Aerospace giants partner Sheffield’s new £43m manufacturing hub

Work is now complete on Factory 2050 – a world-leading research hub into advanced manufacturing, machining and materials for practical use for industry.

The University of Sheffield’s new Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) has over 90 industrial partners including heavyweight aerospace names like Boeing, Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and Airbus. Businesses can work with the facility on one-off projects or join as a member for long-term collaboration.

The 6,730 sq m landmark circular glass building and rectangular extension was formally opened by HRH Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, this week (10 April 2017). The £43 million development was part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

New equipment installed at Factory 2050 included a Kuka Titan heavy-duty 6-axis robot, controlled by a Siemens 840DSL controller and Kuka omniMove Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs).

Core capabilities of the facility include machining, integrated manufacturing, composites, castings, design and prototyping, virtual reality and more.

Executive Dean of the AMRC, Professor Keith Ridgway, said: “Factory 2050 is an important part in the future development of the AMRC which is hugely significant for both the Sheffield City Region and the UK. It will keep us at the forefront of manufacturing technology and is a beacon for the Region – hopefully attracting young people to careers in manufacturing.

“It is an absolute honour to welcome HRH The Duke of York to officially open this exceptional facility.”

During his visit, HRH The Duke of York said: “The AMRC is a very important part of the UK’s industrial landscape. It has developed over the last 15-20 years from a gleam in the eye and is now at the forefront of research in a whole range of areas.

“I would like to congratulate everyone who has done such a lot to build what is a world class establishment doing some fantastic research. I’ve watched the AMRC grow over the years – I’ve even opened one or two of its buildings – so it’s a great pleasure to be officially opening Factory 2050.”

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