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C2I 2021: Manufacturing Technology Shortlist

Runners up in this year's Manufacturing Technology category ranged from efforts to explore innovative applications of additive manufacturing through to techniques aimed at exploiting the benefits of automation. This category is sponsored by the High Value Manufacturing Catapult 

C2I 2021

Category: Manufacturing Technology


Project: Automated Welding Equipment System Inspection Monitoring (AWESIM)

Partners: Cavendish Nuclear with Doosan Babcock, Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, Advanced Nuclear Research Centre, Frazer Nash Consultancy, Peak NDT and Aquila.

The AWESIM project was launched with the aim of reducing nuclear manufacturing costs by optimising welding and inspection processes.

The project has led to the development of an integrated package of machine learning, sensor technology and advanced remote manufacturing processes to deliver welding, weld inspection and potentially weld certification all in near real time.

The work, which is being led by Babcock's civil nuclear business Cavendish Nuclear, along with some of the UK's most renowned engineering and academic institutions, is being drive by urgent industry targets to achieve a 30 per cent cost reduction in nuclear new build along with savings of 20 per cent in nuclear decommissioning projects by the year 2030


C2I 2021

Category: Manufacturing Technology

Project: Mass Customisation in Robotic Assembly

Partners:  CAE Tech with The Manufacturing technology Centre (MTC)

Mass customisation is a key trend in manufacturing that is driven by consumer demand for choice and sustainability factors. Indeed, by enabling “build-to-order” processes we can reduce waste and manufacture in multiple locations to be closer to the consumer.

For this project, CAE Tech joined forces with the MTC to demonstrate that a robotic assembly process could be dynamically programmed to assemble a customisable product.

Engineers at MTC defined a use-case that was realistic based on their experience and would challenge the CAE Tech team. The chosen use-case was that of a set of small pipes and joints that could be assembled in any number of configurations. A set of mounts were 3D-printed in order to place these on the table in the robotic cell.

Once MTC had prepared these aspects, the 3D CAD model was prepared, with the type and positions of the pipe sections parameterised. It only took 2-days on-site at MTC with the robot cell to perform the range of experiments planned.

A prototype solution is now being presented to potential customers and investors.


C2I 2021

Category: Manufacturing Technology


Partners: Laser Additive Solutions with IVY-Tech, Brunel Innovation Centre, TARAZ Metrology and NAMRC

Led by Doncaster-based Laser Additive Solutions this 12-month , government funded R&D project set out explore high-quality additive manufacturing methods for producing small modular reactor components for the civil nuclear sector.

The project - one of a number of initiatives that form part of a £40m funding package to kickstart the development of next-generation nuclear technologies – culminated in a fully operational metal AM demonstrator system which will be used to build example scale SMR components.

Key technical innovations resulting from the project were: a fully developed AI enabled in-process optical monitoring system; a power ultrasonic system capable of delivering and controlling the ultrasonic signals to a transducer; a complex transducer mounting fixture to maintain the correct transducer contact force. All of these were integrating together into a Laser Metal Deposition system to produce components suitable for use in SMRs.

C2I 2021

Category: Manufacturing Technology


Partners: CPI with Applied Materials, AstraZeneca, CME, GSK, National Physical Laboratory, Siemens

The PACE project has the potential to change the way deliver clinical trials, grossly reducing waste and speeding up the process. This could make it cheaper and more flexible to deliver new medicines, with the knock-on effect of more and better treatments for patients.

It generally takes significantly more than 12 months from the start of drug product manufacture and 3-6 months even from the start of the finished product packing/labelling process to the medicine being available for clinical trial patients.

In an effort to address this challenge the PACE team  - world leading experts from industry and academia - developed a prototype system – underpinned by host of automation and digital technologies, that streamlines this process and which could reduce the waste generated by clinical trials by around 50 per cent.


Category Sponsor

High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult

Collaboration is the vital ingredient at the heart of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, it is in our DNA. Day in day out, we bring together innovation hungry businesses with world leading technical experts to help boost company competitiveness and develop the products and processes that capture and secure market share.  We understand that when people collaborate the most intractable problems can be solved and great results emerge. This year’s entrants to the Collaborate to Innovate Awards show the value of collaboration very clearly.  We are proud to support the competition and celebrate every one of them.