Royal opens factory of the future

HRH The Duke of York visited the University of Sheffield this week to officially open the new Factory 2050 facility at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).

Factory of the Future - HRH The Duke of York was given a tour of the facilities at Factory 2050 - image courtesy of the University of Sheffield.
HRH The Duke of York was given a tour of the facilities at Factory 2050 – image courtesy of the University of Sheffield.

Factory 2050 is the first site dedicated to digital assembly and flexible component manufacturing, and is fully reconfigurable. The facility aims to help manufacturers conduct research in to flexible manufacturing processes for high-value and one-off parts for a wide range of customers across a variety of sectors.

Teams based at Factory 2050 are working with manufacturing partners on programmes such as digitally-assisted assembly, manufacturing informatics and robotics & automation. The work taking place aims to help develop methods to meet high demand for mass customisation and high variation products, to better use big data, human-machine collaboration and techniques for digitally-assisted assembly.

Head of the AMRC’s Integrated Manufacturing Group, Ben Morgan, gave The Duke of York a tour of the factory. The Royal saw work taking place on a project that enables robots to accurately machine holes in composite aircraft components, which could save BAE Systems millions of pounds.

The Duke of York also saw how robots are being used for high-accuracy, flexible machining applications, and had the opportunity to experience the latest cutting-edge mixed reality technologies being used to improve assembly, construction and manufacturing processes.

The Duke of York unveiled a plaque commemorating the opening, The Royal Family are long-time supporters of the AMRC. The Duke of York  also opened the AMRC Rolls-Royce Factory of the Future in 2008 and the AMRC Training Centre in 2014.

After the tour, Morgan, commented: “The work taking place at Factory 2050 is at the cutting-edge of manufacturing research and we’re extremely privileged to be able to demonstrate this to The Duke of York on his visit here today.”

During his visit, The Duke of York said: “The AMRC is a very important part of the UK’s industrial landscape. It has developed over the last 15-20 years from a gleam in the eye and is now at the forefront of research in a whole range of areas.

“I would like to congratulate everyone who has done such a lot to build what is a world class establishment doing some fantastic research.  I’ve watched the AMRC grow over the years – I’ve even opened one or two of its buildings – so it’s a great pleasure to be officially opening Factory 2050.”