World-leaders in magnetic, superconducting, and cryogenic systems.
Christopher Boyle and Hugh Reynolds established Fabrum Solutions in 2004, producing a unique combination of practical and theoretical engineering capabilities, delivering innovative solutions for a range of products.
Beginning with HTS applications perfecting composite cryostat designs, Fabrum’s operations flowed into magnetic systems and electric and superconducting aviation motors, before moving into the commercialisation of cryocooler technology. Over the next three years, this technology was transferred to use in liquid nitrogen, oxygen, air, argon, biogas, and hydrogen systems, and AFCryo was born through their cryocooling technology.
Providing a wide range of capabilities and expertise for several industries, including medical, research, oil and utilities, power systems, and creative, Fabrum and AFCryo design, develop, and manufacture all of their new technology and processes right here in Christchurch. They also manufacture large-volume industrialised cryocoolers and operate the largest waterjet profiling company in New Zealand.
Co-founder and Managing Director Christopher Boyle sees a lot of potential for growth in the Christchurch aerospace industry. Opportunities in plasma drives, fuelling systems, and integrated satellite platforms are just a few of the areas Chris sees as key areas for Canterbury aerospace.
Both Chris and Hugh Reynolds, Technical Director and Co-Founder of AFCryo, are University of Canterbury electrical and mechanical engineering graduates, respectively. “The opportunity to explore the development of superconducting devices for power systems applications led to the setup of Fabrum Solutions in 2004, with Hugh Reynolds,” Chris says.
Since becoming strongly focused on global cryogenic and superconducting, Fabrum has expanded internationally, working with the likes of NASA, Rolls Royce, Siemens, and Bruker ASC. “Since then, we have set up agencies in Africa, India, America and Europe. An initial joint venture with a French company led to the creation of AFCryo, which now leads cryogenic activities, and is also based in Christchurch.”
In early 2020, AFCryo teamed up with the UK’s Clean Power Hydrogen (CPH2) company, signing a landmark agreement to pave the way to produce a world-leading, Green Hydrogen production system from New Zealand by mid 2021.
“This is an exciting step, joining New Zealand technology with UK-developed electrolyser technology. It will provide a solution that will help the New Zealand Government’s vision to harness the hydrogen opportunity for a sustainable and resilient energy future and create a zero-carbon environment,” says Hugh. “It is also important that the employment generated by the New Zealand technology will be based in New Zealand.”
AFCryo and Fabrum are now working on some exciting new projects, including plasma drives for space travel, superconducting aviation motors, hydrogen production units, and next evolution coldhead technology for low-temperature cryocoolers.
Both Chris and Hugh see a huge opportunity for growth in first-stage creation and prototyping for the aerospace sector, especially in engineering design and manufacturing. As for Fabrum, Chris hopes to see them grow as significant players in global hydrogen production activities, LOX systems for aviation, integrated platforms for satellite systems, and high-speed transportation systems.
“Canterbury has such a supportive innovation network, making it an ideal aerospace hub. It has high-tech manufacturers, and a living environment that attracts open minded, motivated people,” says Hugh.