Cambridge Vacuum Engineering shortlisted for prestigious energy award

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Cambridge Vacuum Engineering (CVE) – a specialist in power beam welding technologies – has been shortlisted for a prestigious International Energy Award for its ground-breaking RapidWeld project. RapidWeld saw CVE work alongside industry partners to fast track the production of an offshore wind turbine monopile foundation destined for the Dogger Bank Wind Farm. During the project, CVE and the RapidWeld team demonstrated that critical pieces of energy infrastructure can be produced up to 25 times quicker if the correct electron beam welding technologies are deployed.

Organised by the Energy Institute, the annual International Energy Awards celebrate game-changing and disruptive technologies that are supporting the transition to net zero and / or extending universal access to energy. CVE has been shortlisted in the ‘International Energy Technology Award’ category, alongside five other businesses including Octopus Energy and UK Power Networks.

The RapidWeld project was funded by Innovate UK and led by a consortium including CVE, SSE Renewables, DNV, Sif Netherlands B.V., Agile NDT and The Welding Institute (TWI).

Harnessing CVE’s innovative Ebflow technology, the consortium delivered the first-ever electron beam welded section to be incorporated into an offshore wind turbine monopile foundation (transition piece). Ebflow uses a local vacuum system that creates and maintains a vacuum around only the seam that is being welded. Significantly quicker, cheaper and cleaner than conventional welding techniques, this innovative method can be used on the largest structures. During RapidWeld, CVE demonstrated that it is possible to weld monopiles far quicker than current methods. It also proved that Ebflow uses 90% less energy, costs 88% less, and produces 97% less CO2 emissions.

Bob Nicolson, Managing Director at Cambridge Vacuum Engineering, said: “Once complete, Dogger Bank will become the world’s largest offshore wind farm. The scale of the project and its ambitious delivery timeline necessitates the use of novel technologies that can expedite construction, whilst maintaining the highest quality standards. As a team, we were excited to get RapidWeld off the ground and honoured to deploy our Ebflow solution on such an important energy infrastructure initiative. The results we achieved were outstanding and to be shortlisted for an award for the project is the icing on the cake.

“Our nomination is testament to the partnerships we forged across the RapidWeld consortium. It also reflects CVE’s ongoing commitment to innovation and excellence within the energy sector and to finding innovative solutions to complex engineering challenges that can support the journey to net zero. RapidWeld was an incredible project to work on and we are excited about what could be achieved by scaling up the use of electron beam welding in this and other similar renewable energy projects. We eagerly await the outcome of the awards ceremony.”

Now in its 25th anniversary year, the International Energy Awards attract entries from businesses across the world that are championing more sustainable ways of working. Winners are decided by an elite judging panel including some of the biggest names in the energy sector such as Dame Angela Strank DBE FRS FREng FIChemE HonFEI. Winners of the International Energy Awards will be announced at the International Energy Week Dinner on 29th February 2024 at The Grosvenor House, London.

The Energy Institute is the chartered membership body for professionals working globally across the energy sector. A registered charity, the Energy Institute provides the skills, knowledge and good practice needed to protect the environment during operations and to advance the global energy transition required by the climate emergency.

CVE is headquartered in Waterbeach and has regional offices in Beijing, China and Massachusetts, USA, as well as a global network of agents. For more information about CVE go to


About Cambridge Vacuum Engineering:

Aquasium Technology Ltd, trading as Cambridge Vacuum Engineering (“CVE”), design and build process solutions and has more than 60 years’ experience manufacturing electron beam (EB) systems in a range of industrial sectors including aerospace, nuclear, automotive, oil and gas, and sensors. The company exports around 95% of its systems with primary markets in USA, China, India, and Europe. CVE’s range of EB welding equipment includes systems ranging from 50-200kV with beam powers up to 100kW. CVE has a team of designers and engineers to enable them to design and build bespoke manufacturing equipment to meet their customer’s requirements.

For more information please email:

Cambridge Vacuum Engineering and Cranfield University project paves way for wider industrialization of Laser in Vacuum welding

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Groundbreaking Knowledge Transfer Partnership solves optical contamination issue


Cambridge Vacuum Engineering (CVE) – the power beam welding specialists – today announced the successful completion of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)* with Cranfield University that will increase welding options available to engineers worldwide. Together, the two organisations have solved the undesirable optics contamination phenomenon associated with Laser in Vacuum welding, paving the way for full scale industrial exploitation of the technology.

The conclusion of the KTP is set to yield tangible benefits for companies that want to achieve deeper penetration welds, while also improving weld quality, reducing oxidation, and minimising the time needed for part cleaning, post welding.

Laser in Vacuum welding is a relatively new joining technique that can be used to tackle some of the most demanding welding tasks. The technique can achieve two to three times the depth of weld compared to conventional laser welding methods. However, to date, the issue of optics contamination** has hindered its widespread adoption across industry.

With a shared vision to drive forward innovation, CVE and Cranfield University joined forces to research innovative solutions to this persistent issue and enable the seamless integration of Laser in Vacuum welding into various industrial applications. Over the last two years, using Innovate UK funding, the teams set up test systems at both CVE and Cranfield to study different aspects of the Laser in Vacuum process and trial various concepts and solutions. Experiments on these systems provided the team with a robust data set on various phenomena associated with optical contamination, as well as the secondary effects of the potential identified solutions. This data was then used to develop a unique optics protection system – using a first principles, physics-based approach – that operates effectively with very low levels of particulate generation. Several trials were conducted with customers, providing further assurances about the capabilities of Laser in Vacuum welding, and validating weld quality in a range of applications, materials and joint configurations.

The project has subsequently been awarded the highest grade of ‘Outstanding’ by Innovate UK and Cambridge Vacuum Engineering is now building Laser in Vacuum welding machines featuring the technology for its customers in industry.

Commenting, KTP Project Lead and Head Laser Development Engineer at CVE, Max Nentwich, said: “This project is a significant milestone in the commercialisation of Laser in Vacuum welding. By addressing the optics contamination issue, we can now unlock the full potential of this form of welding – enabling it to reach full industrial maturity. As a team, we are incredibly proud of this breakthrough and grateful to Innovate UK and Cranfield for their support. On a personal level, as a recent graduate, I’m delighted to have led such a meaningful project. It was a privilege to conduct research that will have immediate implications for industry and help deliver enhanced levels of productivity, efficiency, and quality for end users.”

CVE’s optical protection system ensures cleanliness levels of welded parts comparable with electron beam welding, while guaranteeing a long laser coupling-in window life. The low-cost consumable windows last for up to three hours of welding at a low power (3kW) with no appreciable weld degradation.

Steve Horrex, Sales Director at CVE, said: “Congratulations to Max and the team at Cranfield for completing this project with such exceptional results. It’s rare for a recent graduate to be put in charge of such a large KTP, but we knew from the start that Max was the right project lead. To be awarded such an impressive grade by Innovate UK validates the future impact of this project and we look forward to taking the results to market to deliver commercial benefits across the sectors we work in.”

Dr. Wojciech Suder, Senior Lecturer at Cranfield University, said: “Laser welding in vacuum can overcome many limitations of atmospheric laser welding, opening a myriad of new applications. Working with Max and the CVE team enabled us to put the required expertise together quickly and develop this technology very efficiently, making real impact. Well done to the team for converting a lab idea into a commercial system is in just over two years. I look forward to seeing this technology revolutionizing thick section and specialized welding applications.

Jody Chatterjee, Knowledge Transfer Advisor at Innovate UK (KTN), said: “This was a highly innovative and productive KTP project between CVE and Cranfield University, where the knowledge transfer was project managed and the outcomes delivered by Max, an excellent Associate.  There are over 800 KTP projects throughout the UK each year with companies, charities, non-profits, and the public sector, across a range of industries and sectors covering STEM, management, and other topics.’’

Laser in Vacuum welding complements electron beam and standard laser welding techniques, with each approach possessing different strengths and weaknesses. Offering all three types of welding, Cambridge Vacuum Engineering can take a technology agnostic approach, providing customers with bespoke solutions optimised to meet different application needs and engineering challenges. Laser in Vacuum welding is most suited to projects where higher penetration welds are required or gas-sensitive materials are used. In these scenarios, standard laser welding can struggle to achieve the right results. Many of the process variables influencing weld quality associated with standard laser welding, such as shielding gas composition, nozzle design, and melt pool instabilities, are eliminated using a vacuum.

CVE is headquartered in Waterbeach and has regional offices in Beijing, China and Massachusetts, USA, as well as a global network of agents. For more information about CVE go to


About Cambridge Vacuum Engineering:

Aquasium Technology Ltd, trading as Cambridge Vacuum Engineering (“CVE”), design and build process solutions and has more than 60 years’ experience manufacturing electron beam (EB) systems in a range of industrial sectors including aerospace, nuclear, automotive, oil and gas, and sensors. The company exports around 95% of its systems with primary markets in USA, China, India, and Europe. CVE’s range of EB welding equipment includes systems ranging from 50-200kV with beam powers up to 100kW. CVE has a team of designers and engineers to enable them to design and build bespoke manufacturing equipment to meet their customer’s requirements.

About Cranfield University

Cranfield is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management. The most recent Research Excellence Framework results demonstrate Cranfield University’s excellence with 88% of research rated as world-leading or internationally excellent. We are focused on the specialist themes of aerospace, defence and security, energy and sustainability, environment and agrifood, manufacturing and materials, transport systems, and water. Cranfield School of Management is a world leader in management education and research. Cranfield is a six-time winner of the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize, the only national honour given to educational institutions for work carried out in the public interest. For more information, go to:

About Innovate UK

Innovate UK is the UK’s national innovation agency. It drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas, including those from the UK’s world-class research base. They connect businesses to the partners, customers and investors that can help them turn these ideas into commercially successful products and services, and business growth. For more information go to:


(*) Since 1975, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) have been helping businesses innovate for growth. They are unique collaborative partnerships creating positive impact and driving innovation. KTPs connect forward thinking businesses with the UK’s world class knowledge bases to deliver a business led innovation projects. KTPs are developed to solve a specific, strategic innovation challenge faced by the business partner.

(**) During laser welding, the creation of vapour and particulate (soot) can prove problematic. With other forms of welding, operators manage the build-up of vapour and particulate by using gas protection systems. However, with laser in vacuum welding, the use of such system can negate some of the advantages of the vacuum – turning process emissions from welding into a fine particulate that coats the inside of the welding chamber and the workpiece. In laser in vacuum welding, proper soot extraction is a challenge due to the lack of atmosphere. The deposited powder is harmless in small quantities but begins to present a more significant risk when it builds into a thick layer. This can happen quickly when the machine is in heavy use. Airborne metal oxide powders can be toxic and present an explosion and fire risk. These risks are mitigated, but not avoided entirely, with regular cleaning. This conflict with health and safety requirements, as well as cleanliness standards, is unacceptable for many industries.

CVE certified as ‘Great Place To Work’

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Cambridge Vacuum Engineering (CVE), the electron beam and laser in vacuum welding specialists, has officially been certified as a Great Place To Work. The prestigious accreditation solidifies CVE’s position as an exceptional employer within the engineering sector, as well as a leading global provider of power beam welding equipment.

For more than 60 years, CVE has been supplying innovative welding solutions to some of the biggest names in aerospace, automotive, defence, nuclear, and oil and gas – helping them solve major engineering challenges. Demand for the company’s welding know-how is ramping up as industries seek to lower their carbon footprint and speed up the manufacture of electric vehicle batteries, wind turbines and nuclear reactors.

CVE has gained Great Place To Work status following a comprehensive survey of its employees and the completion of a workplace questionnaire by its management team. Recognised worldwide, the Great Place To Work scheme is the only certification based entirely on what employees say about their workplace and is a benchmark for companies that provide an outstanding employee experience.

Bob Nicolson, Managing Director at CVE, said: “At CVE our employees get to work on some of the most important engineering projects in the world – but we actually offer much more than just that. Alongside continuous professional development opportunities, staff can take advantage of subsidised gym membership, free pilates classes and regular in-house wellbeing workshops on money management, reducing stress and improving sleep. We have our own five-a-side football team. We organise regular social outings including hikes in the countryside and theatre trips. All staff also get an annual health check and free flu jabs. We’ve known for a long time that we’ve created a special company where people like coming to work. Getting this rubber stamped by the team at Great Place To Work is excellent news – particularly as the decision was based on what our staff had to say.”

With Great Place To Work status, CVE is now ranked alongside other like-minded organisations worldwide, which are committed to creating a positive and supportive working environment that fosters employee engagement, innovation, teamwork and professional growth.

CVE is headquartered just outside Cambridge, UK and has regional offices in Beijing, China and Massachusetts, USA as well as a global network of agents. For more information about CVE go to

About Cambridge Vacuum Engineering:

Aquasium Technology Ltd, trading as Cambridge Vacuum Engineering (“CVE”), design and build process solutions and has more than 60 years’ experience manufacturing electron beam (EB) systems in a range of industrial sectors including aerospace, nuclear, automotive, oil and gas, and sensors. The company exports around 95% of its systems with primary markets in USA, China, India, and Europe. CVE’s range of EB welding equipment includes systems ranging from 50-200kV with beam powers up to 100kW. CVE has a team of designers and engineers to enable them to design and build bespoke manufacturing equipment to meet their customer’s requirements.

For more information please email:




Forum for Engineering Structural Integrity

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Forum for Engineering Structural Integrity

This week, CVE attended the 17th Engineering Structural Integrity Assessment Conference (ESIA17) between the 23-25 May 2023. The conference was in conjunction with the China Structural Integrity Consortium’s International Symposium on Structural Integrity (ISSI 2023).

The conference, which took place at The Lowry in the heart of Greater Manchester, provided a unique opportunity for the engineering structural integrity community to learn about novel solutions and technical advances to some of the most urgent challenges facing engineering today, and to network with leaders in ESI from around the world.


Chris Punshon, CVE’s Head of New Energy Applications, presented on the suitability of electron beam welds for the fabrication of wind turbine sub structures.

Wind turbine structures are made from thick carbon steel (typically grade S355) plates. The thickness makes submerged arc welding the default choice by manufacturers.
However, submerged arc welding requires preheat, a significant quantify of welding consumable, and the multiple passes mean welding is time consuming.

Electron beam welding is an alternative welding technique, which has the potential to significantly reduce welding time. Steel of up to 200mm thick can be welded in a single pass, and a longitudinal seam weld in a monopile can be produced in minutes rather than hours.

A key step in enabling fabricators to implement electron beam welding is to confirm that the mechanical properties and fatigue performance are suitable.

The presentation presented the key similarities and differences between electron beam welds and conventional arc welds, including a discussion of the most appropriate way to test electron beam welds in order to obtain a reasonable measure of fracture toughness.

For more information, please get in touch.

CVE Join UK Pavilion at Battery Show Europe

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CVE will be exhibiting as part of the UK Pavilion at Battery Show Europe, 23-25 May 2023.

Taking place in Stuttgart, Germany, the exhibition is the leading meeting place for the advanced battery and H/EV technology community.

The UK Pavilion is returning to highlight the latest in Government backed advanced automotive battery technology. The UK Pavilion will host 17 SMEs, who will bring exciting new battery technologies and manufacturing techniques, representing the very best of UK clean automotive innovation. 

A record number of SMEs will be participating in the UK Pavilion at the Battery Show, highlighting the breadth and depth of innovation made possible by Government support.

Philippa Oldham, Stakeholder Engagement Director at APC, commented,

“The significant increase in companies participating in the UK Pavilion this year demonstrates that the UK innovation eco-system is thriving, helping us maintain a competitive position in clean and EV technology development. Through participation in the Battery Show Europe, UK Pavilion exhibitors are keen to foster partnerships whilst encouraging investment and collaborative innovation with organisations in Germany, Western Europe and the wider world. We look forward to supporting them in their efforts.”


CVE will be showcasing their progressive manufacturing solutions that will reduce costs and time to market for battery and motor manufacturers.

You can find us at stand 10D30, where we will be pleased to discuss CVE’s electron beam welding machines for the automotive sector.

Find out more by following the links below.

Evflow – Electron Beam Welding Machine for EV Components

Electrification Industry

CVE Win Faraday Challenge Funding

Welding Electrical Conductors for Electric Vehicles

Electron Beam Welding of Busbars

An Introduction to Electron Beam Welding

Laser Welding vs Electron Beam Welding

CVE Host Plenary Session at ICAPP 2023

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International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants

CVE recently presented at the 2023 International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants (ICAPP), in conjunction with the 38th Korea Atomic Power Annual Conference.

Bob Nicolson, Managing Director, and Chris Punshon, Head of New Energy Applications, presented on “High Power, Local Vacuum Electron Beam and Laser Welding Solutions for Nuclear Applications”, as highly respected specialists in the field, following an invitation to be plenary speakers from the Technical Programme Committee.

The International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants (ICAPP) is a forum for leaders of the nuclear community to exchange information, present results from their work, review the state of the industry, and discuss future directions and needs for the deployment of new nuclear power plant systems around the world. The technical programme of the ICAPP 2023 consisted of 3 plenary sessions, 1 panel session and more than 40 parallel sessions.

Running alongside the International Nuclear Energy Expo 2023, the congress took place on the 23rd-27th April 2023 at The Hwabaek International Convention Centre (HICO) in Gyeongju, Korea.

Figure 1. Bob Nicolson (left), Chris Punshon (right).


Figure 2. ICAPP Conference 2023.


Figure 3. High Power, Local Vacuum Electron Beam and Laser Welding Solutions for Nuclear Applications.

Figure 4. CVE presented as part of Plenary 2.

First Electron Beam Welding of Wind Turbine Monopile

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First Electron Beam Welding of Wind Turbine Monopile Achieves Dramatic Results

A collaboration between Cambridge Vacuum Engineering (CVE), SSE Renewables, Sif Group, and TWI, has resulted in the first-ever electron beam welded section to be incorporated in an offshore wind turbine monopile foundation (transition piece). The resulting monopile is set for installation in the second phase of Dogger Bank Wind Farm, which is located more than 130km off the Northeast coast of England.

Monopiles are currently fabricated using conventional techniques such as submerged arc welding (SAW), but the consortium has demonstrated that electron beam (EB) welding is significantly quicker, cheaper, cleaner, more energy efficient and produces high quality welds with excellent fatigue properties.

Innovative Ebflow Technique is 25 x Faster and Uses 90% Less Energy

The type of electron beam welding technology used – called EbflowTM – is an innovative development within the electron beam welding industry. Instead of welding inside a costly and size-limiting vacuum chamber, Ebflow uses a local vacuum system that creates and maintains a vacuum around only the seam that is being welded. This technique unleashes the potential to use EB welding on large structures, such as the biggest monopiles, while reducing costs and enhancing productivity. The technology – developed by CVE – has been shown to weld monopiles at least 25 times faster than current methods, whilst using 90% less energy, costing 88% less, and producing 97% less CO2 emissions than SAW methods.

The project required installation of an Ebflow system at Sif’s Maasvlakte 2 facility in Rotterdam to perform several longitudinal welds on 2750 mm length seams on 8m diameter rolled cans with a wall thickness of between 67-85mm. Qualification of the welding machine, weld procedures and operators were witnessed by third party inspectors and the regulatory body, DNV, which subsequently issued a technology qualification for EB welding and non-destructive testing (NDT) of the longitudinal seams produced with the process. The comprehensive performance testing programme proved that Ebflow produces welds with fatigue strength that is at least as good, if not better, than observed in equivalent arc welded joints.

The resulting can was incorporated into a monopile transition piece in January 2023 and is scheduled to be installed offshore as part of a foundation in Dogger Bank Wind Farm in late 2023.

Figure 1. The project team at Sif’s Maasvlakte 2 facility.

First-In-Class Project

Olly Cass, SSE Renewables Project Director for Dogger Bank Wind Farm said: 

“This is a ‘first-in-class’ project, establishing this UK innovation as a world-leading technology. With monopile type foundations accounting for over 90% of foundations used in UK projects, Ebflow RPEB could realise significant cost savings on future projects.

“These substantial savings will not only benefit the UK offshore engineering industry but could be passed on to UK energy consumers.

“We’re proud to be pioneering this innovative technique on Dogger Bank Wind Farm by demonstrating its capabilities on a critical offshore component and this would not have been possible without the great collaborative work with Cambridge Vacuum Engineering (CVE), Sif Group, and TWI. We’re excited about what could be achieved by scaling up this method to pick up the pace as we work towards net zero targets.”

Dogger Bank Wind Farm is a joint venture between SSE Renewables, Equinor and Vårgrønn. The farm is being built in three 1.2GW phases and is expected to start generating power this summer.

Figure 2. Submerged arc welding vs. Ebflow.

Visit Us at Coiltech Deutschland 2023

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International Coil Winding Exhibition

CVE are exhibiting at Coiltech Deutschland 2023 in Augsburg, Germany. You can find CVE’s stand in Halle 2, stand number B34, where Sales Manager, Chris Coaster, and Consultant, Nick Edge, will be pleased to discuss CVE’s electron beam welding machines for the fabrication of EV powertrain components.

CVE’s Development Engineering Manager, Alex O’Farrell, will be presenting at the conference on Wednesday 29th March 2023 at 11:00 in Halle 3. Alex will present under the Manufacturing Technologies Session, chaired by G. Fabri, from University of L’Aquila, and the title of his presentation is “High Quality Welding of Stator Hairpins and Copper Conductors”.

Coiltech is an international coil winding exhibition and conference, which will take place in Augsburg, Germany, between Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th March 2023.

The exhibition covers the following key areas:

  • Materials, machines and techniques for the development, manufacture and maintenance of electric motors, transformers and generators
  • Power distribution and industrial transformers
  • Drive solutions for electromobility
  • Coils in general


Image 1. Booth 2B34.


Image 2 and 3. O’Farrell’s presentation on electron beam welding of copper hairpins.

23rd Technical Sessions on Welding and Joining Technologies

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CVE Attend the 23rd Technical Sessions on Welding and Joining Technologies

This week, CVE are at the 23rd Technical Sessions on Welding and Joining Technologies, in Irun, San Sebastian, Spain. Running between the 7th and 9th March 2023, the conference serves as a meeting point for the exchange of knowledge among experts in the welding sector, as well as to update and contrast the opinions of the speakers and attendees. It also represents an opportunity for the dissemination of technical knowledge, offering a means for the development of new technologies in the field of joining technologies.

The session is organised by CESOL, the Spanish Association of Welding and Joining Technologies, an independent and non-profit association of people and companies at the service of welding and other joining technologies. CESOL was created in 1993, and is the result of the merger of ADESOL, the Spanish Association for the Development of Welding, created in 1977, and CES, the Spanish Centre for Welding and Joining Technologies, created in 1988.

CVE’s Development Engineering Manager, Alex O’Farrell, presented on the 7th March at the 1st Technical Session on Welding. His presentation was titled “Electron Beam Welding of Copper Electrical Conductors for Electric Vehicles.”


About the Conference

The main objective of the session is to disseminate the know-how of the latest achievements in the field of joining, coating, additive manufacturing and related processes like structural integrity, inspection, quality and environmental management.

The conference will offer welding professionals, their employers, scientists, fabricators and welding-products suppliers the best framework to exchange ideas and information, share knowledge resources, an establish a dialogue intended to open new research directions and to join together in partnerships for new projects development. This 23rd Sessions can be an opportunity to advance in the welding profession, its products and its practices and to continue driving the welding industry forward.

The topics covered include:

  • New technologies in welding and cladding processes and their applications
  • Materials joining processes
  • New inspection techniques
  • Mechanical behaviour of welded joints (fracture mechanical test, distortion and residual stresses)
  • Design and modelling processes of welded joints
  • Weldability of new materials
  • Adhesive bonding and structural applications
  • Characterization of materials
  • Corrosion
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Welding automation
  • Failure analysis
  • Health and safety (occupational exposures, welding fumes)
  • Developments in personnel certification and welding codes


The following industries are also represented:


For more information about Alex’s presentation please email

CVE Win Faraday Challenge Funding

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CVE Win Faraday Challenge Funding

Cambridge Vacuum Engineering (CVE) has received funding from Innovate UK under the Faraday Battery Challenge.

A partnership between Innovate UK, UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, and The Faraday Institution, has be constructed to create a challenge that supports the research and development of the most promising, innovative, and sustainable battery technologies for the propulsion of electric vehicles in the automotive sector.

The result is £27.6 million in funding being invested across 17 research and innovation projects and facilities that will drive the growth of a strong battery business in the UK.

Electron Beam Welding

CVE’s proposal, EB-Bat, in collaboration with Delta Cosworth and TWI, will use the funding to design, build and test an electron beam (EB) welding machine that can weld battery busbar components.

Electron beam welding is potentially 20 times faster than laser welding. You can deflect and refocus electron beams much faster than laser beams, as this is achieved using magnetic fields, without moving parts as the welds are made. Plus, EBs do not suffer from reflectivity from copper and aluminium, making more consistent and reliable welds.

The EB-Bat project will provide a compelling demonstration of the process performance, productivity, quality, and economics to the automotive manufacturing sector with an aim to secure funding to take it into production.

Other benefits of welding battery busbars using electron beam over current laser welding methods include:

  • Energy savings
  • Smaller factory footprint
  • A reduction in scrap
  • Welding fume control

Figure 1. Electron beam column with rapid wide range deflection.

Figure 2. Busbar battery welding.

Project Partners

The project partners combine a wealth of experience in the automotive industry, with Delta Cosworth, electric vehicle specialists developing innovative battery solutions and part of the wider Cosworth Group; and TWI as a world-leading welding and materials development organisation. CVE, the lead partner in the project, are designers and manufacturers of electron beam and laser welding machines for many applications, including turbochargers.


Simon Dowson, Managing Director at Delta Cosworth, commented:

“Developing and manufacturing batteries is one of our core capabilities at Delta Cosworth. We have already made leaps and bounds in delivering flexible battery solutions, our Cylindrical Scalable Modules being at the centre of our battery offering. Creating, more efficient and reliable ways to manufacture our batteries like electron welding will aid us in maximising our battery technology’s potential and give us the possibility to transfer new manufacturing techniques across the wider Cosworth group.” 


Tony Harper, Challenge Director for the Faraday Battery Challenge, said:

“As we move towards a net zero future the UK’s electric vehicle industry must continue to evolve. These winning projects have all shown how their ideas can potentially accelerate the development of technologies or business practices in the UK. I look forward to seeing how their innovations help to significantly advance the performance characteristics of batteries for electric vehicles.​”


Find out more about the funding in the UK’s Research and Innovation’s announcement: Delivering the Future of Battery Technology.


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