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WMG strips R&D costs out of lightweight manufacturing technology for Midlands SMEs

Warwick Manufacturing GroupMidlands small and medium sized manufacturing companies are facing increasing demands from customers for lighter weight components made with the very latest, unfamiliar, and even exotic, metal alloys. The cost of learning how to use such new materials is a real burden and a potential barrier to new business. But that technical support is already available for free from WMG at the University Warwick who are to mount a special event to showcase those resources for Midlands SMEs on Wednesday 20th July 2011 from 9.30 – 4.30pm

WMG's Premium Vehicle Lightweight Technologies (PVLT) project was created with funding from Advantage West Midlands (AWM) in partnership with the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to help lower carbon emissions from vehicles through innovative sustainable new technologies to reduce the weight of vehicles whilst continuing to offer premium customer choice.

This technology and technical expertise was created not just to help vehicle manufacturers for the whole supply chain for Midlands SMEs. Many such SMEs are already using the technology. One such is Coventry company Premier Group that work closely with Midlands premium car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover, and most recently also announced that they are to manufacture 8000Olympic torches for the torch bearers who will take part in the 70-day torch relay to the leading up to the Olympics opening ceremony.

Denis Meagher MD of Premier Group said:

“Our partnership with WMG is invaluable when it comes to developing products based on new materials and reaching out to new customers. Increasingly customers new and old are asking us to work with novel materials. Our access to the technology and technical insight available in WMG gives us the understanding we need to work and innovate with those materials, and to do so at a speed and depth of knowledge that even a multinational company’s labs would find difficult to match.”

The technology and techniques on show during this special free event for SMEs will focus on forming, joining and simulation of lightweight materials.

When it comes to joining metals in the manufacturing process, there are many options available. The decision of which type of join to use in which circumstance is never straight forward one. The Joining team at WMG aims to make that judgement easier for manufacturers by presenting accurate, detailed information about each type of joint.

Geraint Williams of WMG’s Forming Project Manager said

"We work with companies to understand the manufacturing capability of new lightweight alloys which are being considered for future vehicle applications.”

David Williams, WMG’s Simulation Project Manager said

"Simulation allows us to examine many aspects of material and product performance before we commit to a physical prototype or parts. The advantage of this approach is reduced development time and costs."

Any Midlands SME wishing to attend the free event should register at or call Ian Palmer on 024 7657 2574

Peter Dunn, Head of Communications
Communications Office, University House,
University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 8UW, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)24 76 523708 Mobile/Cell: +44 (0)7767 655860

Twitter: @PeterJDunn

PR81 15th June 2011