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Close to the bleeding edge at SM&E Week 2024

21st May 2024
Paige West
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Smart Factory Expo, part of Smart Manufacturing & Engineering Week 2024, will host the Made Smarter Innovation Showcase at this year’s event bringing the latest bleeding edge industrial technology to Birmingham’s NEC on the 5th and 6th June.

Over the past four years, the Made Smarter Innovation Challenge has poured £120 million in funding into more than 60 groundbreaking projects. This investment has spurred an additional £130 million from industry partners, fostering a collaborative ecosystem of innovation.     

A visit to the Made Smarter Innovation Showcase demonstrates how Innovate UK and its partners are revolutionising UK manufacturing and shaping a future that's sustainable, productive, and globally competitive. More than 40 businesses will be on show grouped around the themes of net zero, people, productivity, and resilience.  

Among the innovative solutions on show is Photocentric’s LEAD (Low Energy Autonomous Digital) Factory that significantly reduces both the material consumed and energy used in the production of high-performance polymer products. It's a fully automated, scalable, and flexible additive manufacturing system, delivering additive parts at the speed and cost of injection moulding.   

Another bleeding edge business focused on the aerospace industry, Machine Intelligence, uses AI combined with custom software to deliver a solution for digital X-ray inspection. The tools allow operators to quickly and accurately identify potential defects hidden in and near welds.  

DevTank’s Open Smart monitors have been created to aid businesses with their energy costs and help them reach net zero. Theirs is a range of environmental and energy monitoring devices using IoT technology while SupplyVue is a B2B SaaS solution that uses genetic algorithms and machine learning. It enables businesses to design parameter values for a synchronised supply chain and therefore deliver significant efficiency gains.     

Several of the businesses focus on robotics including the Smart Cobotics Research Centre that aims to deliver solutions for building the next generation of smart, collaborative industrial robotic systems. At their stand they will be showcasing a drone used in inspection and repair, an example of a camera set-up used for human tracking and two robots – one of which demonstrates facial recognition and the other the range of flexibility in tactile grippers.   

Finally, addressing one of the main challenges that manufacturers currently face, many of the solutions focus on the supply chain. These include Reserve Resources an innovative software-as-a-service platform for clothing manufacturers. The platform enables the mapping of volumes of waste by composition, type, and location and then matches them with the best possible recycling solution. CONSUS Fresh Solutions too focuses on supply chain but this time in the food sector where its SecQuAL (Secure Quality Assured Logistics for Digital Food Ecosystems) project will enable UK-based innovators to develop technologies which support the increasing digitalisation and provenance transparency of food supply chains through the benefits of blockchain technologies.   

Commenting on the addition of the Made Smarter Innovation Showcase to Smart Factory Expo Grace Gilling, Managing Director of The Manufacturer said: “The addition of the showcase to the event truly means that visitors can deal with businesses and products at all stages of their evolution. We have the biggest technology brands delivering enterprise level solutions and small businesses evolving from university incubators with products at trial stage. It’s an amazing spectrum and it’s all under one roof during Smart Manufacturing & Engineering Week.”

Launched in 2020, the Made Smarter Innovation Challenge is a key player in the government's Industrial Strategy Fund (ISCF). Its mission is to propel the UK's manufacturing sector into the future by harnessing the power of industrial digital technologies (IDTs).  The goals are Sustainability Leadership; boosting the industry's environmental footprint through increased resource reusability, reduced waste, and lower carbon emissions. Economic Powerhouse; driving a £2.3 billion rise in Gross Value Added (GVA), creating high-skilled jobs, and propelling a 30% productivity increase. Manufacturing Redefined; achieving a 4.5% decrease in carbon emissions and a 25% reduction in manufacturing waste, solidifying the UK's position as a global leader in sustainable, efficient manufacturing.    

The list of organisations joining the showcase includes: Edge Methods Limited, Photocentric Limited, Machine Intelligence, Smart Manufacturing Data Hub, Devtank, Accenture, Intellium, SupplyVue, Deep Meta, Value Chain, Codegate, NBT Group Limited, Consus Fresh Solutions Ltd, Advanced Materials Development, Digital Supply Chain Hub, Kavida, Reserve Resources, Riskoa, Dialog, Technical Simulation Consultants, Matta Labs, Batch Works, HAL Robotics, Smart Cobotics Research Centre, Output Industries, AMIC, Total Control Pro, Flowlens, Digital Medicines Manufacturing Research Centre, Edge Digital, Materials Made Smarter Research Centre, Research Centre for People Led Digitalisation, InterAct, University of Warwick, Research Centre for Connected Factories.     

To register for a free pass to Smart Manufacturing & Engineering Week please visit: www.mandeweek.co.uk     

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