New plastics processing centre for WMG

Posted on 14 Aug 2015 by Fred Tongue

Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) has announced that it will set up a new National Plastics Processing Centre at the University of Warwick.

The new centre will be a hub for plastics processing, research and innovation. The centre will focus on the designing, manufacturing and disposing of plastics while encompassing multifunctional design and having as little impact on the environment as possible.

Tony Harper, head of research and advanced system engineering at JLR spoke about the possible breakthroughs that the centre can achieve: “Materials for premium cars in the future need to combine both light weight and multi-functionality with world class aesthetics.

“New developments in advanced plastics have great potential to satisfy all of these requirements but the challenge is not to make a few prototypes but to make parts in hundreds of thousands at high quality and sustainable cost. This unique new centre will provide the UK with the capability it needs to exploit this potential.”

The new centre should be done by 2017 and is completely bespoke. WMG already has a large collection of design, manufacture and research technology and will use these existing technologies in addition to the new centre.

WMG’s chair Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya said: “The manufacture and processing of plastic and rubber materials is a multi-billion pound industry central to the future prosperity of the UK.

“There isn’t an industry which is not underpinned in some manner by plastics materials, from telecommunications, energy, transport and defence to healthcare. The centre will have capability in every polymer process with pilot scale equipment and larger, extensive testing and characterisation facilities.”

Professor Tony McNally, director, NPPC.

NPPC director, Professor Tony McNally added: “The research focus of the Centre will be in innovation in the manufacturing processes and processing of advanced functional plastic and elastomer materials.

“We will work collaboratively with industry to deliver significant added value, engage in technology transfer and provide training and further education to the sector.”

“Our new Centre’s research will be built upon four principles for materials processing: innovating the manufacturing process, added functionality to material and component, full integration into structure, and sustainability and holistic environmental design, including end of life.”