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Connect, no. 129, March/April 2004, p.3


A collaboration has begun between TWI and Castings Technology International (Cti) (the Sheffield-based castings research and development centre) on the Toolform project. The focus of the project is to apply innovative technology to the design, manufacture and repair of forged and formed metal products.

The work, funded by the DTI, Yorkshire Forward and the European Union and managed by NAMTEC, is part of the Advanced Metals Technology Initiative (AMTI). It aims to deliver benefits to small and medium sized enterprises across the UK, either directly or through applications defined by larger enterprises and end users.

The first stage will identify potential applications to be studied through the course of the project. It will consider application materials as well as the processes and equipment used in the forging and forming of these materials. Having identified the applications, the project will then look at alternative technologies that may be used for these applications.

Relevant technologies may come from areas such as joining and cutting, casting, design and simulation and materials technology, and these will be used in combination with each other to manufacture prototype tools and products for the target applications, before implementation of the innovative manufacturing approaches.

When the work on each application has been completed, case studies will be prepared to disseminate the benefits, technical opportunities and the impact of the innovations on conventional practice.

The project management team are seeking new collaborators to bring their ideas, technologies and applications to the table and increase the scope of the project.

If you would like to discuss the opportunities this project presents, please contact David Howse at TWI. E-mail: or Peter Haigh at Cti. E-mail:

For more information please email: