British hybrid tech from MTC wins German machine tool expo award

Posted on 24 Sep 2013
The Manufacturing Technology Centre and partners has won a top technology award at the EMO Hannover 2013 machine tool expo. Photo courtesy of Daniel Graves Photography

Manufacturing Technology Centre displays laser cladding machine and wins top technology award.

A world-first hybrid manufacturing technology product developed by the Manufacturing Technology Centre in collaboration with Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies, software developer Delcam and Hamuel Reichenbacher GmbH, has won the multi-function machine category at EMO Hannover 2013, with the most innovative technology at the show.

The HSMT1000 machining centre combines laser cladding, milling and probing all in one unit, potentially saving businesses time and money in complex machining operations, and streamlining the supply chain for more efficient production.

The unique capability of the machine to deposit material by laser cladding, as well as machine and inspect the substrate in a seamless production cycle, was demonstrated live at the show. The significance of this revolutionary development was recognised with an award from industry magazine MM Maschinenmarkt, the premier machine tool publication in Germany and Europe.

This machine is the result of more than five years of research and development. It began as a collaborative research project called RECLAIM, initiated by Prof. David Wimpenny of MTC and Jason Jones of DeMontfort University and Steve Hobbs of Delcam.

The project was supported by the UK Technology Strategy Board, with the objective to develop a hybrid additive and subtractive solution that could also be used for the automated repair of damaged high-value parts.

The new HYBRID system is not only capable of repairing damaged parts but can be used to manufacture new components and customisation of standard parts for low volume applications.

Ken Young, Technology Director at the MTC, believes the UK can take a leading position in the development and use of HYBRID manufacturing systems and was pleased with the positive reception at EMO:

“This award serves to recognise the innovation involved in developing this machine. This is true invention with commercial benefits and offers industry something that has never been done before.”

The MTC, one of seven centres that comprise the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, represents one of the largest public sector investments in manufacturing for many years and is housed in a 12,000 square metre facility at Ansty Park, Coventry.

It is a partnership between some of the UK’s major global manufacturers and the universities of Birmingham, Nottingham and Loughborough, and TWI Ltd. The MTC is an open access centre and has more than 50 industrial members representing large OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers and SMEs.