AMRC drives innovation in technology and circular economy
At the forefront of innovative recycling technology, the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) is harnessing its simulation capabilities to develop an automated scrap sorting technology to drive a circular economy.
Advanced Alloys partners with AMRC
Advanced Alloys, founded in 1993 is an independent company that buys, sells and processes pure metals and high-temperature alloys for aerospace, oil and gas, power generation and medical industries.
In its report, AMRC states that Advanced Alloys aerospace scap is currently sorted manually, making it difficult to determine the grade and composition of the different materials, and currently rare elements found in aerospace alloys.
“This results in high-value elements being amalgamated in lower value materials, such as stainless variants,” stated AMRC, who has been working with Advanced Alloys as part of the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult network of research centres to improve and automate the process.
As part of a commitment to support small and medium sized businesses (SMBs), the project was paid for using funds from the HMV Catapult.
As part of the project a team of engineers from the AMRC’s Factory 2050 facility collaborated with Advanced Alloys, suggesting technologies that could be used to automate the process such as cameras, robotics, conveyors, inscribing technology and high-speed X-ray fluorescence.
AMRC also provided the company with advice on understanding the cost and benefits associated with the technology.
“The suggestions we had from the AMRC took us to the edge of what is currently possible, and further refinement of image analysis software, in particular, would help us get to where we want to be. Robotics is great at identifying pieces and components of a regular size and shape, but we're often looking at irregular shapes, sharp edges, and an array of different sizes. We're pushing at the limits of technology here. The strength of the AMRC is in adapting developments at the cutting edge of new technology into the workplace, and it is inspirational to see,” commented Stephen Hall, Managing Director of Advanced Alloys.
Four Factory of the Future Market Trends to Keep an Eye on
Global Smart Manufacturing Market
Attributed to the rapid growth in the adoption of automated systems in industrial processes, the is predicted to grow from US$$175bn (2020) to US$303bn by 2026 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.4% between 2019 and 2026.
While COVID-19 has somewhat slowed down the market’s growth, it is expected that by the second to third quarter of 2023 there will be a ‘considerable’ rise in growth for the market.
Key players in the industry: Schneider Electric, General Electric, Siemens, Honeywell International Inc., Rockwell Automation Inc., FANUC Corporation, and Emerson Electric Co.
Industrial Automation Market
Making people’s lives easier, and their work more accurate and effective, the global demand for automated technologies such as robotics - especially in science and technology - is driving its increase in global market value.
Key players in the industry: ABB, Siemens, General Electric, Schneider, Endress+Hauser, Yokogawa, Honeywell, WIKA, Azbil, Fuji Electric, 3D Systems, and HP.
Smart Factory Market
Expected to grow from US$80.1bn (2021) to US$134.9bn by 2026, the - with a CAGR of 11% between 2021 and 2026 - is experiencing growth driven by fiscal policies adopted to keep manufacturing facilities afloat during COVID-19.
Other driving factors include resource optimisation, cost reduction in production operations, increased demand for industrial robotics, rising demand for technologies, and the growing significance of energy efficiency.
Key players in the industry: Emerson Electric Co., General Electric, Rockwell Automation, Inc., Schneider Electric SE, ABB Ltd., Siemens AG, Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Honeywell International Inc., Endress+Hauser AG, and Yokogawa Electric Corp.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Manufacturing Market
“It is undeniable that the manufacturing industry is at the forefront of artificial intelligence implementation,” says . “Manufacturers are using AI-powered analytics to increase performance, product quality, and employee protection, from substantial reductions in unplanned downtime to better crafted goods.”