The partnership with NIACE has evolved as the value of the membership and the collaborative opportunities that exist with other member organisations has become more apparent.
The team at Thales has been prompted to think about opportunities collaboratively that otherwise they would not have been able to develop due to lack of resources, time or budget.
One project which developed with NIACE and a manufacturing company, also a member of NIACE, was to source filament winding locally in Northern Ireland. NIACE approached several companies in order to establish a good fit for the project.
The local company had not worked with Thales previously and worked hard to overcome the numerous problems the project faced along the way. NIACE provided a research assistant who worked full time on the project for 18 months which was invaluable for Thales in taking the project forward as they were working ahead on the project solely. NIACE upskilled Thales engineers teaching them how to use the software and the can do attitude of all involved developed a great solution.
Relationships developed and knowledge imparted and gained through partnering with NIACE and other member organisations has far exceeded anything imagined by the team at Thales since embarking on membership. Thales has been able to build a really strong bond with local companies due to its involvement with NIACE and now has the potential to bring work to local companies which would previously have been procured elsewhere.
Laser Prototypes Europe
Laser Prototypes Europe (LPE) partnered with NIACE in 2013. To investigate production of a polymer blend to reduce material costs, an additive manufacturing selective laser sintering project was undertaken.
Two other participating companies engaged in the project and ultimately the project delivered the capability for improved profitability on selective laser sintering for LPE.
Access to the Ulster University’s testing facilities via NIACE proved invaluable in having the product certified.
LPE now has the ability to make their own polymer blend which was previously procured externally.
They make it happen! McFarland Associates joined NIACE due to its reputation for developing an idea or finding a solution to a problem.
Since becoming a NIACE member almost four years ago, McFarland Associates has established natural partners within the NIACE cluster in order to explore various opportunities with Queen’s University Belfast.