The Digital Manufacturing Centre (DMC) is at the beginning a new year of UK manufacturing with the launch of its all-new advanced engineering and production facility at Silverstone Park.
To help solve complex engineering challenges, the facility was built from the ground up, with the DMC utilising its state-of-the-art additive manufacturing (AM) processes, connectivity and pioneering engineering to enable companies operating at the forefront of their sectors.
By overcoming the challenges of building a world-class facility during a global pandemic, the 2000m2 facility is now fully operational. With an engineering-led philosophy, the DMC will work in partnership with customers to understand their specific requirements, designing for application as well as manufacture.
Many sectors are navigating significant shifts in technology, product development, increased competition and rising demand for advanced, low-carbon solutions. The DMC will play a key role in helping to enable innovators across the space, aerospace, motorsport, automotive, medical, industrial, oil & gas, and marine industries.
Kieron Salter, CEO of the Digital Manufacturing Centre, said: “This is a significant moment for us: the realisation of a vision. Undertaking construction and fit-out in the middle of a global pandemic has not been without its challenges, but thanks to the support of our partners and SEMLEP, the DMC team’s efforts speak for themselves. While we have been operating at a limited capacity on a select few customer projects, we are now opening the doors and offering these unprecedented capabilities to wider industry.
“When we first looked around at the existing AM market, there was a clear lack of engineering collaboration, focus and support. Parts were being made, but suppliers had little practical engineering input or capability. We set out to bridge that gap by focusing on engineering for application and the production of end-use ready parts. Now, we offer a truly end-to-end solution that will enable innovators in the UK and abroad to really push the boundary, whether that be launching satellites or beating lap records.”
The extensive in-house engineering capabilities at the DMC are focused on solving customer challenges with clever design that maximises the advantages of the advanced processes at their disposal. As and end-to-end solutions provider, the facility brings together metal, polymer and silicone AM processes with complementary matching, finishing and inspection services for a fully connected process chain.
Mr Salter added: “Not only are we bringing together the most innovative processes and equipment from across the industry, but we are doing so with a focus on connectivity and the end goal of integrating machine learning and artificial intelligence into our process chain, realising Industry 4.0 and aligning with the Government’s Industrial Strategy. This will provide a step-change in efficiency and part quality, distinguishing us from other suppliers and helping to ‘level up’ UK manufacturing and the national supply chain.”
The DMC will leverage actionable data from across the facility and its machines to deliver a step-change in AM capability and capacity. Embracing Industry 4.0 practices and principles, in line with the Industrial Strategy, the DMC’s data-driven approach will allow its engineers to further refine part design and processes by effectively implementing capabilities including predictive analytics and artificial intelligence (AI).
Collaboration has been a vital aspect of the DMC’s creation, with the business working alongside a number of significant industry and technology partners including Renishaw, Beckhoff, Spectroplast, DyeMansion, DMG Mori, Enable Manufacturing and the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC).
Andrea Leadsom MP commented: “It was wonderful to be involved in the launch of the Digital Manufacturing Centre. This facility is a shining example of British innovation and ingenuity, providing future-ready manufacturing capability and jobs to the UK.
“Investment in leading technologies and processes is at the heart of ‘levelling up’ the country and the Industrial Strategy. Not only does it add to domestic capability, but businesses like this are also an inspiration and valuable educational tool for young professionals and STEM students – a fantastic way to prepare for, and embrace, the future of skilled employment.”
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