Three Midlands universities have formed a new virtual centre for data-driven metrology to assist UK manufacturers in achieving efficiency gains, cost savings and process flexibility. The University of Nottingham, Loughborough University and Coventry University have been awarded £2.9 million in Research England Development (RED) funding to run the Midlands Centre for Data-Driven Metrology (MCDDM).
The project will also aim to deliver benefits in terms of more reliable products, lower environmental impact from manufacturing processes, and better employment opportunities for skilled workers.
“Digital manufacturing uses a vast amount of data and trustworthy data is critical to all stages, from design to production, and even the way that products are used. Good data enables ‘right-first-time’ manufacture, reduces scrap costs and energy consumption. Credible data also leads to more agile processes that make consistently higher quality products, improve productivity and facilitate effective business decisions. Metrology is a powerful tool for acquiring confidence in that data,” said Professor Richard Leach, director of MCDDM at the University of Nottingham.
The project will develop new technologies and practices to enable the integration of metrology into the advanced manufacturing processes, and workforce training, of participating companies – from SMEs to major corporations.
This includes manufacturing scale-up activities, new products and production development, pilot manufacturing and quality improvement initiatives.