IfM to partner in two major manufacturing research initiatives
The IfM is to be a major partner in two new research centres designed to help boost UK manufacturing.
The Institute is a partner in both the new EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Ultra Precision and the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing for Continuous Manufacturing and Crystallisation.
The announcement forms part of a £51m Government project to create eight high value manufacturing centres, which will see universities collaborate with industry on a range of manufacturing and engineering topics.
Recently it was announced that the IfM would also play a leading role in a new EPSRC Centre carrying out research into Industrial Sustainability.
The IfM’s Centre for International Manufacturing and the Centre for Industrial Photonics are involved in the new national research initiative.
Dr Jag Srai, Head of the IfM’s Centre for International Manufacturing, will be working on the continuous manufacturing and crystallisation project. The work aims to enable researchers to dramatically improve and accelerate the manufacture of medicines, foodstuffs and chemical products.
Dr Srai’s team will be investigating challenges around key manufacturing operations and supply chain issues.
He said: “We’ll be investigating the impact of changing supply chain configuration, based on more continuous processing can have on the efficient manufacture product vital to industries like pharmaceuticals.
“Designing the right supply chain for continuous processing, ensuring effective management controls and systems are in place are key to efficient manufacturing.”
“We will be carrying out research into the best ways of achieving this, looking at best practice in continuous processing and supply chain configuration across a range of industries and sectors.”
Partners in the new EPSRC Centre involve the Universities of Strathclyde, Bath, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Loughborough and Herriott-Watt University. It has also been backed by a number of industrial partners which include multinationals such as GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and AstraZeneca.
This EPSRC Centre will study next generation ultra-precision production systems and products, novel composite technologies and intelligent automation systems with an aim to create ultra high-precision manufacturing tools that can make products with nanoscale precision.
Dr O’Neill said his team were looking forward to tackling the research challenges:
“We’ll be working to develop new ultra-precision tools and processes which can help manufacturers create new and innovative products.
“Our work will enable UK industry to introduce mass production techniques to create the next generation of high-value products in the nano and micro-scales.
“The eventual aim is to create the tools that will allow UK manufacturing to create and seize new commercial opportunities.”
The IfM will partner Cranfield University, The National Physical Laboratory as well as three industrial collaborators in Microsharp Ltd, Hexagon Metrology and Fives – Cinetic.