HFQ® enables weight reduction by 20-50% in transport sectors through downgauging and part count reduction, but still maintaining the strength requirements thanks to the use of ultra-high strength aluminium alloys.
Low-volume orders are manufactured on-site in Coventry, but higher volumes are manufactured by partners in the UK, Germany and China.
Impression Technologies wanted to improve the process data collection at their facilities by automating data collection and implementing a traceability system. This will allow them to record process history data for each part produced in a centralised platform. Automating the way data is collected and analysed will also allow them to push the technology forward for the commercialisation of future products.
The business is seeing increased demand for data from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), while full traceability and complete thermal history of the parts are required for aerospace standards.
After attending a webinar about the West Midlands Made Smarter programme, the business initially contacted WMG, at the University of Warwick, and then Paul Sullivan, Digital Transformation Specialist at Made Smarter, got in contact to explain in full detail how the initiative could help the business with its plans.
Tiago said: “One of the key benefits of HFQ® is the manufacturing of complex, lightweight solutions that enables competition in areas where, traditionally, steel has been used.
“Previously, we had data collection systems for certain equipment but they didn’t interact with each other and it relied heavily on human interaction. We want to provide higher value services by increasing our data and connectivity skills.”
Paul organised for Nasar Jockey and Daniel Peavoy from WMG centre High Value Manufacturing Catapult at the University of Warwick, one of Made Smarter’s strategic partners, to visit Impression Technologies’ premises to put together a ‘digital roadmap’.
Onur Eren, of WMG, University of Warwick, said: “We’re delighted to have helped Impression Technologies with their digitalisation journey. By investing in digitalising their business, they will not only become more competitive but increase their sustainability too.
“We know how stretched for time SME manufacturers are, so by having their data all in the right place, it can save so much time and stress later down the line. Impression Technologies has demonstrated how forward-thinking they are by taking part in this project.”