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UK Innovators Awarded Grants to Drive Energy Efficiency in Manufacturing

by Anna

In a bid to advance energy efficiency, productivity, and growth across manufacturing industries, UK innovators have secured grants of up to £535k through the Made Smarter Innovation Challenge. The challenge, led by UKRI and delivered by Innovate UK, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and Economic and Social Research Council, focuses on late-stage robotics and automation projects.

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Eleven projects spanning areas such as process control, machine vision, and end gripper technology have received funding between £107k and £535k. The initiatives aim to enhance productivity, sustainability, and resilience within factory production areas, with a testing duration of nine to 15 months across sectors like food and drink, electronics, and fast-moving consumer goods.

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The projects require in-factory demonstrations to test real-life operational conditions. The outcomes will contribute to the development of commercial solutions by the technology development partners. The winning projects involve collaborations among SMEs, large manufacturers, technology developers, universities, and research organizations.

Some notable projects include:

Rivelin Robotics – Project CAMPFIRE:
Rivelin Robotics is advancing metal post-processing for additive manufacturing (AM) with 3D vision and force control algorithms. The project aims to automate finishing for flight parts, orthopedic implants, and gas turbine components, impacting industries such as aerospace, medical, and energy.

Brompton Bicycle – Project BROM-BOT:
BROM-BOT aims to optimize bicycle production at Brompton’s Greenford site through the development of industrial-grade robotic and automation solutions. The project involves creating a ‘robot sandpit/playground’ and leveraging robotic learning facilities to enhance productivity, quality, scale, safety, and sustainability.

These initiatives align with the Made Smarter Innovation Challenge’s goal to support collaborations between UK manufacturing sectors, fostering innovative digital solutions for a smarter and more resilient manufacturing landscape.

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