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Advanced Forming Research Centre Unveils World-Leading FutureForge Platform

by Anna

Renfrewshire, Scotland – – marks the grand opening of the world’s most advanced research and innovation hot forging platform, FutureForge, at the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC). As part of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS), this groundbreaking initiative aims to revolutionize the $75 billion global forging sector by offering seamless connectivity and cutting-edge capabilities to industry players worldwide.

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FutureForge, situated in Renfrewshire, stands as a pioneering platform for hot forging innovation, equipped with state-of-the-art industry 4.0 technologies. This unique setup allows companies from across the globe to connect with the AFRC in real-time, leveraging its expertise and groundbreaking research and development (R&D) equipment.

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At the core of FutureForge is a tri-modal 2,000-tonne press, providing open die, closed die, and iso-thermal forging capabilities. The platform also features instantaneous data analytics via a sophisticated control room, two furnaces—one powered by electricity and the other by gas—and a custom-built smart robotics manipulator arm.

One of the primary objectives of FutureForge is to offer a secure and data-rich environment where the forging industry can explore and de-risk the development of new products, processes, and technologies for seamless integration on the shop floor.

Professor Brad Wynne, director of the Advanced Forming Research Centre, expressed his enthusiasm for the project, stating, “With the largest hot forging press of its kind and over a decade of experience in materials science, the AFRC is uniquely positioned to propel the forging industry towards a net-zero future, unlocking energy savings, boosting productivity, and ensuring its longevity for generations to come.”

He added, “FutureForge presents a golden opportunity for forgers to embrace modern processes and digital technologies, thereby revolutionizing global manufacturing practices. By modernizing and future-proofing the UK’s forging industry, we aim to enhance its competitiveness, resilience, and attractiveness as a career choice.”

FutureForge is backed by the AFRC’s world-leading expertise in materials science, and companies utilizing its facilities will benefit from the broader capabilities of the NMIS Group.

This multi-million-pound investment has received support from key stakeholders including the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, and Scottish Enterprise, underscoring the collective commitment to driving innovation and sustainability in the forging sector.

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