The Advanced Forming Research Centre is a globally-recognised centre of excellence in innovative manufacturing technologies, R&D, and metal forming and forging.
AFRC works with companies to solve advanced manufacturing industry challenges leading to productivity improvements and international growth opportunities. It does this by giving members and companies access to equipment, expertise and processes that would be beyond the reach of most companies. AFRC’s work covers the entire product development cycle – from material testing and characterisation through to industry standard manufacturing trials and product tests. It is pivotal to manufacturing research and development in Scotland and is the gateway to both the University of Strathclyde and the UK High Value Manufacturing Catapult.
The Advanced Forming Research Centre is a globally-recognised centre of excellence in innovative manufacturing technologies which has its origins in R&D activities linked to metal forming and forging research. Its expertise has extended to Digital Manufacturing, AI & VR technologies. It sits at the centre of and has been a catalyst for an emerging Advanced Manufacturing Innovation district that comprises AFRC, a Lightweight Manufacturing Centre, a Medical Manufacturing Innovation Centre and a forthcoming National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland. Together these assets are helping position Scotland as a global leader in Advanced Manufacturing.
Partners involved in AFRC are a mix of public and private stakeholders, with the operational delivery of AFRC led by the University of Strathclyde. AFRC is part of the UK High Value Manufacturing Catap
The £60m AFRC facility was formed in 2009. From small beginnings in 2009 the AFRC has grown to have 130-strong highly-skilled engineers, researchers and business specialists by 2019.
Evidence of success
The University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) is a globally-recognised centre of excellence in innovative manufacturing technologies, engineering research and development, and metal forming and forging research. It helps to fill the gap between fundamental academic research and industry turning innovative technologies and ideas into a commercial reality that improves competitiveness and productivity to help secure the manufacturing sector in Scotland and the UK for gene
Potential for learning or transfer
AFRC is an industry-led innovation infrastructure that has evolved and extended its scope in response to customer requirements and the needs of manufacturers in Scotland. It helps bring the best academic talent and capabilities to industry and is a stimulus for new and additional research and development activities. As a good practice exemplar, the centre is open in sharing its success with international partners and was the location for Day 2 of the S34Growth Off Site Deep Dive held in Scotland in 2018.
In the words of Principal of the University of Strathclyde – “The AFRC is a tremendous example of what can be achieved through active academic/industrial collaboration through which world-class research is translated to high-value applications. The extension of the facility and increased staffing levels will ensure the centre remains at the forefront of international engineering technology. “ Professor Sir Jim McDonald.
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