4 Ways Technology Can Improve Your Exhibition Stand Design

When it comes to the different formats of exhibition design it seems that this world is changing and new elements are being used to help gain attention and build better sales conversations. Within this article, you will learn of four unique methods you can use to capitalise on the potential to gain attention and promote brand recognition to your target audience at trade shows and other areas where you will be using an exhibition stand. When it comes to setting yourself apart as a business and a brand from the crowd and to create a compelling presence, you will want to integrate technology to maximise the number of leads generated at exhibitions without having to maximise the usage of an on-stand sales team. By continuing to read this you will discover different examples for exhibition stands that include things like video, iPads, virtual reality, holographs, touch screens and other technologies that improve the presence and impact of your exhibition stand design.

Impressive Colourful Exhibition Stand

The following four suggestions can improve your overall branding and marketing power and will help keep you at the leading edge of your competition. If you do not yet fully understand the ability and benefits of exhibition stand technology, pay attention to the following techniques. These are being used by the top marketing firms and companies to bring about a much greater branding effect and to increase customer engagement as well as capturing leads. If you want to maximise the usefulness of exhibition stand marketing then follow this list of suggestions and brainstorm ideas that can work for your own brand or marketing needs.

1. Gain attention, create desire & engage customers

Using the latest technology can help you to bring about a larger buzz around your stand. You want to be remembered and using the best technology will make your stand the centre of attention at an exhibition and will provide a much needed long lasting and positive impression for your brand. You can also use technology to capture leads as well as visitor data and other information. Your options when utilising technology are really only limited by your imagination and budget. Using things such as interactive screens, walls and flooring, as well as motion sensor technology, can capture the attention of customers and connect them with your brand. You can also utilise location-based tools to engage with visitors. You can do such things as send offers and promotions to customers on their smartphones as just one small example of what you can do.

2. Use technology to increase brand connection

Using technology like leaderboards and apps can easily improve the exhibition experience and deliver a greater impact. You can create an engaging stand and use technology to collect important digital data and customer information. When you choose to invest in exhibition technology you can have your sales team focus on speaking with visitors while the tech aspect can provide detailed statistics and information you can use for future events. You can do things like capture names and emails of your visitors, phone numbers, social media information too. We are in a much more socially connected world and utilising the latest technology can help make a greater impact on your return on investment with exhibition stand marketing.

3. Create a better visitor experience with technology

Embracing technology such as apps and digital touch points can give your attendees different sales and marketing information without having to carry it around with them. You can use digital technology to collect data about visitors including capturing leads and to help increase communication between the brand and visitors before, during and even after the show has taken place.

4. Simplify your return on investment calculations

Being able to find out the actual success of your trade exhibit is not the easiest task. Sales will typically be sparked the day of the event but won’t take effect until later in time. With technology, it allows you the ability to measure engagement, capture analytics and provide the opportunity to follow-up and target visitors and leads which is integral to discovering your return on investment.

Exhibition visitors want an engaging experience that is entirely unique and is memorable. Using technology as a backbone of your trade exhibit is important. Being able to engage your visitor on different sensory levels and engaging their emotions is important for branding and making an impact. Technology can play a big part of the success of your exhibit so be sure to integrate it into your strategy.

How to File Your Self-Assessment Tax Return

Get your UK taxes right first time!

Officially if you are a resident of the United Kingdom, then you only have until January 31st to file your taxes from the previous year’s earnings.

Most people will get their self-assessment tax return completed on time and we hope to share with you how to get it done. We will give you the outline of how to file your taxes correctly so that you do not have to be fined a late fee and the possibility of facing other penalties.

Millions of taxpayers will get their returns filed on time and we want you to be one of them. People who have straightforward tax affairs, who pay their taxes directly with the PAYE program don’t have to self-assess.

However, if you are a taxpayer with more complexity to your taxable income then things will be different. We will outline all the details of what you need to know on how to file your UK tax return correctly.

Keep on reading below as we explore the various elements you will need to know about.

Who Needs to Declare Incomes?

For individuals that are self-employed or those that have taxable gains to declare such as property, landlords are required to submit a self-assessment tax return. This also includes workers who earn over £100,000 a year and also directors of companies.

If you are a taxpayer with a yearly income of more then £50,000 who gets child benefit will also have to complete a return to have a portion of the benefit repaid.

If you are a couple where one person’s income exceeds £60,000, then the full child tax benefit is reduced through self-assessment.

Always Keep Copies of Your Payslips During All Types of Employment. Image credit: Alamy

How to File Your Taxes

There are two options for filing your tax return and they include using the paper format or using the HMRC website’s self-assessment tool.

If you have not yet signed up for an online HMRC service account you will need to send a request. Be prepared to wait 7-10 business days to receive an activation code through postal mail.

Furthermore, to activate your online account you will need your 10 digits unique taxpayer reference number. If you have already signed up for self-assessment you will be able to find the number on the paperwork that is relevant.

In order to get your tax return completed, you will need certain pieces of employment information and paperwork.

You will need all your documents that relate to your employment income including your P60 form, which summarises your income and tax deductions you were issued. You will also need to include your P11D form which gives the full details of the expenses and benefits that are paid to employees.

If you do not have this paperwork then, by all means, contact the payroll department of your workplace to gain access to these papers. They are necessary and we highly advise that you hold on to them.

You will also be required to include all details of other personal income, investments as well as your taxpayers’ national insurance number.

If you worked offshore for example onboard a ship, cruise-liner or super-yacht, you may have been paid cash-in-hand rather than through a payroll and therefore will need to file your income and expenses with seafarers tax accountants who specialise in filing returns for non-resident workers.

This is not to be confused with working overseas however. If you were resident or on foreign soil for a period deemed longer than 183 days in any given calendar year, then technically you need to declare your income to the local tax authorities where you have resided.

So for example, you may have temporarily or permanently packed your bags to move to Australia from the UK to live and work. If that’s the case, you need to declare your income to the tax authorities in Australia.

Filing Taxes Online

When you fill out your online assessment on the official HMRC website you will notice that some of the details are filled out already.

The self-assessment tool will include information such as state pension, underpayments and other national insurance contributions.

The sole purpose of the self-assessment tool is to be able to paint a picture of your individual taxable income and any financial gains you have made.

You are required to file all income from your employer or self-employment. This also includes things such as foreign income that was earned, company dividends, interest from bank accounts, income from any rental property or monetary gains made from a trust or settlement and this also includes any taxable benefits from either employers or the government itself.

If you have made any capital gains from disposing of assets that include Stockmarket shares, land and property must be disclosed on your tax return.

Knowing how to file your UK tax return correctly is very important as a resident of the United Kingdom. If you file your tax assessment late then the HMRC will charge you a late fine of £100 and the penalties can add up and cost you even more.

Officially you can get all the help and advice you need when it comes to completing your taxes. You can visit the official website which stores plenty of information by visiting: gov.uk/self-assessment-tax-returns.

There is also a free helpline that is available from 8 am to 8 pm on weekdays and from 8 am to 4 pm on Saturdays and from 9 am to 5 pm on Sundays. The helpline number is 0300 200 3310 and the staff on the line are very helpful.


The following external websites were referenced in the creation of this article:

How to Build the Perfect Horse Stable

Creating the Ideal Equestrian Building

If you are building a new stable for your horse or are changing a pre-existing building into a stable, we have a large selection of ideas and tips you can use to make the best and most comfortable stable for your horse.

A lot of horses do not like being in a stable, but when you design it professionally and make it comfortable for your horse it will make things easier and safer.

Follow our advice for building the most reliable and comfortable stable right now by continuing reading below.

When it comes to box stalls or loose boxes they should be around 10’x10′ or (3mx3m) all the way to 12’x12′ (3.6mx3.6m) for average side riding horses.

These are the bare minimum recommendations.

If you have a larger area, we suggest you build larger stalls.

If you own larger horses, having the extra room with a draft or draft cross will give them the option to move around freely and to lie down easily without feeling overly confined.

Some people use the same size stall for foaling stalls however you should use a larger size for mares and foals.

The easiest method to do is this is to take down the partition between two regular sized stalls.

It is a good idea to have at least one foaling stall handy because you never know when you will need it.

A Newborn Foal in a Stable. Image credit: Deviantart

There are also standing or tie stalls which need to be wide enough for a horse to be able to lie down in comfort.

These stalls should be at least 4ft to 5ft(1.5m) wide and around 8ft (2.4m) long.

Typically you will have a manger for hay at the front of the standing stall so preparing a good sized width to the stall is of utmost importance.

A larger draft horse will need more space than a pony so be sure to build accordingly.

You will also need a sturdy area to tie your horse too however your horse will be able to reach his or her feed and water.

In standing and stall boxes you want the walls to be built from solid timber to at least 4.6ft(1.4m) tall, with sturdy mesh so the horses can see each other for added comfort.

This will help with both ventilation and the lighting of your stalls.

To decrease the possibility of horses escaping from their stalls, you will want to use either swinging or sliding doors with latches that are hard to tamper with.

Horses are known to tamper with their doors and end up ransacking the stables with their temporary overnight freedom.

Avoid this problem and safety hazard by using secure doors with secure latches to keep them enclosed.

Swinging doors should swing open into the alley way and should be closed at all other times.

They should be able to secure easily so your horses don’t escape.

You should always keep your grain room doors locked and you should build your doors to be at least 4 ft (1.2m) wide.

Horse are Sociable Animals and Need Space to Interact with Others. Image credit: Old Dairy Blog

When it comes to aisles and alleyways you will want to construct them to be around 10ft wide or (3m).

You want to provide a lot of room so horses can pass each other when being led and have space to move around when being led or tied up.

The most common flooring in horse stables is concrete.

It is a natural non-slip surface but you will need to install drainage into each of the stalls.

You will have clean the stalls regularly to avoid ammonia build up and concrete can be easily hosed down with disinfectant.

Concrete is slightly harder on the horse’s legs which are why some horse owners install rubber mats under the bedding of the stalls to give the horses that added comfort.

Some people will use sandy soil for an earth floor.

This is easier on the horse’s legs and is slightly warmer and quieter than concrete.

However, they are harder to clean and the dirt will need to be replaced if it becomes over taken by urine and water.

Older barns typically have low ceilings that are used for live stock.

They may also use older roofing materials such as asbestos, which is regarded as a highly hazardous material, and a serious threat to health.

If you suspect they are present, you need to remove all the roof panels and have a local asbestos collection company take them away.

If you have horses you may need to raise the roof or dig the floor lower if your drainage allows you too.

Your ceiling must allow your horses to raise their head and be sure there are no nails sticking out from the ceilings or any hanging objects a horse could possibly accidentally get injured by.

You will also want to provide good lighting in your bespoke timber stables and the wiring system should be rodent and moisture proof.

You will want to install safety cages around the lights so the horses cannot reach them.

Also, you will want to hide the light switches from curious horses.

Be sure that the work areas, tack and feed rooms have good lighting for usability and safety.

You will also want to install a lot of windows for good ventilation and lighting and cover them with mesh so horses will not break the glass.

Lastly choosing how you will feed and water your horses is a major decision.

We suggest you hang a bucket on the wall as it prevents the bucket from getting knocked over and making a mess on the floor.

You can also use automatic watering systems fed by a pressurisation unit that will need to be insulated against freezing temperatures.

For feeding, you can purchase wall based feeding tubs or you can always build a manger for hay.

External Credits

A special mention and thanks goes out to the following external websites that we have referenced in this article as either links, media or knowledge:

Cat A or Cat B Office Fit Out – Which Is Right for Me?

The term “fit out” refers to the process involved in making a building’s interior suitable for people to start living in it, or working in it, in case of a commercial buidling. Once the base construction is finalized, there will still be a lot of work to be done within the building. Some developers offer options with regards to fit outs, as some clients would prefer to have everything completed so that they just move in. On the other hand there are others who prefer to see to some of the design and completion of the interior on their own.

Different Types of Fit Out Categories Illustrated. Image credit: Morgan Lovell

The Difference Between Cat A & Cat B Fit Outs

Once the developer completes the framework of a building, there will still be plenty of work that will need to be seen to within the building itself. The exterior will have been completed, and the building is watertight, but one would also need to see to the installation of various services, such as electrical, mechanical and plumbing.

Besides, the floors and the walls will need to be seen to. Completing these works, typically falls under the definition of a Cat A fit out, which is basically the next step after the Shell and Core fit out. There will be the bare essentials seen to. The office space or commercial building will have the heating and air conditoning, the lighting and any electrical outlets installed. There will also be suspended ceilings, raised floors and toilets. The interior is basically usable and quite ready for one to move into. However there will still be more work to be done with regards to customization.

Some business owners will place a great deal of importance on the look and style of their offices or premises. Once a Cat A fit out is completed it will not include any personalised decorating, fixtures or unique fittings. It will be very basic and bland. For those who want the interior to have a unique look and achieve more of a branded personality, then a Cat B fit out will be required.

Some see to these final touches on their own whereas others immediately opt for a Cat B fit out which will be adminstered by the developer after thorough discussions regarding the owner’s preferences. A Cat B fit out will thus include the furnishings, the doors and window treatments, any partitions, more elaborate lighting fixtures and fittings, as well as the floors. The offices, meeting and conference rooms will have the equipment required for their operations installed. There will be reception desks, coffee and tea points, kitchen and communcal areas completed. There will  thus be the company brand impressed on whoever visits the building as the interior decor will have been carried out impeccably to achieve a particular brand image.

How to Choose Between a Cat A & Cat B Fit Out

The choice depends greatly on one’s budget and personal preferences. Some prefer to have the project completed from start to finish. In that case a Cat B office fit out applies. Others may want to take up some of the work with regards to the finishing touches of the building, and so they might prefer a Cat A fit out.

How to upgrade your kitchen with worktop overlays

Believe it or not one of the main factors that leaves a lasting impact on the look of a kitchen are the worktops.

The surface area of your kitchen cabinets matter a lot, and the type of material you choose for them should strike the right balance between practicality and aesthetic value.

Obviously over time it is normal for the kitchen worktop to look a bit worse for wear, especially if it is not the kind of material that can be considered to be durable and long lasting.

Therefore you may wish to upgrade your kitchen with worktop overlays.

A Typical Quartz Overlay. Image rights: Ureno

Granite and quartz top the list as the best worktop materials you can opt for in a kitchen.

They are both pleasing to the eye, and have the benefit of durability and a long lasting appeal.

They both come in different thicknesses, and can be cut according to the existing countertop dimensions and fitted nicely over them.

The benefit of this is that it is a process which is neither messy nor overly complicated, apart from the fact that granite especially can be very heavy.

However considering that you will not need to go through extreme cleanups the installation is quite simple and far less destructive.

It is best to have ask an interior designer or specialist to measure your kitchen countertops and check if the worktop overlay process can be carried out.

The designer will suggest the materials that you could opt for and the styles which will best satisfy your preferences and your kitchen style.

It is important to take into consideration aspects such as the type of maintenance required for certain materials, and whether they are crack, heat and stain resistant.

Also, since in a kitchen it is normal to use sharp objects such as knives, it is important to take into account whether the material chosen for your new countertop is scratch resistant.

A Typical Kitchen Countertop Template. Image rights: Topco Distributing

Next, a template of your kitchen will be created to determine the shape of the countertop, so as to list the measurements as well as the material chosen.

A contract will then be drawn up and signed to ensure that everybody is on the same terms with regards to the project.

As soon as the design template is complete, the new countertop will be fabricated according to the measurements taken.

When the countertops are ready, you’ll then move on to the installation phase.

The countertops will be set in place, and they will be bonded to the old countertops.

This process is carried out very carefully to ensure a seamless installation and a neat result.

When you opt to upgrade your kitchen with worktop overlays you will not be spending time or money on demolition and the installation is really straightforward as long as it is carried out by experienced people.

Overlaying your current work surfaces with new worktops is definitely a reasonable and more affordable option for those who would like to give a new look to their kitchen without breaking the bank.

Combining this with new replacement doors is a common way of getting one of the most impressive kitchen makeovers you can on a tight budget.

And that’s all there really is to it!

A simple countertop overlay can really make a different to the look and age of a kitchen design.

It’s far better than many who decide moving homes is the only alternative.

As nowadays, the general consensus of opinion is improving is far better than moving.

External Resource Credits

We would like to acknowledge the following websites for using their material for either referencing or embedding within this article:

How to run a factory reset a Now TV Box

The Now TV Box is one of the most popular set top boxes on the UK market. However, as with any other set top boxes, you might encounter some problems from time to time.

Besides the typical nagging of having to fix error code 014 messages, you might have reached a point where you just cannot take it anymore. When there seems to be persistent issues, it may be best to perform a hard factory reset on your Now TV Box to prevent repeat occurences. By doing this you will most probably be able to fix such issues. However, bear in mind that this should only be done as a last resort, because when you perform a hard factory reset you would be making the box return to its original factory settings.

Now TV First Run Screen. Image credit: Recombu

So, since these will be the default settings you would have certain details and preferences deleted. These include your local Wi-Fi network settings, your Now TV account access details and other important settings which would need to be set up all over again. So, make sure you have all of these details noted down as you will need to use them later when you reconfigure your set top box.

So, before proceeding to explain how to carry out a hard factory reset on your Now TV box, please bear in mind that you should not perform this unless you are totally sure that you will then be able to reconfigure the box properly during the initial set-up after rebooting it.

New Now TV Smart Box. Image credit: Geeky Gadgets

Guidelines to perform the hard factory reset on a Now TV Smart box:

  1. Switch on the Now TV box and your TV so as to see the Now TV interface.
  2. Go to Settings and from the menu select the option marked ‘System’.
  3. Then, select ‘Advanced System Settings’
  4. Afterwards, choose the option for Factory reset.
  5. At this point you will be given a 4 digit code. This code will need to be entered. You will be presented with the onscreen keypad so as to enter this code using your remote control.
  6. As soon as this code has been entered the set top box will reset to its factory default settings.

Guidelines to perform the hard factory reset on a Now TV standards box (black or white):

  1. Switch on your Now TV set top box and your TV.
  2. While you are seeing the Now TV interface displayed on the screen, press a pin or a straightened paper clip into the ‘Reset’ hole that you will find on the back of your Now TV box.
  3. Hold it inside the hole for about 30 seconds.
  4. The set top box will reset to its factory default settings afterwards.

Once the hard factory reset is completed, you will then need to perform the initial set up before you will be able to start using it again.

How to Find the Best Divorce Solicitor

Hire the Right Family Lawyer First Time

Choosing a good divorce lawyer is critical for the outcome of your case. It also has a considerable impact on the way the case progresses, and how you feel about the process the whole time. As soon as the divorce case starts to be dealt with there are going to be a lot of issues to handle, and these will lead to a lot of emotional stress, as well as expenses. It can also have a massively negative effect on children.

Divorce can Negatively Impact Children in a Big Way. Image credit: Huffington Post

There are many people who ended up changing their divorce lawyer during the case, either because they felt that he/she was not handling it well, or because they were not feeling at ease with him/her. This ends up leading to even more hassle and stress. Therefore, it is best to hire a good divorce lawyer from the start.

But how can you make sure that you are making the right choice. There are so many divorce lawyers out there! How can you assure yourself that you are picking the right one? Let us try to make the selection process a bit easier, while improving your chances of making a good choice in the end.

The Average Divorce Will Cost Tens of Thousands. Image credit: Barbara Behren

  1. Starting a divorce case will involve a lot of contemplation. You will have been considering this for a long time most probably. Therefore before you start, why don’t you meet up with some divorce lawyers so as to discuss what is troubling you first? Mediation may be a good solution and it may solve your problems with your spouse in an easier and more amicable manner. Discussing your case with a divorce lawyer will not only help you understand where you stand legally, but it will also give you a clearer idea as to how you feel with that particular lawyer. Feeling at ease and managing to communicate well are important factors to bear in mind when choosing a divorce lawyer.
  2. Ask your friends, relatives and colleagues for referrals. Most likely you know more than one person who has been through a divorce, and so you will be able to avail of their experience. They will be able to recommend a lawyer, or advise you to stay away from a lawyer with whom they did not have such a good experience. It is also a good idea to do some background research and look up reviews online. This information will allow you to make a well informed decision, and most likely, a good choice.
  3. In your lawyer-client relationship it is imperative that you feel comfortable. You do not want a lawyer who has very limited time allocated to each client, or one who is almost always on the phone.
  4. There are evidently going to be costs associated with filing for divorce and having a lawyer handle your case. Before selecting your divorce lawyer you need to be aware of the approximate costs involved, and you will need to identify your budget. there are often considerable variations in the fees charged by one lawyer and another. Some divorce lawyers will bill for their service on an hourly basis, while others will set a fixed fee. Needless to say, more experienced and well established lawyers will charge higher fees. Even though it is important that you choose an experienced lawyer, you need to make a rational choice. You cannot afford breaking the bank to pay the lawyer’s fees, when there could be another good lawyer who charges more reasonable fees. So, try to be rational and strike a good balance between the two.
  5. Do not expect your lawyer to act as your therapist or psychologist. It is a good idea to hire a lawyer who is understanding and sympathetic, but he/she will need to focus on legal matters, not emotional ones.
  6. Divorce cases generally revolve around two main aspects – dividing the assets between you and your partner, and, when there are kids, you will need to resolve child-related issues. Make sure that the lawyer you hire is experienced in family law matters, so that he/she will be able to handle these two demanding areas well. In cases where there is harassment or domestic violence involved, it is imperative to find a divorce lawyer who has considerable experience in such matters specifically. Choose a divorce lawyer who has the knowledge and skills required to help you achieve the outcome you are trying to achieve at the end of your case. If you know that you will most probably not manage to reach an amicable compromise with your spouse, then you need a divorce lawyer who has considerable experience in the court as you will most likely go through a trial. If you have young children you will need to place more emphasis on finding a divorce lawyer who is able to help you in case there are going to be spiteful child custody or child access arrangements.

Remember that the divorce solicitor you choose will have a considerable effect on your case’s progress, and its aftermath, and divorce cases generally go on for a long time. So making the right choice is critical.

Reactive or Proactive Maintenance – Which is Best?

Choosing a suitable cost-effective maintenance plan for your company

Maintenance – a word that sparks a sense of uneasiness and tediousness, yet something that any business needs to see to every now and then. Be it a computer that is not running properly, or a machine that breaks down, maintenance is basically a normal business operation and it needs to be seen to from time to time. Replacing, restoring, fixing, reinstalling, and various other tasks are involved in the maintenance routine. The main goal is to ensure that the particular asset can be preserved from failure or breakdown, so as to continue to make use of it.

In this field, there are two main viewpoints. There are those who feel that it is best to fix a problem when it arises. That is the approach advocated by Reactive maintenance. Then, there are those who prefer to think ahead and carry out some maintenance procedures to prevent the machine from failing or breaking down. This is Proactive or Planned Preventive Maintenance. Both these maintenance approaches have their advantages and disadvantages and there is no way where one can say that one is better than the other in all respects.

Understanding the pros & cons

Reactive maintenance is carried out when a need arises, or when a certain fault is identified. The main goal in such a case is to try to resolve the issue as soon as possible as in the meantime operations such as production may end up being halted to the breakdown or fault. There might be way to continue operating, but in most cases there will be a loss in productivity, efficiency and sometimes in sales involved. So response and repair times are critical aspects of reactive maintenance. Having said that, reactive maintenance is an approach that is preferred by some organizations nonetheless. Many feel that there is no need to spend time and money on carrying out assessments for nothing, as generally faults or problems identified during a proactive maintenance assessment are minimal.

Reactive Maintenance Impact. Image credit: Blogspot

Speaking of a proactive maintenance approach, it is important to point out that this will be carried out by establishing a plan. This will include a schedule where specific pieces of equipment are evaluated or assessed so as to check if any components or parts need to be replaced, and if there are any problems that need to be resolved before they get worse. The purpose is obviously to predict problems so as to prevent them from actually occurring. In such a scenario, should there be a problem, it will generally be a small and manageable one. There would also be the advantage of not having to go through the pressure and limited time to try to fix it. Repairs and replacements can be done at ease, or scheduled to be carried out at a later date by a skilled person.

Abnormality Reporting is the Key to Proactive Maintenance. Image credit: Maintenance Phoenix

With a proactive maintenance approach you will be able to have more peace of mind and fewer disruptions. If regular checks are carried out chances are that you will not be encountering serious problems. Quick fixes are generally all that will be required, and so there is no need to disrupt workers and operations due to large problems or breakdowns.

There is thus a lower risk associated with proactive maintenance, and naturally this is conducive to a safer and better working environment. It is also important to note that when equipment is maintained regularly it will be running optimally, and often there will be energy savings associated with this. However with preventive maintenance there is often a great deal of planning involved, as well as the risk of spending up more money due to over maintenance. There is more money and more work involved too to lead such regular inspections.

Therefore there are clearly pros and cons associated with each method of maintenance. For those who are not sure which approach is most feasible and effective for their business, here are some tips to help you make a good choice. Reactive maintenance is generally suitable when it can be performed on components which are somewhat easy to replace or inexpensive. So if your business does not have high-tech machines and most maintenance can be carried out without worrying about collateral damage or safety issues, then reactive maintenance should suffice. Reactive maintenance is also suitable for those businesses that cannot plan a preventive maintenance schedule due to high costs or a lack of feasibility. On the other hand, with a preventive or predictive approach, you will have the advantage of improving the efficiency and life expectancy of your assets, as well as anticipating problems before they actually occur. You benefit from improving your reliability thanks to assets that are almost always running in proper conditions. However, there are still going to be cases where you will need to fix a machine there and then, despite all the planning and costs involved with your predictive maintenance schedule. So in some cases predictive maintenance may prove to be costly and rather unfeasible. At the end of the day you will need to make a decision based on what seems to be best for your business in terms of costs and practicability.

The Importance of Buying the Correct Running Shoes

One of the first things that comes to mind when shopping for running shoes is the color and the style of the shoes. Even though these elements may have an impact on your final decision, they should not be the determining factor of your running shoes purchase. There are far more important things to take into consideration when shopping for running shoes.

  1. You need to buy running shoes that will fit your foot structure and shape.
  2. Running shoes will have an impact on your overall foot health and so you need to make sure that they are suitable for your feet.

Types of Running Shoes to Consider

There are three main types of running shoes. These are the motion control shoes which are mainly designed to prevent excess pronation for people who have flat feet. Then there are the shock absorbing shoes which are mostly ideal for people who have a high arched foot. In such a case it is normal to roll outward, and these kinds of running shoes will prevent this from happening. And finally there are the stability shoes, which are basically made for people who have feet with a normal arch.

While trying to choose the right type of running shoes, it is normal to undergo gait analysis. This is basically carried out in order to assess one’s foot structure, and whether one has overpronation or underpronation. The degree of pronation is one of the key aspects that will be ascertained from gait analysis. Pronation refers to the inward roll of the foot. When the outer part of the heel strikes the ground, there is this natural roll which is intended to act as a shock absorber. However, one may have overpronation, that is, the feet roll too much inwards, or underpronation, which refers to a lack of inward roll. By measuring the runner’s degree of pronation, it is easier to identify the type of running shoe which will be most ideal for his or her level of pronation. Gait analysis helps in reducing the risk of injuries, improve running performance, as well as optimize one’s running shoes choice for comfort and efficiency.

Running is a very popular way for women to stay in shape. Image credit: Rant Sports

The running shoes are going to be worn for different kinds of activities or exercises. Jogging on a treadmill varies from trail running or mountain races. Thus it goes without saying that you need to ensure that the type of running shoes that you wear is ideal for what you intend to do. Trail running will involve lots of different terrains and trails, generally under different weather conditions and for long distances. Therefore, the soles of the shoes will need to be ideal for such factors. Running shoes nowadays differ in terms of whether they are ideal for a particular terrain, as well as the type of runner. This has led to a huge variety of running shoes on the market, which might make one feel a bit confused as to which type to buy.

When shopping for running shoes, the buyer is often classified according to the type of runner he or she is. This depends on a wide range of aspects, including his/her running style, gait, weight, and technical level. Suitable running shoes will depend on these factors, as well as trying to aim at protection and comfort for one’s feet without sacrificing on the stability and performance.

Every brand will have its respective technologies and materials in designing and manufacturing running shoes that will suit these varying needs. As a result there are ultradistance trail running shoes, marathon shoes, trail shoes, and cross-country shoes, to mention a few. Brand such as Brooks running shoes cater for all of these.

Brooks are known for making some of the best all-round running shoes. Image credit: Jack Rabbit

Professional shoe sales staff will be carrying out gait analysis so as to identify your feet’s level of pronation and structure, and by coupling up this information with your level of activity, they will be able to advise on the most suitable kinds of running shoes for you.

Sometimes many common running injuries and foot problems can be avoided or minimized simply thanks to wearing the right type of running shoes. Kneecap pain could result from exerting too much force on the knee, and an inflammation results. Wearing the right type of running shoes can help in reducing this injury which is referred to as runner’s knee. Running shoes also have an effect on shin splints. This injury is experienced on the front of the shin, leading to inflammation and tenderness, and subsequently, pain. A biomechanical assessment which leads to proper running shoes can help in preventing shin splints. Another common injury is Achilles tendonitis. Pain experienced in the back part of the lower leg is a result of inflamed calf muscles. This condition can be minimized by wearing proper running shoes. Similarly, Plantar Fasciitis, which is a painful inflammation of the tissue that runs along the bottom of one’s feet, can be reduced when one wears suitable running shoes. These are just some of the injuries that can be avoided with the proper selection of running shoes.

All this evidently highlights the importance of considering the selection of running shoes as an important decision and investment, and not simply another simple purchase. Running shoes have an impact on your health, wellbeing and comfort, as well as on your performance and efficiency. So choose wisely!

How to build a Plywood or MDF Workbench

Having a workbench is really great as it can serve so many purposes. If you are a DIY lover you certainly appreciate the practicality of a workbench.

From the much-needed storage space that if offers for your tools or extra pieces of wood, to having a solid area where to see to small jobs, a workbench is a welcome addition to your workshop. However, you may not have one yet. Chances are you had made up your mind to buy one, only to find that the prices charged for readymade workbenches are quite high. So why don’t you just build one yourself? It is really not that complicated, and you could surely use one. Here is how to do it:

Materials Required

Acquire the materials you need. Basically a full sheet of plywood or MDF cut to size measuring 8” by 4” and between 18mm and 24mm deep should do the trick. If you have the possibility of choosing between plywood and MDF, it is recommended to opt for plywood as it is a a lot stronger when compared to MDF. Plywood is more moisture resistant than MDF and it will hold together better. You will also need six stainless steel corner brackets, and a box of self-tapping wood screws.

A Circular Saw is Perfect for Cutting Plywood or MDF. Image credit: Highland Woodworking

Tools Make Light Work

Get the tools, namely an electric circular or handsaw, an electric jigsaw and an electric drill with a 2mm wood drill bit.

Getting Started

Now that you have all that you need, let’s start cutting. You need to have all the parts that will make up your workbench cut out in the right dimensions. Start with the sides of the bench, which should be about 80cm long and 37cm wide. Then cut the back panel of the workbench, at 112cm by 81cm, and the horizontal middle shelf, which should be of the exact same length. Next, cut the top of the workbench, and finally the centre vertical shelf support, which although being the smallest piece, it will be holding every other part in its proper place more robustly.

Now that all the parts are cut out, you can start assembling your workbench. To make things easier, it is best to attach the brackets to the side panels and to the centre shelf support. So, lay each panel flat, mark with a pencil where each bracket will be attached (about 5cm from the edges), and drill the pilot holes. Then, attach the brackets to the panels. You will find this very helpful when you reach the final step of the assembly process as they will be already in their rightful place and you will not face any problems trying to attach them while the frame is already done and restricting your view and accessibility.

Next, mark halfway along the length of the centre shelf. Drill two pilot holes where it will be attached to the support panel. Then, attach them to each other.

Now you need to attach the side panels of the workbench. Carefully mark where the pilot holes will be and then drill and attach neatly. Repeat with the other side. At this point you should have an H-frame. It is best to have someone helping you especially to hold the parts in place while you drill and attach.

It is now time to attach the back panel of the workbench. Place the frame onto its front, and lay the back panel in place. Make sure it fits snugly to the frame. Drill carefully and attach with wood screws. For more sturdiness screw the back panel to the centre support too. You can also drill screws through the back panel into the shelf panel as well for an even sturdier result.

And at last we come to the top of your workbench. Lay the constructed frame onto the back, place the top panel in place, and attach it by screwing it through the L-brackets that had been attached previously.

A Simple Plywood Workbench Project. Image credit: This Is Carpentry

Final Finishing

And your workbench is now complete. You might notice some rough edges here and there where you cut. Use some coarse sandpaper to sand them and gain a smoother finish. To make your workbench look even nice, you can also stain it or colour it with appropriate wood paint. In case you will be placing it outdoors, make sure to use a good quality exterior wood paint. Allow it to dry, and give it another coating for a neater look. Once it has dried up well, you may then fill it up with tools, materials and any other items that were lying around in your workshop until now. Your compact workbench is a practical addition to your workshop, and it did not take long or cost much to build didn’t it?! You can also have the pride of having managed to build it on your own, apart from having saved money too.