2016 F1 season reaches its midpoint

An incredible run of victories from Nico Rosberg, the youngest ever grand prix winner in Max Verstappen and a fantastic effort from Lewis Hamilton to overturn a large point deficit in the championship table.

There’s been a plethora of exciting action so far in the 2016 F1 season, and we’re only halfway through.

It hasn’t just been about the front of the grid, either, with Manor Racing Team securing their first ever point at the Austrian Grand Prix, and the likes of Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez and Kevin Magnussen showing impressive form in the midfield.

F1 also visited the beautiful city of Bakufor the first time, and recently made a return to Hockenheim. The fans attended Silverstone in their droves as always, and the rich and famous mingled with the drivers in Monaco.

The championship battle is hotting up with some impressive upgrades from Red Bull Racing which have allowed them to gradually close the gap to Mercedes AMG Petronas. Though Lewis Hamilton currently leads by 19 points, he has an engine penalty to come and three rapid drivers behind him who could challenge his title at any time. In the longest season in the history of Formula 1, anything could happen. We don’t know about you, but we’re glued to our seats.

Featured image courtesy of Andrew Locking

Mulholland welcomes TEDx to Derby

The chances are you’ve probably watched a TED talk at some point in the last ten years. Originally a conference established in 1984, TED became a successful online video series in 2006 with over five million YouTube subscribers and a billion combined views to date.

Each talk provides speakers with a chance to inspire, influence and provoke thought. Personalities such as Bill Gates, U2’s Bono and Stephen Hawking have all contributed their expertise over the years, and recently it was the turn of our CEO, Graham Mulholland.

TEDx is an expansion of the TED conference programme, which allows communities to hold TED-licensed events locally. When Derby began curating a TEDx event of their own, a number of key figures in the business community were selected to speak. For Graham, it was another exciting moment in a year marking 20 years of epm: technology group.

Watch Mulholland’s TEDx talk below, in which he explains the impact composite materials have made in F1, and the possibilities of the technology going forwards.

epm: technology group in the words of our employees

Each and every staff member at epm: technology group has contributed in some way to the success we have achieved over the past two decades. In our 20th anniversary year, it is especially important to recognise their dedication and commitment.

We asked a number of our longest-serving employees to share their most prominent memories of working here, including their favourite projects and predictions for the future.

The featured image is a team photo from the early 2000s. We’ve come a long way!

In their words, here is our story.

On their first day

“I remember my first day at epm: technology group. I was really nervous but I got placed with one of the lead laminators, Everton Reid, who still works here today. He took me under his wing and I learnt a lot during that period of time that has served me well throughout my career.”

David – Laminating Manager (year joined, 1996)

“I was really anxious about how epm would change things for me. It felt like a big step to enter the world of work, and everything seemed really complicated at first. Luckily, I kept going and i’m coming up to celebrating twenty years with the company soon. It wasn’t as scary as it seemed.”

Gavin – Laminator (year joined, 1996)

On their most challenging project

“The most challenging project I have been involved in by far is the clock hands for China. They were one of the biggest structural components we’ve ever produced.”

David – Fitter (year joined, 2000)

“It might surprise you to know that it was actually making the move into our newest factory. It was such a big change from the last facility, and it took a lot of time and organisation to transfer the expensive machinery from one place to another. It was also a challenge to remember where everything was in the new building which meant that we didn’t get properly up and running for a good few weeks. I’ve only just got the hang of everything!”

David – Laminating Manager (year joined, 1996)

On the most important thing they’ve learnt at epm

“The most important thing I’ve learnt at epm is that, in order to meet a deadline, you have to work hard and do things correctly. If you don’t put the effort in, you won’t get results. It’s as simple as that.”

Paul – Deputy Fitting Manager (year joined, 2007)

“I’ve learnt to think correctly under pressure. That’s definitely a good skill to have in my role, as I can often be juggling a variety of different tasks at the same time. Getting stressed helps no one, and it certainly doesn’t get things done.”

Maggie – Purchasing/HR Manager (year joined, 2003)

On the biggest difference they’ve seen at epm

“The biggest difference I’ve seen at epm since I started working here is our current facility. It’s such an inspiring environment and it’s a fantastic place to work.” 

Gavin – Laminator (year joined, 1996)

“As the company has grown, the level of skill needed to work on some of the more complex projects we undertake now has definitely increased. I’ve had to work hard to keep up with the level of knowledge that is required in my role. If you’re not on the ball, you won’t last long here because there’s so much talent waiting to get a chance in the industry.” 

Andy – Laminator (year joined, 1997)

On the ways in which epm support the next generation of engineers and manufacturers

“I think the great thing about epm as an employer is that we give young people the best opportunities possible to succeed. Whether those opportunities are taken or not is up to the individual. I like to think we place quite a lot of importance in on-the-job training, too. You can’t learn everything in a classroom, and placing the young guys with more experienced members of staff like myself allows them to learn the do’s and don’ts early on.”

David – Fitter (year joined, 2000)

“Recently we’ve opened the epm academy, which has produced some really bright young engineers so far. I’ve been impressed by the maturity and work ethic of the students — Derby College has worked with us to create a fantastic opportunity for them.” 

Andy – Laminator (year joined, 1997)

On the advice they would give to new starters

“I would tell any new starter to listen to more experienced staff members, ask questions and never assume there is nothing left to learn. There will be people you encounter along the way that don’t do things correctly, and it’s up to you to take both the good and bad from your colleagues and senior staff members and use it to better yourself for the future.”

Gavin – Laminator (year joined, 1996)

“My advice would be to have a positive, can-do attitude. Negativity doesn’t help anyone, and negative employees don’t last long here. This industry can be difficult and fast-paced. Tight deadlines can see people working incredibly long days and spending a lot of time away from home, but everyone is in the same boat and we are like a big family. A large portion of our lives are spent at work, so you might as well enjoy it.”

Maggie – Purchasing/HR Manager (year joined, 2003)

On their fondest memory at epm

“Definitely the friends i’ve made here. I’m really lucky to work with such a great team and we’ve definitely made a few memories over the years. Whether I can remember them or not is another story! We work really hard here but a job is nothing without the people around you.”

David – Fitter (year joined, 2000)

“My fondest memory of working at epm is seeing young people joining the company, working hard and achieving their goals. I’ve seen some people grow up here and really make something of themselves.”

Maggie – Purchasing/HR Manager (year joined, 2003)

“So much has happened but i’d have to say winning the first annual Christmas jumper competition. Nothing else comes close.”

Gavin – Laminator (year joined, 1996)

On the future of epm

“I think we will have several sites across the country and maybe some in Europe or America.”

Maggie – Purchasing/HR Manager (year joined, 2003)

“I’d like to see us working on more complex aircraft parts and even branch out into the space sector. There’s a lot of opportunities there for businesses like epm.”

David – Fitter (year joined, 2000)

“In another 20 years time I think epm: technology group will be the number one composites company in the UK.”

Andy – Laminator (year joined, 1997)

epm: technology at the Farnborough International Airshow 2016

We are proud to announce that epm: technology group will be exhibiting for the very first time at the 2016 Farnborough International Airshow.

You can find us in Hall 4 on stand A10 – come and see all that we have to offer the aerospace sector.

The Farnborough Airshow is a week-long event which began in 1948. The event combines both a trade-show and awe-inspiring public air displays, making it a must-visit for anyone passionate about all things aerospace.

We’ve come a long way since 1996, and our participation in the show at Farnborough is another great chapter in our story.

Celebrating the return of the European Grand Prix

Previously held at five different circuits (Brands Hatch, Donington Park, Jerez, Nürburgring and Valencia) the European Grand Prix has a rich history within Formula 1.

This weekend, the event returns in the city of Baku, Azerbaijan, and we couldn’t be more excited.

One of the biggest sporting events ever to be held in Azerbaijan, a unique street circuit has been specially constructed for the race weekend. Designed by Hermann Tilke, it is the second-longest track on the F1 calendar behind Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.

Baku Trivia:

1. Home to the longest straight on the F1 calendar at 2.1km/1.305 miles

2. 6.006km/3.732 miles long in total

3. 62 gear changes per lap, 3,162 per race

4. First anti-clockwise circuit of the 2016 season

To celebrate the first European Grand Prix since 2012, we have collected three of our most memorable moments from the event since its inception.

Senna’s incredible first lap at Donington Park

Torrential rain didn’t stop Ayrton, as he masterfully cruised past four cars during the first lap of this classic race.

Mark Webber’s airborne crash at Valencia

Perhaps a true testament to the progress made with safety in the sport, Mark Webber survived this spectacular crash which ended with his car upside-down in the barrier.

Fernando Alonso’s emotional victory in his home country

Starting an incredible 11th on the grid, Fernando Alonso took a surprise victory at Valencia in 2012, driving one of the greatest races of his career so far.

What are your most memorable moments?

Beijing Motor Show – The cars that stole the headlines

Last week saw a host of big-name car manufacturers debut their exciting new models at the Beijing Motor Show.

From longer wheelbases to electric concept cars, these are our picks for the cars that really stood out from the crowd.

Porsche 718 Cayman

(Image courtesy of Porsche)

The new Cayman certainly looks the part, but it’s also reported to have improved fuel economy from the previous model. The standard version of the two-seater uses a 296bhp 2.0-litre turbo and is said to cover 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds, while the faster S version uses a 345bhp 2.5-litre and takes just 4.2 seconds.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class LWB

(Image courtesy of Car and Driver)

140mm longer than the regular sedan and with a total length of over 5 metres, this business limousine will be in Chinese showrooms by the end of summer.

Smart Brabus

(Image courtesy of Auto Express)

The most powerful version of the two-seater to ever be mass-produced, the 2017 Brabus has an output of 109hp. It also has a Brabus performance sports suspension with specially adapted ESP, sports power steering and a dynamic configuration of the twinamic dual-clutch transmission with Race Start function.

Audi TT RS

(Image courtesy of Auto Express)

In Coupe form, the new RS is said to cover 0-62mph in just 3.7 seconds. With power upped to 394bhp and the addition of both direct and indirect fuel injection, Audi claims to have retained the engine’s unique rich sound whilst saving weight and lowering fuel consumption.

BAIC Arcfox-7

(Image courtesy of Autocar)

Perhaps the most visually striking of the lot, this electric supercar from BAIC turned heads at the event. With a design inspired by Formula E cars, the Arcfox-7 is powered by a 6.6kWh battery pack connected to a 603bhp electric motor. Official figures state it can reach 60mph in less than 3 seconds with a top speed of 162mph. Can they take on Tesla?

Featured image courtesy of Top Gear.

Carbon Fibre – shaping the automotive industry

Not just reserved for cutting-edge Formula 1 cars, Carbon fibre is also making a large impact on the automotive industry as a whole, with composite materials increasing in popularity and slowly progressing into mainstream markets.

We take a look at three recent uses of carbon fibre and why the material was chosen for the task.

2017 Toyota Prius Prime

Image courtesy of www.roadandtrack.com

Due for release next year, this plug-in hybrid uses an 8.8kwh battery with a 22 mile electric-only range. Although an impressive upgrade on the previous model (which had only 12), the extra weight of the larger battery required savings to be made in other areas. Toyota used carbon fibre for the rear hatch, which saved around 8lbs and increased the fuel efficiency of the vehicle. Composite materials offer a weight-saving attribute without compromising the structural integrity of their traditional counterparts.

BMW 7-Series

Image courtesy of www.carscoops.com

The 2016 BMW 7-series uses carbon fibre strategically throughout the chassis. The material is present in the A, B and C pillars and roof of the vehicle—which not only conserves weight but also reduces chassis flex. This, along with a lower centre of gravity from the lighter roof, helps to improve handling. As one material in a complex project, carbon fibre components can be used to improve performance through clever application and engineering.

Ford Ecoboost engine

Image courtesy of www.topgear.com

In a concept unveiled earlier this year at the Detroit Motor Show, Ford’s next generation lightweight Ecoboost units are due to have a 15.5% overall weight deduction. Carbon fibre is to be used in the cylinder head, front cover and oil pan which also improves NVH. Although often thought of in a more structural context, carbon fibre has knock-on benefits that can result in improvements to drive comfort.

Featured image courtesy of www.motortrend.com