The Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC) has granted Deakin University and Speedpanel, a fire rated and acoustic panel system manufacturer, $100,000 in funding to refine Speedpanel’s steel panel manufacturing process.
During the 10-month research collaboration, the project team will use new steel forming and joining solutions to further enhance Speedpanel’s production technology, with a focus on reducing waste and optimising and strengthening panel design. This research will also support Speedpanel’s high-volume production output and enable the business to have a more refined platform for continued expansion locally and abroad.
The IMCRC activate funding would assist Speedpanel to further revolutionise the way it manufactures its fire rated and acoustic systems, Speedpanel sales and operations manager Lindsay Evans said.
“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,” Evans said.
“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.”
Matthias Weiss, senior research fellow at Deakin University, highlighted the importance of connecting with the manufacturing industry on research and development projects.
“Manufacturing large hollow sections of steel represents a major challenge for industry. With Speedpanel and IMCRC, Deakin University is helping to solve this problem by providing extensive support in material parameter monitoring and process control solution development,” he said.
“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.”
IMCRC was delighted to be co-funding the R&D required to advance Speedpanel’s manufacturing process to improve design, manufacturability, and performance characteristics of the wall system to help expand markets and profitability.
“Speedpanel has been a market leader in conventional panel manufacturing methods for the past 20 years. In only 10 months, this research collaboration has the potential to deliver transformational change to the business and pave the way for future product developments,” IMCRC manufacturing innovation manager Dr Matthew Young said.
“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.”