Friday, August 4, 2017

News: MetLase joins the AMRC

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MetLase, the Rotherham-based joint venture between Rolls-Royce and the Unipart Group, has joined the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing, bringing its world leading technology to the partnership.

Based on proven and patented Rolls-Royce technology, MetLase provides innovative engineering solutions to applications where precision and speed of deployment are increasingly critical.

Initially focused on aerospace, automotive, motorsport and the medical market sector, the rapidly-growing company expects to create around 30 high-end, technical engineering jobs at its headquarters on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP).

The company has joined AMRC following a recent collaboration in which it developed a set of 14 fixtures for the assembly of complex parts.

Using highly skilled and creative engineers, MetLase is able to deliver engineering solutions to complex issues by using high precision laser-cutting technology, combined with patented assembly and joining systems.

Also based on AMP, the AMRC focuses on advanced machining and materials research for aerospace and other high-value manufacturing sectors. It is a partnership between industry and academia, attracting paid industry members at different tiers, keen to make use of the world-class machines and facilities at the campus which has expanded on to the nearby Sheffield Business Park.

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MetLase will work as a partner on the Integrated Manufacturing Group (IMG) at the AMRC's Factory 2050 facility, drawing on MetLase's skills and modular fixturing to develop "smart enabled tooling."

James Illingworth, IMG Theme Lead in Automated Assembly at the AMRC (pictured, right), said: "Developing "smart" fixturing, or fixturing that is intelligent by using sensors to collect data, provides valuable benefits for in-process control and monitoring, and improvements in part quality. The data collected can be used in real-time for process adjustment or later in the manufacturing process for review."

Steve Dunn, managing director of MetLase (pictured, left), added: "We are pleased to join the AMRC, which has a global reputation as a centre of excellence for manufacturing research and innovative engineering. As partners on the Integrated Manufacturing Group, we can combine our expertise to develop our fixtures to interact with autonomous technologies such as those involved with robotic assembly."

The basic manufacturing techniques used at MetLase are CNC laser-cutting and press-brake material forming, which are combined to produce both simple and complex tooling, fixturing and components within significantly reduced lead times.

Patented joining techniques are used to eliminate the need for welding, removing any chance of heat–induced distortion and allowing the accurate laser-cut tolerances to be maintained in the final assembly.

One of its first major projects was to come up with a way of manufacturing very lightweight exhausts for high end cars made by Aston Martin.

MetLase website
AMRC website

Images: AMRC / MetLase


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