Queen’s University Belfast opens facility

Posted on 05 Jul 2018 and read 283 times
Queen’s University Belfast opens facilityQueen’s University Belfast (www.qub.ac.uk) has opened a new £7.5 million ’state of the art’ advanced-manufacturing technology facility in support of its aim to make local supply chains more competitive and productive.

Supported by the Department for Business, Innovate UK and the Aerospace Technology Institute, the new facility will have an ‘open door’ to industry partners, which currently include RLC Global Point, Moyola Precision Engineering, JW Kane Precision Engineering Ltd, Travan Precision Engineering and Retec Engineering Solutions.

Based at the Northern Ireland Technology Centre at Queen’s, the new facility is part of the Centre for Intelligent Autonomous Manufacturing Systems (i-AMS), which is leading innovation in new technologies for advanced manufacturing.

Through i-AMS, researchers spanning the disciplines of engineering, computer science, applied mathematics and psychology are working together to help make Industry 4.0 a reality.

Mark Price, pro-vice-chancellor for the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Queen’s, said: “Both i-AMS and the new facility are open for business, and they are already making a difference to the advanced-manufacturing community in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

“This is a great example of industry, government and academia working in partnership to move Northern Ireland forward.”

Seán McLoone, director of i-AMS at Queen’s, said: “Addressing the challenges of Industry 4.0, the centre and facility are spearheading the computerisation of manufacturing.

“This includes the use of advanced data analytics, machine learning, intelligent system and autonomous robotics concepts, digital manufacturing and human-robot interaction.

“Through this exciting initiative, we are able to translate advanced research and new ideas in i-AMS quickly through to application in industry. This streamlined innovation chain is key to boosting competitiveness in Northern Ireland manufacturing.”

Professor Price added: “The advanced manufacturing technology facility at Queen’s will enable local industry to be more competitive through the optimisation and digitisation of manufacturing processes, including automation.

“It also paves the way for more productive, flexible, resilient, responsive and energy-efficient manufacturing systems and associated supply chains.

“This means that we can drive down costs, improve product quality, minimise waste and increase productivity and competitiveness.

“The facility allows us to address the challenges that industry is currently facing and plan ahead to meet future needs. It also provides an opportunity to train up the next generation of experts in manufacturing.

“From a very early stage, our students at Queen’s will have the chance to use ‘state of the art’ industrial machines, which will be beneficial when they begin their careers in industry.”

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