Wittmann Battenfeld at Exeter University
The University of Exeter has added a new injection moulding machine to its EU-funded resource centre, which it is making available to local businesses by offering two days free business and technical support to help improve products and processes.
The new Wittmann Battenfeld HM 45 machine, specially set up for thermoset moulding, will be used within the University’s new business technology centre, CALMARE (Centre for ALternative MAterials and REmanufacturing Technologies), a new enterprise launched in the South West at the end of 2013.
Part funded for two years by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 - 2013, CALMARE is designed to support South Western plastics processors with a range of material development and sustainability projects and services including materials testing, waste reduction and advice on design, redesign, remanufacturing and recycling.
“Many SME plastics manufacturers neither have the time nor resources to look into alternatives that could improve their products and processes, or may not know where to start. That is where we come in,” commented Paul McCutchion, Commercial Manager for the new centre.
“Plastics processors of all kinds will definitely benefit greatly from these two days free work in 2014. Our CALMARE team, for example, can visit companies on site or open up our facilities and manpower here for use. We can also work on new products and ideas, directly or with desk/feasibility research; undertake process improvement work and can also include workshops providing useful information on topics such as the impact of new legislation, or material developments.”
The CALMARE Centre is also there to help companies with ‘collaborative projects,’ says McCutchion, “such as implementation of cross network recycling solutions and development of new sustainable materials and processes.”
The new Wittmann Battenfeld HM 45 moulding machine will be involved in some of the work being done at CALMARE in the areas of GRP, composites and thermoset recycling.
The British Plastics Federation (BPF) provides match funding and assistance to the Centre in its mission to help plastics-based SMEs in the South West region.
“Following our successful collaboration with the University of Exeter on a range of other projects, we were very pleased to lend our support to this exciting initiative,” explained Tim Marsden, Senior Projects Executive at the BPF. “As the leading trade association for the plastics industry in the UK, one of our major concerns is upcoming UK and EU legislation issues and how they affect plastics SME businesses. So we are delighted that CALMARE has been set up and that one of its strengths will be raising opportunities in reusing and recycling plastics and composite materials.”
The £1.8m business technology centre is based at the University of Exeter and serves SME plastics manufacturers in the South West. Qualifying counties include Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset, Dorset and Devon.