Monday 21 June 2010

Collaborative project achieves innovations in energy efficient manufacturing

Collaborative project achieves innovations in energy efficient manufacturing


Frontline Australasia Pty Ltd, a Victorian precision components manufacturer, has utilised CSIRO cold spray technology to achieve significant new innovations in direct manufacturing.

Frontline, which has a long history of innovation, identified a manufacturing innovation developed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and sought assistance from the Australian Institute for Commercialisation�s (AIC) TechFast program to access this technology.

The AIC TechFast program assists businesses across all industry sectors to solve product issues, to access technical capability and to identify new growth opportunities.� It does this by identifying and linking businesses with the best people and organisations.

The direct manufacturing technology developed by CSIRO is a process known as cold spray whereby small particles of a material are accelerated to supersonic speeds and are sprayed to produce near net shape parts, as opposed to the assembly of individual components.

Through facilitation by the AIC�s TechFast program, Frontline successfully negotiated a licence agreement to use CSIRO cold spray technology for a continuous production process for seamless titanium pipe.

��The Australian Institute for Commercialisation was successful in facilitating the negotiations between Frontline Australasia and the CSIRO in establishing the research project and helping define the outcome targets�. Kevin Hooper, CEO, Frontline Australasia.

Frontline and CSIRO Light Metals Flagship/Materials Science and Engineering also agreed to a multi-million dollar collaborative project to further develop the technology for commercial use, giving Frontline access to CSIRO�s internationally recognised cold spray expertise and research facilities to tailor the technology to Frontline�s specific requirements.

�The CSIRO Light Metals Flagship Team has grasped our vision and needs, and generated truly innovative solutions which should lead to a new industry sector in Australia�. Bill Bardsley, R&D Manager, Frontline Australasia.

Frontline and CSIRO have commenced a joint development program for establishing a pilot plant for continuous production of seamless titanium pipe using cold spray technology. This will eliminate most of the processing steps involved in the conventional manufacturing route.� The resulting cost and energy savings are estimated to be at least 30%.

Dr Jahedi says, �Frontline�s continuous seamless titanium pipe pilot plant using cold spray technology will be a world first for this type of manufacturing plant�.

A patent application protecting the continuous process has recently been filed. Frontline Australasia also received a grant of $1,222,371 in the third round of the Climate Ready program of the Clean Business Australia initiative to further develop this capability.

The Frontline-CSIRO collaboration brings together leading Australian R&D with a progressive and innovative Australian manufacturing company, leading Australian efforts towards energy efficient manufacturing.

About the Australian Institute for Commercialisation (AIC):
The AIC is a leading service organisation helping innovators achieve commercial success. Around Australia we help business, research organisations and governments convert their ideas into successful outcomes.

Media Contact:
Rowan Gilmore, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Institute for Commercialisation� +61 7 3853 5225

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