Factory 2050, based with the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Sheffield, is making it easier for SMEs to access its research and development facilities.

Based at Factory 2050, the AMRC Integrated Manufacturing Group (IMG) is intdoduce research cells permit smaller companies o more quickly conduct research into machine ing and assembly technology.

Factory 2050 would be the AMRC’s latest development, intended for IMG to conduct collaborative research with industrial and academic partners into reconfigurable robotic, digitally assisted assembly and part inspection technologies.

With improvement a reconfigurable factory demonstrator, SMEs may have access to a generic research and development cell, where they could assist IMG engineers on manufacturing projects which is designed to make risk out from trialling technologies and processes before putting them into production.

Operations Manager for IMG, Chris Greaves, said the cell can accommodate projects spanning the trialling of recent robotic assembly methods for mass customisation as well as small batch manufacturing techniques, small component assembly, and take care of machining and polishing operations.

The new cell may be the reaction to a previous project conducted by IMG to manufacture a small, totally reconfigurable factory floor demonstrator.

That project is now being scaled-up for industrial use in a full-scale production cell with multiple tools, grippers and sensors.

The new research cell will probably be working afterwards of autumn in 2017.

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