On-site metals advice boosts sub contract facility

A metallurgy consultancy service, which aims to help firms save costs with advice on smarter manufacturing solutions, is now available at KUKA’s UK sub contract friction welding facility.

Professor Kameel Sawalha has moved his independent laboratory business, Aston Microscopy & Engineering, to the site at Halesowen where the advanced welding systems supplier joins components for manufacturers involved in a wide variety of industries.

He is a fellow and chartered engineer and holds a BSc degree in mechanical and production engineering (Napier University), MSc in manufacturing system engineering (Warwick) and a PhD in materials engineering (Aston). His expertise not only covers metallurgical and corrosion investigation, but also failure analysis and materials selection advice. He has published numerous scientific papers and has been a visiting professor of material at a number of academic institutions.

The addition of the metallurgy consultancy means KUKA can offer a full suite of laboratory amenities such as EDX analysis for assessing weld integrity and failure as well as associated services including heat treatment and prototype manufacture and development. Among its state-of-the-art equipment is an electron microscope for high-resolution imaging purposes. The facility comprises seven Thompson brand friction welding machines for joining a vast array of components not only in various diameters and lengths, but also in a selection of dissimilar materials such as copper to aluminium.

“Professor Sawalha’s consultancy enhances our capabilities to offer a comprehensive resource for manufacturers on all aspects of friction welding metallurgy and weldability,” explained Jayne Shimwell, KUKA’s technical services manager.

According to KUKA, more component makers in industries including aerospace, automotive, construction machine and mineral exploration are choosing friction welding as it’s a cost-effective, accurate and 100% repeatable technology. “We have plenty of experience of helping customers combat rising raw material costs with smarter, more efficient manufacturing solutions such as developing new weld parameters that use less material,” said Jayne.