School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Research

workshop equipment

Successful completion of the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Intelligent Automation

The EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Intelligent Automation, which was formed in 2011 and concluded in 2017, was a partnership between Loughborough University, Cranfield University, Rolls-Royce, Airbus, Aero Engine Controls, and the Manufacturing Technology Centre.

The EPSRC Centre’s vision was to:

  • fully understand human skill in advanced manufacturing and use this information to provide human-automation and intelligent automation solutions
  • produce exemplars of research solutions to proof of concept demonstrator stage
  • broaden the take up of automation throughout UK industry, especially within SMEs
  • maintain high levels of quality whilst increasing production volume at reduced costs
  • take a national role, connecting expertise with need in this growing specialist area
  • inspire young people to consider future careers in highly skilled manufacturing roles
  • promote the further development of intelligent automation for UK industry

The EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Intelligent Automation was part of a unique pipeline from discovery through to industrial deployment.  Work initiated within an academic environment was developed through an established innovation pathway (the Manufacturing Technology Centre and Cranfeld Partners) to reach major industrial companies with the funding and commitment to exploit the results. This continuous pipeline was central to the success and value of the Centre and unique within the UK.

The Centre was provided with 400 square metres of dedicated lab space at Loughborough University, along with access to state of the art research facilities at Cranfield University.  Academics and researchers worked collaboratively across the two sites and also with industrial partners, sharing their complementary expertise to develop truly multidisciplinary research.  Resources included several large industrial robot arms, machine vision and motion sensing equipment.

We would like to thank all contributors for the success of the Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Intelligent Automation, from which the Intelligent Automation Centre has been formed.