Author Archives: PES-Performance

EEF Interview- Skills Gap
EEF Interview- Skills Gap

In a second part of an interview with the Engineering Employers Federation (EEF), Mike Maddock and Dan Fleetcroft of PES Performance discussed the new routes individuals can take to enter a career within such a prosperous sector.

Mike began the discussion and stated that he believes, “The route to become an engineer just seems too difficult for young people. Dan is Chair of Sheffield’s University Technical College (UTC) and we are really trying to drive the young generation by focusing on both emotional intelligence (EQ) and a student’s IQ. The apprenticeship route is really adding value, along with advanced apprenticeships.

“You can see many students that would have traditionally taken the academic university route are now going into the apprenticeships, working with companies on a tailored programme and then moving towards a degree/ professional qualification. The EQ and IQ balance are key – and coming back to positive messages about engineering, we need to communicate that starting as a technician is no barrier and can lead to becoming an engineer if you wish. There are different routes, but you can still end up with the same result.”

Dan continued to say, “The beauty of engineering is that the route to engineering can be so different. If you want to be a doctor or lawyer, you must go to medical school or law school – there’s not really another option. Some of the best engineers I know did a couple of A-Levels or a GSCE and went on to design racing cars, aeroplanes and space rockets.

“I’m torn between protecting the degree qualification, because I think it adds value to it, but not making it elitist or making it something that this generation can’t inspire to be. I don’t know the answer, but it feels like there needs to be something to really show the opportunity that engineering will offer.”

Mike addressed some key statistics which this ‘new’ route into engineering may solve. “It’s great to see where we are going with apprenticeships but again we still need to drive that. The Royal Academy of Engineering’s #‘This is Engineering’ campaign is working with key partners to change the perception of engineering among young people aged 13-18. It shows that only 11% of all engineers are female, and that the UK will need 1.6 million engineers by 2025.

“I’m not sure that we are going to achieve these figures but if we can increase the interest of young people in engineering and also offset some of that requirement with the introduction of new technology, digitisation and automation, we will have a better opportunity for success.”

Jim Davison of the EEF mentioned the issue of future restrictions with regards to the movement of people and asked what this could mean for the skills shortage within engineering.

Mike replied by saying, “After doing some research about the supply of talent and people across Europe according to Eurostat, in current EU member countries the population cohort between the ages of 15 and 64 is expected to decline from 67 percent of the total population to 56 percent by 2060.

The population group aged 60 and older is expected to grow from 18 percent to 30 percent in the same is predicted that 12 of the 27 European nations are going to experience population decline by 2042.

This means we are going to have a larger aging population and less of a working population. Whereas if you look at India, more than 50% of its population is below the age of 25 and more than 65% below the age of 35 with high levels of education, and many coming through engineering. So, firms will need to look globally for skilled staff.”



EEF Interview- Skills Gap
EEF Interview- Skills Gap

In a recent interview with the Engineering Employers Federation (EEF), the co-owners of PES Performance Mike Maddock and Dan Fleetcroft were asked how the next generation of engineers could be encouraged. They both discussed how the shortage of engineers needs to be addressed and gave their opinions on how the engineers of the future should be educated.

Mike started by saying, “We already know that there’s going to be a shortage of skills and we’re not going to be able to fill that gap, so therefore productivity, automation, and the digital revolution will become more important. People are going to be forced down that route whether they like it or not, and so they really need to understand this and educate themselves.”

Dan expanded on Mikes point, saying, “We’ve got a skills shortage and manufacturing is the saviour of the economy. The government now seems to understand that manufacturing doesn’t happen without engineering – so the message needs to change to show how engineering is going to save the economy. It feels like it needs some figureheads as there are people doing amazing things in engineering across all sectors, and we should be able to inspire almost anyone.

“What do kids grow up wanting to be? Footballers or singers or movie stars. That’s great but there are probably less of those jobs than there are in engineering. How do we get to a position where those engineering figureheads (whoever they are) are seen to be inspirational and show a career you wish to pursue?”

Mike continued by saying; “I believe on the skills side we need to educate the older generation and the current teacher base. Often, they are influencing the younger generation based on old, outdated perceptions and understanding. We need to educate them into understanding that manufacturing is completely different from what it used to be like and how they believe it to be. It’s a real future career.

“When Dan and I go around schools and organisations, one of the key questions we ask people is to look around and show us something that is not engineered. Suddenly the penny drops – everything is engineered. We had grass suggested once and we spoke about how grass can be genetically engineered to improve performance, yield etc. We believe engineering is what underpins society.”

However, Dan suggested an alternative strategy to encourage the next generation to enter the field of engineering- key role models. Dan goes onto say, “What we don’t appear to have are figure-heads in engineering to inspire that younger generation. There are some interesting projects – when we look at Elon Musk with Tesla, or maybe James Dyson of Dyson. But even with Dyson’s business – he still has vans going around, illustrating ‘engineers’ coming to fix your cleaner. The terminology means that many people still think of engineers as similar to technicians.

Dan continued, “I wonder whether the scale of modern engineering means that we don’t have those inspirational figures. I look back at the start of my career when John Barnard was one of the design geniuses from F1, and you had Patrick Head and Adrian Newey as figureheads of other F1 projects. We can look further afield in car design, back to the Mini and Sir Alexander Issigonis, or to engineers like Barnes Wallis & RJ Mitchell who designed the Bouncing Bomb and Spitfire respectively. We don’t seem to have such famous engineers now.”

Mike went on to discuss technology and what it means for future jobs; “We moved to the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Yorkshire from the south because this is the place to be. I think there is an awareness of what technology means and what jobs of the future are going to be. Not only those skills but the need for retraining.

“As Jürgen Maier of Siemens mentioned in the digital strategy, it’s the retraining of the current population that has to be key. As automation increases I don’t believe we are going to lose jobs. We will retrain people to a higher more technical skills base because there’s not a pipeline of younger people coming through.”

Dan concluded the discussion of how we encourage the next generation by suggesting, “The other thing is projects. If we look back – the Space Race and Apollo lunar missions inspired a generation of engineers, but they are already close to retiring if not already retired.

“Currently we have the Bloodhound Land Speed Record Project. It is kind of that ethos, but it doesn’t seem to capture the imagination of the press and media. The kids love it, but I don’t see it in the press. I don’t see this continual feed of information. Surely that is something that we should be pressing for just to inspire all those young minds.”

There is talk that UK industry is at the start of a 4th industrial revolution (known as Industry 4.0), but what does this mean? And why are we only just over the start line?

Industry 4.0 is the transformation of industrial markets with smart manufacturing and the adoption of technology to maximise productivity and competitiveness. It will lead to greater efficiencies and change the relationship of traditional production methods amongst suppliers, producers, and customers—as well as between people and machines. This will impact a variety of sectors such as: manufacturing, logistics and supply chain, energy, transportation and more.

In a recent interview with the Engineering Employers Federation (EEF), the co-owners of PES Performance Mike Maddock and Dan Fleetcroft shared their opinions on the benefits and frustrations of what is known as the 4th industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0 or the Internet of Things (IOT).

Mike began by saying, “The issue with 4.0 is there’s a lot of businesses that just don’t understand it. I think the assumption is that 4.0 is just too expensive- and businesses just can’t afford it. But it’s about education and creating awareness.”

Dan continued this point further suggesting that, “It’s important to get the information out there, so key businesses can see real examples of where it has been used, and particularly where it has been used in more mainstream applications. That might give people more confidence.

“I think that often businesses assume that the technology is not ready, the materials they require are not there, or the costs will be too high. I think that’s probably half the problem because people just dismiss it and ignore what could be possible, or they will stick with more traditional methods that might not be the best approach.”

When asked about emerging technologies within the 4th industrial revolution, Dan and Mike both discussed how they felt it could open many new career opportunities for people. As Mike commented; “If you’re looking at 4.0 and the new types of jobs that are being created through technology, many people haven’t realised about yet.”

Dan concluded by saying, “In my mind this opens career options to young people who historically wouldn’t have thought of going anywhere near engineering or manufacturing jobs. But suddenly with driving apps and the opportunity to interface with these systems, designs and technology they are interested.”

Reasons to use 3D scanning

3D scanning technology can be used as a solution in a large variety of situations, due to its wide range of applications. The data captured from 3D scanning can be used for reverse engineering, quality inspection, planned preventative maintenance, small and large bureau services; the list goes on.

The reason why 3D scanning can be used for so many things is due to its accuracy, speed, flexibility and its non-contact nature. All these qualities are needed for our clients. But today we will only be talking about reverse engineering and quality inspection. You can find out more about planned preventative maintenance and bureau service on our website.

You may be wondering if there is a specific limit on the volume/size of the item to be scanned? The answer is no, as we can scan anything from small objects such as coins, up to aircraft.

Furthermore, this flexibility and the portability of the scanning equipment means we can transport the scanning equipment to anywhere in the world and can be operated in or outdoors. So, if you think geographical location will prevent you obtaining the benefits of 3D scanning, then think again as we have the solution for you.

Change of location does not affect the accuracy of the results as the blue light scanning technology has a low sensitivity to lighting conditions within the environment. So, in an ‘uncontrolled environment’ i.e. with a varying temperature and light, we can deliver an accuracy dependent on the volume of the item. For example, a 70mm measurement volume can produce a 29 micron (0.029mm) point spacing/resolution. However, in a more controlled environment these results can be improved further. Again, another reason as to why you should use 3D scanning.

One of the applications that 3D scanning can be used for is reverse engineering. Reverse engineering is the collection of data from a piece of equipment, object or system through analysis of its geometry, structure, function and operation. It often involves deconstructing an object and analysing its workings in detail.

3D scanning can aid reverse engineering in several ways. For example, if the CAD drawings for your item doesn’t exist, what we call legacy equipment, or the data is outdated and no longer represents the actual part, then we can 3D scan your item and reproduce these designs through reverse engineering. Also, this data can be digitised and archived, so if something happened to the original physical item the client has data to fall back on to replace or repair the item.

The use of 3D scanning within reverse engineering can also be used for ‘competitor bench-marking’. This provides the ability to collect data, reverse engineer and simulate the performance of a competitor’s product- “bench-marking”. It must be noted that to prevent infringement of intellectual property it is crucial that the data is only used for analysis.

Lastly, reverse engineering can be used for restoration. If an old historical piece is damaged we can 3D scan the item in order to produce CAD drawings to help reproduce and repair the damaged item. This method was used within the historic wooden roller-coaster restoration project our team supported. Another example is the repair of a large 70-ton gearbox the team helped to bring back on line.  In this example a gear lost a tooth in the old gear box. A new part would not mesh back in with the original gears, as it would not have the same rate of wear. Therefore, the team scanned the old broken gears and reproduced manufacturing drawing for a brand new worn part to be manufactured, with the tooth replaced to fit back with the other gears.

3D scanning can also be a valuable quality inspection process. The item produced can be scanned and comparisons made between the item ‘as-designed’ verses ‘as-built’ to determine if the items being produced meet the design specifications set, or if deviation has occurred. You can find out more about the inspection process and the types of reports produced on our website.

If you would like to discuss your project and how our solutions can help you, then please call us for a chat at +44 (0) 114 321 6375 or email with your enquiry. 

Engineering solutions company PES Scanning Ltd has further expanded their engineering design team to meet increased client demand.

Simon Bainbridge joins the PES Scanning team as Senior Design Engineer from his previous role at Atkins Energy, where he designed mechanical handling equipment for various civil nuclear and defence programmes. Simon started his career at Siemens, working as a R&D design engineer in their metals processing division.

On his appointment Simon comments; “What attracted me to PES was the wide variety of projects that they undertake for clients. Currently I’m working on projects in the aerospace, green energy and industrial sectors, including an Innovate UK backed R&D project, which for an engineer is great. It is also good to be part of a team of engineers that have the flexibility and experience to adapt to any client and offer them effective turnkey solutions”.

Dean Gardner, Engineering Director at PES has welcomed Simon’s to the team, saying; “It is difficult to find design engineers with the experience to match our specific requirements as an engineering solutions business, operating in multiple high performance environments. Simon has the engineering design skills we need. He has the experience of working on a variety of small and large scale design projects, latterly working on nuclear decommissioning solutions for the industry and he will be a key addition to the PES Scanning as we further widen the team’s capabilities.”

PES Scanning engineering director, Dean Gardner (left) welcomes Simon Bainbridge to the company.

Performance Engineered Solutions (PES) Ltd is a high-performance engineering solutions business, based at the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP). With a multi-disciplinary team of design and performance engineers, the team delivers high quality and technologically advanced engineering solutions to clients. The PES Scanning business utilises CT & 3D optical scanning systems to deliver specialised services, including reverse engineering, quality inspection, design optimisation and planned preventative maintenance.


(Adapted from original story in

The project to create a database of key components is being undertaken by Marinebedrijf Koninklijke Marine, the organisation that is contracted to perform all maintenance and repairs for the Royal Netherlands Navy.

This means that they are responsible for the replacement of parts that have become worn or damaged as well as undertaking any modifications to already on-board components as required.

The idea behind the scanning operation is that it would greatly reduce the turnaround time when creating new parts. The CNC coordinator at Marinebedrijf Koninklijke Marine explained the benefits that come from using these scanners versus using traditional reverse engineering techniques:

“Using 3D scanning has saved us up to weeks of work – older processes were very intensive requiring multiple types of measuring tools and then replicating the drawing into a CAD program. Now, even when there is no 3D data or drawings for a part, we’re able to use the 3D scanner to create a 3D image of the object, and the scan is used to reverse engineer the object.

“That part is then replicated using 3D printing techniques, 3-5 axis milling or 3D welding. In most cases, parts for the ships are being reverse engineered or newly created; this is the case in older navy vessels where the suppliers of the components no longer exist.”

There are a number of quite easily understood benefits, as explained by Artec 3Ds Chief Business Development Officer Andrei Vakulenko:

“If you need to add anything to a military ship or plane…the fastest and most accurate way to get measurements would be to scan the areas. Quality control and inspection is another popular area, as parts such as propellers can be 3D scanned and checked regularly for quality assurance.

“3D scanning is also used for support; military ships are normally located quite far from their base, so in cases when technical support is needed, this is usually performed remotely. The area in question is often 3D scanned, so that the support engineer can better view the problem.”

The vision is that one day not only will it be possible to have a digital library of all of the parts of the Dutch navy, but also be able to 3D print any of those parts as needed. In Vakulenko’s words:

“When 3D printing takes off fully we expect that all large ships will have 3D scanners and 3D printers on board so that parts can be 3D scanned and then 3D printed on the spot. For large, sea-based vessels, this will really be an ideal solution – it will be far quicker than waiting for replacement parts to be sent from the repair base.

“At the moment, quite a few small parts can be 3D printed in durable plastic and used with great success, but the real breakthrough will come when 3D printers can achieve the same level of quality in metal.”

See full story here

3D scanning a Stegosaurus
3D scanning a Stegosaurus

(Adapted from original story in

Triebold Paleontology, Inc. (TPI) mounts and restores fossil skeletons and provides casts of them to museums around the world. Its headquarters are home to a collection of casts and original specimens which are on exhibit at the company’s hands-on natural history museum, the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center.

TPI were looking to add a Stegosaurus to their collection – particularly the Stegosaurus at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Traditional casting wouldn’t work in this case, as the Stegosaurus is more than 26 feet long and over nine feet tall. This would still make for a do-able cast if the specimen could be taken apart, but that wasn’t possible.

The dinosaur was mounted as a permanent installation in the 1990s, with steel shaped around it, welded in place, and permanently puttied to the bones, making it impossible to ever take apart. Thus, 3D scanning entered the equation.

“We needed to three-dimensionally digitize the skeleton that could not be dismantled so that a replica could be 3D printed,” said Matt Christopher of TPI. “The dimensions and surface details needed to be close enough to what we would get from a silicone mould so that we could hand-finish 3D prints to look exactly like the original specimen.”

To scan the dinosaur, used a structured light 3D scanner to 3D scan individual bones and regions of the skeleton as individual projects. In the end, they had 629 individual scans across 71 scan projects. To save time, they decided to skip scanning parts that could be mirror-imaged to generate the other side, like the legs and ribs.

“We were able to capture all of the elements we needed, from the tip of the nose to the huge spikes at the end of the tail,” said Christopher.

3D printing the bones was a big job that was taken on by multiple 3D printers and took six months. When the prints were finished they were lightly resurfaced by hand and prepared for moulding by adding mock-ups for internal steel armature and articulating some specimens to be moulded in sections rather than as individual bones. Each completed bone or assembly were then moulded in silicone rubber. The moulds were then fitted with internal steel to be surrounded by plastic resins in the casting process.

The plastic was poured around the steel, so no external armature that would hide bone surfaces was needed. With the casts poured around the armature, the skeleton can be assembled in any one of an infinite number of poses and the steel protruding from inside each plastic cast welded together as required. The mounted skeleton was then ready for hand-painting and delivery.

“We were able to marry the best technologies of today with the most advanced traditional methods of moulding and casting to create an exact copy of that great dinosaur without even touching it,” added Christopher.

(See the full story)

AMRC Journal design for additive manufacture
AMRC Journal design for additive manufacture

The AMRC Additive Manufacturing (AM) Forum brought together industry partners to discuss the current challenges manufacturers face when introducing AM technologies into their businesses and how to design with additive manufacturing in order to maximise the commercial value.

At the Forum, PES Engineering Director, Dan Fleetcroft, encouraged businesses to look carefully at the technology to identify what value can be added to their products and processes by utilising design for additive manufacture as a potential solution from the outset of a project.

PES works across a number of high-value manufacturing sectors, offering design, engineering and data capture services. One of their specialisms is using additive manufacturing (AM) to improve product performance, reduce time to market and minimise development costs for clients.

He said: “There are many benefits to utilising AM technologies, for instance we use AM to produce prototypes or limited runs of components. This approach helps to reduce the associated risks of product evaluation and testing as there is no requirement to invest in expensive tooling which may have to be modified or remanufactured.

“It allows us to check the geometry of a product before committing to the tooling necessary for volume production and manufacturing.”

PES manufacture AM parts directly from CAD and scan data, which means as well as new designs for prototypes or functional components, AM is well suited to the reverse engineering of legacy parts. Fleetcroft encouraged manufacturers to take advantage of opportunities in new sectors:

“There are the many opportunities to introduce the use of AM, but the lack of knowledge about AM in the manufacturing industry means people are unaware that AM parts are already being used in sectors such as aerospace.”

He said new areas to consider include elite sports, as the high level of customisation and small batch production required can be delivered through high performance bespoke AM parts, at costs not achievable through more traditional subtractive techniques or moulding.

Fleetcroft added: “Design for additive manufacture allows you to create components that are impossible or impractical to produce by conventional manufacturing methods. Developing knowledge and understanding of the increasing range of AM processes will get you ahead of the market.”

Originally published in the AMRC Journal.

PES Performance strengthen team with key engineering design appointment. Management Team; Mike Maddock, Dean Gardner, Dan Fleetcroft.
PES Performance strengthen team with key engineering design appointment. Management Team; Mike Maddock, Dean Gardner, Dan Fleetcroft.

PES Scanning is to work as part of a consortium developing an innovative system for nuclear decommissioning.

The announcement from Innovate UK came as the results of the recent “Integrated Innovation for Nuclear Decommissioning” competition were announced. The competition aims to unlocking the potential of specialist engineering companies, in helping tackle the £85 Bn challenge of decommissioning the Sellafield nuclear site. Sellafield, located in Cumbria first generated power from nuclear fuels in 1956.

The consortium, led by PES Scanning’s neighbours at the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP), Eadon Consulting, will enable nuclear decommissioning to be conducted faster, more safely, and at reduced cost. Other consortium members are offshore engineering experts, Red Engineering; Sellafield construction experts, Westlakes Engineering; the Nuclear AMRC; and ship builder and fabricator, Cammell Laird.

Dean Gardner, principal engineer at PES Scanning understands the nature of the challenge, having previously worked at Atkins Energy, managing a fifty strong engineering team specialising in nuclear design projects.

Dean says; “The project will develop a ‘Versatile Decommissioning System’, using 3D scanning and computer based modelling to accurately plan complicated tasks, coupled with developing new equipment and tools specifically suited to the challenges of nuclear decommissioning.”

Eadon Consulting director, James Hill, adds: “As a group of specialist engineers we are ideally placed to solve problems, our size allows us to innovate and quickly develop new ideas. This funding from the UK’s Innovation Agency unlocks the potential of all consortium members, allowing us to really focus on the challenges of decommissioning nuclear facilities.”

The project will start in August and run for 3 months. Work will include developing concept designs for new equipment and exploring new techniques for planning and visualisation of decommissioning tasks. On successful completion of the first phase Innovate UK will release additional funding to develop full working prototypes and start trialling the new system.

BTCC 3d Scanning Project Team Norlin Racing Chevy Cruze 3D Scanning British Touring Car Championship BTCC Chevy Cruze racing car.
BTCC 3d Scanning Project Team Norlin Racing Chevy Cruze

We worked with our long-term colleagues at GT Forte Ltd on a BTCC 3D scanning project. This included optically scanning the BTC Norlin Racing team’s Chevrolet Cruze cars.

The scan data was converted to 3D CAD files, and from the captured surface data of the car, GT Forte & the Norlin team investigated potential opportunities to design upgraded body parts and optimise future performance, ahead of the 2017 BTCC season.

The Chevy Cruze cars were unveiled to the public for the first time at the recent BTCC Media Day, held at the Donington Park circuit.

Both BTC Norlin drivers are returning to the BTCC series, with Chris Smiley looking to contest his first full season in the BTCC, whilst previous race-winner Dave Newsham is back after a brief sabbatical last year.

“After completing our first test in the UK last week and of course the five days testing in Spain we are very happy with our progress in just 14 weeks,” commented BTC Norlin boss Bert Taylor.

“The team worked remarkably well to get us ready for Spain. The reliability was great, so we’re looking forward to the the opening race weekend at Brands Hatch.”

Donington Photos from Kieren Griffin.

PES Performance strengthen team with key engineering design appointment. Management Team; Mike Maddock, Dean Gardner, Dan Fleetcroft.
PES Performance strengthen team with key engineering design appointment. Management Team; Mike Maddock, Dean Gardner, Dan Fleetcroft.

PES Performance are looking to the future as they further strengthen their engineering design team.

The appointment of Dean Gardner as Principal Engineer highlights the rapid development of the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) based engineering solutions company in the past two years and its increasing involvement in larger engineering design projects.

Dean joins PES from his previous role as Engineering Manager at Atkins Energy where he looked after the fifty strong engineering team for the Nuclear Design function that designed mechanical handling equipment for various civil and defence nuclear programmes.

Dean’s career includes designing state of the art fly-by-wire controls systems for clients such as BAE Systems, NASA, Bombardier and Lockheed Martin, and supplying design services into clients including, Rolls-Rolls Tidal Generation (now GE Renewables) and GE Oil & Gas.

On his appointment Dean comments;

“What attracted me to PES was the enthusiasm of Mike and Dan for the success of their business. They never say no to any challenge, large or small.  They offer a level of one-to-one personal service with their clients that is difficult to achieve in larger organisations, due to the complexity at the interface between them. Ultimately having a small experienced team provides total flexibility to adapt to any client and their industry needs and so offer effective turnkey solutions.

“The variety of projects that PES have undertaken is extremely impressive and for an engineer this provides a broad diet of work and the opportunity to experience all aspects of the product life cycle.  Not only do you have the responsibility for delivering the work, you also get to do it!”

Dan Fleetcroft, Engineering Design Director at PES welcomes Dean to the team, saying;

“We have very specific requirements, as an engineering solutions business, operating in multiple environments, and it is difficult to find design engineers who have gained a broad level of experience before specialising.

“It has taken us over 12 months to find the perfect individual to join the team, and in Dean we feel we now have that person. In addition to his engineering design skills, Dean has the experience we increasingly need in terms of delivering larger, complex projects.

“Now we have the senior team in place we are better positioned to mentor, train, coach and develop the growing team. Dean brings new skills to the team and his experience operating in the nuclear design environment and managing projects in excess of £75m positions the PES brand for the future.

“As well as working with clients to explore concepts and develop appropriate solutions, Dean also has the experience to drive these large projects through the supply chain to ensure that they are commissioned and operational within required timescales.”

Performance Engineered Solutions (PES) Ltd is a high performance engineering solutions business, with a multi-disciplinary team of design and performance engineers. Its pedigree is born out of Formula One and the team delivers high quality and technologically advanced engineering design solutions to clients within aerospace, automotive, medical technology and energy generation amongst many other sectors.

The companies’ 3D Scanning team utilises CT scanning & 3D optical scanning system to deliver a number of specialised services for clients, including reverse engineering, quality inspection, design optimisation and planned preventative maintenance.

Beagle Pup Prototype G-AVDF reverse engineering 3D scanning
Beagle Pup Prototype G-AVDF reverse engineering 3D scanning

We’ve mentioned in earlier posts about our work to help the Beagle Pup Prototype G-AVDF back to the skies.

Now in the project’s second year, work on restoring the aircraft has progressed well despite some setbacks along the way.

During the restoration of the Pup prototype, the owner David Collings decided to buy a donor Pup aircraft to provide spares. However it soon became clear when attempting to use the production donor parts how very different the prototype was.

Holes were in different places and screws different sizes, strakes were a different shape and so it went on. However, the greatest difficulty occurred when ATSO’s engineer, Simon Owen, attempted to mount the donor spar brackets to the Prototype – and they would not fit. Without access to the relevant original drawings, the project was in danger of stalling again, but our PES Scanning team were able to help.

The spars were reverse engineered, using data captured by our 3D optical scanner and then PES’ design engineers delivered 2D manufacturing drawings from the scan data for LAA approval.

By taking additional 3D scans of the wing spars and the associated fixing points, the fresh scan data ensured the spars could be reverse engineered and adapted for G-AVDF. Once the drawings were approved, test parts were manufactured by PES, and a first fitting was made. The final spars were then custom manufactured by the PES Performance team.

Beagle pup Prototype at 50th anniversary celebration

Beagle Pup 50th anniversary celebration

Saturday 8th April saw the Beagle Pup 50th celebration at Turweston airfield.

Over 20 Beagle Pups were there to celebrate along with 9 Bulldogs – most had flown in especially for the occasion.

The Prototype G-AVDF was assembled & looking good in its primer coat.

Mike Maddock, managing director of PES Scanning said; “It was great to see G-AVDF taking part in this historic event. Credit must go to David, Anne & the team at ATSO for all their hard work. The aircraft is definitely looking very different to when we were first involved with the project in August 2015.

“From a PES Scanning perspective we are proud to have played our part in the restoration, particularly with the work around creating the new wing spars, and we look forward to seeing G-AVDF back in the skies later this year.”

pilot Mag tint

Article from Pilot Magazine – March 2017

Click here to read



(Adapted from original story in

Palaeontologists in Scotland have used CT Scanning technology to uncover one of the first animals to ever crawl up out of the water and walk the shores of land.

Hailing from Southern Scotland, ‘Tiny’ is one of the first land-living vertebrates. As a Tetrapod – an evolutionary development that includes reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals – ‘Tiny’ dates back about 350 million years, and her discovery marks a major breakthrough for palaeontologists.

Yet no one has actually seen ‘Tiny’, so to speak. Her fossil, which remains encased in unassuming black rock, bears no indication of the treasures inside. And without today’s technology, ‘Tiny’ might remain undiscovered in that rock for ages to come, unbeknown to scientists.

“We didn’t really know it was in the small piece of rock that we collected until it was CT scanned,” explains Dr. Nick Fraser, Keeper of Natural Sciences at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

“We were quite surprised to find ‘Tiny’ hiding in the sediment – we still only know it from the 3D scan and the 3D print and so haven’t had the pleasure of seeing the actual fossil!”

The recent influx of 3D scanning technology, has meant that researchers can now undertake detailed CT scans of ancient unearthed rocks and has opened up some revolutionary new discoveries.

Tiny is one of those discoveries. Small in size but gargantuan in palaeontological findings, ‘Tiny’s existence was revealed through micro CT-scanning. This 3D scanning method allowed researchers to digitally reconstruct ‘Tiny’ in minute detail, without damaging her protective casing of rock. The fossil can remain entirely intact without sacrificing any of the data inside.

While any fossil discovery is exciting, the revelation of ‘Tiny’ is particularly significant, as she dates back to a time period that has, up until now, yielded very few fossils.

Named after paleontologist Alfred Romer, Romer’s Gap references a period ranging from 360 to 345 million years ago (also known as the Tournaisian period), and a sizeable gap in our archaeological knowledge.

Romer’s Gap is precisely the time period when animals are thought to have begun living on land, yet a lack of fossils from the period obscures this crucial evolutionary development. It’s hard to say why the lack of fossils and other concrete evidence has occurred. Mass extinction and low oxygen are two possible explanations.

As Dr. Fraser explains, the first animals to walk the land with backbones constitute “a pivotal step in the evolution of life on land – without it there would have been no salamanders, no frogs, no crocodiles, no lizards, no dinosaurs, no birds, no mammals and therefore of course no humans.”

In this sense, ‘Tiny’ is actually one of our earliest ancestors – a discovery that may not be so tiny after all.

(See the full story)



(Adapted from original story in

US company, API, have conducted a 3D scan of a Navy monument in Virginia.

The Seabee Memorial Scholarship Association constructed the monument in 1970 to remember those who served in Naval Construction Battalions. The memorial is currently installed in the George Washington Memorial Parkway.

Felix de Weldon, a famous sculptor, designed the dark brown marble memorial with bronze figures and a bronze back wall. Prior to his sculpting work, de Weldon enlisted in the US Navy during World War Two.

The monument remains in good condition, but the 3D scan will mean a back-up statue is available should one ever be needed. It will also allow for the creation of mini replicas. Meanwhile, a local university wishes to 3D print a model of the monument for the Seabee Historical Foundation.

Ken Bingham, former Seabee and now volunteer with the Seabee Historical Foundation lauded the project and stressed the importance of preserving the 46-year-old monument.

He said: “This project has been on my mind for a long time – to get a replica of this for the (Seabee) museum so we can distribute to donors and sell it in the store – it’s a really good project. It’s really important that we preserve this. This monument encompasses everything about the Seabees. ‘Can do, can build, can fight.’ ”

The Seabee Historical Foundation began in 1991 with Former Navy civil engineer, Rear Admiral David J. Nash. At the time, Admiral Nash was the commanding officer of the Construction Battalion Centre. Noticing the Seabee Museum was in decline, Admiral Nash, with the help of retired Seabees – a colloquial term for members of the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion, or CB for short – to set up the foundation. Raising $12 million, the museum was reinvigorated. The foundation is now is now in the process of raising money to finish out the exhibits.

Admiral Nash said: “We’ve got temporary exhibits in there now but we’re adding to it. We’re working hard to try to keep the Seabee heritage alive so that young people can come and see it.”

He also commented on the importance of the Seabee Memorial, describing it as a ‘grounding’ for his fellow Seabees.

Admiral Nash continued: “Every year around the Seabee birthday, which we say is in the first week of March, we all come out to celebrate the history of the Seabees.”

See the full original tctmagazine story here.


Maserati 420S 'Best of Italy' car unveiled at Brooklands by Jodie Kidd 3D scanning

Maserati 420S Jodie KiddIt’s not often that you get a call to help create a unique car for a former supermodel, but that was the case for the PES Scanning team this summer

Last weekend the quiet Italian town of Castell’Arquato, south of Milan was transformed as the cream of Italian supercars and motorbikes, plus 500 top cyclists took part in the inaugural Best of Italy Festival 2016.

Maserati brand ambassador Jodie Kidd required something a little bit different to race up the hill climb at the festival and a plan was born to convert a Maserati 4200 road car into a replica of the famous 320S monoposto concept car that was displayed by the company at the 2001 Geneva Motor Show.

The PES Scanning team, located at the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Sheffield, were approached by their contacts at GT Forte Ltd to undertake a detailed 3D scan of the upper surfaces of the car’s bodywork. The original 320S was designed to a ‘barchetta’ style, with a small windscreen in front of the driver, and a visible roll-over bar with aerodynamic fairing in the rear. The passenger side was closed and faired, without a seat.

The GT Forte team used the scan data collected by the PES engineers as a basis for designing the closed passenger section and the aerodynamic fairing for the new car. Once the finished parts were created, they were fitted to the car and spray painted with the rest of the vehicle.

As Dan Fleetcroft, PES engineering design director explains; “We’ve known the team at GT Forte for a number of years through our work in motorsport, but it’s the first time we’ve worked on a project for a supermodel.

“Our 3D optical scanning equipment enabled a highly detailed scan of the car’s upper bodywork to be carried out very quickly. This was important so that the new aerodynamic components could be manufactured by GT Forte to fit as close to the original body as possible; necessary both for the look of the car and to eliminate panel gaps that could be problematic when the car is at speed.”

Only four weeks after the project was commissioned, the completed car was unveiled at the Brooklands Museum by Ms Kidd, who drove the car at last weekend’s Festival.

BMW's robots create 3D scanned models
BMW's robots create 3D scanned models

Article from  on Roadshow by CNET website.

It’s incredibly complicated to build a car. With facilities around the world, most automakers need to ensure everyone is on the same page.

BMW is taking a novel approach to this issue, using 3D optical scanners to create accurate 3D models that it can use between the development and production stages.

Two robot arms on rails scan an entire vehicle — in this case, the all-new, next generation BMW 5 Series — and create a 3D model of the car that’s accurate down to 100 micrometres, which is the average diameter of a human hair. The robot arms capture surfaces measuring 80 cm by 80 cm, and it compiles them into a complete model.

It takes a couple days for the process to complete, but it took much longer before BMW came up with this idea. This scanning is beneficial because it can find deviations early on, and workers are no longer tasked with taking individual measurements and compiling that data. Even better, it can be fully automated so it can take place in off hours.

BMW also uses this technology to measure individual metal components in its Munich tool making facility. The company is looking into expanding this technology across all its automobile plants, but for the time being, it’s sticking to Germany.

See the original article here.

CT scanning
CT scanning

An excellent article from Dean Solberg on the increased benefits of CT Scanning for industry, published in Quality Magazine

Until recently, the technology of CT imaging was only available for use in medical settings. Over the last several years, industrial CT scanning has found a new home in the world of manufacturing, and is opening up myriad opportunities never before available.

CT Scanning, or computed tomography, is now commonly used in various industrial metrology settings, both in the lab and online or inline for product evaluation and packaging integrity assessment.

The main advantage is that it allows the inspection of a part’s interior structure or a package’s closure functionality without causing any harm or destruction to the objects themselves.

Industrial CT scanning utilises the same type of technology as CT scanners in hospitals and doctors’ offices—taking multiple readings from various angles and converting the CT grey scale images into voxel-based 3-D point clouds. Once the CT scanner generates the point cloud, a specialist can generate a CAD-to-part comparison map, construct a 3D model of the part, or reverse engineer the part to suit their needs.

Industrial CT scanning offers a multitude of advantages, such as:
• obtaining internal structure of an object non-destructively,
• validating extremely accurate internal dimensions,
• allowing comparison to reference models,
• compatibility with all shapes and sizes,
• no post-processing work and extremely high-resolution imaging.

Some of the most common uses of 3-D and now CT scanning in industrial metrology applications include:

  • Reverse engineering — the process of taking measurements of an existing part or object, then creating an exact CAD replica. This technology is extremely useful, when you have a manufactured part or object, but not the original prints or design data.
  • Non-contact measurement — the process of capturing the geometry of existing objects through the use of laser emitting camera-like 3-D scanners.
  • Contact measurement — a method of collecting single points relative to each other. There is a wide range of solutions for contact measurement and generally two types of systems solutions are used with portable CMMs: 1) For capturing localised or small volume information, digitising or articulating arms are used, 2) For larger volumetric projects, optical solutions including laser trackers and photogrammetry units.
  • Long range scanning — for a detailed 360° 3-D snapshot of a structure, bridge, plot of land, plant or process operation with millimetre accuracy.
  • Art forgeries — a bit unusual for what is thought to be an industrial product, but hundreds of art museums, dealers and auction houses use scanning each year to validate works of art, as well as the structural integrity of sculpture, for example.
  • Model to manufacture processing — here again, artists will often have their models, whether fashioned or human, scanned for dimension prior to casting a statue in bronze or producing a high-fashion line of clothing.

Industrial CT scanning devices and long-range scanners serve a wide range of industries, and help assure that they are performing the highest level of testing and accuracy possible. A few of the diverse industries currently using this technology and the goals sought are:

Manufacturing — for internal inspection of components and to ensure that a part meets specifications; this includes injection moulded, cast, forged or fabricated parts made from metal, plastic, polymers, composites and even 3-D printed products
Power generation/nuclear — can scan the complex, hard to reach and hazardous areas of a nuclear power plant or conventional power generation facility for pipe alignment, boiler integrity, containment building stability and more
Medical — devices and equipment, implants, orthotics and prosthetics; a one-off knee joint, for example, can be accurately compared to the original CAD program as well as the doctor’s MRI for accuracy
Automotive and aerospace — allows engineers to do virtual testing of machinery, helps understand failures, works as a research & development tool to analyse structure, simulate reactions
Arts — in the detection of forgeries and sculpture integrity
Metal castings — to check for air bubbles and overall porosity
Foods — to examine contents and packaging integrity
Plastics industry — to inspect quality, wall-thickness and porosity analysis
Mouldmaking — provides a powerful inspection and measurement tool to validate precise injection moulds and check structural integrity of a part.

The future of industrial scanning holds unlimited possibilities, especially when combined with 3-D printing or other additive manufacturing methods. As improvements are made in technology and performance and costs continue to decrease, the industrial scanning industry is preparing for explosive growth in the next 5-10 years.

See the original article here.

Ta Kush mummy to be CT scanned
Ta Kush mummy to be CT scanned

Maidstone Museum is working with medical and scientific experts to reconstruct the face of a 2,500-year-old mummy as part of a Heritage Lottery Fund project.

The Kent Institute of Medicine and Science and Liverpool John Moores University will work with Maidstone Museum staff to conduct a CT scan of the mummy.

This data will be used to create digital facial reconstructions that will help determine how Ta Kush, thought to have died at the age 14, looked during her lifetime. 3D printing will also be used to create a physical reconstruction of her face that can be handled by museum visitors.

Ta Kush was brought to England in the 1820s and the last autopsy of her body was conducted by London’s British Museum in 1843. Renewed interest in the mummy, however, has led to further research being carried out by specialists associated with the Impact Radiology Project – an online database administered by the Western Ontario University.

It is hoped that the project will reveal whether or not Ta Kush had given birth to child, what kind of mummification process was used to preserve the body and how she died.

The £78,700 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund will also be used to redesign the museum’s Ancient Civilisations Gallery, which is where Ta Kush and the reconstructions of her face will be displayed.

See full story from the Museum’s Association

Mike Maddock - Dan Fleetcroft - PES Performance - PES Scanning - 3D optical scanner outside new facility
Mike Maddock Dan Fleetcroft - PES Performance - PES Scanning - 3D Scanning

Engineering design business Performance Engineered Solutions (PES) Ltd has expanded its presence at the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP), following increased demand for its 3D scanning, quality inspection and reverse engineering services.

PES Performance recently moved into a larger unit within the AMP Technology Centre, which provides separate office and scanning centre facilities, and enables client’s products to be more easily scanned. Direct access to the workshop allows vehicles, aerospace components and large industrial parts to be accommodated.

As Mike Maddock, managing director at PES Performance comments;
“Over the last 12 months, after we made an investment of £120k in a scanning and photogrammetry system, demand from clients for these services has increased significantly. We wanted to improve our facilities so that clients can choose whether to use our bureau scanning service here at the AMP or for our scanning team to visit their facilities.

“Our clients utilise 3D scanning in a variety of ways; some for reverse engineering and design optimisation; whilst others use scanning to undertake quality assurance and inspection processes, identifying potential manufacturing defects in components and in reviewing critical tooling, jigs and fixtures.

“Our clients are continually looking to drive efficiencies in manufacturing to deliver repeatable quality and control. Once they understand how the technology can be used as a key tool in their business and see the cost benefits of our inspection and reporting support, on individual or multiple parts, our services have been in great demand.”

The PES Performance team have been involved in a number of projects over recent months, ranging from reverse engineering a classic car and scanning a vintage aircraft, to developing a new automotive product and quality inspecting components for the water and energy industries. The projects have also taken them throughout the UK, to Europe and more recently to the US.

Regarding the companies’ expansion at the AMP, Mike adds; “Initially it took some time to find the perfect facility for our requirements, but we have been determined to remain at the AMP. It is the ideal location for a high performance business like ours, working in an innovative and collaborative environment and we have many clients and partners located on the AMP.

“We are also able to access a wide range of the technical and support services we require on the Park and in the surrounding Rotherham / Sheffield area. We envisage further expansion of the business in the next twelve months, and having just appointed a key senior design engineer and we will be actively looking for the right people with the unique skills required to join our team.”

To mark the 47th anniversary of the moon-landing mission, the Smithsonian recently made available a high resolution 3D scan of the Apollo 11 command module “Columbia”.
To mark the 47th anniversary of the moon-landing mission, the Smithsonian recently made available a high resolution 3D scan of the Apollo 11 command module “Columbia”.

To mark the 47th anniversary of the moon-landing mission, the Smithsonian recently made available a high resolution 3D scan of the Apollo 11 command module “Columbia”. 

This highly detailed model, of the spacecraft that carried astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins to the moon, allows anyone with an internet connection to explore the entire craft.

The scan includes its intricate interior, which is not possible to see when viewing the artefact in the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. The Smithsonian is also making the data file of the model available for download so it can be 3D printed or viewed with virtual-reality goggles.

As one of the most sophisticated scans ever made of a historic artefact, the Smithsonian and its technology partner employed seven different scanning technologies to capture nearly 1 trillion high-resolution measurements. This produced more than a terabyte of compressed data resulting in a highly detailed master model.

Animations, virtual-reality panoramas, and a unique in-browser viewing platform were created so Smithsonian curators can publish interpretive and interactive 3-D experiences of the command module for the public.

The scanning also enabled the curatorial and collections team to get glimpses of the interior of the Apollo 11 command module they had not seen. Protective covering over the hatch opening of the Command Module has only been removed a handful of times since the artefact came into the Smithsonian collection in 1971.

During the scanning, curators rediscovered a number of instances of “astronaut graffiti” not previously known to the museum. Some of the markings include numbers and information relayed from mission control written on walls or instrument panels. There also is a hand-drawn calendar by one of the astronauts, with each day crossed out except for landing day.

The Smithsonian launched its 3-D scanning and imaging programme in 2013 to make the museum’s collections and scientific specimens more widely available for use and study.

Find out more about the Smithsonian project here.

Maserati 420S 'Best of Italy' car unveiled at Brooklands by Jodie Kidd 3D scanning
Maserati 420S 'Best of Italy' car unveiled at Brooklands by Jodie Kidd 3D scanning

Our small part in helping produce a custom Maserati for Jodie Kidd’s participation in a celebration of Italian brands, food and wine.

The inaugural Best of Italy’ Festival will take place between September 16-18 in Castell’Arquato, Italy. Over 150+ Supercars and Motorbikes, as well as 500 top cyclists will take part in this celebration of all things Italian.

As part of this the event organisers commissioned GT Forte Ltd to produce an exclusive one-off custom Maserati, based on the 2001 Maserati 320S concept car, to be driven at the event by supermodel Jodie Kidd.

The base car used was a Maserati 4200 Spyder, redesigned to replicate the original ‘barchetta’ style of the 320S, with a small windscreen in front of the driver, a visible roll-over bar with aerodynamic fairing in the rear, and a closed passenger side without a seat.

Our PES Scanning team were asked by GT Forte to undertake a detailed 3D scan of the upper surfaces of the base car’s bodywork. This provided the necessary data which was used by the car’s project team to make the new modified body parts as accurately as possible, to ensure a perfect fit.

Mike, head of the scanning team commented; “This was a really interesting project and we were happy to support GT Forte in completing it. The car looked very good on its unveiling at Brooklands Museum recently, and we look forward to seeing it back in its Italian homeland this September.”

Find out more about the project here.


Image from @brooklandsmuseu

3D scanning artisan furniture

3D scanning artisan furniture

MU Form Design is using 3D scanning & CAD tools to quickly translate its unique artisan furniture designs ready for partially-automated production.

(An article on the Product Design & Development website explains how a leading artisan furniture maker is using new technology.)

Until recently, developing the tooling involved time-consuming manual processes to capture the design. Recently however, the company has streamlined the process by outsourcing its 3D model making work with 3D scanning and design services.

The main material MU Form works with is high quality bent ply, due to its ability to create a variety of shapes for chairs, stools and tables. To produce a new original piece of furniture, MU Form would normally ship a physical prototype model to a factory overseas so they reverse engineer the model by using a router duplicator to create a wood mould.

With the adoption of 3D scanning, the furniture designer still develops the physical prototype of a furniture piece. But, to reverse-engineer the piece, the prototype is 3D scanned, and the raw point data is then used to create contours using a CAD package, in particular to accurately model every nuance in curvatures and radii. The result is a final model that has been minimally altered to remove the prototype’s defects.
The 3D model is then emailed to the factory which creates an accurate CNC metal mould directly from the file. The company also uses 3D model renders for patent processing and to show upcoming products to potential clients.
The use of 3D scanning has helped MU Form significantly increase the quality and consistency of their furniture, while at the same time boosting productivity, saving development time and reducing development and production costs.


“It has allowed us to digitally fine-tune our furniture in digital space so that the mould factory can make a metal mold via CNC (as opposed to a wood mold) from a digital representation of the chair or stool in a much shorter time frame than the previous process of sending the prototype and developing the mold by hand,” says Mark Leon. “A CNC metal mould allows for much higher quality production furniture to be made.”

The time frame for creating a mould has been slashed from 60-90 days to 20 days, and savings are estimated to reach 10-15%. MU Form’s Mark Leon says that the company plans to continue working with Artec to make other furniture pieces, including tables, chaise lounges, and other larger pieces.

See the full story at the Product Design & Development website


BMW designers turn to 3D scanning in quest for Paralympic Gold

BMW has turned to 3D scanning and 3D printing technology to design lightweight, aerodynamic carbon fibre wheelchairs & custom 3D printed gloves for Team USA Paralympic athletes.

BMW’s Designworks set out to address the limitations of current racing wheelchairs using 3D scanning and 3D printing technology. The first step was to 3D scan the chairs, and analyse the scan data with CFD simulation software to see how they performed and where improvements could be made.

BMW’s designers have re-imagined the racing wheelchairs around three key principles: aerodynamics, a stiffer chassis, and customised seats for each athlete, in the same way that racing drivers have personalised seat fittings.

BMW designers turn to 3D scanning in quest for Paralympic Gold

This led to the decision to switch from welded aluminium to carbon fibre as the primary material for the chairs.

The 3D scan data also allowed BMW’s designers to tailor each wheelchair to the athlete who will be using it, increasing athlete comfort and aiding effective energy transfer.

Finally, BMW also re-designed the athlete’s gloves. 3D scanning was used to precisely model the athletes hands, before customised racing gloves were 3D printed. The new gloves were lighter and more durable than the previous versions.

BMW hopes that their technology will help Team USA to gold this summer in Rio.

Images courtesy of BMW Designworks.

UTC Sheffield Dan Fleetcroft Chairman of Governors
UTC Sheffield Dan Fleetcroft Chairman of Governors

PES Performance directors Mike Maddock and Dan Fleetcroft have been invited to join two key regional innovation strategy & engineering skills development bodies.

Mike is now a member of the region’s Science and Innovation Board (SIB). The Board has a clear mission to;

  • Influence the strategic direction of the Sheffield City Region (SCR) by supporting growth and economic impact in areas that depend on science-led innovation
  • Set a medium/long term vision for the SCR in respect to its impact and position at national and international levels and will influence, lobby and bring investment and action to achieve this
  • Provide direct communication and advice to the SCR Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Board in order to support strategic decision making and opportunities relating to science- led innovation impact areas.

The SCR’s Strategic Economic Plan recognised the importance of an innovation strategy as a driver of economic growth in the City Region, and led to the establishment of the SIB to take responsibility for, and coordinate relevant activities. In 2014, the SCR’s Local Enterprise Partnership asked Professor Sir Keith Burnett, Vice- Chancellor, the University of Sheffield to form and Chair the Board.

Professor Burnett says: “I brought together this board at a time of enormous opportunities for the UK, based on the existing capabilities and innovation assets across the North and in Sheffield in particular.

“Over recent months we have heard a lot about the Northern Powerhouse, and have seen significant additional government investment in growing these innovation assets. I am keen that, as a board, we play a role in maximising the impact of these investments and deliver real change.”

On his appointment to the Board, Mike adds: “Innovation is at the heart of everything we do at PES Performance, and so I was honoured to be asked to join the SIB. As a company we are always looking at ways of innovating products and technologies, and we believe that innovation is a key to repetitive advantage.

“The Sheffield region has been synonymous with innovation and science-based developments for many years, including the invention of stainless steel over 100 years ago.

“We are passionate about the region and want to help promote the excellence of its universities and companies. Going forward there is tremendous opportunity for the region to maintain and strengthen its reputation for world-leading solutions and to provide business opportunities for our firms. A clearly defined innovation strategy is a key part of this.”

The SIB includes Bruce Katz, Vice President, Brookings Institute and representatives of the two Sheffield universities, local councils and Chambers of Commerce, large research organisations including the AMRC, and private sector partners including Rolls-Royce, Irwin Mitchell, Sheffield Forgemasters RD 26 Ltd, JRI Orthopaedics Ltd, and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

At the same time Dan has become Chairman of the Board of Governors for UTC Sheffield – a high-tech college for students aged 14 to 19. UTC Sheffield was one of the first University Technical Colleges in the country, and offers specialist courses designed with employers, in two exciting industry areas, Creative & Digital Media and Advanced Engineering & Manufacturing.

The UTC is the most radical new education offer in the Sheffield City Region for a generation.  It provides a unique opportunity for young people to benefit from extensive collaboration between employers, universities, colleges and schools to gain a rounded educational experience preparing them for a wide range of future careers.

Dan explains the importance of the UTC in inspiring and educating the next generation of engineers: “PES has been one of many regional companies to have supported UTC Sheffield since its inception. We have worked closely with the students undertaking guest lectures and mentoring events, and setting yearly technology projects for them.

“Engineering is something that I have been interested in since I was young. The UTC is a great opportunity for youngsters to learn about engineering and technology from a practical perspective alongside their education and also to obtain the skills and learning that employers are looking for.

“Also as a local engineering technology company we’re aware of the skills shortages for trained engineers across the region and we believe that the UTC will help contribute to addressing some of these issues by producing students ideal for technical apprenticeships and university courses.”

Students at UTC Sheffield study an academic curriculum – GCSEs and A Levels – alongside their technical learning.  The difference is that all academic study relates to employer-led projects and students gain the skills and qualifications to open up future opportunities for jobs and university courses.

3D scanning Yorkshire Man of Steel PES Scanning
3D Scanning Yorkshire Man of Steel PES Scanning

We’re delighted to hear that the Yorkshire Man of Steel project has been awarded initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)

PES Performance has been involved in the project for the past four years, and we were immediately enthused by the Man of Steel concept from the first time we met Steve Mehdi & Jane in 2012.

We’re proud to be based at the heart of the Sheffield City Region, with the region’s heritage and reputation in the coal, steel and advanced engineering industries, and this is one of the key reasons why we decided to locate our business at the Advanced Manufacturing Park.

We therefore feel that it is entirely fitting that the Man of Steel celebrates the importance of the Yorkshire steel and coal industries, the lives of the men and women who worked in them and ensures that the next generations understand their local and Yorkshire heritage.

But it is not all about the past. The project also will showcase the best of the region’s current and future manufacturing technology, and as a high performance engineering design company this is what we are all about. It may appear to be a simple challenge; however the construction of the iconic Yorkshire Man of Steel will require the design engineering, manufacturing and construction expertise of the regional businesses, the ‘Team of Steel’ to deliver this unique and challenging project.

Not only will the Man of Steel put the region and Yorkshire firmly on the ‘international stage’ it will also profile regional expertise around the globe through this amazing and innovative sculpture. We are certainly very excited and our design team cannot wait to start the engineering design on the external structure of the Man of Steel.

We have been fully supportive of Steve as he pushed hard to offset the inevitable critics, who only saw the sculpture and not what it truly represents as an icon of the people, community and Yorkshire. Nothing could have cemented this more than the development and creation of the Heart of Steel; the first sculpture of which now sits proudly outside Rotherham’s Minster.

The Heart has already raised over £100,000 with thousands being given to the British Heart Foundation as part of the support for Rotherham as a ‘Heart Town’. All of the money being donated by the people, who in return will get their names placed on the second heart that will be placed inside the Man of Steel. Donations have not only come from Yorkshire but from around the world, showing the global reach of the project and pride of the region.

We have used our expertise in 3D scanning and engineering design to help bring the Man of Steel to life. The scanning has allowed the accurate reproduction of Steve’s 300mm high bronze maquette, and which has been scaled up to create the famous model now seen by thousands of people around the region. Eventually the scan data will help us to create the final 30m high piece.

It is important that the entire project will be designed and fabricated locally, harnessing a range of specialist skills and materials and showcasing the region’s renowned reputation for excellence.

Following the generous Heritage Lottery Fund donation, we look forward to working with Steve, Jane & the other companies in the ‘Team of Steel’ to bring the project to reality over the coming months; helping create a new Yorkshire Icon which will both celebrate the past and present, encourage people to visit and also help boost the region’s future economy.

Our latest project is scanning a large scale model of a classic aircraft for a client. 

The Convair F2Y Sea Dart was a unique American seaplane fighter aircraft that rode on twin hydro-skis for takeoff, and is the only seaplane to have exceeded the speed of sound. It flew only as a prototype, and never entered production.

The Sea Dart began as Convair’s entry to a 1948 U.S. Navy contest for a supersonic interceptor aircraft. At the time there was much scepticism about operating supersonic aircraft from aircraft carrier decks, as the  supersonic designs from that era had characteristics that would be troublesome in carrier operations.

The Sea Dart test programme in 1953-54 was troublesome, and as by then the U.S. Navy had also solved the issues with supersonic carrier aircraft, the Sea Dart project was dropped.


3D scanning has played a key role in the restoration of Tullio Lombardo’s Adam. 

Adam, a life-size marble statue carved by Tullio Lombardo during the Renaissance period, is a priceless artwork. It was made in the early 1490s but was badly damaged in 2002 in an accident at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York when the sculpture fell and was shattered into multiple pieces.

The restoration process took 12-years to restore the figure to its former state. A key part of this was the use of 3D scanning to capture data of the broken pieces of the sculpture and plot a virtual reconstruction of the statue.

The first step of the restoration was to digitize the broken fragments, which was achieved by 3D scanning each individual piece.  There were 28 major fragments and 400 minor fragments, and once all fragments had been recreated digitally, the restoration team reassembled the pieces into a 3D model.

It was impossible for the pieces to be exactly realigned but from the completed 3D digital model, a reverse image was produced so that a CNC mill could be used to create a foam cradle for the reconstruction. The scan data was then used to create a “Virtual Adam” 3D CAD model as a reference point for the physical reconstruction of the real Adam statue.

3D scanning Apollo 11 capsule
3D scanning Apollo 11 capsule

As most people know the Apollo 11 spacecraft took astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to the Moon in 1969.

For the past 40 years or so the capsule has been displayed in a protective plastic case, within the National Air and Space Museum, Washington, USA. Now the Smithsonian has recently announced plans around 3D scanning Apollo 11 capsule in order to share it more widely with the future generations.

This new digital approach will include making complete 3D scans of the interior and exterior, which will be used to develop a high quality digital tour of the spacecraft. This will allow people to experience the capsule from the comfort of home, and see what it would be like to sit in Armstrong’s command seat.

The digital data captured through the scanning process will also be made available through the museum’s website, enabling modellers to create a detailed scale 3D printable model of the capsule. The data may also be used to create a simulator game from the scans.

It is envisaged that the data will be publically available before the end of this year

Beagle Pup Prototype G-AVDF
Beagle Pup Prototype G-AVDF

One of our current projects is helping to get the Beagle Pup Prototype (G-AVDF) back into the air.

PES Scanning have been asked by ATSO Engineering Ltd to provide a digital archive of the aircraft fuselage and wings ahead of its restoration. We have recently undertaken photogrammetry and 3D blue light optical scanning of the aircraft and are currently processing the scan data and generating 3D CAD files.

G-AVDF first flew in April 1967 and became the first of 176 aircraft built. The Pup was designed as a single-engined all-metal two-seat aerobatic aircraft or as a four-seat touring aircraft. The aircraft has been in storage for many years, and the plan is for it to be restored to flying condition by the 50th Anniversary of the aircraft in April 2017.

Find out more about the Beagle Pup restoration project here.

Read more about our work on Classic Aircraft projects here.

3D scanning Beagle Pup prototype aircraft - reverse engineering

Click on the image above to view video of the 3D scanning process.

Click above to view a 3D render of the fuselage taken from data captured during the scanning process.