Page 41 - Issue 13
P. 41

Additive chain events
As we went to Press much of the industry news was cen- tred on the impact of coronavirus on supply chains, cash flow, employee health, event cancellations and more. But as this update shows, other things were in the news too...
 Nissan unveiled a new £52m XL press line in its UK manufactur- ing plant, as preparations ramp up for the hotly-anticipated next generation Qashqai. The press, which weighs more than 2,000 tonnes and has taken 18 months to install, is part of a £400m investment by Nissan in readiness for the new Qashqai, which will be the third-genera- tion of the pioneering crossover. The investment in the new press includes a new recycling system to segregate and process scrap, and upgrades to the existing blanking line which will supply flat blanks (the sheets of metal that are ready to be pressed) to the XL press. It is capable of stamping more than 6.1million vehicle panels a year.
A new Driving the Electric Revolution (DER) Industrialisation Centre will be hosted by Strathclyde University. An announcement said there will be £36.7m of investment to design, test and manufacture electric machines in some of the UK’s most-polluting industries. The new Centre will be at the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland in Inchinnan and at the Power Networks Demonstration Centre in Cumbernauld. It also involves Glasgow, Edinburgh and St Andrews universities.
The Materials Processing Institute has been awarded £22m by the Government for a five-year research and innova- tion programme to revolutionise the steel and metals sector. Acknowledged as the UK’s innovation centre for steel and metals, the Teesside-based Institute will focus on increasing productivity and transforming environmental sustainability.
Projects include the develop- ment and commercialisation of technologies in SME supply chains, such as robotics and artificial intelligence, to increase productivity and product capa- bility; and research and innova- tion into low carbon, electric and hydrogen based steel making and new processes to help UK steel transition to a sustainable, green industry.
UK manufacturers are leading in automation for key processes despite lingering caution over the technology's “potential for physical and financial upheaval,"according to research by business advisory firm BDO. More than 90% have adopted automated processes in the past year and view its implementation in key areas as necessary for success. This is against a nation- wide uptake of 87%.
AI investment designed for Machine Intelligence can deliver between 10x and 100x more speed than today's hardware, said BDO.
Despite the much-publicised potential for automated, ‘smart’ and modern robotic technology some 32% of SMEs considered a strategy in the area but “decid- ed it wasn’t right”, according to the annual Manufacturing and Engineering report from accountancy group MHA, pro- duced in association with the ImechE and supported by Lloyds Bank.
The report, based on feedback from more than 1,000 SMEs found that only 29% have a strategy in place. 26% said Industry 4.0 and robotic automation was not practical because of a lack of infrastruc- ture, such as 5G internet, and 13% said there was a lack of financial backing to invest.
Coal power developers risk wasting hundreds of billions of pounds as new renewable sources are now cheaper than new coal plants, a report from Carbon Tracker has stated. It
Photo courtesy EWT
added that in 10 years it will be cheaper to close down coal plants and build wind and solar plants instead. However, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says coal will remain the largest global power source for years.
A new £20m Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) Cymru opened for busi- ness in Broughton earlier this year. It is the first High Value Manufacturing Catapult location in Wales and with its state-of- the-art facilities will enable busi- nesses to access advanced technologies. Situated in the Deeside Enterprise Zone, it will focus on advanced manufactur- ing sectors, including aero- space, automotive, nuclear and food. It will help to drive improvements in productivity, performance and quality.
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