AbstractThe programme was conducted under the auspices of the Teaching Company Scheme and involved Van Moppes-IDP, Gloucester, a manufacturer of diamond cutting tools, and The Polytechnic of Wales. The project was "to evaluate the scope for and to assist in the implementation of modern manufacturing methods."
In order to develop a planned programme of change an initial in-depth study of the Company's business and technology was undertaken which highlighted areas of particular concern. A series of interconnected projects were then undertaken.
The process of mixing and mould filling of metal powder/diamond mixture was studied and a new method of pelletisation was developed and introduced. The machine capability of the Company was analysed and the selection of a CNC turning centre was undertaken. This machine was purchased, commissioned and brought into full production.
The problem of reducing expensive mould wear was investigated but no methods superior to those now used were identified.
The possibility of developing a novel semi-automatic manufacturing unit was explored with a cost analysis. The conceptual design was completed and has given board approval, but the project has not progressed due to a lack of resource.
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