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Connected Everything Event

In April the BSSA and Connected Everything held a workshop at Aston University in Birmingham. The aim of the day was to explore industrial problems how linking academia and industrialists could address some of the key issues for these businesses.

The meeting was co hosted by Rob Cooper from the BSSA and Susan Reiblen from Connected Everything. The attendees were a broad mix of academics and business leaders with a focus on material finishing.

Workshop Attendees

Susan Reiblein, Connected Everything

Oliver Fisher, Connected Everything

Rob Cooper, BSSA

David Stead, Anopol

Tim Childs, Rimex Metals

Kirsty Davis-Chinnock, Professional Polishing Services

John Oyekan, University of Sheffield

Ahmed Rezk, Aston University

Muhammad Imran, Aston University

Chao Liu, Aston University

Mingwen Bai, Coventry University

Mohamed Amer, Coventry University

Andrea Fotticchia, Aston University

Following a general introduction to the stainless steel industry, we went on to discuss the general issues around the stainless steel industry including supply chain resilience, transport costs and nett zero.

The BSSA members introduced their businesses and started to explore the issues they face in more detail. These included heat loss / heat recovery, increasing energy costs, digitisation of legacy machinery, single use plastic coatings, surface imperfections in substrate materials, waste management and best use of investment finances.

The priority issues defined were then short listed to energy reduction and heat capture, plastic coatings and surface imperfections, and this is where Connected Everything can really have some impact. The academics were able to ask detailed questions about the processes and potential solutions to the industry experts, and get industry based answers. The participants were able to rule in or rule out some of the suggestions and this enabled us to focus in on the real issues an and define projects that would give real benefits to the businesses.

A number of projects have been defined, and it is now up to the businesses and Connected Everything’s to get some real benefits from the day.

Feedback from the day was positive, with the following points to take forwards

  • Good to be in a room with experts from different backgrounds as offer new perspectives
  • Good to talk through ideas that may or may not work
  • Recognise that the stainless steel industry is not at the forefront of the digital manufacturing journey so useful to talk through potential digital solutions.
  • Need simple cost effect solutions if they are going to be used by industry
  • Good from academic perspective to see what digital manufacturing solutions are feasible and infeasible when proposed for industry
  • Good opportunity to increase impact from academic research
  • Explore what solutions can be adapted to fix industry problem and when new solutions are needed
  • Good to get people from different background together to validate assumption and generate new ideas
  • Benefit to industry from funding/tax credits when working with academia

The BSSA is looking forward to hosting more events with Connected Everything. We would recommend meeting with the Connected Everything team at their upcoming event in Liverpool later this month:

Conference 2022: Connected Everything Annual Conference: Digital Manufacturing Research Collaboration and Innovation

Location: University of Liverpool, Victoria Gallery & Museum (VGM)

Dates: Wednesday 18 & Thursday 19 May 2022