Wednesday, December 13, 2017

News: Future potential is huge for MetLase

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MetLase, the Rotherham-based joint venture between Rolls-Royce and the Unipart Group, recently showcased some of its pioneering work at Advanced Engineering 2017.

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 mechanical engineering consultancy specialises in increasing productivity by designing and manufacturing complex tooling, fixturing and components for a wide range of industries, often bringing lead times of months down to just days.

Advanced Engineering is the UK's largest annual gathering of advanced engineering professionals and connects the entire supply chain with R&D, design, test, production and procurement from manufacturers and top tier industry players.

2017 was the first time that MetLase has attended the major exhibition at Birmingham's NEC, joining big names such as Boeing, Nissan, Hexcel and Dassault Systèmes.

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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.

Steve Dunn, managing director at MetLase said that the company was looking to widen its reach to other parts of the industry. He added: "We developed our process and launched our innovative technology two years ago; since then the business has doubled in size but the future potential is huge."

The basic manufacturing techniques used at MetLase are CNC laser-cutting and press-brake material forming.

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.

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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.

And this year, MetLase became a partner on a collaborative R&D project with the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing and Meggitt Plc to develop an intelligent, digitally enabled Smart Workbench.

Another project sees MetLase partner with the Nuclear AMRC, also based on the AMP, and other industry partners, to demonstrate fixturing technology on large cylindrical parts representing a two-thirds scale replica of a mid-range reactor pressure vessel.

Metlase also produced the tooling (in just nine days) to enable Williams Advanced Engineering to assemble an innovative chassis as part of its lightweight electric vehicle platform concept, named the FW-EVX.

Unveiled at the Low Carbon Vehicle Event in September, the concept features several innovations in battery pack design, cooling systems and lightweight structures, which have each been cleverly integrated into a single, scalable platform.

MetLase website

Images: UKSE

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