Footprint Tools – one of the leading manufacturers of traditional hand tools in the UK – is at the heart of a research project that could see Sheffield spark a recycling revolution in industrial forging that unlocks a step change in the manufacture of safety critical components for the aerospace, defence and energy sectors using machining waste and state-of-the art linear hammer technology.

The Sheffield-based business with 12 employees and two robots traces its roots back to the 1760s but has always had its eyes firmly focused on the future. This week it unveiled the latest addition to its Admiral Works shopfloor: a £1.4 million state-of-the-art Schuler precision linear forge, the only one of its kind in the UK and one of only three in Europe.

As the centrepiece of an R&D partnership between the small family firm and two world-leading research institutions – The Henry Royce Institute (Royce) and the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC), part of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland Group – the equipment will help consolidate Sheffield and the UK’s lead in advanced forging manufacture.

Following a packed gathering of the AFRC’s Forging and Forming Forum, where the R&D venture was announced, Royce Professor Martin Jackson said he was delighted that the Servo technology hammer, initially destined for Manchester, had found a home in Sheffield, the hub of the UK’s forging and forming industry.

Extracted from NMIS website, read more here

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