Research engineer Jonas Olsson is one of the researchers working with powder bed fusion technologies at University West.
– I am very happy that all twelve research projects will receive research funding. These projects will in different ways further contribute to Primus becoming the national leader in production technology – especially in metal-based additive manufacturing, which is crucial for the future of the manufacturing industry, says Lennart Malmsköld, Program Manager of the Primus research environment at University West.
Strengthens the research profile
The largest project, PODFAM, is a long-term research effort on powder bed fusion based additive manufacturing of metals. The project runs for eight years and the goal is to consolidate and keep building the internationally competitive research profile that already exists at University West.
– This is a very important research area for the manufacturing industry. Additive manufacturing with powder bed fusion makes it possible to produce components with complex geometries more efficiently. Components for gas turbines and aircraft engines are interesting applications, says project manager Thomas Hansson.
–The project has a broad set of collaboration partners who span the entire production chain, from powder manufacturing, machine manufacturing and post-processing, to end users, says Thomas.
Partners in PODFAM are Sandvik Machining Solutions AB who supply metal powder, ARCAM AB who manufacture machines, Quintus Technologies AB who develops and manufactures equipment for HIP (Hot Isostatic Pressing) and end users GKN Aerospace Sweden AB and Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery AB.
– The research project is divided into several sub-projects with coordinated collaborations. We develop deeper knowledge in process understanding, post-processing, modeling, non-destructive testing and lifetime prediction and reliability analysis. The goal is to have all these "puzzle pieces" in place in order to move on to applications in industry, says Thomas.
More research initiatives and strengthened skills
In addition to PODFAM, the KK grant also strengthens ongoing research in surface coatings, smart automation, safety in human-machine collaboration and development of learning in digital production. But it is also about enhancing competence and recruiting expertise in order to maintain and develop research and the close collaboration with industry. Another important part is to further develop online courses.
All applications granted third year in a row
Before each year, a business plan must be approved by the KK Foundation for funding to be granted. The plan describes prioritized initiatives within Primus's three core areas Production Processes, Production Systems, and Industrial Work-Integrated Learning (I-AIL). For the third year in a row, the university has now been granted support for all the projects it applied for. The total amount granted by the KK Foundation is SEK 80 million. In addition, the companies will contribute around SEK 60 million. Together with the university's own funds, it brings the total to almost SEK 150 million.