FaraPack Polymers Ltd (lead partner on the FACTUM project) is a spin out company wholly-owned by the University of Sheffield that offers rapid turn-round contract research, synthesis, analysis and manufacturing services to industry; including additive manufacturing and AM part finishing. Its diverse client base includes companies in sectors such as automotive, medical, polymer manufacturing, oil and gas, home and personal care and consumer packaging. The company is co-located with Sheffield’s Polymer Centre, the UK’s largest single-university network of experts in polymer science and engineering, and a key aspect of FaraPack’s offering to industry is the ability to draw on the cutting-edge expertise and facilities available within the Centre.
One of the top 20 research-led universities in the country, Loughborough University is renowned for the relevance of its work, driven by society’s need for solutions to real-life issues. It contributes to new knowledge and understanding – helping business and industry to compete more effectively, shaping public policy, and improving the quality of people’s lives. Loughborough is well-known for the breadth of its research partnerships with multi-national businesses and has long-standing collaborative links with many public and private sector organisations as well as SMEs nationwide. The University’s Science and Enterprise Parks (LUSEP) – situated on campus – provide a unique and highly supportive environment in which innovative, high-technology businesses thrive.
BAE Systems is a global defence, aerospace and security company employing around 88,200 people worldwide. Our wide-ranging products and services cover air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology, and support services. Military Air & Information are the air sector arm of BAE Systems. We use our expertise to design and build fixed wing military aircraft and training aircraft, as well as provide training, support and information services for the UK RAF and other customers worldwide.
The Factum consortium comprises end users Unilever, BAE Systems and Cobham Technical Services operating in three separate industry sectors. Sebastian Conran Associates bring the ability to expand novel Additive Manufacturing applications to other industrial sectors and thereby deliver further economies of scale to drive commercialisation. Factum also comprises the High Speed Sintering technology owners Loughborough University, AM machine component suppliers Xaar and the polymer, supply chain and machine development capability that resides within FaraPack. FaraPack brings the Technical and Project Management capability to develop and commercialise the outputs from the project in conjunction with the other partners and brings the leading expertise of Prof. Neil Hopkinson to the project. While each partner has its own expertise and own desired outcomes, the common objective is to exploit AM technology, and especially LS and HSS, to its full potential. By working together, the partners all stand to benefit from each other’s findings in terms of process understanding (design freedom, material choice, process control etc.) that they would not be able to achieve by working individually.
Cobham operates with agility and a deep insight into customer needs - protecting lives and livelihoods with its differentiated technology and know-how. The Group offers an innovative range of technologies and services to solve challenging problems across commercial, defence and security markets, from deep space to the depths of the ocean. It has market leading positions in air-to-air refuelling; aviation services; audio, video and data communications, including satellite communications; defence electronics; life support and mission equipment. The most important thing Cobham builds is trust.
Designer in Residence at University of Sheffield Engineering faculty, international industrial designer Sebastian Conran founded his well-equipped product design studio in 1986. With the objective to commercially transform Science & Technology into experience and culture, the studio's work has received many awards for design & innovation and has been granted dozens of design patents. Sebastian is an energetic advocate of design, lectures frequently, and is a founding Trustee of the Design Museum.
Unilever is a global consumer goods company with a turnover in 2012 of €50Bn and the proven capacity to deliver innovative products. Unilever meets people’s every day needs for hygiene and personal care with an array of global brands, many with annual sales of more than €1Bn, such as OMO and Surf laundry brands; Dove, Sunsilk, Signal, Rexonona and Axe/Lynx personal care brands. Unilever has operations in around 100 countries including 114 manufacturing sites with products on sale in about 150 countries. The global R&D organization numbers about 8000 staff, mainly in the UK and the Netherlands, while company headquarters are in London and Rotterdam. Unilever UK Central Resources Ltd is a subsidiary of Unilever PLC concerned with R&D activities in the UK.
Sheffield is one of the top ten research intensive universities in the United Kingdom and is a world top 100 university, renowned for excellence, impact and distinctiveness of its research led teaching and learning. Sheffield's quality, breadth and volume of research activity is further demonstrated by the fact that research carried out by 93% of the University’s academic staff submitted is internationally recognised and in many cases world-leading. The University has one of the biggest and best engineering faculties in the UK with extensive expertise – its seven academic departments and two interdisciplinary programme areas cover all the engineering disciplines. They are leaders in their fields and they are outstanding contributors to the development of new knowledge and linking their research to the teaching of the engineers of the future.
OUR INDUSTRIAL PARTNERS
At Xaar we develop world-leading piezoelectric drop-on-demand inkjet technologies. We are also a world-class manufacturer of industrial digital inkjet printheads. Our printheads are trusted in industrial markets around the globe as the most effective way to lay down precise volumes of inks and fluids with absolute pin-point accuracy time after time.
With each printhead dispensing millions of droplets per second, Xaar technologies deliver a range of benefits; these include unrivalled reliability, outstanding performance and process efficiencies which enable our customers to be more innovative, productive, competitive and creative.