Forging a New Future for Energy with AFRC

Sheffield Forgemasters has signed up as a Tier One partner with the University of Strathclyde Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC).

The move will give Sheffield Forgemasters access to state-of-the-art research and development facilities focusing on emerging advanced manufacturing technologies such as residual stress, advanced furnaces, and forging expertise in Industry 4.0 data analytics and modelling.

David Bond, CEO, said: “We have a hugely talented and experienced workforce here in Sheffield tackling some of the biggest engineering challenges we face as the UK makes the transition to a net-zero economy and next-generation defence systems.

“As we move into a new phase of our growth and development – both in clean civil nuclear energy and defence technology – it is vital that we harness the best brains and cutting-edge equipment to support us on that journey.

“This partnership with the AFRC allows us to do that in a way that may help us to become more innovative and productive while maintaining the most rigorous engineering quality standards. The AFRC now has an outreach office in Sheffield connecting us to the High-Value Manufacturing Catapult team in Scotland; making this a truly national endeavour.”

Professor Brad Wynne, who heads the AFRC’s Sheffield outreach operation, said: “South Yorkshire is the crucible of the forging and forming industry and has helped shape the destiny of the British economy since the first industrial revolution. There are huge opportunities for civil nuclear power in the transition to net-zero: but there are also technological and manufacturing challenges. Our mission at the AFRC is to bring industry, government and academia together to overcome these challenges and exploit the opportunities for this region and the wider world as it strives towards the goal of net-zero and improved productivity.”

The AFRC’s Sheffield office, supported by Sheffield City Council, helps the country’s leading forming and forging companies in South Yorkshire tap into pioneering metallurgy capabilities, numerical and analytical process modelling tools and advanced industry-scale forging and forming equipment.

AFRC Executive Chair, Keith Ridgway, who founded the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing in Rotherham two decades ago said: “Sheffield Forgemasters is an iconic global company with deep roots in the history of Sheffield and engineering innovation.”

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