The AMRC (one of the seven Centres of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult) was founded in 2001 and became an anchor tenant on the Advanced Manufacturing Park in 2003. The Centre now has a global reputation and numbers 100-plus industrial partners ranging from global giants like Boeing, Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and Airbus to small companies.
Rab Scott is the AMRC’s Head of Digital. He explains, “We want to be the place where people come to see and interact with the technology, explore the pros and cons and understand where to invest in order to achieve value. The 4th Industrial Revolution (aka Industry 4.0) is being driven by digital technology, so it makes absolute sense to build closer links between local digital companies and the region’s manufacturers. The digital sector needs to know about the needs of manufacturing and manufacturers need to understand the capabilities of digital technologies. The AMRC is the obvious place to bring people together to learn and collaborate and Sheffield Digital is the right partner to help us make that happen.”
The AMRC has 11 core capabilities which include integrated manufacturing, design and prototyping, additive manufacturing and virtual reality. Rab is also on the board of Immerse UK, a recently launched cross-sector network for businesses and research organisations across all parts of the UK economy that are interested in the way that augmented and virtual reality can help drive productivity, social and economic growth.
The AMRC employs around 500 highly qualified researchers and engineers from around the globe and is expanding into a new Advanced Manufacturing Campus on the Sheffield Business Park (on the opposite side of the Parkway). The first new building to open here was Factory 2050, the UK’s first state of the art factory entirely dedicated to conducting collaborative research into reconfigurable digitally assisted assembly, component manufacturing and machining technologies. It is capable of rapidly switching production between different high-value components and one-off parts and is home to the AMRC’s Integrated Manufacturing Group (IMG).
IMG’s work spans robotics and automation, integrated large volume metrology, digitally assisted assembly and manufacturing informatics. Among other things, the Group is developing ways of meeting demand for high variation and mass customisation, intelligent machines and processes that monitor and optimise their operations, techniques to shorten lead times and ramp production up and down rapidly, ways of handling and making sense of big data, human machine collaboration and techniques for digitally assisted assembly.
Over the coming months, Sheffield Digital will be collaborating with the AMRC to create opportunities for digital and manufacturing to meet, share information, identify challenges and collaborate on solutions.
Visit the Factory 2050 website for more information.