The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) Cymru, part of the Innovate UK-funded High Value Manufacturing Catapult (HVMC), has partnered with a world leader in flexible electronics to make reusable packaging systems a reality.
The TRACE (Technology-enabled Reusable Assets for a Circular Economy) project, led by PragmatIC Semiconductor, will use the company’s ultra-low-cost NFC (Near Field Communication Technology), to give reusable containers unique digital identities (UIDs) so packages can be efficiently and effectively returned and reused.
The UIDs will be used throughout the lifecycle of the packages: firstly, by every part of the supply chain to track each item and provide detailed data that will demonstrate the economic and environmental benefits; and secondly by consumers to access their deposits or rewards, thereby building enduring relationships with brands and retailers.
As part of the project, a team of AMRC Cymru engineers, multi-disciplined in design, data, software, control and automation, will develop and demonstrate an innovative automated, sorting-system, which is able to identify and sort packaging from a conveyor, using information read from the packaging UID.
Reusable packaging systems are now a reality thanks to the TRACE project IMAGE: PragmatIC
Engage with… LIVE!
The UKRI Driving the Electric Revolution Challenge is investing in Power Electronics, Machines and Drives (PEMD) to develop the UK manufacturing supply chain capabilities to enable the UK to maximise the value capture from the global push towards electrification and realising of Net Zero by 2050.
The programme recently hosted Engage with…LIVE! where over 250 attendees and 40 exhibitors joined to network and discuss Driving the Electric Revolution PEMD opportunities to boost electrification and the adoption of clean technologies across industries throughout the UK.
Engage with… started at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and was initiated to enable leading companies and organisations involved in PEMD to continue meeting, engaging and networking with the community, and it became an influential success with the series holding 45 events, presenting to a total of 2,500 people who asked more than 500 questions, facilitating more than 125 new introductions and directly initiated several new business opportunities.
Engage with… LIVE! was an interactive physical forum in which leading companies and organisations met to discuss PEMD supply chain requirements, challenges and opportunities and explore future prospects for partnerships, collaborations and projects. All with the aim for UK industry to seize the economic opportunities from the global transition to clean technologies and electrification.
To find out more search “UKRI driving the electric revolution”
Engage with…LIVE! featured 250 attendees and 40 exhibitors joined who discussed opportunities to boost electrification and the adoption of clean technologies across industries throughout the UK
Innovate UK’s NICER programme
April saw the start for £1 million of Innovate UK supported projects to help SMEs address the barriers of moving to a circular economy. The projects cover a wide range of topics across manufacturing and materials sectors, including:
- establishing the point at which repair versus recycle should be done for donated electrical items
- how to build a business model to get end-of-life construction products back to manufacturers
- asset management systems to track the value in supply chain materials
This funding is part of the larger UKRI National Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Research Programme and a second round of SME funding is planned for later this year.
Sign up to the NICER hub newsletter to stay informed (www.ce-hub.org).
MACH 2022 showcase
At MACH 2022 4th – 8th April, we showcased the integrated approach we are taking for Made Smarter, with the innovation programme alongside the adoption and skills programme to enable a transformation in manufacturing through development and deployment of industrial digital technologies.
We were able to showcase the work in five of the research centres we have created, promote the launch of our supply chain innovation hub and created an AI Innovation Zone, showcasing 12 start up and scale ups utilising the power of data analytics, AI, and ML to turbo charge innovation – enabling manufacturers to be more productive and sustainable.
The 12 organisations involved are:
- Intellium AI
- Productive Machines
- Ada Mode
- Tangent Works
Our research centres and innovation hubs are ready to support business who want to accelerate their digital transformation and more information can be found about them at www.madesmarter.uk/made-smarter-innovation/. We look forward to announcing some further investments into smart sustainable manufacturing during the forthcoming manufacturing and engineering expo on 8 and 9 June 2022. For more news sign up to the Made Smarter Innovation newsletter www.madesmarter.uk/made-smarter-innovation/#newsletter_modal_innovation
Other Funding opportunities
Automotive Transformation Fund Scale up Readiness Validation
Organisations can apply for a share of up to £15 million to validate readiness for scale up of net zero technologies and processes.
The Automotive Transformation Fund is delivered by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) and partners, Innovate UK, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Department for International Trade (DIT). It supports the industrialisation at scale of a high-value electrified automotive supply chain in the UK.
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