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Interconnected technology & the future of manufacturing

07 March 2018

The UK’s premier manufacturing technologies exhibition, MACH 2018, is set to return to the NEC in Birmingham, England, from 9th to 13th April 2018 with a new a look and new location. The biennial exhibition has over 100 years of heritage and a reputation for being at the forefront of the latest advances in engineering

MACH 2018 will take place on the atrium side of the NEC, in Halls 17, 18, 19, 20, 6 and 7. This is the first move of the show since relocating to the NEC when it opened in 1976 and reflects the changing technologies the show covers. The new halls mean the show will take place in a single uninterrupted space on one level, making the show easier to navigate for visitors and providing a unique opportunity to showcase the full range of manufacturing technologies in the UK under one roof.

A particular note at the event will be a special feature put together by the Manufacturing Technologies Association and the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) to demonstrate cost effective adaption of Industry 4.0 technologies. The AMRC’s Factory 2050 is the UK’s first state of the art factory entirely dedicated to conducting collaborative research into digital assembly and flexible component manufacturing. 

Figures from the Government's recent Made Smarter Review found that the positive impact on UK manufacturing of faster innovation and adoption of Industrial Digitalisation Technologies could be as much as £455bn over the next decade.

James Selka, CEO of the MTA, said of the project: “The Integrated Manufacturing Group at Factory 2050 and we at the MTA understand that it is vital to cut through some of the jargon and hyperbole surrounding Industry 4.0 and show first-hand the practical advantages Big Data can bring to an SME business.”

it is vital to cut through some of the jargon and hyperbole surrounding Industry 4.0

He continued: “In light of the publication of the Government’s Industrial Digitalisation Review – ‘Made Smarter’ we must demonstrate to British industry the benefits this technology can bring to their businesses. It is our job to bridge the gap between industry and academia and MACH 2018 is exactly the platform to do this.”  

The idea behind the project stems from the perceived implications in terms of cost and complexity faced by SME’s when wanting to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies – a big barrier identified in Made Smarter. By providing a variety of solutions on how current capital equipment can be adapted to meet the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution the exhibit will demonstrate how Big Data can help companies streamline their production and improve cycle times - without making huge investments.

Interconnected technology

The overriding theme running through MACH 2018 is interconnected technology and the future of manufacturing. MACH showcases live working machinery, and staying true to this tradition, the combined feature will demonstrate up to six separate manufacturing cells. These cells will replicate familiar manufacturing environments that have been integrated with Industry 4.0 Technologies.

James Fudge, Head of Events at the MTA, said: “This is an exciting project we have undertaken with the AMRC’s Integrated Manufacturing Group at Factory 2050. MACH has always been the place to go to find the latest technologies and this joint venture should prove fascinating for visitors and exhibitors alike.”

He continued: “We understand the cost constraints that face SME businesses; it is important to let companies know that Industry 4.0 technology is accessible to them. You can take an outdated machine and retrofit sensors to it allowing you to get real-time data and to detect through-put fault. It will be really useful to businesses to be shown some of the things you can do to the installed base that can make a difference.”

The AMRC’s Head of Digital, Dr Rab Scott, said: “The MTA’s MACH exhibition gives the AMRC a great opportunity to demonstrate that the adoption of digital technologies can be achieved at low cost and that the impact on businesses can be transformational.

“This project is a prime example of the work that the AMRC does nationally with manufacturing SMEs. On the stand, we will also be demonstrating what the future of assembly and manufacturing could look like, showing what the value of these technologies could be.”

Key Points

  • MACH 2018 will take place at the NEC, Birmingham, in Halls 17, 18, 19, 20, 6 and 7 from 9th to 13th April 2018
  • The overriding theme running through MACH 2018 is interconnected technology and the future of manufacturing
  • Special feature from the MTA and the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) to demonstrate cost effective adaption of I4.0 technologies

 
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