Thursday, October 23, 2014

News: Nuclear AMRC extend Fit 4 Nuclear

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The Nuclear AMRC has joined forces with the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) to help more than 300 small manufacturers prepare to seize the multi-million pound opportunities of the UK's growing nuclear sector.


Based on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, the £25m Nuclear AMRC is a joint initiative between the University of Sheffield, The University of Manchester, and a consortium of industry partners. It provides a focal point for the bulk of the UK civil nuclear manufacturing industry supply chain, ensuring that manufacturers in the UK have the capability and capacity required to compete for nuclear new build in the UK and globally, from skills training to research and development.

MAS has been a huge success since its launch in 2002. It now plays a vital role in helping UK manufacturers to share knowledge, improve productivity and achieve success in an increasing competitive global economy.

Fit 4 Nuclear helps companies measure their current operations against the standards required to supply the UK's new generation of nuclear power stations, and take the necessary steps to enter the UK's rapidly developing £60 billion civil nuclear new build sector and £1.5 billion a year decommissioning programme.

Backed by top tier partners including Areva and EDF Energy, the initiative offers a business improvement journey that will identify strategy, implement new processes, secure necessary accreditations and provide supplier matching opportunities.

Steven Barr, head of MAS, said: "There is great potential for advanced manufacturing SMEs to build business in the civil nuclear sector. Following approval for Hinkley Point, we can expect these opportunities to increase in new build, as well as in decommissioning and existing station maintenance.

"We recognise they need help to understand the nature of the opportunities that are opening up and to prepare for them.

"The first new nuclear plant is likely to come online in the 2020s, but orders for the bulk of plant and services are expected to start developing from next year. Now is the time for small manufacturers to act."

To date, around 150 companies have completed the online Fit for Nuclear assessment, with the majority receiving ongoing support and development from the Nuclear AMRC team. Local companies benefiting from the scheme include Newburgh at Templeborough and Maher, who are set to move on to the AMP.

New funding from the government's Regional Growth Fund, through the civil nuclear Sharing in Growth programme, has opened the initiative to another 300 SMEs. MAS will help the Nuclear AMRC engage the wider manufacturing supply chain, including control and instrumentation, electrical and other sub-contractors.

Martin Ride, an experienced purchasing manager with Rolls-Royce, now working as supply chain consultant at the Nuclear AMRC, said: "At little or no cost to the participating company, F4N can deliver real business value regardless of your current nuclear sector knowledge or experience.

"This is one of the easiest and most straightforward sector-based programmes to access, participate in, and get incredible value from, and which can lead to increased opportunities."

Nuclear AMRC website

Images: Nuclear AMRC

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