Tuesday, February 7, 2017

News: Iceotope targets manufacturing sector

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Iceotope, the hi-tech firm based on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, is targeting the manufacturing sector by demonstrating its liquid cooling system for high-performance computing (HPC) used in harsh and rugged environments.

Working with the University of Leeds, the enterprise is developing a new system that reduces the power consumed in data centres by using liquid rather than air to provide cooling, eliminating the need for power-hungry fans.

The company, which secured $10m to help further commercialise its innovative cooling solutions in 2014, has become a member of the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing and will be trialling its high-performance workstations that are suitable for office environments.

Chris Hodgson, IT Systems Manager at The AMRC, said: "Creating HPC facilities within a manufacturing environment can be challenging due to the variety of settings and uses required.

"Servers and workstations need to be protected against hazards such as dust and debris created by manufacturing processes. Increasingly flexibility of location and efficient heat management are also required for office-based computing centres. Placing the computing power at the edge of the network also reduces bandwidth and interconnectivity requirements."

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Workstations will be trialled in the AMRC's Design, Prototyping and Testing Centre and on the workshop floor of the Composite Centre, where the sealed units will protect workstations from carbon fibre dust that is routinely generated by the manufacturing operations. A data centre facility will soon be installed in the AMRC's newest development Factory 2050, to assist in the processing of "big data" for a large volume metrology project.

Sam Hyde, a project engineer with the AMRC's Design and Prototyping Group, said: "The Iceotope system represents a valuable resource for the design and prototyping group. The power available is ideal for computationally intensive work, such as computational fluid dynamics, finite element analysis and 3D rendering.

"It is also useful that the machine is totally silent in operation, unlike similar machines which require a large number of high power fans for cooling. This allows us to keep the machine in the quiet office, and not need a dedicated room for the equipment."

The partnership is a three year investment for Iceotope, who will provide service and support to the AMRC as well as upgrading the current installations after new developments, in which they hope to further reduce the size of the system.

Peter Hopton, founder and technology director of Iceotope, said: "We're very excited about our strategic partnership with the AMRC.

"We protect critical data from harsh environments – the perfect solution for a factory floor. The AMRC now have high performance "edge of network" machines which, thanks to liquid cooling technology, offer fast and flexible deployment for their manufacturing workloads.

"We look forward to working with AMRC on technological advancements and collaborating with other forward-thinking companies made possible through our partnership."

Iceotope website
AMRC website

Images: Iceotope


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