Official launch of world-leading advanced production facility at heart of UK
Part-funded by the Government, it is helping to ‘level up’ British industry
Realises the potential of additive and digital manufacturing processes
Designed from the ground up to harness the power of connectivity and AI
Plays a key role in building STEM skills within the Oxfordshire-Cambridgeshire Arc
Opened by Rt. Hon. Dame Andrea Leadsom DBE MP, Andrew Lewer MBE MP and Greg Smith MP
The Digital Manufacturing Centre (DMC) is heralding a new era of UK manufacturing with the launch of its all-new advanced engineering and production facility at Silverstone Park. Built from the ground up to solve complex engineering challenges, the DMC utilises state-of-the-art additive manufacturing (AM) processes, connectivity and pioneering engineering to enable companies operating at the forefront of their sectors.
Having overcome the challenges of building a world-class facility during the pandemic, the 2000-square metre facility is now fully operational. With an engineering-led philosophy, the DMC is set to play a key role in enabling innovators across the space, aerospace, motorsport, automotive, medical, industrial, oil & gas and marine industries. The facility brings together metal, polymer and silicone AM processes with complementary machining, finishing and inspection for a fully-connected and complete process chain.
Aligning closely with the Government’s Industrial Strategy and embracing Industry 4.0 practices and principles, the DMC will leverage data and connected equipment to deliver a step-change in AM capability, quality and capacity. This data-driven approach will allow DMC engineers to further refine part design and processes by effectively implementing capabilities including predictive analytics and artificial intelligence (AI).
As a leading engineering, technology and manufacturing business within the Oxfordshire-Cambridgeshire Arc, the DMC is helping to develop sought-after STEM skills in frontier applications. Not only is this providing new employment opportunities, but it is also offering valuable support to local education, with the DMC team already working closely with Silverstone UTC and other schools and colleges.
Collaboration has been a vital aspect of the DMC’s creation, with the business working alongside a number of significant industry and technology partners including Renishaw, Spectroplast, DyeMansion, DMG Mori, Enable Manufacturing and the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC). The DMC is also bridging the Midlands with North England via its close collaboration with Produmax, an aerospace specialist. Not only will the two businesses share capability, expertise and growth, but Produmax has established a satellite site at the DMC, further building upon the facility’s capabilities.
Jeremy Ridyard, MD of Produmax commented “Our partnership with the DMC has provided us with a fantastic opportunity to expand beyond our traditional services, products, and customer base. Not only do we have greater geographical access, but we are now embracing the capabilities and benefits of additive manufacturing, offering these exciting processes to our customers while also providing the DMC with our extensive machining and metrology expertise.”
Kieron Salter, CEO of the Digital Manufacturing Centre, commented: “This is a significant moment for us, the realisation of a vision. Undertaking construction and fit-out in the middle of a global pandemic has not been without its challenges, but our team’s efforts speak for themselves. As the UK looks to ‘level up’ and ‘build back better’, the DMC will play a key role in enabling innovators in the UK and abroad, whether they are launching satellites or beating lap records.
“Not only are we bringing together innovative, state-of-the-art systems and equipment from across the industry, but we are also providing STEM jobs and valuable training opportunities. With a focus on connectivity and integrating machine learning and artificial intelligence into our process chain, we are realising Industry 4.0 and providing a step-change within the UK advanced manufacturing supply chain.
“The DMC has been made possible with support from the local growth fund, SEMLEP, and our fantastic collaborators and technical partners. We are already working on some very exciting projects and are thrilled to now open our doors to wider industry to help them address their greatest challenges.”