Tue, 27 July, 2021
TWI is working as part of a new £20 million UK-wide initiative that has been launched to tackle the challenges faced by the UK’s manufacturing supply chains in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A £10m award from UK Research and Innovation and the Made Smarter Innovation programme, combined with £10m of investment from the private sector, will help accelerate commercial integration of advanced and emerging digital technologies across manufacturing supply chains in the aerospace and defence, pharmaceutical, fabrication, and logistics sectors over the next four years.
Made Smarter’s Digital Supply Chain Innovation Hub is led by Digital Catapult, the UK authority on advanced digital technology, in collaboration with TWI, the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult, and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL).
TWI and the other programme partners will work with technology providers, research organisations and academics across the UK to develop a globally competitive, resilient and sustainable digitally enabled ecosystem of companies who are uniquely positioned to solve the many challenges faced by today’s manufacturing supply chains. The project aims to help manufacturers integrate advanced digital technologies, leading to improved data sharing and more informed analysis, meaning they are able to spot logjams in supply chains, reduce waste and boost efficiencies.
In partnership with UK manufacturers and universities, the Made Smarter Digital Supply Chain Innovation Hub will deliver a number of flagship projects that will boost existing expertise, create regional centres of excellence and deliver ongoing efforts across the sector to accelerate commercial integration of industrial digital technologies. This includes:
- Last Mile Living Lab: Led by Digital Catapult, to explore and develop delivery resource management infrastructure to tackle the challenging and costly “last mile” of delivery
- Digital Enabled Manufacturing Sourcing: Led by TWI, to connect manufacturing capacity with emerging manufacturing needs, increasing capacity utilisation and boosting production flexibility
- Differentiator: Led by the HVM Catapult and supported by NPL, to develop new supply-chain models to support clinical trials and help get the right medicine to the right patient in the right dose, on demand
- Connected Tempest: Led by the HVM Catapult and supported by NPL, to create a collaborative and ultra-secure digital test bed that maximises innovation across multiple tiers of supply-chain networks in the Tempest defence programme
The programme will also develop a virtual and inclusive hub that coordinates the integration and adoption of industrial digital technologies by establishing a virtual digital supply chain hub, and exemplar projects addressing key challenges within the supply chain through the development, standardisation and sharing of knowledge.
Speaking on the initiative, TWI’s Associate Director and Manager, Joining Technologies and Additive Manufacturing Group, Rob Scudamore, said, “TWI is fully supportive and committed to the Digital Supply Chain Innovation Hub (DSCIH). We have been supporting industry, in the main the welding community, for 75 years and it is essential that new approaches and technologies are adopted to develop competitive advantage in the UK.”
He continued, “The digital technologies and streamlining of supply chains that will be developed in DSCIH will be vital to the evolution of our Members’ products and services, and wider supply chains as a whole. We look forward to contributing to the governance of the hub, the flagship projects, and the development of the open calls that will follow.”