Design+: new ProJet MJP 5600 Multi-Material 3D Printer

A key component of collaborative industry projects is the ability to prototype concepts for testing and validation. Design is an iterative process of testing and redesign. The Design+ Gateway has been an early user and advocate of 3D printing since its establishment in 2016, using both a Zcorp powder printer and an SLA Viper.

There have been significant advancements in 3D printing over the past decade. Traditionally, the ability to produce a 3D model for visual representation from a digital model was sufficient. Today, the expectation is that a 3D printed model has to withstand the rigours of user testing and incorporate a number of materials representative of final manufacture. 3D printed models need to be functional and be able to perform with similar characteristics to a manufactured part to be beneficial to the design process.

In response to these needs, Design+ recently purchased a new state of the art multi-material ProJet MJP 5600 3D printer from 3D Systems in order to meet current research and industry needs.

ProJet MJP 5600 3D printer from 3D Systems

ProJet MJP 5600

The ProJet MJP 5600 delivers high quality, highly accurate and tough multi-material composites (flexible and rigid material) composites layer by layer in a variety of colours and shades including opaque, clear, black or white and numerous shades of grey. With its industrial-grade print head, the ProJet MJP 5600 prints up to two times faster than any other printer in its class, and produces more than 60% larger volume than all other comparable systems, producing larger parts up to half a meter long, or more parts per print job.

Key specifications include

  • Build size – 518mm X 381mm X300mm
  • Material – 5 different materials that can be digitally mixed resulting in thousands of combinations
  • Tolerance – 0.013mm

Design+ recently worked with TRI Equestrian on the design of a new state-of-the-art therapy saddle. The saddle is designed to meet the needs of all abilities by enhancing the connection between the horse and rider which has shown to have extensive therapeutic results. The saddle includes a patented biaxial support system that was developed and prototyped through the use of 3D printing. All the plastic components of this support system were able to be printed full scale on the large format ProJet MJP 5600 (image 1 below). The printed parts allowed the design to be tested (image 2 below) and any issues to be resolved before progressing to manufacture.

Full scale printing on the large format ProJet MJP 560

Full-scale printing on the large format ProJet MJP 560

Testing of the design of the therapy saddle

Testing the design of the therapy saddle

Technology Gateway showcase event in Dublin

Minister Halligan announces €26.75m in funding for the Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Network 2018-2022

New ‘Irish Food Tech’ cluster to be established within the Gateway network

On Wednesday, 2nd May, John Halligan TD, Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, announced the Government of Ireland is providing funding of €26.75m for the Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Network over the five year period from 2018-2022.

Since its formation in 2013, the Technology Gateway Network has completed over 2,750 innovative projects with over 1,250 Irish based companies. Projects range from polymers to pharmaceuticals, photonics to mobile services and mechatronics, right through to biotechnology and industrial design. Typical projects focus on the development of a new product or service or the optimization of a process, across all sectors of the economy and based in every county.

Technology Gateways Launch Minister John Halligan with Niall O Reilly and Marc Kelly

Minister John Halligan with Niall O’Reilly, PMBRC Technology Gateway Manager, Waterford IT
and Marc Kelly, Materials Manager, Teva Pharmaceuticals Ireland

The network consists of 15 individual Gateways hosted by an Institute of Technology, spread across the country providing industry with access to over 300 highly skilled and industrially focused researchers, together with specialist equipment and facilities.

The €26.75m funding announcement was made at a showcase event in Dublin attended by over 100 industry representatives where the establishment of a new Food and Beverage Technology Cluster (Irish Food Tech) within the network was also announced.

Announcing the funding, Minister John Halligan TD said:

“The Technology Gateway Network programme aims to bring Irish companies together with the researchers in the Institutes of Technology to provide near-to-market innovation and solutions in a range of areas, both regionally and nationally. Today I’m also delighted to announce the establishment of a new food and beverage technology focused cluster within the Gateway Network called Irish Food Tech. As with the other two sectoral clusters in the network, Applied IoT and EMD Ireland, the aim of Irish Food Tech is to optimise the power of the Network and connect industry with researchers in a wide selection of areas that include bioprocessing, food for health, process control and packaging.”

Technology Gateways Launch Minister John Halligan and Michael Hughes, Enterprise Ireland

Minister John Halligan and Michael Hughes, Enterprise Ireland

Gearoid Mooney, Manager, Research and Innovation, Enterprise Ireland added:

“The Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Network offers an open access point for industry providing technology expertise which is industry relevant. Projects range from small starts-up in the regions making use of the Enterprise Ireland’s Innovation Voucher Scheme, to larger companies using the Innovation Partnership Programme.
However, the most common mechanism by which companies engage via the Gateways is through projects they pay for completely themselves without leveraging any state funding.
This is a testament to both the trust built up between the companies and the Gateways, and the capability of the research community in the Institutes of Technology.”

Companies who have collaborated with the Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Network provided case studies and presentations during the event while attendees also had the opportunity to meet with the Technology Gateway teams to discuss various Research, Development and Innovation funding mechanisms.

Shannon ABC: new cosmetic product service

Shannon ABC has recently launched a Cosmetic Product Innovation Service. It is designed to help companies develop new products, improve existing products and to make quantitative, validated claims.

The global cosmetics sector is predicted to reach US$675 billion by 2020; within the EU, there was over €30 billion in trade in the cosmetics sector in 2015, and this has shown consistent growth. The Irish skincare market remained relatively resilient to the economic downturn – it was worth €110 million in 2010, which increased to €144 million in 2015 and is set to rise to €156 million by 2020.

A new cosmetics innovation service

Shannon ABC has established a Cosmetic Product Innovation Service in order to assist Irish companies to address this important market opportunity. This service is divided into two parts:

1. Cell culture testing

This allows the testing of ingredients or final products against skin cells grown in the laboratory. This provides a valuable screening tool with which companies can make informed decisions regarding the performance and impact of their ingredients or products.

Measurements such as collagen production, wound healing, anti-oxidant protection, cell proliferation, skin barrier efficacy, anti-inflammatory activity and any detrimental impact on skin cells can all be made using cell culture testing. This can allow a company to make a decision on whether a particular ingredient may be suitable or not.

Cosmetics testing panel ireland

2. Skin probe testing

This uses industry standard, non-invasive skin testing probes to determine measurements of skin such as elasticity, moisturisation, skin barrier efficacy and skin sebum/oil production.

Testing panel

Shannon ABC has established a reserve panel of approximately 100 volunteers, that can be involved in efficacy testing of cosmetic products. Studies range from 24 hours to 4 weeks, depending on company requirements, end point measures required and products tested. The benefit to the company is the ability to market their product’s efficacy using scientifically proven, quantitative data and ensuring compliance with Commission Regulation (EU) No 655/2013.

For more information on the Cosmetics Product Innovation Service, contact Shannon ABC: info@shannonabc.ie.

Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateways: Innovation in Construction

Over 60 companies attended the Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateways Innovation in Construction conference on 14th September in Dublin.

This half-day event was aimed at companies involved in any aspect of the construction industry who were interested in learning more about R&D resources available in the development of new and innovative construction products and services.

Applied IoT and Engineering, material & design

The conference brought together two unique clusters of Technology Gateways – A-IoT and EMD Ireland, providing specialised presentations and industry case studies from Technology Gateways involved in the engineering, materials and design, and Internet of Things (IoT) space.

Speaking ahead of the conference, Enterprise Ireland’s Stephen Hughes (Manager, Construction, Timber & Consumer Retail; Paper, Print & Packaging) said:

“Construction sector activity in Ireland is strong and according to the latest Purchasing Managers’ Index by Ulster Bank, August marked the 47th successive month of increased activity. From an export perspective, construction exports by Enterprise Ireland clients are at an all-time high and many construction companies, who diversified during the downturn, are now well positioned to capitalise on global growth in key markets.”

Keynote speaker, Pat Gilroy, MD Designer Group, shared his insights on how to create a culture of innovation within companies, as well as discussing current innovative practices such as BIM and virtual reality.

Anne Lanigan, of Enterprise Ireland (Manager, Brexit Unit) presented on the importance of Irish companies preparing for the effects of Brexit. She urged companies to put in place a plan to deal with challenges which may come their way and outlined strategic responses essential to protecting your company in this pre-brexit era.

Relevant case studies

Company case studies were provided by John Condron of Condron Concrete, who discussed his collaboration with the APT Gateway (Athlone Institute of Technology) in developing a plastic piping and fittings processing capability. Whilst Rob Fox, MD of Site Passport, outlined his company’s innovative journey in creating a bespoke cloud-based site management system for the construction industry in conjunction with the IMaR Gateway (Institute of Technology Tralee).

In the final session, the audience heard an interesting talk from the NSAI (National Standards Authority of Ireland), Ireland’s official standards and measurement body. Their presenters, Paul Killeen (Standards Business Development, Research & Innovation) and Martin English (Senior Certification & Inspection Officer for the construction sector), discussed how standards and certification can help companies win in international markets.

Conference chair, Paddy Byrne (Technology Gateway Management Team at Enterprise Ireland) said:

“Whilst this is a challenging time for the construction industry, there is also great opportunity and I urge delegates to consider the many options available within innovation and R&D.”

 


About the author

Gráinne Foley - EMD Ireland Cluster Marketing Executive

Gráinne Foley

EMD Ireland Cluster Marketing Executive

SEAM’s Design for Manufacture Conference

L-R: Ken Thomas WIT, Paddy Byrne EI, Ramesh Raghavendra SEAM, Minister Halligan, Willie Donnelly President WIT and Martin Corkery EI

The benefits of good design practice were highlighted to manufacturing companies across the south east at a conference hosted by the SEAM Technology Gateway at Waterford Institute of Technology last week. The Design for Manufacture conference was an industry-focused event sponsored by eDigiRegion (an FP7 project initiative to increase regional competitiveness via research-driven clusters in the technology domain).

Design for Manufacture

The day-long event was aimed at enhancing the awareness and skills needed in the rapidly changing advanced manufacturing industrial climate. The highlight of the event was a Town Hall session where senior management from both indigenous and multinational companies discussed the training and skills requirements for the manufacturing sector in the region.

Minister of State for Training and Skills, John Halligan, was the keynote speaker. In his address to delegates, he said:

“The SEAM Gateway is a great success story for the Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Network and for Waterford Institute of Technology. It has provided a fantastic resource not only for companies based here in the South-East Region, but also for companies all around the country.  Global competition is stronger than ever and, as a small, export-oriented economy, Ireland must respond to this challenge.  Research, development, innovation and a highly educated workforce will be the key points of differentiation for Ireland and the key drivers of our future economic success.”

Gearoid Mooney, Divisional Manager, Research and Innovation at Enterprise Ireland, outlined the importance of Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateways such as SEAM to regional development:

“The 15 Gateways in the Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Network are a critical innovation support for Irish industry delivering near to market solutions for partner companies located both regionally and nationally. They have a proven track record of performance, having completed in excess of 1,800 industry projects since 2013 at a value of €18 million, almost half of which (47%) has come directly from industry contributions. This activity is critical in supporting Irish companies develop new products, processes and services, enabling them to increase their competitiveness and exploit new markets with export potential.”

The benefits of good design practice to the manufacturing sector was highlighted through wide range of presentations on topics such as lean designing, 3D printing, finite element analysis, designing for reliability, etc., by experts in their field.

Design Thinking presentations were made by Eoghan O’Donoghue, SEAM Technology Leader (FA/FEA); Dr Richard Keegan, Manager, Competitiveness Department at Enterprise Ireland; and Dr Tony O Donnell, Vice President of Engineering at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Dublin.

Speakers who gave presentations on design by finite element analysis were Fergal Corcoran, Principal Mechanical Design Engineer at Logitech, Cork; Eoin English, New Technology Evaluation Engineering Manager at Analog Devices, Limerick; and Patrick Donnellan, FEA Engineer at SEAM Research Centre, WIT.

Paddy Byrne, Technology Gateway Manager at Enterprise Ireland, reflected on the value of such events:

“Events like the Design for Manufacturing conference at the SEAM Gateway are critical for manufacturing companies to understand the challenges and opportunities being posed by the technology advances represented by Manufacturing 4.0 and how this impacts on development of new products and processes. The importance of this issue was reflected by the strong industry attendance. The day offered a great opportunity for industry and the applied research community to network and exchange ideas.”

The SEAM Gateway

An industry dedicated materials research and development facility, SEAM (South Eastern Applied Materials) Research Centre has been a success story in expanding opportunities in the medical device, precision engineering, pharma and energy sectors in Ireland. SEAM has established itself as the first stop for companies seeking assistance on materials-related issues that cannot be solved by utilising their on-site resources. SEAM’s polymer, metallic, and ceramic experience are proving invaluable to its clients due to offerings of its niche technologies (X-ray CT scan & finite element modelling, 3D metal printing) and materials research capabilities to resolve their day to day process/product and quality related issues.

SEAM has an impeccable track record of delivering for industry, having executed over 900 direct funded industry projects spanning across over 100 companies since its launch in 2009.  Notable SEAM repeat clients in the region include Teva, Bausch and Lomb, Schivo, Honeywell Turbo & Engines, Genzyme, PPI, Lake Region Medical and Boston Scientific.

Dr. Ramesh Raghavendra, SEAM Centre Director, who takes pride in organising similar industrial events every year said:

“Our prime focus in SEAM has always been to advance the cutting edge of innovation by bringing in latest technologies that are useful to manufacturing sector with a view to transferring the knowledge acquired to Irish based industries. The increased automation and integration of new technologies such as 3D additive printing and industrial internet of things for engineering and manufacturing companies are creating new skills needs for Irish industry. The SEAM Gateway, along with its sister Gateways in the network, is seeking to address these issues on a regional and national basis though our open access policy and by becoming an extension of the R&D capabilities of our partner companies.”

For information about the events and open days organised around Ireland by the Technology Gateways, check our events calendar.