Flying the Flag

I write this month’s article on the eve of the first Ashes Test in Australia and I’m hoping and praying that we give our friends down under a damn good hiding. By the time you read this we’ll be two nil up in the series and moving on to Adelaide to tie up a series win.

I consider myself to be the eternal realist, but it’s good to indulge in a bit of wanton patriotic optimism every now and then. Unfortunately, it seems that reasons for optimism are a bit light on the ground at the moment.

However, there is a website which goes a long way to restoring genuine pride and it’s highly relevant to design engineers. Millennium Products is an initiative to select 2000 products or services created in the UK which are pioneering in their field, forward thinking, challenging, creative and innovative. The Design Council is driving the project and well over 400 products have already been selected.

The site has a search facility but it’s well worth having a browse around. You can even submit a product or service for consideration through the site and it can be found linked to Design Engineering Online in Hotlinks.

Other sites worth a visit are: Southco at which now offers free downloads of 2D and 3D CAD files for 13,000 standard products including latches and access fasteners; and bearing company NSK which has launched an impressive site which you can find at

While we’re on the subject, some of you will have noticed that our hotlinks page is being refined: click onto bearings and rather than being faced with a huge list of vendors, you can go into any of six specific families of bearings to assist your search.

One to look for

DE Online Hotlinks for the Design Council’s Millennium Products site and, for those following the highs and lows of the Ashes Tour, try