THE University of Strathclyde is to open a new office in Sheffield for its Advanced Forming Research Centre (ARFC).
Part of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, the new facility will provide local forging and forming houses with access to support from the research centre located at the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland.
Supported by Sheffield City Council and operating out of an office at the Olympic Legacy Park, ARFC’s new base comes alongside the existing High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult centres in the region.
The Glasgow-based university said that the office will help South Yorkshire companies tap into the leading metallurgy capabilities, numerical and analytical process modelling tools and some of the ‘most advanced’ industry-scale forging and forming equipment in the world.
It added that the decision to open its first office of Scotland marks a ‘crucial’ stage in the centre’s evolution as it continues to build strong relationships with the UK forging community ahead of the launch of FutureForge, a £20 million facility that includes the world’s most advanced forging platform.
AFRC chief operating officer, Helen Lightbody, said, “The past year and a half has taught us that we can connect with people and companies anywhere in the world, and here we are putting that into practice – if there is a problem manufacturing a part on a drop stamp, we can plug into the modelling and simulation facilities in Glasgow but carry out testing on the manufacturer’s shop floor in South Yorkshire.
“Our support can be anything from helping the transition from gas to electric furnaces to reducing energy costs, to exploring ways to meet sustainability targets, improving products and processes, or accessing large scale collaborative research projects with global manufacturing companies.”
Russell Crow, director of engineering and development at Sheffield forging house Tinsley Bridge, added, “This is great news and the AFRC’s new base will provide extra support for us and other forging companies here in Sheffield where we have a long-established forging history going back hundreds of years.
“At Tinsley Bridge, we have benefited from access to the AFRC’s engineers and researchers who have offered valuable independent advice that has helped improve our equipment and product quality.
“We communicated remotely, but it will be great to have a friendly face here on our doorstep, who can engage with local businesses and hopefully create opportunities for collaboration and sharing best practice.”