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Custom Fittings News & Blog

  • Tidal power scheme backs UK engineering

    17 Feb 2015

    A possibility to use the “power of the tide” to generate environmentally friendly energy in a £1bn project will give British engineering companies the opportunity to place a major role in the production of the turbines as reported by Alan Tovey, Industry Editor – The Telegraph.   The power is generated using 16 wind turbines by using the rise and fall of the tide, as the tide rises they spin, generating power, as water flows through them and fills up the lagoon.  The process is then reversed when the tide turns.

    This would be of benefit not only to the UK engineering industry but also the South Wales Economy as confirmed by Stephen Crabb, Secretary of State for Wales, saying: “This project, if planning consent is granted, has the potential to transform the South Wales economy by creating hundreds of jobs and countless supply chain opportunities for local businesses across the region.

    “It would also help secure our nation’s energy future.”

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    Posted In: News
  • The price of Oil at $55 per barrel is here for a while

    12 Feb 2015

    The International Oil Agency predicts that the price of oil will stay substantially below the highs of the last three years for the foreseeable future. Ivana Kottasova from CNN Money reports the IEA's medium-term forecast sees prices averaging $55 per barrel in 2015. They should then start to recover but it will take five years for them to get to $73.


    The price of oil being so low is fantastic news for the consumer and many industries. However industries that profit form the oil industry may see a downturn as projects are temporarily shelved.

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    Posted In: News
  • The Rapid Slide in Oil Prices Won’t Last Much Longer

    11 Feb 2015

    The rapid slide in oil prices over the last nine months won’t last much longer, but the rebound will be limited as reported by Sarah Kent in The Wall Street Journal.
    The International Energy Agency reported on Tuesday the rebound would be limited and won’t feature prices at the height of the last three years.


    This has resulted in spending cuts among the oil producers and a decline in the number of rigs drilling for crude oil.
    It is expected by 2017 US shale oil to come back sharply causing a recovery in prices, potentially raising supply from 3.6 million barrels a day in 2014 to a projected 5.2 million barrels in 2020.

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    Posted In: News
  • Exports boost UK manufacturing

    10 Feb 2015

    UK manufacturing is playing a major role in the economic recovery of the UK economy. Andy Bruce from Reuters explains that Export sales have increased and that British factories will provide a modest contribution to the upturn.

    However Andy goes onto say “British manufacturing output is still around 5.3 percent below its pre-downturn peak in early 2008.

    Orders from both home and abroad came in faster last month, the PMI showed, with the new export orders index hitting a five-month high.”

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    Posted In: News
  • UK aerospace industry calls for tax allowances

    09 Feb 2015

    The UK aerospace Industry is responsible for 17% of global aerospace sales and with 109,000 people directly employed in the aerospace industry and competition as fierce as ever it’s important that we remain competitive. Here is a fantastic article in the Financial Times by Peggy Hollinger, where it is explained how the aerospacce industry is seeking tax relief and other investment to ensure continued growth and success in the aerospace industry.


    Paul Everitt, chief executive of ADS, the UK’s aerospace and defence industry body, warns that the growing ambitions of countries such as China to build global industries could erode Britain’s lead unless future governments committed to long-term support.

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    Posted In: News
  • Made to Order Fittings are all part of the Service

    03 Feb 2015

    Here at Custom Fittings we offer a made to order bespoke service to customers that require something non-standard. The made to order service can be referred to also as ‘specials.’ This may be something simple like a reduction in the bore of an adaptor to meet a higher working pressure, an increase of the thread lengths, the use of exotic materials or simply you have a fitting and you don’t know where to get it from, we can reverse engineer the product and create it exactly as the sample.


    We have had many requests throughout the years for some very bespoke and unusual hose end fittings and adaptors. No matter how complicated, we like the challenge. If you have a hose fitting or adaptor request and we say we cannot make it then it simply cannot be done.


    The process for a made to order product would start with a request from a customer be it in the form of a manufacturing drawing, sample product or a detailed description. The enquiry is reviewed and quoted by our sales and engineering teams and once you give the go ahead there would be a working drawing and CAD model created before the product went into production, the fitting would then be manufactured and shipped via courier.


    Mark Crowther our Sales Director says "We understand that customers often want something that steps away from the norm, so ancillary to our stock ranges, having the ability to manufacture hose fittings and adaptors as per a customer’s requirements and spec is a cornerstone of the Custom Fittings philosophy. The experience of our staff in both sales and production enables us to take on the most challenging projects."

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    Posted In: Uncategorized
  • A History of the Water Tender

    16 Jan 2015

    If you are looking to know more about the end use of our hose fittings and BSP Adaptors then you need look no further than modern water tenders or what they are more commonly known as fire engines. Here we discuss the water tender and how it has evolved over the years.


    The great fire of London started at the bakery of Thomas Farriner on Pudding Lane, shortly after midnight on Sunday, 2nd of September. A violent east wind encouraged the flames which raged during the whole of Monday and part of Tuesday. On Wednesday the fire began to die down and on Thursday it was extinguished… The use of the major firefighting technique of the time, was the creation of firebreaks by means of demolition, this action was critically delayed owing to the indecisiveness of the Lord Mayor of London, Sir Thomas Bloodworth. The final tally of people who died in the fire is not known, however, it consumed thirteen thousand and two hundred houses, eighty seven parish churches and St Paul’s Cathedral and most of the buildings of the City authorities. London was the largest city in Britain estimated at the time to house half a million inhabitants. John Evelyn, (a diarist), described London as “wooden, northern, and inartificial congestion of Houses” and expressed alarm about the fire hazard the wood and the congestion caused. London did not have a fire fighting brigade in 1666. Each London parish kept buckets, axes, fire hooks and ladders to fight fires. Local people were supposed to work together to put out fires, the equipment was often stored in churches.


    After the fire, Londoners had to pay for their homes to be rebuilt, this was such a problem that fire insurance companies started up after the fire, and these companies had their own fire brigades. During the 1700’s fire-fighting was carried out by insurance companies, if a building was on fire several fire brigades from different companies often attended. If a building was on fire several fire brigades from different companies often attended, in theory then if the house wasn’t insured by the attendees it could be left to be burned down. This seldom happened in practice, bystanders were often enlisted to help and were rewarded with beer.


    In approximately 1832 ten of the insurance companies combined their brigades to run a more effective firefighting establishment. It became the London Fire Engine Establishment or (LFEE) in 1833. After the disastrous Tooley street Fire of 1833 in which the Chief Officer James Braidwood died, the LFEE petitioned the Government to start a publicly funded fire service. This led to the creation of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade in 1866, which were later re-named the London Fire Brigade in 1904


    Modern water tenders, are now described by firefighters and the general public as Fire Engines/Fire Appliances. “Engines” for the extinguishing of fire were built long before their first “appliance” rolled off the production line. In the States an engine is a pump or a pumper, but in the UK a fire engine is a generic term for any emergency vehicle operated by the fire service. For many years in Britain, the fire service used standard terminology and abbreviations to identify their appliances. For example, a water tender ladder with rescue equipment can be a rescue water tender ladder, (R/WrL), a water tender ladder emergency rescue (WrL/R) and so on.


    At the beginning of the Second World War, an assortment of cars, taxis and light commercials was pressed into service with the Auxiliary Fire Service (AFS) to tow the twenty thousand trailer pumps which it is estimated would be needed to keep the fire service adequately equipped for war. Hire prices and repair bills swallowed up any savings expected from not buying specification vehicles in the first place. During 1940 on an air raid in Manchester so many of the city’s make-shift towing vehicles were out of action or under repair that the trailer pumps had to literally be pushed to fires by their crews. Against this background, in 1941 the Government approved the purchase of 2,000 two-ton vans for use as towing vehicles, they had internal seating for the crew and space for the hose and small gear. They were widely known as auxiliary towing vehicles, or ATV’s but were not officially recognised as such until after the war. Production began in 1941 and continued until 1943. In total approximately 5,570 towing vehicles were built, but unfortunately few would have been operational in time for the large scale bombing of London and other major cities during the Blitz of 1940/41. On August 18th 1941, all the local authority fire brigades of England, Scotland and Wales were nationalised, under the National Fire Service, (NFS), the AFS and its towing vehicles were absorbed into this new national body.

    Post war, the towing vehicle was not designed for attending peace-time incidents. The Green Goddess fire engine, (modern water tender), or self-propelled emergency pump, to give it its correct name, was introduced in the 1950’s to replace the wartime pumps then available to the Auxiliary Fire Service.


    Since the 1950’s the technology of road vehicles and the science behind fire-fighting has moved on considerably. The Government’s new Dimension initiative is a response to the terrorist’s attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York. Today’s fire service is better equipped to deal with fire and rescue, major chemical, biological, radiologic, and nuclear, the modern water tender has come a long way since the Great Fire of London,

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    Posted In: Uncategorized
  • Introducing the Custom Fittings Aerospace Testing Division.

    15 Dec 2014

    As the company grows we are forever seeing opportunities to expand our product portfolio. Here at Custom Fittings, Aerospace testing is the newest division of the company. Our first Aerospace order came some 16 years ago but today now known as the Aerospace Testing division is evolving every day to meet the demands of the ever changing aerospace industry.


    What does the Aerospace Testing Division do?

    Some years ago we witnessed expensive ‘flight’ parts being used on for ground based testing, whether it was the entire fitting or one end being chopped off and welded to another fitting to have the necessary terminations. We realised this was a means to an end, but very unnecessary, and with potential leak points, this was the catalyst for us to embark on a journey to create ground based testing adaptors and hose fittings that were every bit identical to the ‘flight’ parts. The necessary Research and development took a considerable investment, the man hours, the standards and the product testing costs seemed to escalate but never losing sight of the end goal we eventually succeeded in creating a product that was suitable for aerospace testing that was every bit as identical to the more expensive flight part.


    To the naked eye it is impossible to tell the difference between the two, our testing adaptors and hose fittings are made to the exact same standards as flight parts and are inspected in accordance to our ISO 9001 accreditation and the relevant standard of the adaptor that is being manufactured. An adaptor for testing needs to be every bit identical and conform to the Aerospace standards. This was the challenge for Custom Fittings, to manufacture affordable ‘not for flight’ aerospace adaptors and hose fittings that are suitable for aerospace testing.


    We can now produce fittings and adaptors suitable for ground based testing to any Military, aerospace or defence standards (AS, MS, NAS and many more). We manufacture the products to order so you can be assured you are getting the connection and the testing adaptor you require with no leak points because we will create the items one piece.


    We are proud of our achievements with the Aerospace testing division. The early efforts have been rewarded with some of the biggest companies within the aerospace industry now keeping stocks of our testing adaptors.

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    Posted In: News
  • Domestic Sewage Plants

    08 Dec 2014

    Custom Fittings supply and manufacture hydraulic hose fittings and BSP Adaptors to many different types of industry. One of which is the Sewage works and ensuring that the sewage plants hose and piping systems are leak free.


    It was in the summer of 1855, Michael Faraday the great Victorian scientist took a pleasure trip on the Thames in London-however, this turned out not to be the experience he was hoping for. He wrote to the times describing his experience: “the whole of the river was an opaque, pale brown fluid”; the smell was very bad”; and “near the bridges the feculence rolled up on clouds”. He dropped pieces of white card into the river, which then became invisible at depths greater than a few centimetres. From that moment on he predicted severe problems in a future “hot season”.  His experiment was later immortalised in a Punch cartoon, “Faraday giving his card to Father Thames”. Three years later, his concern was justified when Londoners’ were assaulted by the “Great Stink”.


    In the summer of 1858, the city of London came to a virtual standstill, Government could barley function: people resisted the urge to leave their homes, but demanded action from the Government. For centuries the Thames had played the role of dumping ground for all of London’s various wastes-human, animal, and industrial. The population of London had grown from a small Roman fort into a large, metropolitan city, the amount of waste grew along with it.


    It may seem obvious to us today that polluted drinking water leads to the spread of diseases like cholera, however, it was not at all that obvious to the Victorians. Fear of the disease led to intense speculation about its origins as Europe was ravaged by four waves of Cholera in the nineteenth century, and tens of thousands died.


    Florence Nightingale was a staunch believer in the theory of “miasma” as was Edwin Chadwick the, the social and sanitary reformer. Chadwick was asked to carry out a new enquiry into sanitation, in his publication The Sanitary Conditions of the Labouring Population (1842), Chadwick used quantitative methods to show that there was a direct link between poor living conditions and disease and life expectancy. This investigation inspired the Public Health Act of 1848 and to the establishment of the general Board of Health.


    Joseph Bazalgette, a civil engineer and Chief Engineer of the Metropolitan Board of Works was given the responsibility of creating a modern sewerage system. He designed an extensive underground system that diverted waste to the Thames Estuary, downstream of the main population. Also, and, six main interceptor sewers, which totalled almost one hundred miles in length, were constructed, some included stretches of London’s lost rivers. Gravity allowed the sewage to flow eastwards, but in places such as Chelsea, Deptford and Abbey Mills, pumping stations were built to raise the water and provide sufficient flow. Sewers north of the Thames feed into the Northern Outfall Sewer, which fed into a major treatment works at Beckon. South of the river, the Southern Outfall Sewer extended to a similar facility at Crossness. With only minor modifications, Bazalgette’s engineering achievements remains the basis for sewerage design up into the present day.


    Why do we need to treat domestic sewage? Mains water supplies to households is used for many things, not just drinking and food preparation, it is also used for taking a bath or shower, to flush the toilet and washing, (clothes, dishes), etcetera. The used water gravitates to the loal sewer and becomes “sewage”.


    Domestic wastewater contains both solid and dissolved pollutants including faecal matter, urine, sanitary items, food residues and a variety of other contaminants. The same network will also include office, commercial and industrial wastewaters and rainwater from roads and roofs will also drain in the sewer network. The combination (flow), form these various sources travels through the sewer system and ultimately to a “sewage works” where it receives treatment before discharge.


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    Posted In: Uncategorized
  • Modern Milking Production Techniques

    27 Nov 2014

    Continuing with industries and the end uses of our Hose fittings and adaptors, today we are focusing on milking and the modern production techniques. The use of milk as a drink probably began with the domestication of animals, in Iran and Afghanistan in about 9000 B.C., in about 7000 B.C. cattle were being herded in Turkey and other parts of Africa. The ancient Greeks and Romans, had methods for making cheese from milk and the use of milk spread throughout Europe.


    Milking is the continuous secretion and storage of milk in the udder. The milk ejection effect is short term, inhibited by pain or fear but stimulated by good husbandry practice. Most milk is obtained from dairy cows, although milk from goats, water buffalo, and reindeer is also used in other parts of the world. In many industrialised countries, raw cow’s milk is processed before it is consumed. During this process harmful bacteria are killed, various vitamins are added and the fat content of the milk is adjusted. Milk is not the only product made through milk production, by products of milk are of course, butter, cream yogurt, and cheese to name but a few.


    Dairy farmers, with varying levels of skill, knowledge and resources, maximise returns from milk production by influencing lactation through breeding selectively, nutrition, and general management. With the development of the dairy industry, a variety of machines for processing milk were also developed. In 1836 Louis Pasteur a French national, developed a method of heating wine to kill the microorganisms that cause wine to turn wine into vinegar. This method of killing off harmful bacteria was adapted to a number of food products and later became known as pasteurisation, effectively changing the way milk is produced.


    For dairy farmers, the design and function of milking machine is critical for rapid and efficient removal of milk without damage to the animal, and with minimal risk for transmitting pathogenic, microorganisms that might cause mastitis. The recommended process of milking relates directly or indirectly to control and prevent mastitis. The interface between the teat and the machine are carefully designed for that reason. Most cows have four functional teats. That means that milking machines are designed with four teat cups. These are composed of an inner rubber liner and an outer shell, usually made of Stainless steel…


    Modern milk production systems are designed to help farmers improve the health of their herds, it reduces the number of mastitis cases, saves time, and increase the efficiency of the milking parlour. Mastitis is a widespread condition in which all or part of the udder suffers from an infection caused by bacteria entering through the teat canal. It is probably the most costly disease to affect dairy cows and farm profits. Its adversely affects animal production, animal welfare, the quality of the milk produced and staff morale.


    Machine milking should create a pleasant sensation for the cows if the machine is kept clean, maintained properly and operated according the manufacturer’s instructions. Clusters should be attached and removed carefully to avoid vacuum fluctuations that cause mastitis. Slipping teat cups should be readjusted and fallen teat cups replaced immediately. Skilled operators pay particular attention to careful cluster attachment and removal form the udder. Particular attention is essential to ensure that the cut-off arrangements to the clawpiece are effective so that excessive volumes of air do not enter and cause vacuum fluctuations in the main vacuum pipeline system, as this could increase mastitis incidence.


    The principles of modern milking (machinery), is to extract milk from the cow by vacuum. A milking machine installation consists of a pipework system linking various vessels and other components which together provide the flow paths for air and milk. The forces necessary to move air and milk through the system arise from the fact that it is maintained at a vacuum. It is atmospheric pressure which forces air, and intra-mammary milk pressure which forces milk, into the system and the combination of these forces causes flow. To be a continuous operation it is necessary to remove air and milk from the system at appropriate rates. Although modern milking machinery have now developed into systems that show considerable diversity they have the same basic components. They are today often controlled by computer systems that record production information, sometimes indicators of mastitis, and other cow information. Milk yield is determined by a milk flow meter. Cleanliness of the machines and hygiene during the milking process are critical for successful control of mastitis during the milking process.


    Approximately one hundred and fifty million households around the globe are engaged in milk production. In most developing countries milk is produced by smallholders, and milk production contributes to household livelihoods, food security and nutrition according to It is an important food source, (although this is a contentious issue in some quarters), which provides relatively quick returns for small-scale produces and is an important cash resource.

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"Custom Fittings are a 1st tier supplier to GS Hydro for stainless steel high and low pressure hydraulic components. For over 20 years Custom Fittings have been our preferred supplier due to the high ..." Chris Hargreaves, Managing Director - GS Hydro UK

We have been using Custom Fittings for many years now, they offer fantastic customer service as well as top of the range products. We could not recommend them more highly and will continue to use them..." James Tidy, Director - Tidyco Ltd

"Custom Fittings have been the number one supplier for stainless steel fittings to Fluid Power Services for over 25 years now.In the early years our requirements were for standard off the shelf parts ..." Anthony Smith, Sales Director - Fluid Power Services Ltd

Custom Fittings provide us with a fast, efficient supply of top quality Stainless Steel fittings and valuable assistance with problem solving and special order parts." Colin Leonard, British Aerospace Engineer

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