Doing it faster

Written by: Tom Shelley | Published:

Tom Shelley looks at some of the innovations in rapid product development and manufacturing to be showcased this autumn



Useful seminars – many of them free, and some with a sparkle – are the highlights of the forthcoming TCT and Micro Manufacturing Live 2008 events at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on 21 and 22 October.
Alongside the free events is the TCT Rapid Manufacturing Conference at the Coventry Hilton for those who wish to go into the subjects of rapid product development, prototyping and manufacturing in depth and find out where the technologies are headed.
Speakers will include: Jeremy Pullin, the rapid manufacturing manager at Renishaw – a company that always scores exceptionally well in government surveys on how businesses are doing financially; and Max Ruffo, the additive manufacturing manager at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing.
Those who wish to be educated about what is available right now may wish to devote some of their time to the free seminars. The basic educational seminars are repeated both days and the morning sessions, from 10.30 am to 12.30pm on ‘Rapid Fundamentals’ will be driven and presented by Graham Tromans, chairman of the Rapid Prototyping Manufacturing Association (RPMA) and manager of the Rapid Manufacturing consortium at Loughborough University.
In the afternoons, from 1.30pm to 3.30pm, is the Rapid Machining Forum. Organised in association with the GTMA, it is described as “an antidote to the main Rapid Manufacturing Conference which focuses on additive technologies”. In addition, on 21 October 21 only, is a full day of Micro Manufacturing Technology Seminars.
The first day is chaired by Professor Duc Pham at the Manufacturing Engineering Centre at Cardiff University, and will be devoted to micro moulding, micro EDM, micro milling, micro injection moulding, metrology matters and assembly issues. The speakers include: Donna Bibber, CEO of US-based Micro Engineering Solutions. This company specialises in the design, manufacturing and assembly of components that weigh from less than 1g up to 10g. Metrology matters will be covered by Paul Newbott from CMMNT at Loughborough, while assembly issues are covered by Svetan Ratchev of the Precision Manufacturing Group at Nottingham. The second day is devoted to jewellery, so is of less interest to design engineers.
Headline sponsors of the TCT event as a whole are Huntsman Advanced Materials and EOS.

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