University of Johannesburg

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UJ’s Manufacturing Research Centre creating opportunities

Hurco VMX30U 5-axis CNC milling machine commissioned to facilitate research into high performance machining of titanium alloys, and to evaluate the fatigue life of these components.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering Science, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, University of Johannesburg has recently commissioned a Hurco VMX30U 5-axis CNC milling machine to help in its endeavour to be one of the leading tertiary education manufacturing schools in South Africa.

Lecturer Dr Francois Pieterse and Senior Lecturer Dr.Tiaan Oosthuizen pictured in front of the Hurco VMX30U 5-axis CNC milling machine commissioned to facilitate research into high performance machining of titanium alloys, and to evaluate the fatigue life of these components. 

“Manufacturing of products and goods is probably the most important economic activity in the world. Since the industrial revolution in the eighteenth century manufacturing has been considered to be the main engine of economic growth and development. It contributes to the quality of life of individuals, to the growth of wealth in a nation as well as the power and position of a state,” said Dr.Tiaan Oosthuizen, a Senior Lecturer in the department.

“Our Manufacturing Research Centre (MRC) was established at the University of Johannesburg to ensure advanced research outputs, high quality education and to accelerate the transition of basic research concepts performed within the academic environment, into working aspects for the manufacturing industry.”

“The centre is currently conducting research in the following focus areas: Advanced: High performance machining of titanium and other super alloys, Sustainable: The manufacturing processes for Solar-powered vehicles, Socio-economic: Building blocks for socio-economic development.”

“In addition the MRC will offer short courses and workshops to its industry partners. The expertise to be developed will have a positive and strong influence on the national level of education, wealth creation and other development factors,” continued Oosthuizen.

“The development of artisans will contribute significantly to South Africa’s competitiveness on global markets. The need for new innovative technologies and production systems to lessen our energy vulnerability, as well as create opportunities for substantial employment are fundamental elements that uplift our social environment and attract local work creation within the broader South Africa and Southern Africa.”

“South Africa is the second largest producer of titanium-bearing minerals in the world after Australia. Mineral beneficiation is not a new concept with regards to potential economic development and it is believed that the manufacturing sector holds the key for further economic growth in South Africa.”

“Currently the materials research at the University of Johannesburg is focusing on the high performance machining of titanium alloys. The purpose of the research is to systematically characterise the surface integrity of titanium alloys altered by high performance machining and to evaluate the fatigue life of these components.”

“The MRC is a unique solution. Through partnerships with local industry, other University networks and International Institutes we can make a significant contribution to the growth and competitiveness of South Africa. Collaboration is also envisaged with our colleagues in the faculties of Management, FADA, Health Sciences and Science. The Manufacturing Research Centre will also support several building blocks of a socio-economic development framework,” concluded Oosthuizen.

For more information, please contact Dr.Tiaan Oosthuizen on email "toosthuizen@uj.ac.za