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New Innovation Centre launches for additive manufacturing

Fri, 26 July, 2019

The Additive Manufacturing Innovation Centre (AMIC), the second to be established with Lancaster University, has officially opened with the appointment of Centre Director, Dr Robert Scudamore. The new centre follows the success of the Joining 4.0 Innovation Centre (J4IC) opened in April 2017.

Dr Scudamore’s appointment comes on the back of his extensive experience of industry-driven research as part of TWI, including 14 years in increasingly senior management roles. He has led UK and EU technology strategy development through leadership positions in national Strategy Committees, dealing directly with the UK Government and the European Commission, and currently manages a research group involving more than 30 technology themes and over 120 people.

Robert joined TWI at the beginning of his professional career in 2000 as a technical Project Leader, progressing to Section Manager, during which time he initiated the Laser Additive Manufacturing business at TWI. In 2007 he became Technology Group Manager for Laser and Sheet Processes and, three years later, Technology Group Manager for Electron Beam, Friction and Lasers. Robert became an Associate Director in 2011 and in 2014, Manager of the Joining Technologies and Additive Manufacturing Group.

Robert said: “This exciting new venture will focus on combining additive manufacturing with artificial intelligence and machine learning, also looking into new material approaches and processing. There will be a synergy with the J4IC at Lancaster that will be leveraged, and we will also be developing initiatives to certify Additive Manufacturing for serial production.”

Additive Manufacturing (AM) describes the technologies that build 3D objects by adding material, layer-upon-layer, from CAD data. AM is quickly emerging as a disruptive technology by enabling agile manufacture of complex highly functional components, whilst significantly reducing material waste and life-cycle costs. Companies of all sizes are investing in state-of-the-art AM machines and the support systems that they require. Once employed mainly for prototyping, AM is now increasingly used in industries such as aerospace, automotive, consumer goods, spare parts, small series production, tooling and medical implants. 

TWI has been at the forefront of AM technology development for the last 25 years, and has built up detailed knowhow covering fundamental technology development, production and commercial exploitation. AMIC will bring together expertise from TWI and Lancaster University to develop the international research profile and reputation of both partners in relation to AM, including the complete value chain of design and build optimisation, prototyping, performance validation and product industrialisation.