NextForm's consortium consists of the end-user companies Farsund Aluminium Casting (FAC), Benteler Aluminium Systems Norway (BASN) and Kongsberg Automotive (KA), as well as the technology and R&D partners Trondrud Engineering (TE), NTNU IPK (NTNU) and SINTEF Raufoss Manufacturing (SINTEF).
A major part of the added value of the end-users products is to be found in the design processes utilized in the manufacturing. Continued development of advanced tools for the design processes is a prerequisite for future competitiveness through reduced cycle time, improved form tolerance, reduced waste, longer tool lifespan, reduced demand for tool repairs, as well as new opportunities within product development and design.
Additive Manufacturing (AM), which has a central role within this project, has over the last years had a tremendous development within utilization of metal as building material, and inserts for moulds can now be manufactured with a functionality not achievable with other, more established manufacturing technologies. AM of inserts is combined with advanced utilization of simulation, surface coating, cooling liquids and building materials in order to provide moulds of superior capacity and robustness.
NextForm has as idea to develop the next generation extrusion- and moulding-processes for manufacturing of aluminium and plastic products. The project is funded by the Norwegian Research Council's BIA-program.