Assembly research centre launched

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Sheffield University’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre has launched the Centre of Excellence in Customised Assembly

Sheffield University’s

Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre

(AMRC) has launched the Centre of Excellence in Customised Assembly (CECA) at the Rolls-Royce Factory of the Future.

Opened by Perry McCarthy, the original `Stig´ from BBC´s Top Gear, CECA, the first of its kind in the UK, will be dedicated to improving complex assembly processes for manufacturing.

CECA, a collaboration between Sheffield, Loughborough and Nottingham Universities, will provide cost-effective assembly solutions for aerospace, defence, pharmaceutical/medical, device and niche automotive supply chains. The initiative is backed by a number of industrial partners including Rolls-Royce, Boeing, the Ford Motor Company and Messier-Dowty.

During the launch, academic experts in assembly highlighted the fundamental challenges and opportunities facing UK manufacturers and explored how collaborations between industry and academia can develop solutions to increase industrial competitiveness. The launch included demonstrations of cutting-edge assembly equipment, allowing attendees to see how they might benefit from CECA´s expertise.

Prof Keith Ridgway, CECA academic director and director of the AMRC, said: ‘CECA is a pioneering collaboration between industry and academia that´s delivering the latest assembly technologies to manufacturers. It’s a ground-breaking example of an industrial-quality research and development facility assisting and enhancing the capabilities of British manufacturing.’

Stephen Burgess, manufacturing process and technology director at Rolls-Royce, said: ‘CECA is the type of innovative, demand-led initiative that we want to see coming out of our universities. It is planned that the centre will provide mature technology that should have a real impact in UK factories and will offer a unique, open-door resource for industry.’