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Advanced Forming Research Centre

University of Strathclyde
85, Inchinnan Drive, Inchinnan

Telephone: +44 (0)141 534 5200

The Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC), based at Inchinnan near Glasgow’s International Airport, has over a five year period established itself as a world leading research facility for the shaping of materials. The centre works closely with major industrial companies and is part of the UK High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult. In the coming years, as well as consolidating its primary strength in forming and forging technology, the centre will develop its ability to support businesses wishing to innovate and will act as a focal point for high value manufacturing in Scotland.

The aim of the AFRC is to DEMONSTRATE, DELIVER and VALIDATE manufacturing innovation.

• Demonstrate manufacturing innovation. This includes the proving out new manufacturing technologies and equipment at scale and on real applications, but is also about creating the appetite for manufacturing innovation at all levels of organisations and for organisations of all sizes. This is essential if we are to achieve our aspiration to enable customers to develop, prove and scale-up the next generation of products, processes and technologies.

• Deliver manufacturing innovation. True delivery of manufacturing innovation means addressing all barriers to implementation of developed solutions by identifying issues and solutions early in the development cycle. These can relate to supply chain, commercial, business case, funding, intellectual property, operational handover, systems, product maturity, as well as the maturity of the technology itself and underlying understanding of the material which has been processed. Addressing this challenge enables a second aspiration, to help companies de-risk and accelerate innovation in the manufacturing sector.

• Validate manufacturing innovation. High demand engineering applications like the subsea require manufactured products whose mechanical integrity and fitness for purpose have been rigorously assessed and confirmed by testing and analysis. Validation of manufacturing innovation involves confirming that the manufactured product is fit for purpose, can be produced consistently at cost, and can meet these standards at the volume needed to support the market. The AFRC aspires to achieve the goal of being the best in the world at providing validated manufacturing innovations rigorously and at pace and thereby to be the world’s leading provider of innovative solutions for the shaping of materials.

The AFRC has developed strength in six key capability areas. These are described as follows:
• Net shape and high integrity process development. This is initially built on capabilities in forging, forming, heating and machining technology. It also represents a generic capability based on exploiting skills in systematic experimental design, process improvement and expert knowledge in processing technology.
• Process design, automation and control. This builds on expertise in automating onsite processes, developing state of the art monitoring systems, especially for hot processes.
• Validated innovation cycle. Our extensive suite of physical processing equipment allows us to test material, simulate behaviours and undertake parallel physical and virtual trials. Our range of dimensional, microstructural and residual stress measurement capability is used to assess the product of the physical process for comparison with virtual trials.
• Net shape component development lifecycle. This is based on establishing a holistic approach to net shape component development, including design, analysis, supply chain design, prototype assembly, prototype test, evaluation and circular economy considerations.
• HVM Market growth for Scotland. We have established tools and techniques for supporting innovation at a corporate and sector level in the Scottish manufacturing context.
• Knowledge and skills for step change into production. The centre is also focused on disseminating knowledge and developing skills at a broad level.
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University (Consultancy, Engineering, Fabrication, Inspection / Testing, Manufacturers, Quality (QAQC), Services, Training)


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