Thursday, April 6, 2017

News: Newburgh helping to develop new business model for manufacturing

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Rotherham precision engineering specialists, Newburgh Precision Ltd, is part of a UK-wide consortium looking at how the "servitisation model" can boost UK manufacturing.

With state-of-the-art premises at Templeborough, Newburgh Precision has unrivalled expertise in machining precision components and supplies the oil & gas, power generation, defence, rail and aerospace sectors.

It specialises in manufacturing "cells" that include dedicated groups of resources operated by a team of multi-skilled individuals that are committed to producing a product or products for one customer, making it ideal for an industry role in the research project which is backed by a grant from Innovate UK.

Traditionally, manufacturing has focused on selling product. Now companies are looking at selling product capabilities, guaranteed over a period of time, bringing about the servitisation of manufacturing. And with surveys suggesting that over the next three years more than 65% of UK manufacturers will incorporate a servitisation model into their businesses; the arguments for its exploration are compelling.

The classic example is Rolls-Royce who switched from selling aero engines to instead selling the power that the engines produce. Customers sign up for "power by the hour," paying Rolls-Royce, not just for the engine, but also for years of servicing and aftercare.

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Dr Andrew Longstaff, principal enterprise fellow, Centre for Precision Technologies at the University of Huddersfield, one of the academic partners in the project, said: "By pursuing the servitisation model, business can engage in Agile Manufacturing – buying the right machine tool package for the right machine tool application for the specific project; then switching out for the next scenario. Productivity and quality will be increased."

By flipping the current business model around; the responsibility for machine capability will reside with the servitisation provider and not the end user, leaving the latter to focus on manufacturing the product. Industry will have access to reliable advanced manufacturing equipment without the burden of maintaining it – particularly appealing to SMEs for whom this technology is often beyond their investment levels.

Industry partners Machine Tool Technologies (MTT) and Newburgh Precision have joined forces with the University of Huddersfield, Cranfield University and the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing.

The AMRC model is a partnership between industry and academia, where manufacturers sign up as members to access state of the art equipment on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham. It means that they can try out new ways of working without large capital costs or downtime at their own sites.
Over the next two years, the five partners will work closely together; pursuing a wide range of scenarios – the goal being to provide an innovative business model which servitises the use of CNC machinery and provides the technical and analytical tools to be able to do so.

The project supports the basic manufacturing infrastructure and therefore is applicable to all sectors (e.g. aerospace, automotive, power generation, medical) where precision machining is required.

The team will also investigate how the model can be structured so that it can later be expanded to include other, emerging manufacturing processes such as 3D printing and nano-manufacturing, helping to drive the growth of UK manufacturing in the age of Industry 4.0. A successful outcome means that manufacturers will gain access to advanced machines, better return-on-investment and increased productivity from legacy and future machine fleets.

Newburgh Precision website
AMRC website

Images: Newburgh Precision


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