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Carbon Fibre Hands for the World’s Largest Mechanical Clock

07 May 2010

Staff at epm: technology have made four sets of carbon fibre hands for the world’s largest mechanical clock, destined for the top of the Harmony Tower, in Ganzhou, south-west China.

The tower has four clock faces, each with a diameter of 12.8m - two-and-a-half times the size of Big Ben’s. The hands are also super-sized – each minute hand measures 7.8m long, while the hour hands are 6.2m long. Each dial also has a third 4.4m hand, which will be painted red for luck and will point to a series of animals to indicate the Chinese lunar month.

The clock has been designed by Smith of Derby, one of the city’s oldest companies, which won the contract after beating off competition from firms across the globe. While it set about making the movement, it contacted epm: technology asking it to make the hands.

Light Weight

The minute hands weigh just 60kg each, compared to a ton if they were cast in traditional steel. Not only are they easier to install, the hands are also deigned to be maintenance-free. The clock is designed to operate for 100 years between major overhauls and the hands have been specified to offer similar durability and performance.

Graham Mulholland, managing director of epm: technology, said: “It is not every day that you are asked to make the hands for the world’s largest mechanical clock, so naturally we were delighted when Smith of Derby approached us. It has been a fascinating project. The minute hands are by far the biggest structural components we have ever produced at epm: technology and we have enjoyed the challenge of working out how best to manufacture them and then putting it into practice. We are very proud to have worked with Smith of Derby and shown China and the rest of the world what our city can do.”

Bob Betts, managing director of Smith of Derby, said: “The Harmony Tower Clock is one of the most exciting projects we have worked on for years and we are thrilled with the final product.