North West Regional College teams up with Inishowen Engineering
A Derry college has forged a cross-border collaboration project with a leading manufacturing company in a Donegal.
North West Regional College’s (NWRC) Business Support Centre (BSC) and Inishowen Engineering, from outside Buncrana in Inishowen, have teamed up for an 18 month project aimed at developing a “surface preparation and coating” facility for installation in the company’s new factory.
The process will need to be capable of handling varying sizes of components and assemblies as well as accommodating varying surface finishes. Dr Fergal Tuffy, technology innovation manager at NWRC’s BSC, said: “The InterTradeIreland funded Fusion programme encourages cross-border collaboration where a company on one side of the border partners with an academic institution on the other to bridge a gap in knowledge and support the company with bringing new process development ideas to fruition.
‘’The college has expertise in setting up a powder coating and curing system within a manufacturing environment both in terms of process and in machinery and equipment choice and through Fusion a graduate is recruited to make the company’s vision a reality with support of the academic partner.”
Dr Tuffy added:‘’NWRC can also provide access to staff with expertise in areas such as new product development, 3D CAD, FEA analysis and design for manufacture and assembly and have experience in supporting industry in these areas.
“This will be of benefit to the company and will fit in with their current approach of building in quality throughout their manufacturing coating processes.
‘’Furthermore, the college has facilities specific to the engineering industry, with a £500,000 product design centre at its Greystone campus in Limavady, including 3D CAD suites, 3D printing, rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing technologies that will give the company an additional boost during the project as required.’’
Peter McGonagle, quality manager at Inishowen Engineering, said: ‘’We have identified an opportunity to grow our business by providing our customers with the option of having their components and assemblies coated and painted in-house to their specification thus speeding up final assembly.”
Concluding, Mr McGonagle said: ‘’We’re excited to be partnering with NWRC and InterTradeIreland on this project and we look forward to working together to provide our customers with the best possible service.’’
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