The development was first revealed in August 2018, when the AFRC announced it had secured investment for the project and it was scheduled to open at the end of this year. However, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, commissioning and installation will not now be completed until June 2021.
An update on when the facility will be in full operation along with the capabilities and opportunities that FutureForge will bring for Scotland and the AFRC, were discussed during a National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) webinar – ‘FutureForge: Shaping the future of hot forging’.
Funding for the new facility has come through a combination of the UK Aerospace Research and Technology Programme, Scottish Enterprise and the centre itself via the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult.FutureForge is forecasted to generate around ￡40 million of new collaborative research development projects over the next 10 years and also create 34 new jobs.
The facility will put Scotland at the forefront of the latest industrial revolution –Industry 4.0 – helping traditional manufacturing embrace the latest in digital technologies and revolutionising the global hot forging sector, which is one of the most traditional and important supply chains.
Knowledge exchange fellow, forging and incremental technologies team and FutureForge programme leader Marcos Perez, gave a presentation during the webinar. He explains that the development will comprise of a tri-modal 2,000 ton hydraulic press and ancillary equipment, including gas and electric furnaces and a manipulator to the AFRC. This will increase the centre’s capability, while also providing cost-effective accelerated validation capability for high integrity forged products for industry.