News April 2013
AFRC Announces New Tier 2 Member, CPI Technologies
The Advanced Forming Research Centre are very pleased to say that they have a new Tier 2 member, CPI Technologies, who supply and help deploy SpaceClaim’s leading-edge software toolset to Manufacturing and Engineering businesses in the United Kingdom.
SpaceClaim allows engineers and industrial designers to be more creative and deliver products to market faster. Throughout the lean product development cycle, SpaceClaim makes it possible for engineers to easily explore their ideas and solve problems in 3D, reuse and quickly edit models from any CAD system, and simplify models for analysis or production planning in a fraction of the time it takes with traditional CAD. Customers are also using SpaceClaim to bid on new projects to improve their win rates by communicating with prospects and customers in 3D.
SpaceClaim’s unique ease of use has also prompted a highly accelerated take up of the toolset by UK Schools, Colleges, Apprentice Schemes, and Universities.
As members, their contribution to the centre will be:
- Provision of a substantial SpaceClaim licence resource for internal R &D activity by the AFRC
- Provision of a substantial SpaceClaim licence resource for use by the AFRC on external R & D projects with their members/clients.
- A gateway to SpaceClaim’s Product Development Group for industry-driven “Technology Enhancement Requests” in the fields of advanced 3D geometry creation, manipulation, and morphing.
- Provision of free “Proof of Concept” SpaceClaim licences to AFRC members/clients
AFRC Hosts Event: High Value Manufacturing...Engineering the Future
On 17th April, the AFRC hosted a Workshop in order to identify challenges for forming and forging to shape potential UK Government funding calls in 2014 and beyond.
This provided attendees with an opportunity to influence a major potential funding call and help to improve the global competitiveness of UK metal forming and forging across a range of markets.
Attendees from companies such as Gamesa, Metal Spinners Ltd, ClydeBlowers, GKN Driveline, Siemens and BEL Valves, were given an opportunity to meet with representatives from the Technology Strategy Board, Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service to find out what opportunities there are for companies interested in innovation and funding research and development.
Thank you to all who made a valuable contribution towards generating relevant and interesting discussion on the day.
News March 2013
The AFRC announces a new Tier 2 Member, ACB
The Advanced Forming Research Centre are very pleased to say that they have a new Tier 2 member, ACB, the company who are providing them with Superplastic Forming machines.
ACB is a family-owned business based in Nantes, France, which possesses extensive experience in the field of hydraulic presses and metal forming, through which it has acquired invaluable expertise. ACB is a well-known and respected name in the aerospace industry and works in close collaboration with its sister company Cyril Bath, which is based in the United States
As members, their contribution to the centre will be:
- SPF operator / engineer support to transfer knowledge and skills to the AFRC operators and manufacturing engineers about this complex process
- Consultancy for die design, including tools, fittings and fixings and simulations
- Maintenance of the equipment.
They are keen to engage with the AFRC and its members on projects to investigate areas such as fibre reinforced ceramic dies and use of finer grain materials.
News December 2012
New AFRC CEO Appointed
The AFRC are pleased to welcome on board Mr Archie MacPherson as the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The Chair of the Board, Steve Burgess of Rolls-Royce plc, commented: “I am confident this appointment will significantly enhance the AFRC leadership team and I am sure you will join me in welcoming Archie into his new role.”
News November 2012
The University of Strathclyde awarded UK University of the Year 2012/13
The University of Strathclyde was named UK University of the Year at Times Higher Education Awards in London. Bill Ion and Magnus Anderson attended the Times Higher Education Awards 2012 which was hosted by David Walliams and held at the Grosvenor Hotel in London Park Lane. #THEAwards
AFRC Information Session for Strathclyde Colleagues: Tuesday 13th November
An AFRC Information Session for Strathclyde Colleagues was held in the afternoon for those who were interested finding out more about the AFRC or in collaborating with the AFRC on research and knowledge exchange activity. Jeff Brooks provided attendees with an overview of the AFRC, its current research and plans for future expansion of activities then a tour of the AFRC and its facilities. There was a good turnout of attendees with representation from departments such as RKES, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Strathclyde Business School and The Institute of Nanotechnology.
News October 2012
AFRC Technical Board visit Glengoyne Distillery
The Technical Board members were invited to take part in "Wee Tasting Tour" at Glengoyne Distillery in Dumgoyne, which is often voted as "The world’s most beautiful distillery". They then enjoyed a meal at The Blane Valley Inn in Blanefield. The visit was enjoyed by all who attended and the event was made even more enjoyable by the sunny autumn weather which prevailed throughout the day.
Visits from Overseas
October has been a busy month so far for the AFRC with many overseas visitors who came for a tour of the premises including a Chinese Aviation Engineering Company and a Cuban delegation, led by Dr Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart, A Scientific Advisor to the Cuban State Council.
NAMTEC and AMRC Annual Conference and Dinner
AFRC Chief of Operations, Sheena MacKenzie, attended the NAMTEC and AMRC Annual Conference and dinner at the Hilton Sheffield. The Conference focused on technology challenges and featured presenters from leading manufacturing organisations including the AMRC with Boeing (AMRC), Rolls-Royce, GKN Aerospace, BEL Valves, Sheffield Forgemasters and Carpenter Technologies. The presentations provided delegates with an insight into the technology challenges and developments across the manufacturing sectors. For more details on the event and the AMRC, click here.
Annabel Goldie MSP Visits the AFRC
On the 29th of October, Annabel Goldie MSP, regional member for the West of Scotland visited the AFRC. Annabel met with Sheena for a tour of the facility. Annabel said: "I was delighted to be able to visit the Advanced Forming Research Centre in Inchinnan…This is cutting edge research made possible by the calibre of the University and its talented staff working hand in hand with industry. It is a remarkable advertisement for Renfrewshire and Scotland."
News August 2012
Global Summit on Advanced Engineering: Scottish Business Breakfast
10th August: As part of a series of events taking place during the London Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer, Scottish Enterprise, UK Trade & Investment and the Advanced Forming Research Centre hosted a business breakfast and morning event.
High Value Manufacturing Catapult Appoints Dick Elsy as CEO
31st August: The High Value Manufacturing Catapult announced the appointment of Dick Elsy as its Chief Executive Officer. He joins the High Value Manufacturing Catapult from his previous role as Chief Executive of Torotrak plc. When Elsy takes up the rein at the High Value Manufacturing Catapult from 1st October, his main responsibility will be to ensure that the organisation maximises its impact on the growth of the manufacturing industry in the UK, delivering on realistic yet ambitious business-driven goals. Combining seven centres of excellence around the UK, the High Value Manufacturing Catapult bridges the gap between business, academia and other research organisations. It helps businesses develop and commercialise advanced technologies emerging from Britain’s world-class research base. Its long-term aim is to boost significantly the contribution of manufacturing to the UK economy. Businesses that engage with the Catapult will reduce the operational and financial risk associated with creating new and profitable products, processes and services. Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Innovation, and our Catapult centres in particular, are central to our plans for sustainable economic growth and our emerging industrial strategy. Catapults are key in making sure that we are building the groundwork for a bright future, and giving businesses the confidence to develop and market new and innovative products and technologies. “Dick Elsy has an excellent track record and exactly the sort of experience and skills in business, design and engineering which our Catapult centres need.” “To be asked to lead the High Value Manufacturing Catapult is a great privilege,” said Dick Elsy. “This ground-breaking initiative is now poised to play a key role in the drive to rebalance our economy. There is tremendous innovation in United Kingdom, and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, and the other Catapults, have been set up to unlock the commercial value of such innovation and to maximise this value capture in the UK. I am very much looking forward to realising this ambitious goal, to joining an already hugely successful team, and to meeting with existing and future customers and industrial partners.
Bob Gilbert, Chairman of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult said:“We are delighted that Dick has accepted the challenge of becoming our first full-time Chief Executive. His past experience will serve him well in this exciting yet demanding position as we build on the strong foundations established by the current management team and take the Catapult forward to support a wide range of UK-based companies, large and small, in their efforts to commercialise great technologies emerging from our world-class research base.” Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board said:“We are thrilled to have someone of Dick’s stature and experience to lead the High Value Manufacturing Catapult. The UK has an excellent history of delivering cutting-edge manufacturing products and solutions. The Catapult will be at the heart of the next phase of this story, helping both new and established UK-based manufacturing businesses to take advantage of lucrative global markets through the development of high-value products, processes and services to the long-term benefit of the UK economy.” Catapults form part of the Government’s economic growth strategy and designed to transform the UK’s capability for innovation. The Catapult programme was announced by the Prime Minister in October 2010 and is being established and overseen by the Technology Strategy Board.
AFRC Modelling Workshop
30th August: The Modelling Workshop presented an ideal opportunity for Members to meet and discuss Modelling challenges and priorites for the future. A special thank you to the researchers who contributed to the success of the Workshop who were Jeff Brooks, Muhammad Amir, Prashant Jadhav, Hector Basoalto and Magnus Anderson.
News July 2012
Additional Government Funding Awarded to Support High Value Manufacturing
Business secretary Vince Cable has announced an additional £25 million government funding to support high value manufacturing.
The investment in the second phase of the Strategic Affordable Manufacturing in the UK through Leading Environmental Technology (SAMULET) programme is aimed at originating manufacturing processes to increase productivity and make better use of resources. Click here for more details.
News June 2012
HVM Catapult Event in Aarhus, Denmark, 19th - 21st June:
As the Marketing and Communications lead for the HVM Catapult, Allan Walker attended the Industrial Technologies Conference in Aarhus, Denmark. It was the HVM Catapult’s first European event and Will Barton, Head of Manufacturing at the TSB was pleased with how it went. Contact was made with companies and individuals from across the EU on behalf of the Catapult
Sheet Metal Forming Workshop, 28th June:
Companies including Agilent, WMG, RTI Advanced Forming as well as Tier 1 Members attended the Workshop. The Workshop presented an ideal opportunity for attendees to network and discuss materials and process challenges in Sheet Metal Forming. A special thank you to the researchers who contributed to the success of the workshop – Jeff Brooks, Muhammad Amir, Rahul Bhattacharya, Salah Rahimi, Malgorzata Rosochowska for their presentations and Lin Sun.
News May 2012
Automation Workshop, 30th May:
The Research Workshop on Automation took place, organised by Colin Harrison. Around 35 people from 8 member companies attended. The organisers reported high quality interaction. Five suppliers provided a number of displays of equipment to add extra interest to this event. Thank you to everyone who provided exhibits at the event as well as speakers and attendees.
Quality Workshop, 15th May:
Quality Team members, Alastair Conway and Christine Dent, hosted a Workshop based on Quality Management procedures. The Workshop was intended to facilitate closer engagement between the stakeholders of the AFRC, analysing the current Quality management system within the centre and also to address future quality expectations from perpectives of the AFRC, the wider AxRC and HVM Catapult network of centres. There was a good turnout on the day and the AFRC were delighted to welcome Ian Shaw from the British Standards Institute, who gave a presentation to delegates on the development of fast track quality standards for organisations such as those involved within the Catapult. Thank you again to all who attended.
Group Discussion Sessions were lively and interactive. The box of "Quality Street" helped set the theme for the day!
Delegates participated in a 'Quality Roadmapping' Exercise
AFRC Open Day, 3rd May: The event proved to be a successful one with visitors coming from other departments of the University but more importantly from several companies who were visiting for the first time.
2nd May: TSB have announced the appointment of the new HVM Catapult chairman. Click on this link for more details: HVM News
News April 2012
AFRC Residual Stress Workshop, 19th May:
The Residual Stress Workshop took place on Thursday 19th April and drew in the large number of interested members.
Presentations were held in the morning session from Tier 1 Members and the afternoon sessions involved interactive group discussion activities and a live demonstration of the Quench Tank capabilities.
Thank you to all those who took part in the event.
One of the groups, deep in discussion.
The event proved to be an excellent opportunity for networking.
Research Director, Jeffery Brooks, gave an introduction to the AFRC Residual Stress Programme to delegates
News February 2012
23rd February: AFRC Director, Bill Ion attended a Manufacturing Summit in Bristol – attended by Nick Clegg, Vince Cable & the BIS ministerial team, who were strong advocates of the event. They emphasised the key role the growth of the manufacturing sector will have to "get Britain back in business".
HRH Duke of York opens AFRC
18 January 2011
His Royal Highness the Duke of York formally opened the University's multi-million pound Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) on Wednesday (19 January) during a visit to Scotland.
The world-class research centre pioneers forming and forging techniques to support manufacturing for the aerospace, energy, marine and automobile industries, and is expected to set new standards in manufacturing design.
It is a collaborative venture between the University, Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Government and internationally renowned engineering firms including Rolls-Royce, Boeing, Mettis Aeropace, TIMET, Aubert & Duval and Barnes Aerospace.
The Royal visit to the centre at Inchinnan, Renfrewshire, came just days after David Willets, UK Minister for Universities and Science, announced funding for a new industrial doctorate centre at the AFRC to train the manufacturing research leaders of tomorrow. Postgraduate students will undertake an intensive, broad-based research programme as well as a taught programme in partnership with industry.
Unveiling a plaque to mark the official opening, HRH the Duke of York said: “What is particularly encouraging for me is to see the co-ordination between industry and academia in what I will describe as a space in manufacturing that has gone underfunded for a long period of time.
"You are able to take up that challenge and deliver not only in the UK but globally. You have not only the industrial capability but you also have the academic and intellectual capability.
“I would like to congratulate you on what you have put together and I hope the centre will continue to flourish.”
Professor Jim McDonald, Principal of the University, said: “The opening of the Advanced Forming Research Centre is an important milestone in Strathclyde’s long and successful history of working with industry, and we are delighted to mark the occasion in such distinguished company.
“The AFRC will cement Scotland’s global reputation for excellence in engineering, and is already receiving demand for research from around the world. The collaborative approach between the University, Scottish Enterprise and leading engineering companies will enable us to be at the forefront of innovation in the high-value manufacturing sector, while making a significant contribution to the wider economy.
“In addition, the new doctoral training course will generate the highly-skilled research leaders of tomorrow, who will work side-by-side with global engineering companies and develop the best possible understanding of industry’s needs.”
Prince Andrew, the Special Representative for International Trade and Investment, was given a guided tour of the Centre’s leading-edge facilities, which include a high-power electron microscope, a £1.5 million screw press capable of exerting a force of up to 2,000 tonnes with pinpoint accuracy; precision measurement facilities and furnaces capable of temperatures in excess of 1200°C.
In addition, the Centre is to become the only research institute in the UK in possession of super-plastic forming technologies, which will enable researchers to shape complex materials at temperatures of up to 960°C. The facilities will support the manufacture of a range of advanced products for aircraft wings, engines, cars, ships, medical devices and power generation.
Neil Francis, Sector Delivery Director, Scottish Enterprise, said: “We are delighted that His Royal Highness the Duke of York has officially opened the AFRC and look forward to the Centre continuing to enhance Scotland’s global reputation for excellence by providing world class research and development facilities. Scotland has a distinguished history in developing breakthroughs in engineering and manufacturing technologies and we believe the AFRC will provide a conducive breeding ground for new technology that will continue that tradition and have a significant impact on the Scottish economy.”
Stephen Burgess, Chair of the AFRC Board and Manufacturing Processes & Technology Executive at Rolls-Royce, said: “I am delighted at the offical opening of the AFRC, this marks another significant milestone in the creation of a network of advanced manufacturing research centres which bridge the gap between university research and industrial application.
"The AFRC will deliver industry ready solutions that address key high value manufacturing problems in the field of metal forging and forming. The innovative processes developed at this centre will help transform the competitiveness of manufacturing companies at a local, national and international level. I am confident the centre will rapidly establish a world-class reputation and become recognised as a national asset."
The Duke continued his visit at the University's campus in Glasgow city centre where he met with senior academic and industry figures. Discussion was expected to focus on how university collaborations with industry can further support inward investment, export opportunities and the creation of more positive conditions for businesses and universities overseas.
13 January 2011
The AFRC is to host a new Industrial Doctorate Centre funded by the EPSRC - the Advanced Manufacturing Industrial Doctorate Centre, whcih will award Engineering Doctorates. The Engineering Doctorate (EngD) is a well established four-year postgraduate award intended for the UK’s leading researchers aiming for a career in industry. It provides postgraduate engineers with an intensive, broad-based research programme incorporating a taught component relevant to the needs of, and undertaken in partnership with, industry. It is a radical alternative to the traditional PhD, being better suited to the needs of industry and providing a more vocationally orientated doctorate degree, with the student spending a significant proportion of their time working in industry. Students will undertake the taught programme within the AFRc's host department, the department of Design, Manufacture and Engineering Management at the University of Strathclyde. Students will then have the opportunity of undetaking projects in industrial partners such as Rolls-Royce plc and TIMET. EPSRC press release.
10-13 January: AFRC hosted the Rolls-Royce AxRC Directors' Conference. Around 60 people attended on days 1 and 2, marking the biggest event since the building opened. Plenary sessions were held in the Street, breakouts took place in meeting rooms and spare labs, and on the evening of the second day a hot buffet was held in the Street.
News December 2011
AFRC joins Catapult
9th December: Technology Strategy Board has announced the name for the elite network of technology and innovation centres which it is establishing. Catapult centres will help to drive economic growth by closing the gap between concept and commercialisation and enhance innovation in specific technology areas for years to come. The AFRC is part of the first one, focusing on High Value Manufacturing.
November 2011 saw the second of our Research Workshops for member companies, this time on the topic of Hot Forging. Nine of our 17 members companies were represented at the event.
In January the topic is Superplastic forming, in February it is Process Characterisation followed in March by Metrology and in April by Automation. May sees us focus on Residual Stresses in Forming and Forging, and in June we take a close look at Sheet Forming (Bulk and ISF). After a summer break, the workshops recommence in September with Modelling and finally in October Future Processes is the topic.
Each workshop results in useful exchanges which inform the future direction of research activities. In addition, improvements may be suggested and in some cases follow-up events will be held to maintain momemtum.
October was a busy month for the AFRC.
After 6 months of intensive activity behind the scenes, the High Value Manufacturing technology and innovation centre (HVMTIC) , the first of several technology and innovation centres to be funded by the Technology Strategy Board, was declared 'open for business' by vince Cable at the Innovate 11 event in London on 11 October 2011. The AFRC sent 4 people to the event, who were kept busy with visitors to the combined HVMTIC stand which was shared by all 7 participating research centres. The stand was large and eye-catching and attracted a large number of attendees. Bill Ion, Operations Director also participated in a panel Q&A session following a presention on the new centre, which was standing room only.
We have launched a series of Research Workshops in response to requests from the Members' Forum held in June 2011. Each will focus on a single research topic and allow relevant experts from each member company to take a closer look at what the AFRC is doing, how they are doing it, and to exchange iew with other interested parties. The first one was held on 13th October on the subject of Material Characterisation. Around 20 delegates attended. Dr Paul Blackwell, who led the Workshop, commented "Valuable input was received from those present on areas including: calibration, quality control and round robin testing for validation purposes. Output from the workshop will be used to inform the ongoing development of materials characterisation at the AFRC."
Strathclyde attracts major investments in manufacturing research
17 March 2011 The University is to play a key role in two multi-million pound government initiatives to stimulate high value manufacturing research in the UK.
Investment in manufacturing capacity is one of the priority areas for the Government’s strategy to stimulate growth and regenerate the economy. The investments are designed to give the UK competitive advantage in high value manufacturing in sectors including aerospace, energy, marine and automobiles.In the area of high value manufacturing, Strathclyde's Advanced Forming Research Centre is to be a major partner in the first of a UK-wide network of elite technology centres unveiled by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. The National Technology and Innovation Centre for High Value Manufacturing will allow business and industry to commercialise the results of world class research, and provide routes to new high tech markets. It is the first of a network of centres being supported by more than £200 million of Government funding over the next four years.
Announcing the high value manufacturing centre, Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, said: "This first elite technology and innovation centre will support our objective to rebalance the economy by underpinning current UK manufacturing strengths through the development and deployment of novel technologies into sectors such as aerospace, automotive and process industries, whilst at the same time driving the UK into leading positions in new high growth markets by creating a platform for innovative SMEs to work with larger companies in developing technologies such as plastic electronics, fibre reinforced polymer composites and biotechnology."
David Willetts, Universities and Science Minister, added: "Partnerships between higher education and industry are increasingly essential drivers of innovation, opportunity and national prosperity. These new centres will combine inventive research and business acumen to develop the high-tech manufacturing industries we need to secure sustainable growth."
Department for Business Innovation and Skills | Technology Strategy Board | Scottish Enterprise | EPSRC
Universities minister visits Strathclyde
22 February 2011
UK Universities and Science Minister David Willetts has gained an insight into Strathclyde's extensive collaborations with industry on a visit to the University.
Mr Willetts met Principal Professor Jim McDonald at Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) in Inchinnan, where he learned of partnerships between the University and businesses which turn pioneering, world-class research and teaching into innovative end products with high impact on industry, science and society.
He was also told of projects across the University which reflect and deliver Strathclyde’s ambitious agenda as a leading international technological university.
Mr Willetts said: “I was delighted to be invited to visit the University of Strathclyde. It provides a shining example of how, through collaboration, universities can provide fantastic opportunities for students and researchers, as well as excellent outcomes for industry and society as a whole.”
Professor McDonald said: “We had great pleasure in welcoming the Minister to Strathclyde. We are committed to working closely with major industrial partners and these collaborations pave the way for our research to have a real influence on the major global challenges of the 21st century.
“Strathclyde is playing an active role in shaping the health, quality of life and prosperity of society, nationally and internationally. We are addressing issues such as climate change, advanced engineering solutions and infrastructure design through our dynamic research, our intensive, productive partnerships with industry and the high calibre of our graduates. The AFRC is a prime example of this but is just one aspect of a university which excels in ideas and solutions for the technological age.”
The AFRC, formally opened in January 2011 by HRH the Duke of York, develops cutting-edge techniques to support manufacturing in the aerospace, energy, marine and automobile industries. It is a collaborative venture between the University of Strathclyde, Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Government and internationally renowned engineering firms including Rolls-Royce, Boeing, Mettis Aeropace, TIMET, Aubert & Duval and Barnes Aerospace.
29 October: AFRC hosted a visit by a delegation from China's top technological universities
14 October: The Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) was chosen as the location of the launch of a publication of a major study into the economic benefits Scotland derives from the aerospace, marine and defence sectors in Scotland. The study was conducted jointly by Scottish Enterprise and the industry trade body A|D|S. The 108-page study reveals that: 842 companies are involved in the sector in Scotland; it employs 40,000 people; and it generates a combined annual turnover of £5.2 billion, creating £2.1 billion Gross Value Added (GVA). The AFRC was a particularly appropriate location as its current members are drawn from that sector. Journalists from the Herald, Financial Times and the Press Association attended, and BBC Scotland filmed interviews with Scottish Enterprise and A|D|S personnel. BBC Scotland also filmed one of our technicians at work, which was shown on the 6 o’clock news on 14th October.
4 October: In October the Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) was presented with a gift from The Boeing Corporation, one of the Centre’s founding Tier 1 members, in the form of a painting by renowned Scottish artist and aviation historian, Professor Dugald Cameron. Professor Cameron is a Visiting Professor in the department of Design, Manufacture and Engineering Management. The painting, entitled “Dawn”, depicts the development of flight in Scotland from medieval times to the present day, and is on display in the Centre.
11 and 12 November: AFRC hosted the 2010 DEFORM User Group Meeting and a Process and Microstructure Modelling Seminar given by Wilde Analysis Ltd. About 40 people attended from around the UK in our biggest event since the building opened.
22 November: AFRC received a visit from Taiwan's MIRDC