This paper will report on a collaborative research project that includes participants from local manufacturing industries, universities and government. The major outcome sought from the collaboration is the enhancement of training and education in the polymer-manufacturing sector, with specific emphasis on the “injection mould” design and manufacture. The practical outcome sought from the research includes determining design priorities and minimizing associated design errors. Experimental procedures for evaluating alternative design and manufacture philosophies will be completed in parallel with the development of an open reporting system that will lead to a growing body of knowledge for the optimal design of dies. Future die designers will then have an available and evolving system of recording and informing successful die design and manufacture techniques. Improved training methods will be an associated benefit. Specifically, this paper will: 1. Introduce the collaborative research project and describe the proposed programme of activities; 2. Outline the perceived need for this work within Australian polymer manufacturing companies, with particular reference to a significant local trend towards private sector provision of training and learning. This provides an associated opportunity for innovative teaching; and, 3. Detail the outcomes of the first phase of our collaborative program — a substantial survey of engineering and production managers in the polymer industry sector.

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