The I-Form Centre partners with multinational corporations, small to medium sized enterprises and start-ups across a range of industry sectors. Application areas being investigated by the Centre include the manufacturing of medical, pharmaceutical, aerospace, energy, food, semiconductor and automotive devices and products. In addition to conducting a collaborative research project with the Centre, our industry partners have an opportunity to regularly engage with our researchers, stakeholders and each other through our industry day events and our co-ordination of national and international funding applications such as the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund and EU Horizon 2020 Fund.
Our Industry Partners
Examples of Collaborative Research with Industry
An example of our materials processing research focus is the additive manufacture of medical devices, incorporating added functionality and/or customised designs. This includes assisting our partner companies to investigate the printing of novel metal alloys, as well as the control of surface morphology to enhance cell adhesion.
Amongst other processing technologies, several research collaborations with industry partners are focussed on low cost process development and control. These include projects related to flexible electronics, utilising both inkjet and laser processing technologies.
Another focus area for the centre is the addition and use of sensors to improve process monitoring and control in polymer injection moulding applications. These processes are used by several of our key partners to produce a range of parts, for which quality and reliability requirements are of critical importance.
A key issue being addressed across several research projects is the effective capture and analysis of sensor data from materials processing steps to assist companies with predictive process control. Augmented reality and other user interface tools are being investigated for the delivery of operator feedback from large, complex data sets, facilitating decision-making in close to real-time.
In addition to the processing of materials, the Centre is utilising its expertise in modeling and data analytics to partner with companies in reducing product and process development times. This is being achieved through the creation of digital twins that aid in the prediction of product attributes and performance. One of our partner companies has highlighted that through their I-Form collaboration on process and performance modeling, they have been able to achieve a 90% reduction in the time taken for new product introduction.