The SheMet'13 venue is the Ramada Plaza Hotel, Belfast
The multiple facets of modern sheet metal manufacturing techniques are applied throughout a wide spectrum of economy, ranging from the automotive industry and machine manufacturing to electrical engineering and electronics. This wide range of applications means that sheet metal manufacturers produce parts from a few grams up to 1,000 kg and more, from electrotechnical parts up to components in automotive industry, as well as batch sizes ranging from just at a few pieces to mass production. Worldwide, around 12,300 companies employing 600,000 workers produce sheet metal goods worth over 732 billion US dollars (all numbers reflect the situation in 1999). These are impressive numbers for sheet metal manufacturing, to which forming processes are central, but also for cutting and joining technologies with their increasing importance. All of these processes have developed dynamically in the recent past, and this trend will no doubt continue. The automotive industry is the main impetus worldwide for new developments as is seen in its efforts to optimise lightweight constructions. Basic research at universities has been instrumental in promoting new developments through a better understanding of materials and processes. As the beginning of a new millennium, a new achievement profile for the sheet metal industry is emerging which will foster a fast and economical product development process.
One such interdisciplinary arena is promoting the close cooperation betwen material scientists, technologists, manufacturing engineers and computer scientists in academia and industry. This cooperation is supported by the SheMet conference Series, which was founded in Birmingham, England, in 1993, and since has been hosted in rotation by the University of Central England in Birmingham, University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Northern Ireland, the University of Twente in the Netherlands, the Chair of Manufacturing Technology of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany, the Katholieke Universeit Leuven, Belgium and the University of Palermo, Italy.
The aim of the conference is to provide a forum for researchers from university and industry representatives to exchange and discuss new developments in sheet metal processing.
The conference will be of interest both to established practicing engineers and researchers together with those that are much earlier in their careers, wishing to participate perhaps for the first time, in a fully international setting.