Million dollar lorry

Sheffield University’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre has won £500,000 from the EPSRC to take its manufacturing techniques on the road.

Sheffield University’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing has won £500,000 from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to take its advanced manufacturing techniques on the road.

MANTRA, a specially equipped HGV, fitted with the latest manufacturing equipment, will introduce companies to the latest production engineering techniques, developed by the AMRC, that have enabled partner companies to make significant improvements in productivity.

The specially equipped lorry is set to take to the road during the second quarter of 2008.

MANTRA will initially focus on two key areas: advanced machining, including technologies such as tooling optimisation, damping and post machining inspection and advanced assembly, which includes technologies such as GPS, laser alignment, smart tooling, virtual assembly and robotics.

The interrelated demonstrations will show companies how such technologies have been successfully integrated; typically reducing manufacturing times by at least a factor of five.

‘Transferring knowledge quickly from the research base to industry is vital to the competitiveness of UK manufacturing,’ said research director of the AMRC, Prof Keith Ridgway. ‘The EPSRC-funded MANTRA project will enable knowledge developed within the AMRC to reach many more companies.’

The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing is a £45m partnership of Sheffield University and over 40 partner companies that develops technology for materials forming, metal working and castings.