Construction on The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, one of the most advanced factories in the world, has passed another major milestone.
With the whole project penned for completion by the end of 2015, the structural steelwork on the AMRC with Boeing’s revolutionary, £43 million Factory 2050 is now taking shape on Sheffield Business Park.
The landmark Factory 2050 facility will be the first building on a new Advanced Manufacturing Campus, which could see the University build up to a million square feet of new research facilities over the next seven to 10 years.
“We want Factory 2050 to be the most advanced factory in the world and part of our long-term development of high value manufacturing - an area where this region has an international lead,” explained, AMRC Executive Dean, Professor Keith Ridgway CBE. “Factory 2050’ will be the UK’s first totally reconfigurable, digital factory, built to respond to an increasing requirement for advanced manufacturers to be able to make rapid changes to product design, as a result of ever-changing customer demands."
Factory 2050 has been designed so that machines and manufacturing modules can easily be moved around the shop floor. Sophisticated monitoring systems will generate large volumes of information, which will be used to develop technology that allows machine tools and processes to change the way they are working, maximising production rates and minimising tool wear, while maintaining quality.
Factory 2050 will also incorporate advanced ‘green’ energy technology, including a major ground-source heat pump package, which eliminates the need for a boiler or chiller plant.
The research block and workshop are due to be fitted out early in May.
Construction of Factory 2050 is creating more than 160 jobs. Once it is operating, Factory 2050 will employ 50 people, which could grow to more than 75 with more jobs created by companies wanting to locate nearby.
Keith added: “Factory 2050 has also been designed to make young people enthusiastic about following a career in advanced manufacturing. We want to see hundreds of kids noses pressed up against Factory 2050’s glass walls as they marvel at what is going on inside and want to be part of it.”
Project penned for completion by the end of 2015.