Thursday, March 20, 2014

News: AMRC in demand

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Increasing demand at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing means it has now expanded to operate on two shift patterns.

Based on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, the AMRC is a world class centre for advanced machining and materials research for aerospace and other high-value manufacturing sectors. The multimillion pound partnership between industry and academia has become a model for collaborative research centres worldwide and now boasts 75 partners, including Boeing and Rolls-Royce.

The centre has helped the University of Sheffield to overtake the University of Cambridge for engineering research income and in turn, the University is making significant investment into capital projects which will create new jobs and secure future growth.

Last month, the University announced it had signed a deal to secure 50 acres of land at Sheffield Business Park just over the Parkway from its AMP site – a move which will support the progress of plans to create a critical mass of hi-tech, advanced manufacturing businesses.

The first development will be Factory 2050 (pictured), a circular building which will combine a range of technologies, including advanced robotics, off-line printing from flexible automated systems and 3D printing.

An independent survey of the economic benefits has shown that, during construction, the building will directly contribute £6.4m to the local economy and create 162 jobs – and once operational, it will directly contribute £2m annually and employ 75 people.

The decision to expand comes after increasing demand at the AMRC means it has now expanded to operate on two shift patterns.

Professor Keith Ridgway, executive dean of the AMRC, said: "We are seeing a definite upturn in high value manufacturing in the region.

"This is reflected in our need to run a second shift to meet the industrial demand for our machining research and development and the production of demonstration parts using the novel techniques developed.

"Factory 2050 will put us in an even stronger position in terms of translating the research carried out by the University of Sheffield into practical applications which offer high tech solutions across the manufacturing sector."

The University recently saw staff numbers pass the 7,000 mark. The AMRC employs over 250 people.

AMRC website

Images: AMRC / Bond Bryan

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