In his new role Hopkinson will build a world-class team to continue the development of HSS technology as well as other additive manufacturing processes. The team’s focus will be to accelerate the success of Xaar’s OEM partners in the area of additive manufacturing. HSS is a revolutionary technology which uses inkjet printheads and infrared heaters to manufacture products layer by layer from polymer powder materials at much higher speeds than other additive manufacturing processes.
Hopkinson has already achieved significant success leading the Innovate UK funded Factum Project. This three-year project, which will conclude in 2016, was set up to develop supply chain and full-scale production capabilities for novel additive manufacturing technologies for application in major industrial sectors within the UK economy through three key partners; Unilever (FMCG), BAE Systems (Aerospace) and Cobham Technical Services (Space and Communications). Xaar’s role, which is integral to this project, has focussed on optimizing the performance of specialist third-party fluids in combination with its market leading printheads.
“We are proud of the achievements of Hopkinson and his team and we welcome Xaar’s investment to expedite the commercialization of this exciting technology. It’s a fantastic example of how our research translates to industrial application and we look forward to continued engagement with Hopkinson in his new role,” says Mike Hounslow, pro vice-chancellor for engineering at the University of Sheffield. Also commenting on Hopkinson’s new role within Xaar, Paul Howells, vice president of R&D Packaging at Factum project partner Unilever, says, “Xaar’s decision to invest in HSS is testament to the progress achieved by the Factum project. This is a very positive sign for the future of this technology and for additive manufacturing in the UK.”
Packaging South Asia is the cooperating media partner for drupa 2016 which is scheduled to be held from 31 May to 10 June at Dusseldorf, Germany.