Cardiff puts sustainable manufacturing in the spotlight

The first International conference on sustainable design and manufacturing took place in Cardiff from 28 – 30 April.

The event, organised by KES International, the ASTUTE Consortium and Cardiff University and supported by the Institute of Engineering and Technology, was attended by Welsh Government Minister for Economy, Edwina Hart.

The aim of the conference was to raise the profile of sustainability in design and manufacturing and unite academia, government and industry in finding solutions to complex problems.

Event chair, Professor Rossi Setchi from Cardiff University, told TM: “Our goal is to bring together experts from academia, business and industry who work in isolated areas and invite them to collaborate. Manufacturing is our passion and sustainability is our social responsibility.

“The conference gave us an opportunity to discuss these issues in a holistic way. We are addressing the challenge of industrial sustainability by developing sustainable products and processes, creating sustainable manufacturing systems and organisations and developing decision support tools for sustainability.

“This contributes significantly to improvements in health, quality of life, both social and economically.”

The conference included more than 100 papers across 17 parallel sessions from 21 countries and five continents. Keynote presentations included General Dynamics’s director of research and development Rob Rolley, Catapult’s CEO Dick Elsy, Geoff McFarland, group engineering director at Renishaw and Gary Toyne, director at the Siemens Industry Software Group.

Four awards were distributed at the end of the conference for the best overall presentation, best student, best manufacturing technology paper and best manufacturing management paper.

Rossi Setchi added: “Our long term goal is to invite more comment from social and life sciences on the topic. We are delighted with the turnout of people who are simply interested in the topic. From this year’s event we have already found two teams interested in organising next year’s conference.”

KES International is a non-profit organisation providing professional community, networking and publication opportunities for individuals working in knowledge intensive areas.

Professor Robert Howlett Chair of KES International said: “KES is delighted that we have been able to further our mission by making possible this first conference on this leading-edge subject.”

Advanced Sustainable Manufacturing Technologies (ASTUTE)  is a five-year project running until April 2015, targeting aerospace, automotive, and medical sectors as well as other high value manufacturing companies, with the combined aim of bringing higher value goods and services to a global market.