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6 June 2006 PR 06/63

Loughborough manufactures another first

Loughborough University is to host the first ever International Conference on Rapid Manufacturing – a pioneering technique that builds products by using electronic data rather than traditional factory tools and methods.

The art of rapid manufacturing (RM) is still being perfected but has already been used to make a range of products, from aircraft parts to running shoes.

The conference will bring together more than 100 delegates from around the world to discuss the future of RM. Its emergence has been described as the catalyst for ‘a new industrial revolution for the digital age’.

Speakers will include representatives from companies like Airbus and Bentley that already use RM in their factories.

The Rapid Manufacturing Research Group (RMRG) at Loughborough University is recognised as the world’s leading research group in the field of RM.

Dr Richard Hague, Head of RMRG at Loughborough University, who will be speaking at the conference, said: “The emergence of RM will bring about massive changes in manufacturing worldwide. The advantages are already being commercially exploited by organisations such as Boeing and Airbus.

“The aim of the conference is to share with industrialists and academics the state of the art in RM so that commercial advantage can be exploited and new avenues explored.”

The conference will be held at Holywell Park, Loughborough University on 5 and 6 July.


For further information contact:

Notes to editors

  1. Rapid manufacturing is a technique for manufacturing solid objects by delivering energy and/or material to specified points in space to produce that solid. Current practice is to control the manufacturing process by computer using a mathematical model created with the aid of a computer. Rapid manufacturing provides a faster and cheaper option than many other manufacturing techniques
  2. Loughborough has an established reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement. Assessments of teaching quality by the Quality Assurance Agency place it in the top flight of UK universities; the National Student Survey ranked Loughborough equal first among full-time students; and industry highlights the University in its top five for graduate recruitment. Around 40% of Loughborough’s income is for research, and 60% for teaching. The University has been awarded five Queen's Anniversary Prizes: for its collaboration with aerospace and automotive companies such as BAE Systems, Ford and Rolls Royce; for its work in developing countries; for pioneering research in optical engineering; for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development; and for its outstanding work in evaluating and helping to develop social policy-related programmes.

    In 2006 Loughborough celebrates the 40th anniversary of its University Charter, awarded on 19 April 1966 in recognition of the excellence achieved by Loughborough College of Advanced Technology and its predecessor Colleges. Loughborough University of Technology was renamed Loughborough University in 1996..

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