Technology Consultancy Center (TCC) was founded in 1987 with the aim of encouraging cooperation in the area of Technical Sciences between Groningen University and businesses. As the knowledge within universities is often difficult to access by business, TCC wants to remove the barriers between the university and business. It enables TCC to operate as a dynamic link between business and the university, between the supply and demand for knowledge, with independence and flexibility as the key concepts. Furthermore, in 1997 TCC was recognised by the Board of Groningen University as a cooperation partner and representative of the university. TCC provides three types of services:

  • Contract research
  • Courses and training and
  • Secondment on a project basis.

Contract research

Together with the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, TCC has completed a wide range of research projects on the instructions of business in the areas of Catalysis, Synthesis, Separation technology, Chemical Technology, Extrusion and Reactor science.

The research projects may range from short so-called trouble-shooting projects (analysis, synthesis of links) to comprehensive projects (4 years).

Courses and Seminars

Every year TCC organises various open and in-company courses and training sessions. TCC also develops new courses on a regular basis with open registration or focused on the specific requirements of an organisation.

  • Polymer extrusion technology: an intensive, practical course about extrusion technology.
  • Piping and mechanical engineering I: a broad-based course for starting piping draughtsmen and constructors.
  • Piping and mechanical engineering II: a practical course for
    experienced engineers with an emphasis on pipe stress, pressurised equipment.
  • Flow and transport in pipes.
  • Piping design 1 and 2.
  • Low-corrosion design.
  • Pressure equipment directive (PED).
  • Select and choose valves

Tutors

Andre Bolhuis, Gerard AB, Bernard van Geuns (Piping Design) Gerard AB (Underground pipes, Pipe stress, PED)
Ahmed Mohamed M.Sc., Harry de Groot (Pipe Stress Analysis, Static Equipment)
Kees Dekker, Geert Peeks (Pressurised Components, PED) Frans Riedstra (Flow and transport phenomena in pipes, Statics/Theory of strength of materials, Rotating Equipment, Low-corrosion designs)
Harrold Schroder (flow and transport phenomena, Rotating Equipment)

Secondment on a project basis

For the various research projects, TCC appoints suitable personnel and they are seconded to the university where the research project is carried out. In some cases the researchers work on the client’s site. It is also possible to second direct personnel, possibly in conjunction with a training project.

Piping engineering courses

An important part of the courses offered by the Technology Consultancy Center is taken up by courses that concern designing piping and the corresponding equipment. Knowledge of this professional area is rarely offered by regular educational institutions and companies are forced to provide internal knowledge transfer. However, most companies lack the time, manpower and organisational ability to structure knowledge transfer properly. In order to fill the gap, TCC has been organising courses in this varied area since 1990, and more specifically they are the courses Piping Design 1 and 2 and Piping and Mechanical Engineering I en II.

The Piping & Mechanical Engineering I course offers a juniordraughtsman/constructor an overview of the disciplines he will have to deal with in his work. This means ample attention to maths, statics, theory of strength of materials, to pipe stress and to rotating and static equipment.

The Piping & Mechanical Engineering II course deals more in-depth with a number of subjects and offers an experienced engineer two parts: Pipe Stress Analysis & Pipe Support and Design/Calculation of Pressurised Components (elements of pressure vats or heat exchangers). After the course the participants are able to design and calculate a pipe system or pressure vat completely independently.

The tutorials are given by tutors who have earned their spurs in engineering firms or in the process industry and they use teaching materials developed in cooperation with TCC. The courses are 23 and 30 teaching evenings respectively, but it is possible to attend just a specific module. The usual teaching locations are Groningen and Leusden, but if there is enough interest, courses are also organised in other regions. It is also possible to produce and teach a course package that is focused specifically on the needs of a company.

Polymer Extrusion Technology

Extrusion technology is an important activity within the field of Technology Consultancy Center (TCC). This processing method is applied frequently in the polymer-processing industry (tubes/pipes), the food industry (macaroni/snacks etc.) and the metal industry (aluminium window frames). The activities of TCC in the area of extrusion concern plastics and food products, and are about knowledge transfer by means of courses, consultancy and applied research.

In an intensive three-day course, the participants obtain insight into the theory, but also into the process-technological practice of extruding, such as the most recent developments and removing faults. The emphasis is on understanding the extrusion process and quickly understanding the phenomena that occur by using definitive calculations and key figures.

It is also possible to produce a course that is fully adjusted to the needs of particular company or operating process.

Consultancy and applied research

Companies that have questions about their own specific production process can expect thorough and supported advice from TCC. These may be questions about the opportunities for process optimisation or determining the process parameters for new raw materials. TCC works together with the Technical Chemistry Department of Groningen University. This type of cooperation also includes complete pilot set-ups to run through every detail of the required extrusion process.