Speedpanel, Deakin partner on new steel forming and joining solutions


Building products company Speedpanel has been awarded a $100,000 grant to refine its steel manufacturing processes in a ten-month project with Deakin University and the Innovative Manufacturing CRC.

Speedpanel makes fire- and acoustic-rated wall systems, with the project to see them adopt new forming and joining solutions, as well as support high-volume production. 

“By streamlining manufacturing processes with innovative joining solutions and advanced techniques for material monitoring and process control, we’ll be able to evolve our product offering and bring a more environmentally friendly and sustainable panel system to market,” said Speedpanel’s sales and operations manager Lindsay Evans.

“Tapping into Deakin’s expertise in material analysis and forming process control will enable us to assess and monitor material properties and key production parameters throughout the process to enhance process efficiency, enabling better quality control and reducing waste.”

Associate Professor Matthias Weiss, a metals specialist and Senior Research Fellow at Deakin’s Institute for Frontier materials, said producing large hollow sections of steel was a major challenge. The project would address this by, “providing extensive support in material parameter monitoring and process control solution development,” said Weiss.

“We’re also taking the findings from a previous Deakin University industry collaboration which has established a new and structurally optimised wall panel design and applying them to adapt Speedpanel’s cutting-edge system.”

Dr Matthew Young, IMCRC’s Manufacturing Innovation Manager, said that Speedpanel had led in panel manufacturing methods for two decades, but the project has “the potential to deliver transformational change to the business” in ten months.

“Supporting small to medium manufacturing enterprises like Speedpanel to embrace new technologies and the application of Industry 4.0 remains central to creating an Australian manufacturing sector that is thriving and globally relevant,” he added.

Speedpanel was previously awarded an $877,000 grant from IMCRC in 2019 for a three-year project on low-carbon wall panels.

Picture: supplied

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