New DPTC hosts Tech Fellows conference

18 November 2013

The new AMRC Design Prototyping and Testing Centre has hosted the AMRC with Boeing's Tech Fellows conference.

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Tech Fellows is an annual conference for the AMRC's industrial members, held each autumn. It aims to share the results of generic research projects, introduce new members, and encourage networking between partners along the supply chain.

Over 50 delegates from around the world attended the two-day conference over 12-13 November, including representatives from Boeing, Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems, Messier-Bugatti-Dowty, Goodrich, Spirit AeroSystems and Sandvik Coromant.

"It's hugely important that we run conferences like this - being able to showcase the results of what we are doing is vital," says Adrian Allen, commercial director at the AMRC with Boeing. "While much of our work is commercially sensitive and we can't shout about it in the public arena, our goal is and will always be to create jobs and wealth for the UK economy by undertaking the highest level research to create sustainable wealth for all."

The conference was held in the workshop of the AMRC's new Design Prototyping and Testing Centre (DTPC). The DPTC is a major expansion of the original AMRC building, which opened in 2004. With support from the European Regional Development Fund and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, the building has more than doubled in size to create a state-of-the-art home for the AMRC's new Design & Prototyping Group and Advanced Structural Testing Centre.

Construction was completed on schedule in September. The workshop is now being filled with new 3D printing and machining equipment, ahead of an official opening in the new year.

Professor Keith Ridgway, executive dean of the University of Sheffield AMRC, launched Tech Fellows with an update on plans for the further development of AMRC.

The next major development for the AMRC with Boeing will be the construction of AMRC Factory 2050, a state-of-the-art research factory to meet the future needs of aerospace and other high-value manufacturing industries. Factory 2050 will be the UK's first fully reconfigurable assembly and component manufacturing facility for collaborative research, capable of rapidly switching production between different high-value components and one-off parts.

Developments in the wider University of Sheffield AMRC include the launch of the AMRC Training Centre, which welcomed its first cohort of apprentices in October, and the acquisition of Castings Technology International (CTI), allowing the AMRC with Boeing to offer state-of-the-art castings technologies to its industrial partners.

Ridgway also talked about the national strategic need to create resource efficiencies and develop new manufacturing processes across a range of high-value manufacturing sectors, identifying several areas where the AMRC will add value to the UK economy through industry-led research and development.

  • To mark the launch of the new Design Prototyping and Testing Centre and demonstrate our support for local businesses, the AMRC is offering small and medium-sized manufacturers in the Yorkshire & Humber region two days of free business assistance. For more information, contact Craig Roberts: c.roberts@amrc.co.uk

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