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£2.3m centre to help West Midlands automotive firms boost lightweight vehicle expertise

News International-French

27 May 2014

This centre will enable the West Midlands’ automotive supply chain to exploit the opportunities offered by lightweight vehicle technologies.

The new Automotive Composites Research Centre will provide local industry with hands-on technical expertise and equipment to develop its manufacturing capability for polymeric composites.

The requirement for lightweight structures will soon become the industry standard as automotive manufacturers seek to reduce emissions over the life-time of their vehicles.

By tapping into these new opportunities, the centre will help create jobs and growth in the West Midlands’ advanced manufacturing and engineering sector.

The centre will work with local companies to ensure they are at the forefront of this technology in order to best service their existing customers as well as open up new markets.

The Centre will benefit from £500,000 funding from the Government’s Growing Places fund, administered by the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, with the remainder made up by the University of Warwick and industry partners.

Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, Chairman of WMG, said “As WMG continues to expand, our new R&D centre for Composite Materials will help keep the region’s automotive sector at the cutting edge of the latest manufacturing technology. We welcome the funding from the growing places scheme which will assist in the development of this new centre.”

It will allow companies to research the structure of the right feedstock materials, the choice of fast-setting resins and the determination of the ideal press operating conditions.

The centre will allow access to forming presses, computer controlled cutting, resin mixing/injection, plasma treatment and joining facilities.

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