NAA Event Review: AMRC North West
April’s networking event was held at NAA Member AMRC North West’s new home, a gateway development on the Samlesbury Aerospace Enterprise Zone, which is part of the wider Lancashire Advanced Manufacturing and Energy Cluster.
The flagship facility has been built using a £20m grant from the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Deal and extends the University of Sheffield AMRC’s footprint across the North.
Participants learnt how AMRC North West is playing a key role in driving recovery, growth, productivity and innovation, supporting Lancashire firms to compete nationally and internationally; with the high-performing technical research and development (R&D) team enhancing the manufacturing base of Lancashire, working with both manufacturing companies and their supply chains.
Delegates were given a guided tour of this cutting-edge research centre, which combines modern office workspace with a flexible high-tech workshop facility and a triple-height atrium that forms the social hub of the office space where staff interact and exchange ideas. A ‘social heart’ space overlooks the workshop where innovation-led R&D is carried out with a focus on digital and additive manufacturing, vehicle electrification and lightweighting, batteries and automation, and low carbon technologies.
The group was also given an overview of AMRC North West’s role as a 5G Factory of the Future, with an open-access industrial testbed that aims to find new and more efficient ways of manufacturing to help lead industry towards a smart, sustainable and resilient future. The programme is focused on transforming manufacturing by unlocking the potential of 5G technologies in the sector to accelerate industrial digitalisation. It is exploring ways to dramatically improve manufacturer performance with potential significant reductions in defects and waste through real time monitoring; enhanced machine utilisation and energy saving through digital twin track and trace; and reductions in travel and maintenance times brought about by shared hybrid reality spaces.
Participants learnt how the 5G Factory of the Future will provide potential for new ways of working that contribute to broader objectives of UK manufacturing to improve efficiency, productivity, safety, and reduce CO2 emissions and other waste using key digital technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT); Mobile Edge Computing (MEC); visual inspection; artificial intelligence (AI); machine learning (ML); virtual reality (VR); augmented reality (AR) and digital twins.
Finally, an invitation was given, whether you are a large company or an SME manufacturer who wants to improve your productivity, or if you just want to know more about how AMRC North West can help you – they want to hear from you.