Upgraded membership will see the firm play a stronger strategic role at the AFRC, joining other tier one partners such as DMG Mori and Virtalis.

Commenting upon its developing relationship with the centre, Open Mind Technologies’ sales manager Matt Coulson says: “We originally provided the AFRC with hyperMILL for R&D projects. After successful implementation, we’ve now installed additional licences to cater for AFRC growth and special project requirements.”

Part of this growth was recently announced with the AFRC securing £16.5 million to establish FutureForge, an advanced engineering facility that aims to transform one of the manufacturing sector’s most traditional and important supply chains.

Meanwhile, enhancing the centre‘s additive manufacturing and machining capabilities, Open Mind‘s software is increasingly used across AFRC development projects. Deployed to increase the productivity of processes where specialised 5-axis machining is required, the AFRC also plans to introduce the software’s additive manufacturing module into its newly acquired laser metal deposition (LMD Hybrid) machine.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, machining and additive manufacturing team lead at the AFRC, says: “Both machining and additive manufacturing are growth areas within the centre. This means that we can help more companies in new ways to overcome manufacturing challenges and compete better. We’re delighted to be working more closely with Open Mind as we focus on building complex features and geometries on our LMD Hybrid machine, subsequently developing new methods of manufacturing. Open Mind applying its additive manufacturing module to one of the first facilities in the UK demonstrates the level of innovation we’re seeing.”