Participants at the Two Day Course.
The Polymer Processing Research Centre recently conducted an Advanced Technical Rotomoulding Training Seminar for Wavin Technology & Innovation (www.wavin.com) with delegates attending from their rotomoulding sites in Germany, Finland, The Netherlands and Denmark. The two –day packed seminar combined classroom lectures with practical hands-on demonstrations on topics including: mould pressurisation, in-mould cooling, product & material quality issues and multi-layer foaming technologies.
Delegates attending the Dissemination Days
Representatives from global rotomoulding companies met in the Polymer Processing Research Centre over two days in November 2011 to hear about the latest developments of the European Commission-backed Rotoflex Project (www.rotoflex-eu.org). Production Managers, Technicians, and Engineers from the US, Canada, Mexico, South Africa and several EU nations were updated on the work of the Project, which among other things aims to develop an automatic feed system which can be retrofitted to standard rotomoulding machines, helping to cut cycle times and energy costs.
Increasingly strict regulations, in particular in the US, are pushing rotomoulders to consider multilayer moulding technologies to reduce vapour emissions from small fuel tanks. Rotoflex’s in-oven multi-shot system was developed to specifically address production issues related to this technology.
Following a day of exhibition, demonstration, presentation and networking a KTP Partnership between Dungannon-based company, Cherry Pipes Ltd and Queen’s University Belfast has taken the top award of UK Best KTP Partnership 2011. Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and President of the Board of Trade made the announcement at the Innovate 2011 Conference on Tuesday 11th October 2011 in London. The project was judged on impact (on the individual company and the business sector as a whole), the level of innovation and the degree of academic challenge and benefit demonstrated.
As a result of their Partnership with the Polymer Processing Research Centre at Queen’s, the Cherry Polymer Group has become one of the top ten plastics recyclers in the UK. Their collaboration enabled the company to develop a new approach to pipe extrusion and improvements in the quality of their product resulted in BBA and BSI certification. Waste from the manufacturing process was reduced from 10% to 5% and an in-house design facility was established. The new R&D focus has led to Cherry Polymers becoming the lead partner in an FP7 European Programme.
The project with Cherry Pipes was carried out by KTP Associates Paul Beaney and Justyna Grabowska over the period September 2006 until January 2010 under the supervision of Gerry McNally and Alan Clarke at Queen’s School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. The project was part-funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the Technology Strategy Board.
The Innovate 2011 Conference is hosted by the Technology Strategy Board and is the leading innovation networking, conference and exhibition event. It is the UK’s biggest networking event for product developers, engineers and strategists.
Videos of the Prize Winners:
A senior lecturer in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering has become the first European academic to win an Educator of the Year Award from the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE).
Gerry McNally won the award for his significant contributions in the field of polymer education through teaching, mentoring and outreach.
The Society of Plastics Engineers, with around 20,000 members in 70 countries, is recognised as the premier organisation in polymer engineering throughout the world.
The SPE Education Award has been awarded annually since 1976 to Professors in the leading Polymer Engineering and Science Schools in American Universities and is by nomination only.
Gerry joined Queen’s as lecturer in Engineering Materials in the School of Chemical Engineering in 1990 and is a founder member of the Polymer Processing Research Centre (PPRC) which was established in 1996 and also the Medical Polymers Research Institute established in 2004.
He has 15 years industrial experience at senior management level in polymer extrusion and has worked for extended periods in the USA and China. His expertise is in various areas of processing of polymers and their additives. He has an international reputation in the area of extrusion and co-extrusion, particularly blown films and tubes.
He has been the lead academic in over 40 polymer related industry/academia applied research programmes, several of which have been awarded local and national UK prizes for contribution to industry. He was recently awarded Best UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP). His other awards have been Best UK KTP Industry Impact Award in 2009, Best UK KTP for Engineering Excellence in 2003 and Best UK KTP in 1998.
Gerry will be presented with his award at the SPE Annual Technical Conference in Florida in April 2012.