Monday, January 23, 2012

News: AMRC planning next centre of excellence

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A new UK centre of excellence for industrial design, prototyping and structural testing is being planned for Rotherham.

The University of Sheffield's Advanced Manufacturing Institute (AMI) is looking to extend the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing to provide space for designers to explore and research new manufacturing applications under the same ethos as the AMRC.

A 2,700 sq m extension to the existing building would bring together design and prototyping with structural testing, key areas in the research of high-value manufacturing sectors such as aerospace, energy, motorsport and medical technology.

The AMI was created in response to the continued success and growth of the AMRC and includes the AMRC with Boeing, the Nuclear AMRC and the new Knowledge Transfer Centre, all on the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham.

Plans have now been submitted for the Design Prototyping and Testing Centre (DPTC) on the Advanced Manufacturing Park, and the AMI is currently working to secure funding for the development.

Design by Bond Bryan, the proposed centre will include 1,300 sq m of research offices and a 900 sq workshop area. It will also have a generous entrance with a foyer and forecourt.

The extended building will employ around 40 exceptional design engineers plus support staff. Existing testing equipment in the building will be complemented by new rapid prototyping and stuctural testing facilities.

By bringing together a design, R&D and testing, the AMRC hopes that it will result in clusters of companies setting up close to centres of excellence, attracting inward investors into the area.

Prof Keith Ridgway CBE, Executive Dean of the AMI, said: "It's early days for this project, but we hope it will be the next stage in the development of the Advanced Manufacturing Institute.

"Design, prototyping and testing are essential parts of the manufacturing cycle, and complement our established world-leading expertise in machining, forming and assembly.

"The proposed new centre will focus on the design, manufacture and test of the high value components used in the aerospace, nuclear and offshore renewable energy sectors. The aim will be to assist UK companies to be competitive and enter these high value supply chains."

In October, the University of Sheffield was awarded £9.2m by the government for a £20.5m training centre for advanced manufacturing. Based in a new 5,000 sq m building, to be situated close to the AMRC and the Nuclear AMRC on the Advanced Manufacturing Park, the centre will provide training for companies along the supply chain in high-value manufacturing sectors.

AMRC website

Images: AMRC / Bond Bryan

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