Fibrax and University of Wales Trinity Saint David Launch SMART Partnership

Lisa Lucas & Graham Howe

Technical injection moulding specialists at the Fibrax Group have launched a collaborative SMART Partnership with University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD). This exciting and challenging project is part-funded by the Welsh Government. It will focus on the development and optimisation of bespoke automated processes specifically related to adhesive applications within polymer mouldings at the Group’s plastic injection moulding facility, Hi-Mark Automotive.

SMART Partnerships facilitate a knowledge exchange and collaboration between University and Industry. According to Business Wales, the Welsh Government’s support service for businesses, SMART Partnerships aim to “support collaborative projects, with a clear focus to increase the capacity and capabilities of Welsh businesses to develop R&D activities by linking them with Research Organisations and an associate, to work on a specific project to develop new products, processes and services.” In this instance, Fibrax will be working with UWTSD to identify the benefits of automation and digitisation, and implement the findings should they enable Fibrax to gain a competitive advantage.

The Partnership was formed by Graham Howe and Lisa Lucas of UWTSD and Craig Jones and Przemyslaw Solowiej of Fibrax. Further to the Smart Partnership, Fibrax is also now engaged with UWTSD’s MADE Cymru initiative. MADE Cymru is a suite of programmes designed to navigate organisations through Industry 4.0 via collaborative research and development, and upskilling. It is funded by the European Social Fund and European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government and delivered by UWTSD.

Commenting on the project, Graham said:

“This twelve-month collaborative project will investigate and apply new technologies and techniques for economic gain whilst developing new capabilities in-house. We recently visited Fibrax to interview a potential candidate for the Research Associate position for the partnership and were delighted to appoint Jefferson Dzidzienyo.”

Jefferson recently joined the New Product Introduction team at Fibrax having completed a Masters in Engineering at Liverpool John Moores University. As a Research Associate working with UWTSD, he will have access to state-of-the-art facilities and a highly-skilled knowledge base to support the successful delivery of this challenging project.

Craig Jones, Fibrax’s Tooling and Process Development Manager, is looking forward to supporting Jefferson in his role. He said:

“I’m pleased Jefferson has been selected to drive this initiative forward. He brings with him a real drive and passion for engineering. I believe this partnership will not only further his practical experience but realise considerable commercial advantages for Fibrax. This is a demanding project but one that could significantly reduce the risks associated with in-process adhesive application and inspection. As technical, precision moulders, this will be a cornerstone for our continuous improvement strategy and global ambitions.”

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