Global machining leader renews AFRC partnership

German-based machine manufacturing company, WF-Maschinenbau has renewed its membership agreement with the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC).

According to the AFRC, the three-year partnership will lead to further collaboration on research and development between the Inchinnan-based facility and the international metal-forming machine manufacturer.

WF-Maschinenbau will supply an additional flow forming machine to the AFRC which is expected to help further the work the organisation undergoes with metal forming.

The AFRC

The AFRC is part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, with backing from its commercial members, the University of Strathclyde and funding bodies, which include Scottish Enterprise and the Innovate UK.

Formed in 2009, its facility at Inchinnan, Glasgow, has eight laboratories and employs more than 130 experts.

It aims to de-risk and accelerate the introduction of new technologies, materials and processes, and assists companies by converting the art of innovation into a science that can be applied to their businesses.

The VUD600 vertical flow former is being used to expand the capabilities of the AFRC by developing smaller, more complex and a wider size-range of components.

This new machine can produce an extensive variety of parts for many different sectors including automotive, aerospace and oil and gas.

The AFRC will have access to WF’s site in Sendenhorst (Germany) to carry out tests on parts which it’s unable to complete within Scotland.

In return, the tier two membership will enable WF to send engineers over to Scotland to conduct cutting-edge research.

Commercial team lead at the AFRC, Lynne O’Hare explained: “WF-Maschinenbau is one of the most prestigious names in the global metals industry.

“The partnership will help us work across borders, pursuing manufacturing research and development opportunities while sharing skills to continue driving forward innovation.

With an almost 50-year heritage, WF-Maschinenbau – together with co-operation partners such as the AFRC – is driving the development of new processes and materials to bring the advantages of flow-forming technology into new fields of application.

The AFRC also recently secured Mitsubishi Materials Group as a tier two member.  It will reportedly act as a test facility for the development of new products and manufacturing processes, which will be used to produce metal components for use in a range of industries – including oil and gas, aerospace and automotive.