STAMP of ApprovalCastrol Australia is playing an important role in a major Research & Development (R&D) project conducted jointly by the Deakin and Australian National Universities.
Also involved in this landmark exercise is The Ford Motor Company of Australia, IMAG Australia, Strategic Industry Research Foundation and BHP.
The project involves universities and industry pooling and sharing research data and personnel to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.
Named STAMP (Stamping Processes for Automotive Manufacturing Processes), the project employs radical research techniques involving the placement of university researchers within the manufacturing organisation.
The STAMP project, based in Ford's Geelong metal stamping plant, will also serve as a model for similar R&D initiatives in other industries.
"To date, the STAMP project has given Castrol the opportunity to undertake valuable applied research into automotive press lubricant applications generating results that have direct relationships to actual industry requirements" says Ross MacFarlane, Castol+Plus Operations Manager.
Castrol has been designing and manufacturing specialist lubricants in Australia for 75 years. Based in Guildford, Sydney, Castol's own extensive R&D department will be working with STAMP to improve understanding of the performance of lubricants in stamped car components, different feed materials, and die coating systems.
"One of the big benefits of the STAMP approach," says Gary Roe, manager of Ford's stamping operations, "is that we have research students working on the factory floor - not in labs - working on real car panels, not on test pieces.
"The aim is to build up a scientific understanding of the stamping process, to underpin the traditional knowledge gathered over many years by empirical and trial-and-error methods.
"More robust stamping processes will be the key outcome."
The STAMP project currently
involves ten postgraduate students working alongside Ford employees
and has been running for over twelve months. Professor Peter Hodgson
from Deakin and Dr Michael Cardew-Hall from ANU oversee the students'
efforts and liaise with the relevant industry leaders.