Evidence-Based Guide to Delivering High Performance, which covers the latest innovations in performance management as well as guidance on feedback, pay and personnel development planning. The latest book from renowned author Michael Armstrong addresses all areas of performance management. Organizations can optimize staff performance with this handbook on everything from performance pay and giving feedback, to managing underperformers and having difficult conversations. This 6th edition is fully updated and analyses both traditional and new developments in performance management, such as the shift from ratings and annual reviews. These new approaches are examined by HR expert Michael Armstrong to deem where new approaches should be embraced and where more traditional methods are preferable.

Packed with examples, exercises, checklists and new case studies from organizations such as Microsoft, IBM and Expedia, Armstrong’s Handbook of Performance Management: An Evidence-Based Guide to Delivering High Performance remains the most authoritative and engaging textbook on performance management. Supporting online resources for the book include an instructor’s manual, a student’s manual, lecture slides, a glossary of terms and a literature review to fully support both teaching and learning.

Giving advance praise for the book, Jamie Lawrence, the Managing Editor of HRZone, said this book was ‘a well-researched, cogent and real-world look at the practice, pros and cons of modern performance management.’ Meanwhile, Robert Jeffrey, the Editor of People Management magazine, said ‘there is a reason why Michael Armstrong’s HR books represent a gold standard: they are both thorough and academically rigorous but benefit from real world experience and an informed perspective on practice.’


November 14, 2017

Flair Airlines Ltd., (Kelowna, BC) Canada’s leader in low fare travel is inviting customers to explore its new website and online flight booking system.  

The new website has been designed to provide the ultimate user-friendly experience with improved navigation and functionality throughout the site.  Travellers will be able to access detailed information about destinations, products / fares  and flight tracker information. 

Developed with the user experience in mind, the website has been designed using the latest technology.  “We know that more and more of our customers are booking their flights with their mobile devices, and they have asked that the process to book their flights be streamlined, and this site delivers just that,” stated Chris Lapointe, Vice President, Commercial Operations for Flair Airlines.  “We are thrilled with the end result - merging both technology and design into a customer-centric website.”

In addition, Flair emphasized the new website will be updated on a regular basis with news of fare sales, product updates, events, contests, career opportunities and corporate milestones.  Visitors are encouraged to sign up for direct emails from Flair Airlines at


ROSEMONT, IL, NOVEMBER 13, 2017 -- Emerson announced today a major upgrade of its Appleton™ Mercmaster™ LED series, the most trusted LED luminaries for harsh industrial and hazardous environments. Building upon legacy features and setting an even higher bar for lighting versatility, the new Mercmaster Generation 3 LED offers four light distribution patterns, seven lumen output levels, expanded color temperature options, and a wide choice of replaceable globes and mounts.

"Today's announcement is a continuation of our aggressive strategy to make harsh and hazardous LED luminaires more versatile than ever before and to help Electrical and Design Engineers give their clients energy-efficient, low maintenance lighting with uniformity and comfort at the lowest total cost of ownership," said Ellen Helm, Manager Appleton Lighting, Emerson. "The Mercmaster Generation 3 LED is highly configurable so it will meet the most demanding task and general lighting requirements, making it a single luminaire solution for new and expansion projects, as well as HID retrofits."

Engineered to provide long lasting, maintenance-free lighting, the enclosed and gasketed luminaires withstand harsh industrial environments without compromising reliability. Delivering a compartmentalized, durable design for minimizing the effects of elevated ambient temperatures, this luminaire's single-piece driver housing features separate sections for the terminal block and driver to ensure thermal efficiency; making both installation and wiring easier and promising a long luminaire life. Additionally, the Mercmaster Generation 3 LED's silicone rubber gaskets seal out moisture, dirt and dust, staying flexible and withstanding high temperatures, while the Extra-High Hinge provides additional protection against accidental ballast housing disengagement during installation or maintenance. Its rugged and corrosion-resistant design is rated for Class I, Division 2 and Class II hazardous locations, marine and wet locations, and is also certified for ATEX/IECEx Zone 2 - 21 and 22 to provide a globally-rated, lighting solution for all harsh industrial and hazardous illumination needs.

Suggested applications are oil refineries, petrochemical facilities, chemical plants, power generation plants, and other areas where flammable gasses and vapors may be present. Non-hazardous models of the Appleton Mercmaster Generation 3 LED are also available and can be used in locations where severe weather conditions, excessive moisture, dirt, dust, corrosive atmosphere or where high ambient temperatures are encountered.


Thanks to the versatility of the Mercmaster Generation 3 LED, hard to illuminate areas such as walkways, wide passageways or decks, no longer need to suffer from poor light levels and uneven uniformity.

For example, the luminaire's secondary optics are engineered to create four unique types of light distribution patterns (Type I, Type III, Type V, or Type V Wide). Specifically designed to meet customer's needs, these light distribution patterns maximize fixture spacing, while minimizing the number of total fixtures needed and improving uniformity. As a result, overall project cost is dramatically reduced and employee safety, a critical concern in a hazardous location, is improved. Light distribution pattern versatility is especially important in greenfield and brownfield projects demanding luminaire flexibility due to tough to illuminate spaces and the variety of lighting needs.

In addition, the Mercmaster Generation 3 LED offers four replaceable globe options of Clear Polycarbonate, Diffused Polycarbonate, Clear Glass, and Prismatic Glass to provide application versatility. These high-quality globes help to diffuse glare, reduce hot spots, soften illumination, and increase fixture adaptability.

Seven lumen outputs levels, ranging from 3,500 to 17,500 Lumens (HID Equivalences of 70W to 600W) allow for mounting height and illumination level flexibility. By providing a selection of lumen levels, the Mercmaster Generation 3 LED helps engineers achieve precise foot-candle levels to meet target illumination levels. Expanded color temperature options of warm 3000K, neutral 4000K, and cool 5000K CCT assure the preferred color of light for any working environment.

A new, larger variety of mounting hoods offers the convenience to hang luminaries how and where lighting is needed most. With the Mercmaster Generation 3 LED's six choices of mounting hoods engineers no longer have to compromise on fixture placement. Wall, pendant, ceiling, and stanchion choices are available to make installing lighting around cabling, pipes and process equipment as easy as possible.


Retrofitting HIDs with the Mercmaster Generation 3 LED luminaires ensures important maintenance and energy cost-savings, and can utilize competitor mounting adapters. With a service life of over 100,000 hours and a virtual maintenance-free design, coupled with the convenience of instant-on lighting and superior color rendering, the luminaires are a smart retrofit lighting solution. Most importantly, LED solutions deliver energy savings of up to 70% when compared to HID alternatives.


Vaisala's Optimus monitors transformer oil for the presence of moisture and seven different gases. By tracking real-time levels of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane, ethane, ethylene and acetylene, it gives asset owners a comprehensive understanding of the condition and health of a transformer, enabling them to make informed proactive maintenance decisions.

While many DGA systems available in the market source equipment and sensors from different manufacturers, the infrared sensor technology used in the Optimus has been developed in-house by Vaisala, benefitting from decades of industrial measurement expertise. This integrated approach, using only Vaisala-manufactured sensors and equipment, ensures optimal performance regardless of operational conditions.

In addition, the Optimus DGA Monitor's installation process is simple, and the unit is designed and delivered to enable asset owners to install and bring the device online independently and in under two hours. Once installed the device delivers reliable results in real-time through a browser-based user interface.

Most significantly, Optimus uses vacuum gas extraction and hermetically sealed and protected optics to completely eliminate the false alarms of the kind that frequently afflict on-site DGA systems. Optimus ensures high quality gas selectivity through its use of vacuum gas extraction, which operates regardless of oil temperature or gas pressure, and by employing spectral scanning to aid selectivity.

The robust and durable device has components and piping that are made of stainless steel and aluminum, features a magnetic gear pump and valves, and relies on no consumables, which would require servicing or replacing. With a practical browser-based user interface, the device has no need for additional software.

Reducing Lifetime Costs Across Transformer Fleets

"DGA analysis has long been accepted as one of the most effective means of assessing transformer condition," said Teemu Hanninen, Product Manager at Vaisala. "At Vaisala, we recognized that there was room to improve the reliability, usability and lifetime costs of the existing devices, and we decided to take on the challenge. With its proven durability and sensors protected from contamination, Optimus has shown that it can deliver reliable and accurate data."

Commenting on site visits Vaisala has carried out around the world, Hanninen added: "We have received a lot of positive feedback from those customers who have already received and installed their units - and as we're anticipating strong demand for Optimus in 2018. The comments have shown that the technology and capabilities offered by Optimus are really needed. Optimus has the potential to revolutionise the transformer monitoring industry."

The next opportunity to learn more about Vaisala's power offering will be at Euro TechCon 2017 in Glasgow, UK on November 13-15, and at Low Carbon Networks & Innovation Conference in Telford, UK between December 6-7.


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