A ground breaking Metal 3D Printing-Additive Manufacturing programme that will revolutionise manufacturing industries in Ireland was launched at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) today (13th November 2014).
The South East Applied Materials Research Centre (SEAM) at WIT will lead the programme, working with Boston Scientific, a leading medical device multinational; Schivo, an indigenous precision engineering company; and Lisnabrin Engineering, a tool manufacturing County Enterprise Board company.
Metal 3D Printing Additive Manufacturing is an emerging technology that is forecasted to revolutionise the factories of the future. The innovative Metal 3D Printing programme will research metal laser sintering technologies to develop components who’s geometry is sufficiently complex that they do not lend themselves to conventional machining.
Speaking at the launch, Dr Ramesh Raghavendra, Centre Manager of SEAM and Principal Investigator (PI) for this multi-party project said, “The new technology we are developing as part of this challenging project offers enormous potential to manufacturing industries in Ireland as it allows streamlining of the manufacturing process by removing multiple process steps, reducing materials handling and the number of components in an assembly, as well as enabling rapid prototyping of functional metal components.
“We are delighted to work with three diverse companies, each of which should gain greatly from the project. The project will also to set an example for enhancing Business to Business and academia to industry collaborations in Ireland.”
The project, which is part funded by Enterprise Ireland under its Innovation Partnership Programme (IPP), will run for two and half years with engineering staff from the three companies working alongside researchers from SEAM in a new space adjacent to the existing SEAM laboratories at WIT.
“Boston Scientific is proud to be involved in the first multi-company initiative involving metal additive manufacturing, focusing on med tech and industrial applications in collaboration with SEAM (WIT),” said Paudie O’Connor, Vice President, Operations, Boston Scientific. “We believe this will help drive development of new products and efficiencies in our current products.”
Seamus Kilgannon, Owner and CEO of Schivo stated that “metal additive manufacturing is a new frontier within manufacturing. It will drive change through established manufacturing procedures, enabling the development of new applications and processes across a range of industry sectors. These changes will increase efficiencies in development and manufacturing processes, whilst enhancing manufacturing options and capabilities. Schivo is excited at the opportunities the collaboration with SEAM at WIT and the other industry partners presents as it will enable us to enhance significantly our technological business positioning and affords SEAM the opportunity to become a leading research and academic centre in this technology.”
“We are delighted to be involved in such a technologically ground breaking project,” said Steve Martin, Director at Lisnabrin Engineering. “We see this as a great opportunity to get a head start in this field and significantly grow our business in an ever changing market place.”
According to Declan Lyons, Enterprise Ireland, “This latest collaboration between WIT and multi-party industries further underlines the Institute’s commitment to help stimulate economic growth and enhance technical expertise in the South-East region.” He continues, “The SEAM research centre focuses on industry needs in particular, and is of significant importance to the development of and investment in the region.”
See www.seam.ie for more information about the SEAM research centre and the work with Schivo on the REALISM project.