Wednesday, November 2, 2016

News: AMP Technology Centre turns ten

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The AMP Technology Centre in Rotherham is celebrating a decade of success in helping companies to innovate, collaborate, expand and attract investment.

Providing incubation space on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP), the centre has been designed to accommodate a range of manufacturing-related activities, from fledgling engineering and technology companies, to University spin-offs and subsidiaries of established companies.

Over the years it has attracted companies and organisations who saw strategic value in locating in close proximity to other companies and research organisations at the AMP as a mechanism for encouraging and promoting collaboration. Larger UK and overseas owned companies have also been attracted, looking to work with AMP-based partners, prior to fully committing towards a presence on the park.

An array of products and technological developments have being developed here; from ground-breaking liquid cooling systems for IT data centres, and the latest high-end audio hi-fi equipment, to parts for concept cars shown by leading car manufacturers, and winter sports equipment, used by numerous nation's athletes in international competitions and the Winter Olympics.

The Technology Centre was officially opened on November 2 2006 by triple Formula 1 World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart.

Initially developed by Yorkshire Forward, the AMP Technology Centre is now operated by Creative Space Management on behalf of the Homes and Communities Agency. It includes an £8.7m extension, previously know as the Environmental Energy Technology Centre (EETC), which opened in 2009 and the third building that is filling up with expanding firms - a new £4.5m incubator for high tech businesses.

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The centre also includes a Hydrogen Mini Grid which consists of a 225kW wind turbine coupled directly to an electrolyser, 220kg of hydrogen storage, a hydrogen dispensing unit and a 30kW fuel cell system capable of providing backup power generation for nearby buildings. Sheffield-based ITM Power have harnessed the system to create one of only a handful of places in the UK where pioneering hydrogen fuel cell vehicles can be refuelled. It is unique in that the energy stored in the grid is created by wind power, which means that the vehicles it powers will not contribute to carbon dioxide emissions.

Leading engineering design company, PES Performance moved into the centre in 2010 and since arriving have found the Technology Centre and the wider AMP to be the ideal location for their business.

Mike Maddock, managing director at PES Performance (pictured, left), said: "We were initially attracted to the AMP by the wide range of technical and support services we required that were able to complement our expertise, and which were available on the Park and in the surrounding Rotherham / Sheffield area.

"The Technology Centre provided the ideal first step to locating the company on the AMP, both for the benefits of location; expertise etc., but also that the look and feel of the place enhanced our brand aspirations, particularly in the early years of the business."
Increased demand for its 3D scanning, quality inspection and reverse engineering services prompted PES Performance's move into a larger unit within the AMP Technology Centre this year. The new scanning centre facilities enable client products to be more easily scanned, and direct access to the workshop scanning area allows vehicles, aerospace components and large industrial parts to be easily accommodated.

Maddock added: "Over the last year demand from clients for these services has increased significantly. Our clients utilise 3D scanning in a variety of ways; some for reverse engineering and design optimisation; whilst others use scanning to undertake quality assurance and inspection processes, identifying potential manufacturing defects in components and in reviewing critical tooling, jigs and fixtures.

"We wanted to improve our facilities so that clients can choose whether to use our bureau scanning service or for our scanning team to visit their facilities. Initially it took some time to find the perfect facility for our requirements, but we were determined to remain at the AMP. It is the ideal location for a high performance business like ours, working in an innovative and collaborative environment and we have many clients and partners located on the AMP."

AMP Technology Centre website
PES Performance website

Images: Harworth Estates / PES Performance


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