Engineering Integrity Society

a unique way for engineers in industry to exchange ideas and experience

60 Seconds with John Doyle

60 Second Spotlight on John Doyle, MoreVision

Ahead of the Bolted Joints: Insights, Failures & Solutions Seminar taking place on 8 February 2024 we caught up with John to hear his thoughts on the topic.

Please briefly explain your current role and involvement with bolted joints.

As a railway structural engineer, I’m called to see lots of bolts misbehaving, usually missing bolts often lost through vibrational loosening. It is always fascinating to listen to the background behind any problem. There is always a complex history, usually muddled by Chinese whispers where ‘black art’ theories abound.  I enjoy putting bolts through an analytical process to dispel the mysteries and put forward a scientific rational to exactly what the problem is.

What changes have you seen in bolted joint technology over the past 5 years?

I have been involved with new technologies to make the analytical assessments of bolts available to all engineers, giving them analytical prowess to shine a light on the shadowy corners of the bolt universe.

What are some common challenges engineers face in your specific area of expertise and how will your presentation address these?

Capturing accurate data during the bolt tightening process is crucial, yet often overlooked. By maintaining digital records for each bolt, we create a transparent trail of information. Should any of the bolts misbehave, we can scrutinise the data to pinpoint the issue. Our approach involves digital work records that seamlessly communicate with intelligent torque wrenches. This provides the opportunity to use more precise angle tightening methods replacing traditional torque tightening methods. Our digital work records not only programme the intelligent torque wrench with the appropriate bolt procedure, but they also capture the tightening details of each bolt. This fusion of digital technology and craftsmanship is fast and accurate and ensures that bolts behave as expected.

What do you see as the key priorities for engineers working with bolted joints?

Today all engineers should have smart phones in their pocket to look up bolting records and guide them through a bolt assessment. There is no reason why they cannot understand the fundamental mechanics of their bolts by reference to illustrative videos and calculations.

The presenters at the EIS seminar work in a variety of different sectors. What are the benefits of sharing bolted joint knowledge and approaches across different industries?

We all work in our own niche industry with its own traditions and practises, but the laws of physics are not constrained to a single industry, so we all have something to learn from each other.

In light of technological advancements and industry changes, how do you foresee the future of bolted joint technology evolving?

In an increasingly digital age, we can all have better records of work done, increasing transparency and clarity of a bolt’s history. We use digital techniques to program and capture data directly from smart wrenches. We can find the shortcomings of a bolt using a phone app. As a result, we’ll see an improvement in bolt performance and fewer unfathomable bolt failures.

Why is it important for engineers to join this event?

Who wants to be left behind as bolt technology advances? No one, I hope. So, this a great event to see where the cutting edge is and meet the experts to learn how you can get there quickly.

Scroll to top