MTA and AMRC's Factory 2050 forge Industry 4.0 feature at MACH

Posted By : Anna Flockett
MTA and AMRC's Factory 2050 forge Industry 4.0 feature at MACH

With next year’s MACH just around the corner and with Industry 4.0 and digitalisation being the centre of hot conversation topics, it’s not a surprise that the industry has seen a 3% growth since last year. Electronic Specifier’s Anna Flockett recently went to visit the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre’s (AMRC) Factory 2050, as it has partnered up with the MTA who together will be demonstrating a cost-effective adaptation of Industry 4.0 Technologies at MACH 2018.

Factory 2050, the new building for the AMRC is the UK’s first factory entirely dedicated to conducting collaborative research into digital assembly and flexible component manufacturing.

The AMRC believe that MACH is the only place to discover new technologies that shape the world.

The MTA and AMRC are staging a joint showcase of cost effective solutions for the adaption and integration of Industry 4.0 technologies into SME manufacturing businesses.

Recent figures found that the positive impact on UK manufacturing of faster innovation and adoption of Industrial Digitalisation Technologies could be as much as £455bn over the next decade.

James Selka, CEO of the MTA, said of the project: “The Integrated Manufacturing Group at Factory 2050 and we at the MTA understand that it is vital to cut through some of the jargon and hyperbole around Industry 4.0 and show first-hand the practical advantages Big Data can bring to an SME business.”

He continued: “In the light of the publication of the Government’s Industrial Digitalisation Review – ‘Made Smarter’ we must demonstrate to British industry the benefits this technology can bring to their businesses. It is our job to bridge the gap between industry and academia and MACH 2018 is exactly the platform to do this.” 

The idea behind the project stems from the perceived implications in terms of cost and complexity faced by SME’s when wanting to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies – a big barrier identified in Made Smarter. By providing a variety of solutions on how current capital equipment can be adapted to meet the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution the exhibit will demonstrate how Big Data can help companies streamline their production and improve cycle times - without making huge investments.

The overriding theme running through MACH 2018 is interconnected technology and the future of manufacturing. MACH showcases live working machinery and staying true to this tradition the combined feature will demonstrate up to six separate manufacturing cells. These cells will replicate familiar manufacturing environments that have been integrated with Industry 4.0 Technologies.

James Fudge, Head of Events at the MTA, said: “This is an exciting project we have undertaken with the AMRC’s Integrated Manufacturing Group at Factory 2050. MACH has always been the place to go to find the latest technologies and this joint venture should prove fascinating for visitors and exhibitors alike.”

He continued: “We understand the cost constraints that face SME businesses; it is important to let companies know that Industry 4.0 technology is accessible to them. You can take an outdated machine and retrofit sensors to it allowing you to get real-time data and to detect through-put fault. It will be really useful to businesses to be shown some of the things you can do to the installed base that can make a difference.”

The AMRC’s Head of Digital, Dr Rab Scott, said: “The MTA’s MACH exhibition gives the AMRC a great opportunity to demonstrate that the adoption of digital technologies can be achieved at low cost and that the impact on businesses can be transformational.

“This project is a prime example of the work that the AMRC does nationally with manufacturing SMEs. On the stand, we will also be demonstrating what the future of assembly and manufacturing could look like, showing what the value of these technologies could be.”

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