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Official launch of the Surface Engineering Leadership Forum


The Surface Engineering Leadership Forum (SELF) was officially launched at the House of Lords on Monday 11th February 2019.

SELF explained
SELF has been set up to promote the surface engineering sector, and to ensure that it continues to grow and achieve a competitive advantage whilst improving profits – even in the event of a no deal Brexit! Its aim is to support the UK materials and manufacturing industries on their journey to become world beating in the application of Industry 4.0 principles and tools.

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Looking after the industry with SELF

The Surface Engineering Leadership Forum (SELF) has recently been set up by a group of individuals and companies involved in surface engineering, advanced coatings and material finishing. It includes senior representatives from industry trade bodies, research and technology organisations, professional engineering institutions, universities, and specialist manufacturers.

The aim of SELF is to ensure that the industry continues to grow and achieve a competitive advantage while improving profits during an uncertain economic future in the UK.

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A successful Gala Dinner and Awards for the SEA

Held at the 5-star Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel, in the Free Trade Hall in Manchester, this year’s SEA gala dinner and awards evening was thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended.

This was the second time the SEA Awards have been held jointly with the CHTA, and we were happy to see so many attendees from all areas of the surface engineering and heat treatment sector.

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BATF Commision Portrait in Memory of Former President

The British Allied Trades Federation has commissioned a portrait in memory of one of their most influential and long serving decision makers, C H Plenderleith, known to all as Bob, who sadly passed away late last year aged 96. He was an active member of the leathergoods trade association, serving as Chairman in 1967, and first became involved with the BATF in 1978 when he played an instrumental role in getting the British Travelgoods and Accessories Association to join the Federation.

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The Importance of Networking Events for UK


Networking events have often been seen as an opportunity to meet up with old business acquaintances to have a catch up and a drink or two.  However, modern-day networking events hold a much more important role in business to business (B2B) relationships.

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The HS&E Committee - An Important Update

For over 40 years, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has been looking after the welfare and safety of the UK’s workforce. A national, independent organisation that oversees work-related health, safety and illness, helping reduce work-related deaths and serious injuries and illnesses.


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The Importance of Membership

Since Brexit was triggered, businesses in the UK have been dealing with a lot of uncertainty as to what happens when the break is made from the European Union.


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The REACH Cross Sector Group

As anyone working in the surface engineering sector knows, the REACH Directive has been at the top of the agenda for quite some time. Impacting on our sector and many others, the Directive sets out to restrict the use of a number of chemicals which will, in turn, affect the way many businesses are able to carry out their day to day operations.


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SEA members contribute to world-leading research

Those who work in the surface engineering industry, and especially those who carry out electroplating processes, will already know about the short and long-term effects of substances of very high concern (SVHC).  


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The Horizon 2020 Project

The Horizon 2020 Project is the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.  It is the biggest EU research and innovation programme to date with funding of over €80 billion available over seven years for organisations, businesses and individuals who are committed to drive economic growth, create jobs and improve the environment.

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Meet the 2016 Award Winners...

The biennial co-sponsored event of the Surface Engineering Association and the Contract Heat Treatment Association was held at its new venue, the Midland Hotel Manchester on 30th September 2016. 

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D-Day for Chromium Trioxide?



Chrome plating has been used for many years for decorative purposes, to provide corrosion resistance, or to increase surface hardness of other metals and substrates, but soon it may become harder for surface finishing and coating companies to offer this service.

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The future of plated plastics...

Car badges and trims, games consoles and mobile phones, just a few of the everyday items that contain a plastic component that has been chrome plated.  So how is the future of plated plastics going to be affected by the inclusion of chromium trioxide in the amendments to the SVHC list?

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The aims of the climate change agreement

Climate change and global warming have been at the forefront of the news for several years and it is a very real challenge that every country around the world faces.  Global warming is evidenced in rising temperatures, warming oceans, melting polar ice and glaciers, rising sea levels and more extreme weather events.

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A guide to reducing your energy bills!

Statistics show that carbon dioxide (CO2) levels have increased by 40% since the industrial revolution.  This increase has been linked to the burning of fossil fuels for energy, agriculture and deforestation, as well as from manufacturing processes, such as those for producing chemicals and metals.

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Why the surface finishing industry needs a strong trade association!

A trade association plays an extremely important role in any industry. Whether promoting best practice, offering advice and guidance, or making sure their voice is heard where rules and regulations are laid down, a trade association always has its members and the industry’s best interests at heart.

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COSHH Regulations - are you up to date?

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) is a law applying to every single company in the UK.  It requires employers to control those substances which are deemed hazardous to health to employees, contractors and any other person. 

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Reach Chemicals - what are they and how do I comply with the regulations?

For companies working in the surface finishing sector, there are a number of UK and EU regulations, guidelines and legislation that govern how they go about their daily operations.  Included in this long list are the REACH (Restriction, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals) Regulations.

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Helping You Understand the REACH Regulations

Understanding your responsibilities under REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals) is not an easy task when you have a company to run.  Dealing with the day to day issues of your operation is more than enough without having to trawl through reams of legislation, when much of it probably doesn’t even apply to you.


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Dissecting Surface Finishing Legislation

For those running businesses, it’s not just the day to day running of the operation that concerns them, but also the many laws and regulations that need to be complied with.  Whether dealing with taxes or employment issues, there is always something new to digest.


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How the Surface Engineering Association works hard for its members


The Surface Engineering Association plays a pivotal role in the surface engineering and finishing industry.  Anyone working in the industry will reap a number of great benefits by being a member of the Association.  


Although the benefits are many, we list below a few good reasons why it pays to join us.

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EPR Consolidation Update

 The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 are to be updated to consolidate the various amendments made since its publication, as well as taking into account any revisions made to other legislation related to the subject.  This will ensure that they will be fully up to date legally, and that it is accurate with no omissions or errors.

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Nickel plating and the SEA

 In the surface coating and finishing industry, there are many processes and coatings available to provide a wide range of enhancements to a number of products. Whether a company is involved in all aspects of coating technologies or specialises in just one, such as electroplating, anodising or electroless nickel plating, the Surface Engineering Association (SEA) is looking out for their interests.

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Discovering the world of metal finishing

In the metal finishing industry there are many different types of processes which give a range of enhanced properties to components. Companies involved in metal finishing may specialise in just one of these processes, or may be equipped to carry out most, or all.

Here we take a look at metal finishing, what the different processes are, and the regulations which govern them.

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The Surface Engineering & Heat Treatment Industry Conference - an event you shouldn't miss

If you work in the surface coating, metal finishing or heat treatment industries, then the 2015 Surface Engineering & Heat Treatment Industry conference is the event for you.

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An Introduction to Hard Chrome Plating

In the surface engineering and finishing industry there are many different processes and coatings which are applied to a substrate to change its surface properties. Amongst the many surface coatings in use across a wide range of industries to improve the substrates performances is hard chrome plating. Here we take a brief look at this plating process.

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Your guide to COMAH 2015 and how it affects your business

On 1st June 2015, the new Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) regulations will come into force in the UK. This latest update to the regulations has some important changes on the classification of dangerous substances, as well as the information that must be provided to the public in respect of these substances.

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Your guide to electroplating

Since the 19th Century, electroplating has been widely used for a number of industrial applications. Plated coatings including copper, tin, gold and silver can be applied to a variety of metal substrates from aluminium to zinc. Electroplating is carried out to improve the properties of the substrate such as giving enhanced solderability and electrical properties, or to increase durability, corrosion and chemical resistance.

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The REACH Directive and the implications to the surface engineering industry

The REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals) Directive has been in force since June 2007. This legislation affects all members of the SEA who use chemicals during their surface engineering processes. Amongst the many aims of the REACH Directive was to provide a high level of protection to human health and the environment from chemicals.

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A brief guide to the chrome plating process

The Surface Engineering Association (SEA) is dedicated to making sure their members’ interests are represented, both at UK and EU governmental levels. Legislation governing environmental and health and safety has a big impact on the day-to-day operations of companies working in the surface engineering industry. We ensure our members get the right advice to help them comply with the often complicated legislation.

Here, we take a look at the chrome plating process and the latest joint guidance production by the SEA and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

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Cadmium plating – an introduction

Companies operating in the surface engineering industry have a raft of legislation to navigate to enable them to carry out their day-to-day activities. Operators carrying out cadmium plating face a wide-range of issues in respect of complying with the latest environmental and health and safety regulations.

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The Importance of Being a Part of a Trade Association

A trade association plays an important role in promoting trade laws and best practices. They encourage and aid companies in becoming more competitive within their sector, acting as the voice of a company when discussing government policies and informing its members quickly of changes in trade and employment legislation. There are excellent opportunities with regards to conferences, networking and training as well as advice and educational materials.

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