UK manufacturing industry set to benefit from R&D projects

UK manufacturing is to receive a £6.5m innovation boost through 16 new research and development (R&D) projects to develop new production technologies.

The research funded from the EPSRC and the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) will focus on novel manufacturing processes and techniques, resource efficiency and greater environmental sustainability through the efficient disposal or recycling of assets.

Companies including Airbus Operations, GKN Aerospace and Unilever will lead the projects, which will lead to technologies such as innovative car-painting methods; autonomous intelligent machining; the online control of welding processes using ultrasonic test techniques; and sustainable and resource-efficient titanium cutting.

‘Investment in cutting-edge manufacturing research and the translation of that into commercial applications is the key to economic success,’ said EPSRC chief executive, Prof Dave Delpy.

‘The UK is not alone in placing increased importance on advanced manufacturing. Funding projects such as these will help maintain our competitiveness against international peers such as the US and Germany.’

Iain Gray, chief executive of the TSB, said: ‘Manufacturing capability is often built on and strengthened by such new-found technology and this can be a significant driver of economic growth.’