WIT and Schivo embark on €1m research collaboration

16 Jan 2014

Medical devices and products for the aerospace industry are just two areas that will benefit from a new €1m collaboration between Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT)’s SEAM research centre and engineering player Schivo Group.

The joint project is called REALISM, which stands for Real-Time In-Situ Monitoring of Tool Wear in Precision Engineering Applications’.

Funded by the European Commission, it will run for two years and will involve researchers and SMEs from Ireland, Norway, Italy, and Poland.

“This latest collaboration between WIT and industry further underlines our commitment to helping stimulate economic growth and enhancing technical expertise in the south-east region,” Waterford Institute of Technology’s vice-president of research Prof Willie Donnelly said.

“The SEAM research centre focuses on industry needs, in particular, and is of significant importance to the development of and investment in the region. This latest project means WIT and Schivo will establish connections with leading international research centres.”

Bringing more REALISM to smart sensors

The engineering challenge REALISM will address is the fact that precision machine tools get worn, but currently this is only detected at the end of the process. At that stage, the product is already damaged and has to be discarded.

REALISM will develop a smart sensor to detect tool wear earlier in the process and so will allow the required adjustments to be made. This will result in fewer damaged products and more control over tool replacement.

The work in the project should allow Schivo to reduce costs, generate new sales and increase its overall capabilities. The company employs 200 people, 160 of which are based in its Waterford premises.

Schivo operates three plants in Ireland and the UK. It has more than 35 years of experience serving industries such as medical devices, aerospace, electronics, IT and telecoms, automotive, and oil and gas.

“Schivo is looking forward to working with SEAM on this project,” said Schivo CEO Seamus Kilgannon.

“This project creates the opportunity to develop a new solution to a problem that needs to be addressed in the precision engineering industry. I’m delighted that Jonathan Downey from Schivo is leading this project with SEAM, in conjunction with a Europe-wide consortium of considerable expertise.”

Research and business collaboration image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years