Collaborative projects being undertaken at the Manufacturing Technology Centre have been shortlisted for the prestigious Collaborate to Innovate awards.
The awards celebrate UK-led engineering projects with genuine innovation at their core. MTC projects have been shortlisted in several categories including Aerospace and Defence, Manufacturing Technology and a wild card entry.
Projects shortlisted include the £15 million DRAMA project (Digital Reconfigurable Additive Manufacturing facilities for Aerospace). DRAMA is a supply chain programme to accelerate the uptake of additive manufacturing in the UK aerospace sector, giving supply chain companies access to facilities and know-how that can support the development or their own products, processes and facilities.
The programme has supported 22 supply chain companies so far and has expanded the footprint of the National Centre for Additive Manufacturing by building a new open access facility with state-of-the-art digital infrastructure developed with project partners. DRAMA was shortlisted in both the Aerospace and Defence and Manufacturing Technology categories of the Collaborate to Innovate Awards.
Also shortlisted in the Manufacturing Technology category, the Concrete Reinforcement of the Future project, undertaken as part of the Construction Innovation Hub, identified opportunities to innovate standard rebar by laser cutting each piece, substantially reducing injury, labour time and costs. This collaborative project, in conjunction with MetLase, shows how even the most traditional process has potential for innovation. Based on current rebar use in the UK, this innovative project has identified potential savings of £1.35bn in labour time and 54,000,000 hours.
Also shortlisted is the National Centre for Additive Manufacturing’s PowderCleanse project which demonstrates the benefits of a newly developed sieving and recycling process for metal powder used in additive manufacturing production, particularly with safety critical, high value components. The PowderCleanse process was created in collaboration with Carpenter Technology Corporation, Farleygreene, Malvern Panalytical and Aegleteq and can be integrated into the AM production process.
The shortlisted Platform Construction System, also part of the Construction Innovation Hub, is developing a standardised kit of parts that can be deployed in multiple building types and sectors, offering significant benefits in quality, cost, delivery time and whole-life value. Shortlisted in the Wild Card category, the Platform Construction System blurs the boundaries between the once distinct manufacturing and construction sectors and is working collaboratively with more than 40 industry partners to develop solutions which can deployed at scale in the construction sector.
Winning projects will be announced in Collaborate to Innovate Week which runs from February 1 to February 5.
The MTC aims to provide a competitive environment to bridge the gap between university-based research and the development of innovative manufacturing solutions, in line with the Government’s manufacturing strategy. The MTC is part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, supported by Innovate UK.
The MTC was founded by the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham and TWI Ltd. The MTC’s industrial members include some of the UK’s major global manufacturers.