The University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC), part of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, is opening an office in Sheffield.
The office will provide providing local forging and forming houses with easy access to support from the research centre located near Glasgow Airport in the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland in Renfrewshire.
Supported by Sheffield City Council and operating out of an office on the Olympic Legacy Park, the AFRC’s new base is complementing the existing High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult centres in the region – the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and the Nuclear AMRC.
Effectively bringing the research lab directly to the manufacturers, the new 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, over 260 miles away in Scotland.
The decision to open its first office outside 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 hot forging platform.
“Setting up an office in Sheffield is a natural step for the AFRC. It will provide a gateway between our world-leading research expertise and the heart of the UK’s forging community,” said AFRC Chief Operating Officer, Helen Lightbody.
“The past year 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.”
Steve Foxley, CEO of the University of Sheffield AMRC, said: “Advanced forging techniques are a key capability of the manufacturing business community in the Sheffield City Region. As such, it is good to see our HVM Catapult network partners at the Advanced Forming Research Centre investing in forging simulation and modelling capabilities close to the local community.
“The deeper collaboration across the HVM Catapult network enables opportunities like these and reciprocal arrangements. I know from our experience of working as part of the HVM Catapult network that this type of support provided to businesses can help drive improvements in productivity and competitiveness.”