In a recent and very good article in the Engineer, the virtues of ‘traditional’ manufacturing techniques were being talked up.
With so much attention now being paid to ‘advanced engineering’ techniques like 3D printing and additive manufacturing, we understand that the older processes might lose some of their lustre.
They shouldn’t be forgotten though, indeed they should be embraced and explored with boundaries pushed just as much as they are in the emerging manufacturing technologies sector.
Here’s where the Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) is coming into its own. By working with industry to develop large scale R&D project pieces, processes like forming and forging are being given a new lease of life.
The advantages of using ‘traditional’ techniques are also being plugged, like cold forming for instance. In the words of the centre’s Technical Director, Michael Ward, “ because this is a cold process, not only does it save energy but the surface of the finished item is also much better. You are not going to have something that is a nice shiny mirror-like surface at the end of the hot process”.
We’re firm believers in exploring new avenues to get the most from our machines and processes and will monitor the news from the AFRC with interest.