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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/V062123/1
Title: Made Smarter Innovation - Research Centre for Connected Factories
Principal Investigator: Ratchev, Professor SM
Other Investigators:
Velu, Professor C McFarlane, Professor D Popov, Professor A
Tiwari, Professor A Piano, Dr S Pattinson, Dr SWS
Morgan, Dr B
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr GM Arellano Dr T Bohné
Project Partners:
Airbus Operations Limited BAE Systems Beckhoff Automation Ltd
BMW Bosch Rexroth Corporation Cosworth Technology Ltd
Fanuc Robotics (U K) Ltd GKN Aerospace (Melrose) Loop Technology Limited
MakeUK National Physical Laboratory NPL Nestle UK Ltd
Omron Electronics Ltd PA Consultancy Services Ltd Real-Time Innovations
Siemens Spirit Aerosystems (UK) Starrag
Target3D Ltd The Manufacturing Technology Centre Ltd
Department: Faculty of Engineering
Organisation: University of Nottingham
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 30 September 2021 Ends: 29 March 2025 Value (£): 5,091,837
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Design & Testing Technology Instrumentation Eng. & Dev.
Manufact. Enterprise Ops& Mgmt
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine Manufacturing
Electronics Information Technologies
Transport Systems and Vehicles Technical Consultancy
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
14 Apr 2021 ISCF Manufacturing Made Smarter Research Centres Interview Panel Announced
23 Mar 2021 ISCF Manufacturing Made Smarter Research Centres Sift Panel Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The future prosperity of the UK will increasingly depend on building and maintaining a resilient and sustainable manufacturing sector that can respond to changing supply and demand by adapting, repurposing, relocating and reusing available production capabilities. The pandemic which emerged in 2020 has influenced our perspective of future manufacturing operations and, in particular, has brought into focus the capacity challenges of delivering critical products and maintaining production in the face of major disruptions. It also accelerated the emerging trend for more localised, greener and cost-competitive indigenous manufacturing infrastructure with the ability to produce a wider set of complex products faster, better and cheaper. To meet the long-term structural and post-pandemic challenges, we need transformative new methods of building and utilising future factories by embracing complexity, uncertainty and data intensity in a dynamic and rapidly changing world.

The "Morphing Factory" Made Smarter Centre aims to deliver a platform for next generation resilient connected manufacturing services. It will allow future manufacturing operations to be delivered by ubiquitous production units that can be easily repurposed, relocated and redeployed in response to changing market demand. This vision will be delivered through 3 closely related strands:

(1) An underpinning fundamental research programme to define the principles, methods and models for future morphing factories in terms of architecture, topology, configuration methods, IoT digital awareness, in-process monitoring and AI based autonomous control. (50%).

(2) A dynamic challenge-driven applied research programme to address emerging industrial needs and validate and demonstrate the results through a set of application studies including smart machining, production integrated 3D printing and autonomous assembly integrated into a common hyperconnected morphing factory cloud (45%).

(3) A programme of networking and engagement activities with other ISCF Made Smarter research and innovation centres, industry and the general public to maximise the impact of the research, encourage accelerated technology uptake and increase the public awareness (5%).

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Organisation Website: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk