Manufacturing News

Search for CRC industry partners – Laserbond case study

Manufacturing News

@AuManufacturing’s editorial series on researchers led by UniSA’s search for companies to develop surface processing capabilities in a planned Surface Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (SMCRC) continues today. Here, we profile the benefits Adelaide’s Laserbond achieved through collaboration with researchers at UniSA.

Cooperative Research Centres are one of the most successful methods for encouraging collaboration between companies and each other and with public sector researchers – just ask advanced surface engineering manufacturer LaserBond.

The company has worked extensively with the University of South Australia’s Future Industries Institute (FII) – which is leading efforts to establish a new Surface Manufacturing CRC – on innovative surface treatment technologies.

In one effort LaserBond developed a laser cladding system that can metallurgically bond a wide range of metals to heavy machinery components, extending their life by up to five times, improving the performance of drill systems in the mining industry.

In another, collaboration helped the company develop some of the world’s most resilient claddings to extend part life through the repair, remanufacture and re-use of heavy machinery components.

To learn more, the researchers have organised an online information session specially for @AuManufacturing readers on Wednesday, 22 November, 10:30 am – 11:45 am ACDT Register here.

UniSA’s Industry Professor Colin Hall said such research partnerships had refined LaserBond’s laser cladding technologies, helping improve protection and longevity of machinery.

Professor Hall said: “We’ve used UniSA’s extensive tribology laboratories to perform accelerated testing in erosion, corrosion and impact abrasion.

“We’ve combined these results to predict wear rates in the real world, which has allowed us to then inform material and process optimisation for LaserBond.

“Through this partnership we’ve refined the laser cladding technology, allowing LaserBond to create tailor-made coatings that are deposited faster and resist degradation.

“Not only have we been able to increase the lifespan of minerals processing equipment, but we have also been able to bring our university students in on this project, and thereby educate them to become future surface engineers.”

LaserBond is committed to reducing the environmental impact of the heavy industry by ensuring parts can be used for as long as possible, and as many times as possible.

The company’s technology can also be used to replace hard chrome plating – a process that carries significant health and environmental concerns.

LaserBond Engineering Manager for R&D Dr Thomas Schläfer said the partnership with UniSA had improved product quality and product range, while helping to reduce maintenance costs and increasing our revenue.

Dr Schläfer said: “We’ve had access to UniSA expertise and facilities that we don’t have in-house, which has enabled us to learn a lot about our processes and has also allowed us to showcase our improved technology to new customers.

“The university has been able to expand its capabilities for us to generate industry-relevant outputs and engagements, which helps the sector.

“For example, one outcome of our work together is a component for the drilling industry where the team developed a surface engineering solution that increased the lifetime by a factor of 10.”

This work has been supported by the ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre – in Surface Engineering for Advanced Materials (SEAM) and the Australian Government through its Innovations Connections scheme.

Picture: Laserbond

This series is brought to you by UniSA on behalf of the proposed Surface Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre.

Surface Engineering and Manufacturing optimise material properties, customise products, enhancing their longevity and performance. For SMEs, it’s a gateway to innovation, reducing costs and fostering global competitiveness by delivering superior and tailored solutions. Companies can join us in our Surface Manufacturing CRC bid to shape the future of sustainable and competitive manufacturing in Australia.

To learn more, register for the online information session, Wednesday, 22 November, 10:30 am – 11:45 am ACDT Register here. …… Or email [email protected].

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