State of the Art Micro Products
The partnership between PPE and the University of Bradford was established to develop a state of the art production facility for the manufacture of micro-sized products in a broad range of elastomer materials. The objective of the project was to create an industry leading capability for the provision of micro parts in critical applications.
The overriding objective was a consistent and repeatable process, providing the highest quality micro-parts to address sealing requirements for industries such as micro-fluidics. High quality micro-elastomer parts can then be used to replace PTFE and PEEK materials to provide a more robust sealing solution.
The University of Bradford in collaboration with PPE have published a research paper defining the development activity of the project. The knowledge gained through the project has created innovative techniques for the processing of elastomer materials which was previously impossible. The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) has provided opportunities for other final year students with associated projects.
“It’s been a good experience with opportunities to grow in niche markets and increase sales and profits. The University have been excellent.
The selection of the associate and a good relationship with the University are very important.“ Paul Haworth, Global Product Development Manager, Precision Polymer Engineering Ltd.
Precision Polymer Engineering’s employees have gained new micro-moulding technology and software knowledge and experience in related magnification, measurement and robotic techniques. As a result of the project the company are investing in the development of this knowledge as part of their strategic plan.
The Associate (graduate) has become a permanent employee in the company and is responsible for setting up a micro manufacturing cell.
By establishing a flexible state of the art production facility for manufacturing micro-sized elastomer material products, the company have developed a niche customer offering in a difficult market. This is resulting in a more competitive offering, opening up new growth markets, and cementing their position as the leading provider of sealing component solutions in the future.