Regional engineers and manufacturers collaborate to drive digital manufacturing ambitions

Photo shows: Will Lee, Renishaw’s Chief Executive (left) with Kieron Salter, CEO of the DMC

The Bicester-based innovative engineering company KW Special Projects, which last month revealed its plans to build a new digital manufacturing facility at Silverstone Business Park, on the Oxfordshire/Northamptonshire border, has announced a collaboration with global manufacturer Renishaw and an investment in two Renishaw RenAM 500Q machines.

The Digital Manufacturing Centre (DMC), a new metal and polymer additive manufacturing (AM) production facility, is scheduled to open early next year, and its team will work with the manufacturing team from Gloucestershire-headquartered Renishaw to increase quality and efficiencies in additive manufacturing and share learnings within metal additive manufacturing.

The Renishaw machines have been selected by the DMC for their significant capabilities within metal additive manufacturing, increased productivity and quality control, as well as Renishaw’s considerable capabilities in additive manufacturing.

Kieron Salter, Digital Manufacturing Centre CEO and the boss at KW Special Projects, said: “The process of machine and material selection for the Digital Manufacturing Centre is crucial to our success. Offering the service of being a technology partner to our clients means that the Digital Manufacturing Centre has to be armed with state-of-the-art, innovative additive manufacturing methods and machinery.

“Forging a close collaboration with Renishaw and the purchase of two RenAM 500Q machines was a natural step to offer our clients all of these things, while benefitting from the support of a local manufacturing supplier. Renishaw is a leader in metal additive manufacturing, its RenAM 500Q machine offers unrivalled productivity, quality control and ability to create a light component but with high torsional strength – one of the key benefits of metal additive manufacturing innovations – as well as reduced costs per part. Not only this but our close collaboration will mean the DMC’s engineers will be in close contact to Renishaw’s team to ensure maximum efficiencies and learnings within additive manufacturing, so we are constantly learning, evolving and innovating.”

Based at Silverstone Park at the heart of the Silverstone Technology Cluster, the Digital Manufacturing Centre will bring metal and polymer additive manufacturing production solutions to a range of industries. The DMC’s core focus and offering will be to companies within automotive, aerospace, defence, industrial, medical and space, both in small and large scale projects.

Andy Robinson, Renishaw’s Director of Additive Manufacturing, said: “We’re delighted that the DMC has chosen to collaborate with Renishaw, as well as sharing critical learnings to continue innovating and developing the potential for additive manufacturing.”

The Digital Manufacturing Centre was announced in Autumn 2019 when funding from South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) Local Growth Fund (LGF) was confirmed with a statement of intent to be a stand-alone production centre of digitally created (additive manufactured) parts for a range of companies and projects, focused on series manufacture and production of high-value products. While being deliberately sector agnostic, the business will target automotive, aerospace, defence, industrial and medical industries both in small- and large-scale projects, it is also technology agnostic offering a full range of materials and process.