Cyber attack on computer


Nearly half of manufacturing businesses have been the victims of cyber-crime at some point. Since the pandemic, more and more companies have embraced the benefits of using the internet. There are clear advantages when using digital technology to manage your business and conduct e-commerce, but unfortunately, they now come with certain risks, namely the threat of cyber-attacks.

This article will explain cyber-crime, why it’s a threat to your business, and how to protect yourself best.


The Invisible Thief: Cyber-Crime

Cyber-crime has become an umbrella term for any crime committed that was either ‘Cyber-dependant’ or ‘Cyber-enabled.’

Cyber-dependant. Hacking to steal or damage a system or spreading malware for financial gain, for example.

Cyber-enabled. Committing fraud or data theft through computer networks, for example.

With the development of the first computer viruses in the early 1980s, the door was opened to attack other people’s computers. While these initially started as harmless pranks or experiments, they quickly led to harmful criminal activity as the internet grew more popular.


Types of Cyber-Crime

Cybercriminals are vicious and ruthless. Invading systems to take control or exploit private data are the two main goals of these criminals. Additionally, once they have what they want, they will attempt to extort money from you to fix everything. As a result, most businesses never truly recover as the attack causes permanent damage to your company’s reputation.

All of this is money leaving your pocket for no good reason; a sound cyber security system will help you keep that money where it belongs.


What To Watch Out For

With businesses conducting confidential business online and storing valuable information, the temptation has never been higher for cybercriminals. Given a chance, they will not hesitate to damage your system permanently.


Warning for a virus on computer



Is a type of virus that will prevent your workers from accessing your IT systems. As more businesses incorporate hybrid working with remote systems, this type of attack has increased. Their goal is to hold the system captive until they are paid a substantial sum.


Any business holding customer information is a potential target for ransomware. For example, our customer database and custom spring designs are confidential. Without our cybersecurity in place, they would be a vulnerable and tempting target.

Then a successful attack would require you to hire outside experts to verify the data is still confidential or notify the people whose information was leaked.

Data Erasure Malware

Some Cyber-criminals are not in it for the money; some are known as ‘Hacktivists.’ A Hacktivist would want to get a virus into your system to cause chaos. They could erase valuable data like order histories, customer contact details or specifications. They could erase your website without your knowledge, so that it would require reconstruction.

There are many ways to achieve this once they are in, so it’s vital to maintain a sound cyber security plan to keep them out.


How To Protect Yourself

No business is immune to online threats, but protecting yourself from online threats may feel necessary until your luck runs out, that is. The financial cost of the disruption to your business alone is the best-case scenario, and the worst case would be far more expensive. And suddenly, you’ll wish you had taken the time to defend yourself adequately.

Fortunately, in our 70 years of experience as leading bespoke spring manufacturers, we have learnt some good business practices for protecting ourselves online, which we’ve shared below:

Updating your Antivirus Regularly

Taking the time regularly to make sure your software is up to date will ensure you have the most robust defence against any intrusions. Unfortunately, new viruses and hacks are being developed by criminals all the time. The best antivirus software companies will constantly update their software databases to defend against these newly created viruses, but it’s up to you to make sure your update your software.


Anti virus computer security


Additionally, it’s your responsibility to make sure the antivirus software you choose to begin with is the best on the market. You need to imagine this software like hiring a new staff member, one whose sole job is to protect you from online threats and updating your software is training your employee.

We at European Springs and Pressings wholeheartedly recommend investing in your online protection. Investing in your software as much as your staff is securing your long term future, and we believe in developing people for the future.


Passwords and Two-Factor Authentications

Your passwords are like the lock to your home, and you want them both to be as hard to break as possible. Using encrypted passwords will have a significant positive effect on your cyber security. Try using combinations of capital letters, numbers and symbols when possible to make it too complex to guess.

Having a solid password works for a while, but you should change your passwords often. Try doing it the same time you update your antivirus software to create a helpful routine.

Two-factor authentication is a fantastic addition to anyone’s online security and is essential for online businesses. Otherwise known as 2FA, two-factor authentication is the process of alerting a second source that someone is attempting a login. It’s a proven security measure amongst the banking industry and most online eCommerce sites. Most people will have encountered these at some point, such as inputting a code delivered directly to your phone or email.


Investing pays off

Being prepared for cyber threats does mean investing in cyber security, which means increased outlays. Still, as a prominent member of the Institute of Spring Technology and the leading spring manufacturers nationwide, we can attest that investing in your security and keeping it up to date will relieve you of these troubles so you can focus on your business.

We hope that this blog has been helpful and you now have a better understanding of cyber-crime and its threat to the manufacturing industry. If you have any questions or want to learn more about our products and services, please get in touch – we’re always more than happy to help.

Metal grinding as part of the surface treatment process


Each step is essential to ensuring a quality result during the metal component manufacturing process. From an initial design idea to the maintenance and upkeep of materials and everything in between, high-quality care and a well-thought-out strategy is key to a successful project. Surface treatment is one of the most vital stages of the manufacturing process as it provides the metal components with additional properties, such as durability.

That is why, in today’s blog, we’re providing you with everything you need to know about surface treatment and its importance. We will explore what surface treatment is, the various methods and processes, and the benefits of the different techniques.

Additionally, as expert spring manufacturers with over 70 years of experience in the springs and pressings manufacturing industry, we will offer advice on how our surface treatment services can benefit you and your project here at European Springs.


What is Surface Treatment?

Surface treatment is when metal components are prepared for their individual usage. How a metal component is treated before use differs from how it operates – this is because the metal is primed during the surface treatment process to provide it with additional properties.

There are several surface treatment techniques that offer a range of additional properties depending on the desired use of the metal component in question. Here at European Springs, we are proud to provide a list of these treatments so you can get the desired usage out of your metal elements.

For example, we offer:

  • Plating
  • Heat treatment
  • Barrelling
  • De-Burring

As mentioned, each method allows for different results, for example, rust prevention, heat protection, or increasing the strength and durability of the component.


Aerospace metal components lined up


Why is Surface Treatment Important?

Surface treatment is an essential part of metal component manufacturing as it protects the pieces from many factors, including rust, heat, weathering, and pressure. These additional features contribute to the longevity of the component, meaning that with the proper surface treatments, you are less likely to need to replace your parts. Similarly, this also means that the maintenance and upkeep of your components will reduce with the correct surface treatment.

Additionally, this process improves the functionality of the metal and is often used for aesthetic purposes. For example, metal can be treated in preparation for painting and coatings depending on the desired look of the components.


The Various Methods of Surface Treatment

Here at European Springs, we offer a range of surface treatments for a variety of different metal components: Plating, Heat treatment, Barrelling, and De-Burring. Let’s look at what each of those entails and how you can use each method differently to add a range of additional features to your metal.



Metal Plating is a process that involves coating a metal component with a thin layer of metal. There are various reasons why someone would choose plating as their surface treatment, as it provides many benefits. For example, plating increases a metal component’s heat resistance, particularly if you prefer silver to coat the metal. As you’re adding another layer of metal to your part, plating also increases the durability and endurance of the end product. Metal plating is also chosen for its aesthetic benefits, as you can completely change the colour and texture of your component with this technique.


Heat Treatment

There are various types of heat treatment, all resulting in a different end product. As an overview, it is the process of heating and cooling metal to achieve the desired result. First, the metal is heated, kept at a specific temperature, and then cooled down – with different results occurring depending on the length of time the metal is heated and then cooled down. For example, heat treatment can strengthen, soften, relieve stress, or change grain structure. The most common heat treatments include:

  • Annealing
  • Normalising
  • Hardening
  • Ageing
  • Stress relieving
  • Tempering
  • Carburisation


Metal components after surface treatment from European Springs



Barrelling is often used for a large number of small metal components. This process removes the previous processing residues from the part. It effectively eliminates impurities and imperfections on the pieces, preparing them for further treatments and applications. Barrelling is also used for aesthetic reasons if it is the final step in the surface treatment process.



De-burring is similar to barrelling, as it involves removing imperfections and perfecting metal components. However, this process is more specific to eliminating sharp edges and smoothing out the pieces. In addition, this process is often done after other surface treatments, which may have left sharp edges or burrs.


Contact European Springs Today

We hope this blog has been helpful, and you now know a little more about the importance of surface treatment for metal components. We’re experts in our field and are more than equipped to help you with your surface treatment requirements.

Additionally, we have a wide range of other services available, so if you’re looking for bespoke pressings for your project, we can assist. So please explore our website, look at our blog, or get in touch with our friendly team today to find out more about what we can do for you.

Combining knowledge of science, technology and mathematics, engineers play a pivotal role across many different industries performing various jobs. Engineers do everything from building software systems, maintaining communication infrastructure, researching ways we can use technology to combat climate change, making high-precision springs and wire forms, and everything in between.

With a higher than average starting salary for graduates, many apprenticeship opportunities for hands-on learning, and a constant demand for skilled engineers, there’s ample reason to pursue a career in engineering. Still, with such a broad range of career paths available in the field, it can be hard to know where to start. Here at European Springs, we take on many apprentices every year and help to shape the next generation of spring manufacturing engineers. So today, we’re going to offer our advice for getting started in engineering.

engineering student

Which Engineering Career Path is Right for Me?

The engineering world is diverse, and there are roles to suit all skill sets across science, manufacturing, construction and technology. Within these disciplines, you could find yourself working for some of the largest companies in the world, or perhaps you’re someone who would prefer to make a difference in a smaller company where you could be more involved in decision-making processes. Let’s familiarise ourselves with some of the most popular types of engineering.

Manufacturing Engineers

Manufacturing engineers focus on designing and operating systems for the high-speed production of competitive products. It’s a big part of what we do as spring manufacturers and can include working with computer networks, machine tools, material handling equipment and robotics. Being a manufacturing engineer means finding ways to develop cost-effective products without compromising quality, like our customer spring design services.

Chemical Engineers

Chemical engineering involves developing industrial processes that transform raw materials into products. This is a vast field that, in simple terms, consists of turning one material into something else – oil, gas, plastic; it’s all a result of chemical engineering.

Electrical Engineers

Electrical engineers design, test and oversee the manufacturing of new electrical systems. This field can involve working with computers, mobile devices, lighting, building wiring and even household appliances.

Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical engineering involves the development of powered machineries such as electric generators, turbines, combustion engines, refrigeration and even escalators. If it has an engine, a mechanical engineer probably had a hand in making it.

Civil Engineers

Civil engineers take care of the infrastructure within our cities and towns, focusing on roads, water supplies, bridge maintenance and buildings.

We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of engineering as a profession, and there are many more avenues you can take; the possibilities are endless and continuously in demand. When deciding which is suitable for you, think about your skills and strengths and where you think you could put them to best use.

Engineer Training Apprentices On CNC Machine

What Qualifications and Experience Are Needed?

Each engineering discipline will have its own requirements for entry. Although you will be at an advantage if you have a bachelor’s degree in engineering (BEng), there will often be alternative routes into your chosen industry.

If you’re following an academic route, a Bachelor’s of Science (BSc) in a relevant subject (chemistry, maths, environmental sciences or computer sciences, for example) will serve you well as a path into engineering.

But for many engineering careers, such as manufacturing, electrical and mechanical, you can usually enter the industry without a university degree. These professions are hands-on, practical, and better suited to on-the-job learning through apprenticeships and graduate schemes. Find out all you need to know about engineering apprenticeships – you never know, it could be the right path for you.

We would always recommend that anyone looking to enter the world of engineering – regardless of their chosen sector – takes an interest in technology, maths, and science, as these are the key subjects around which engineering is built.

Engineer Planning Project With CNC Machinery In Background

Standing Out in Engineering

If you’re applying for a graduate engineering opportunity, make sure your CV stands out, but keep it professional, clear and concise. Hone in on the relevant skills and qualifications you think make you a good fit for the position and use facts and figures to support your claims wherever possible. Always check your spelling and grammar, and don’t be afraid to shout about your achievements.

You may come across opportunities to do engineering placements or internships, either as part of your course or through job advertisements. Whether or not you receive payment depends on the company, although many internships are unpaid, designed to help you get your foot in the door. In addition, they can help you develop the skills your need for a future career in engineering and demonstrate to potential employers that you are serious about your job.

Unpaid positions aren’t realistic for everyone, though. Depending on your personal circumstances, it may not be feasible to give up a lot of your time for free. This is why apprenticeships are so great, as they allow you to learn and develop your skills whilst earning a wage.

We wish you the best of luck in whichever engineering path you decide to take. If you’re interested in learning more about manufacturing engineering, speak to us today. European Springs is one of the leading spring manufacturers, and we take on apprentices every year to help grow and inspire the next generation of engineers.

Our experience as specialist spring manufacturers has seen us create springs for numerous industries. Some of the sectors include Defence, Rail, Oil and Gas, and the Medical industry, but this isn’t an exhausted list, and you may be surprised at some of the other areas we provide our services for. Interestingly, one of these is the music industry – our springs have been used for a large variety of instruments and musical equipment.
As this is one of the lesser-known industries we work for, we thought we would dedicate this blog to discussing the many uses of springs within the music industry and why they are important.



Types of Spring used in the Music Industry

Springs are essential within music and are found in a variety of different instruments and associated equipment. For example, guitars and pianos both require music wire springs to work correctly and feature the most common type of spring you’ll find in the industry, compression springs. In addition, you will see wave springs within microphones and other musical equipment. The most popular wire form in the music industry has to be every child’s favourite musical instrument, the triangle.


Compression Springs and their Importance Within Music

Compression springs are the most popular form of spring found in the music industry. The springs in musical instruments are usually from music wire. Music wire is often made from high carbon steel, making the springs perfect for high-stress situations while playing musical instruments. In addition, music wire can handle multiple bends due to its consistent tensile strength, which is well suited to compression spring manufacturing.


An array of different coloured compression springs


The tensile strength of music wire is just one of the many benefits of using this material for compression springs; it also has high elasticity and flexibility. As a result, music wire deals with repeated heavy loads while maintaining its shape, needed for musical instruments. In addition, the high carbon steel is more affordable than other compression spring materials, making it better for lower quantity products.
In electric guitars, you will find music wire compression springs within the casing of the guitar, balancing out the strain which occurs when the guitar strings are pulled on. These springs are known as tremolo springs, and they exist so that the guitar can be played without hindrance. In addition, they allow the guitar’s bridge to return to its resting position once the strings are plucked.
Pianos have springs under the keys; these compression springs return the keys to their original position once they are pressed.


Wire Forms and Their Tie to Music

Wire forms have many uses, meaning they are often found without even looking, so it’s only natural that it won’t take long to see their connection to the music industry. Wire Forms are commonly used during headset manufacturing, headsets found in recording studios across the country. There have been wire forms used in manufacturing guitar pedals, in the design of a guitar pick in the US, and musical instrument sheet stands. The CNC wire forming technique can also produce a triangle musical instrument, a firm favourite in many primary school music classes. There are endless possibilities for creating objects using a wire form technique.


A dramatic image of a microphone


Wave Springs and Their Use by Famous Musicians

When space is at a premium, wave springs are the go-to spring. Typically, you will find wave springs in load-bearing devices; they are commonly found in valves, electrical connectors and multi-tooth cutters. As wave spring manufacturers, we have designed this type of spring for various uses, and one benefit of a wave spring is to protect the electronics within a microphone.
Popular UK Manufacturer Aston Microphones first used a crest-to-crest wave spring to combine practicality and aesthetics. The visual appearance of the spring and the ease of custom design in wave springs made them perfect for the production of their first microphone. By having a wave spring as the outer core of the microphone, there is a 360-degree shell to support the more fragile electronics within it. In addition, wave springs offer a great deal of flexibility, so should a singer drop the microphone, they can straighten it quickly to repair any distortion. The company’s microphones have been used by massive household names like Noel Gallagher and Madona, so it’s pretty cool to know that they rely on the genius design of wave springs for their tools, just as many manufacturers do.


Springs for Your Musical Applications from European Springs

As a leading spring manufacturers in the UK, European Springs has manufactured a range of springs over the years. We can create springs to meet every need within the music industry, from components for the instruments themselves to accessories that help keep the industry running. If you believe we can help with your next project within the music industry or to speak to our team of spring and wire form manufacturers about your latest project, get in touch with us directly at, we will be happy to help.

The manufacturing industry is constantly changing. With adaptations to reduce carbon footprints and advancements in technology, the sector is continuously tested and expected to keep up with these changes. Often, it’s the employer’s responsibility to ensure that their workers have the latest relevant training.


The advantages of upskilling and training your workforce


That is why, in today’s blog, we’re looking into the benefits of upskilling your workforce. First, we will explore what upskilling is and discuss the various advantages this process can bring to your employees and your company.

As leading spring manufacturers in the UK, we have a plethora of knowledge on upskilling within the manufacturing industry. We are proud to have worked with and alongside many apprentices over the years, providing them with the skills and experience they needed to have a successful career in engineering and manufacturing. To learn more and discover how you can get involved with European Springs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch – we are always more than happy to offer our assistance and expert advice.


What Is Upskilling?

First of all, it’s essential to understand what upskilling means. At first glance, some may believe it is the idea of basic training, but it’s much more than that.

Upskilling is essentially continuous learning, not just an occasional training course, for example. Workplaces will provide various training programs and offer a choice of development opportunities to widen their employees’ abilities and reduce skill gaps. Often, an upskilling strategy is put in place to improve the skills required by employees to complete their current job and expand their skill sets, allowing them to advance in their roles. Additionally, this will enable them to move around the company and take on new challenges. In recent times, employers have utilised upskilling to close the digital gap and ensure that employees are up to speed with the latest technology in the manufacturing field.

Some examples of upskilling include but are not limited to:

  • Formal education such as degrees and apprenticeship schemes
  • Internal mentoring and shadowing programs
  • Virtual or online courses

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of upskilling.


 Woman training her employees as part of an upskilling scheme


Skills and Service Development

Of course, the main benefit of upskilling is that your employees will get the chance to develop their skills. This is great for everyone involved – workers get to learn something new and employers cultivate a workforce that is up-to-date with the latest training and ready to take on the next challenge. In addition, through upskilling, your employees will come to understand that the manufacturing industry is everchanging. By continuously upskilling your workers, you’re teaching them to be aware of adaptions to their working day in line with technology upgrades and industry standards.


Employee Motivation

Another fantastic benefit of upskilling is the motivation it will give your employees. Through upskilling, you engage your workers and encourage them to excel in their current role whilst potentially offering them other opportunities in the company. When an employee feels demotivated and stuck in their position, unable to see where it leads them, they are much more likely to leave the company. By upskilling and ensuring they have plenty of opportunities, there is a much higher chance of employee loyalty, meaning they will remain with the company for longer. Motivated and happy employees are more likely to enjoy their job, so as their employer, you must be doing what you can to guarantee this.


Increased Productivity

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that upskilling leads to increased productivity in the workplace. As employees are happy, motivated, and satisfied with their role, they are more likely to succeed. This, of course, directly affects the company’s overall productivity and triumph.

By gaining knowledge, skills, and experience in multiple areas, they will become more confident and complete given tasks successfully and to a higher standard. Additionally, these extra skills learnt through training mean less time is spent researching and learning in the long term. If a specific task needs some training, implementing upskilling for the entire workforce will benefit you as the employer. Everyone will then have the knowledge and skills required to complete the task. And more time available means a more productive workforce.

 Team of happy employees


Customer Satisfaction

When we look at the benefits explained above, it is clear that each one leads to customer satisfaction. If your workforce has a team of employees with a high and developed skillset, there is a higher chance they will be able to satisfy your customer’s needs. If your employees are happy and motivated, they will offer better customer service than workers who are unsatisfied with their job and demotivated by their lack of opportunities. A productive workforce means tasks will be completed quickly and to a high standard, which is fantastic for customers.

There is no better time than now to begin upskilling your team. We hope this blog has been helpful, but these are only some of the benefits on a long list of reasons to develop your employee’s skills and services. To stay updated with the latest industry news, please head over to our blog, where we post regular content for industry professionals, apprentices, customers, and clients. It is an excellent resource for anyone interested in learning more about the fascinating and ever-changing world of manufacturing. Finally, please feel free to contact us with any questions about our spring manufacturer services including tension springs, torsion springs and die springs, and ask for our advice on upskilling your company.

As the manufacturing landscape continues to change and adapt to the current climate, it becomes increasingly apparent that university isn’t the only route to a successful career in engineering. Therefore, your workforce needs to be adaptable and think critically about not only programming and tools but digital processes and new technologies.

Here at European Springs & Pressings, we take on apprentices every year, and there are many benefits to having this development plan in place. It helps us stay competitive in our sector, and the time we spend upskilling, training and reskilling is a much more valuable investment than an ongoing recruitment drive.

This blog focuses on engineering apprenticeships, what’s involved, the increased demand for engineers, and why apprenticeships are beneficial to the industry.


What is an Engineering Apprenticeship?

Engineering apprenticeships are courses that provide apprentices with the opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills, and experience of a qualified engineer. The program is typically broken down into modules or skills which combine classroom instruction and on-the-job training.


European Springs apprentice


Gain Hands-on Experience

Apprentices learn trade skills from the more experienced staff members and learn to take responsibility and accountability for day-to-day tasks. They are a fantastic addition to your workforce as they can bring a fresh perspective on current processes and operations within your business. Here are a couple of examples of what to expect when you’re training to be an engineer:


  • Shadowing – qualified engineers will teach you different aspects and methods of completing their work through shadowing. You’ll be able to learn first-hand the correct way to do things and ask questions in real-time.
  • Supervised Work – gradually, you will be able to complete tasks under supervision, grow your confidence and take responsibility for key aspects of projects. In addition, supervisors will provide you with clear instructions and feedback on these tasks.
  • Studying – apprenticeships will give you access to the physical nature of the job, as well as classroom-based theory surrounding the topic. This could be a couple of days a week at college or in-house with your fellow coursemates.
  • Assessment – for the duration of the apprenticeship, you will have a supervisor who will check in regularly and answer any questions you may have. Your supervisor will be responsible for assessing your skills and knowledge on the job, and you will also complete practical exams and coursework throughout the program.


Earn While You Learn

Throughout the apprenticeship training programme, you will be working toward gaining a nationally recognised qualification. The company will pay you for the work you complete, and the amount will depend on your age and how long you have been training. Typically, apprentices can take between 1-4 years to become fully qualified (depending on prior experience and knowledge of engineering).


Female apprentice at European Springs


Our Managing Director Stuart McSheehy speaks about the importance of our apprenticeships: “not only is this a fantastic achievement for personal development, but it also inspires the next generation of engineers and spring makers. With the challenges of 2020 behind us, we are all very proud to present our latest apprentices with their qualifications.”

Take a look at the stories of our most recent apprentices who have successfully achieved either CITY & GUILDS or BTEC qualifications following a nationally recognised manufacturing apprenticeship framework.


The Increased Demand for Engineers

Our sector is facing the largest skills gap in over 30 years. As pressing manufacturers, we have to act and create both short and long term solutions to the problem. The skills gap is widening due to employees retiring faster than the rate of new talent joining the industry.

Businesses with experienced workforces should spend time upskilling and retraining. Automating basic processes will also give you the option to expand in areas such as software and machine learning development. However, it’s important to consider that while investing in this equipment is a positive move, you should also focus on training employees with the skills needed to operate new machinery.


Team of European Springs apprentices


European Springs Developing Engineers for the Future

As leading spring manufacturers, we prioritise upskilling our workforce as it allows us to build on new and existing team skills, increase productivity, and streamline work processes. When you spend time identifying gaps within your team, you can use the data to plan for development, taking into account the equipment or resources you need.

Not only can you inspire the next generation of manufacturers with attractive apprenticeship opportunities, but you can highlight the need for skilled young people in our industry. If you would like any more information about any of the services or products including tension springs, compression springs and disc springs that we provide, contact European Springs with your enquiry. Our experienced team will be happy to answer your questions.


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