Victrex to upgrade Asia Innovation & Technology Centre (AITC) in Shanghai

British major provider of high performance polymer solutions Victrex is investing US$1 million in a significant expansion of its Asia Innovation & Technology Centre (AITC) in Shanghai.

Victrex to upgrade Asia Innovation & Technology Centre (AITC) in Shanghai

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This financial injection will help accelerate innovation and enhance customers’ ability to turn ideas into prototype parts for testing and evaluation, speeding time to market and vitally enhancing the design-to-mass production workflow for advanced engineering design in China and Asia generally.

Andrew Storm, General Manager China, commented:

“Investment to support our customers with PEEK expertise to accelerate their speed to market has always been key. Since the AITC opened in Shanghai in 2006, as a 2000-square-metre technical centre of excellence, the facility has undergone dynamic growth and development offering injection and compression moulding, thermoforming and analytical capabilities. With this current upgrade, we can now offer a 4-axis CNC machine for part prototyping, part and tool design advice and process validation, as well as supporting Additive Manufacturing capabilities, supporting innovation for process and material development for 3D printing.”

This further commitment to the AITC will provide customers with facility for total solutions, from Material Selection to Part Prototyping, and beyond, with the capability for advice on part design and injection moulding tool design, as well as the capability for part FEA (finite element analysis) and additive manufacturing equipment. This will significantly reduce the lead time for prototype sampling while providing data-based quality inspection before sampling and concept-proof decision-making prior to committing to large investments for the customers.

The AITC has assisted in the development of solutions for the Automotive and Aerospace sectors – where the goal is to reduce emissions and weight while maintaining the equivalent strength of metals and offer enhanced performance. These benefits can lead to improved fuel efficiency and total system cost reduction for the end-user and is vital in a situation where China is driving the production of electric vehicles (EVs) and New-Energy Vehicles (NEVs), for which powertrain architecture and energy-efficiency is a crucial design factor.

With a global shortage of silicon chips, then the hugely important field of semiconductor chip fabrication is also a key focus of the AITC, to offer solutions to help enable faster silicon chip manufacturer, more uptime of semi-con fabs, and enhance yield as the node size on chips reduces.

Technology and capacity enhancement

Absolutely central to the implementation of this latest operational upgrade is the addition of a 4-axis CNC machine, and part design and tool design capability, and Additive Manufacturing (AM) capabilities, with these hardware and software upgrades significantly enhancing the capabilities of the lab, particularly in terms of enabling component design freedom, prototyping, and CAD (computer aided design and engineering).

AM is increasing in China, as both a means of efficient prototyping and as a new manufacturing technique. Chinese press agency Xinhua recently reported that the country’s “major additive manufacturers reported a total operating revenue of 7.5 billion yuan (about 1.14 billion US dollars) in the first nine months of the year”. This figure was up 10.3% year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Andrew Storm continued:

“Adding this impressive array of new hardware and software will drive a major capability expansion of the AITC Application Lab, allowing it to provide technical support for customers at a very early stage in the integrated processes that take innovative product concepts and move them into mass production. In this way, opportunities will be recognised and defined and then applied in a time-efficient and cost-effective way, helping to accelerate time to market, which can be a significant advantage for customers.”

More information www.victrex.com