SUNConferences, RAPDASA 2014

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Hendrik Lodewyk Van der Merwe, D.J. de Beer, A. El Mohamadi

Last modified: 2014-11-02


The Advanced Manufacturing Precinct’s (AMP’s) scope at VUT is driven by Innovation, Engineering, Technology Development and Commercialisation. As managed within the VUT, it spans the complete value chain starting with market research, concept formulation, product development, design and optimisation, and ending with manufacturing, testing and commercialisation. Everything starts and is governed by the simple philosophy  of a  high-level design input, followed by a fast-tracked product development approach, by means of Direct Digital Manufacturing methods (also known as Rapid Prototyping, 3D Printing or Additive Manufacturing), with unique product development technology platforms available – some developed by the VUT team.

Current AMP strategies are focused on Innovation, IP Protection, Technology Transfer, Commercialisation, Incubation and Enterprise Development. A good Quality Management System (QMS) is required to be able to clearly communicate the services of the Precinct as a whole that are accurate, economic and cost effective and conforms to the needs of all the different groups of customers. Implementation of a QMS takes time and resources and needs commitment from all staff members involved. It was decided to model a developmental integrated QMS to ensure buy-in and to address current and future needs of the Precinct. The QMS incorporates the ISO 9001:2008 requirements for commercial customers to be able to show predictable outcomes of processes that will feed into industrial product production lines. However the system also takes into account other conditions from public funders and Academia. Although this process is still underway two major lessons learnt has already been identified that are being addressed.

This paper will concentrate on the process followed to date and how the two problems: (1) What should become a collection of business processes for AMP? (2) Identifying the Customers of the AMP, are being addressed.

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