Scotland’s Advancing Manufacturing Challenge to bring Additive Manufacturing to SMEs

July 30, 2020

A hybrid Additive Manufacturing machine installed at University of Stratchclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (Courtesy University of Stratchclyde)

The University of Strathclyde, Scotland, has announced that it will be involved in six of the Scottish Government’s Advancing Manufacturing Challenge Fund projects. Through the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS), the university will lead on two projects and colleagues across the university will support the development of four others.

Advancing Manufacturing Challenge Fund projects will see £15.8 million invested in the development of free services across Scotland to help small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) develop their manufacturing capabilities and ultimately transform skills, productivity and innovation in Scotland’s manufacturing and engineering community.

The Advancing Manufacturing Challenge Fund is a partnership between the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. Projects are part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Scottish Government and match-funding from each project, with Scottish Enterprise managing the fund.

The two projects to be led by the NMIS team will focus on upskilling the workforces of SME manufacturers across the country, one with a specific focus on Additive Manufacturing. 

The project aims to ‘de-risk’ innovation by providing companies with the knowledge required to make the correct business, technology and investment decisions in AM and ultimately grow the Scottish supply chain around the technology’s development.

With support from organisations around Scotland, the team, led by Stephen Fitzpatrick, lead for machining and Additive Manufacturing at NMIS, is developing nine different business and technology support packages. Using these packages, companies will be guided through their technology adoption in a way that suits their needs and objectives. All but one package can be delivered virtually.

“We aim to give the owners and directors of small manufacturing businesses in Scotland the confidence to invest in new Additive Manufacturing processes and technologies that will ultimately improve their business. This could be through improving the quality of output, increasing productivity, opening up new revenue streams or reducing waste,” stated Fitzpatrick.

A webinar taking place on August 5, 2020, will detail the Additive Manufacturing project.

Register for the webinar 

In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

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