Tuesday, November 22, 2016

News: AMRC to be replicated in North Wales

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Having showcased its ground-breaking facilities to the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, earlier this month, the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing, is also playing its part in a new Advanced Manufacturing & Research Institute in Wales.

Based on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) and a partner in the HVM Catapult (the Government's strategic initiative that aims to revitalise the manufacturing industry), the AMRC focuses on advanced machining and materials research for aerospace and other high-value manufacturing sectors. It is a partnership between industry and academia, which has become a model for research centres worldwide.

The AMRC has worked with Deeside Enterprise Zone Advisory Board, Swansea University, and Coleg Cambria to develop the new Institute in conjunction with SMEs and large companies.

The Institute will focus on research into and development of advanced manufacturing techniques and production processes for advanced manufacturing sectors including aerospace, automotive, nuclear and food. It will also address training and skills needs across industry.

Airbus will be the anchor tenant for the new Institute, which will incorporate a state of the art research and development facility at the European aircraft manufacturer's Broughton plant, where it is working with the AMRC to develop new wing production technology as part of the Wing of the Future programme.

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Colin Sirett, CEO of the AMRC and the former head of research at Airbus, said: "The £20m investment by the Welsh Government, combined with the £10m from the project partners, will give an important boost to the competitiveness of the advanced manufacturing supply chain in Wales.

"The new institute's impact will go far beyond aerospace, supporting both the automotive and nuclear industries in Wales.

"It also encompasses sectors which have not traditionally been thought of as part of advanced manufacturing, which can, nevertheless, reap major benefits from the new techniques and technologies we will be developing."

The Institute will operate as a single entity, split between a proposed 4,500 sq m state of the art hub R&D facility in Broughton and a 1000 – 1,500 sq m networking, training, business development and advice facility in close proximity to the Deeside Industrial Park.

The AMRC attracts paid industry members at different tiers, keen to make use of the world-class machines and facilities. The model also enables the centre to secure European and Government funding for a diverse range of cutting edge technologies, from shaped metal deposition in the aerospace industry to the use of bio-composites in the automotive industry.

The AMRC employs around 500 people and has helped the University of Sheffield to overtake the University of Cambridge for engineering research income. The model has been replicated in Denmark, Australia, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany and India.

AMRC website

Images: Airbus


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