Digital Process Manufacturing Center | University of Strathclyde


Robotic machines in AFRC

The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) group, run by the University of Strathclyde, has announced that it will open a new technology center in Ayrshire in partnership with North Ayrshire Council and deep technology innovation organisation, CPI , to help the country’s processing industries. embrace emerging technologies and accelerate a net zero future.

Targeting process industries including the £9bn Oil & Gas, £15bn Food & Drink and thriving Pharmaceutical & Chemical Sciences industries, the new Digital Process Manufacturing Center (DMPC) located at i3 in North Ayrshire will provide training opportunities, state-of-the-art digital technology demonstrators and access to expert research and development (R&D) support.

The news follows last year’s announcement that the University of Strathclyde was set to work in partnership with North Ayrshire Council and CPI, pledging to make the manufacturing industries sustainable by supporting digitalization and data-driven manufacturing.

Successful delivery

Following the successful delivery of a series of specialist courses through the NMIS Manufacturing Skills Academy, the partners are now stepping up their support through the new center, which will be housed in an existing manufacturing plant after undergoing a refurbishment of a half a million pounds. The center is expected to open later this year.

Comprising space for industry engagement and a digital demonstration lab, DPMC will provide hands-on experience with Industry 4.0 technologies in the pharmaceutical, oil and gas, food and beverage, fast-moving chemicals, water and commercial goods, initially supported by a team of six NMIS engineers and researchers.

This will be the first time the Scottish Government-backed NMIS Group has opened a center outside of Scotland’s Renfrewshire Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMIDS) where it operates from the Forming Research Center (AFRC) and Light Manufacturing Center (LMC) at the University of Strathclyde. and will soon open its new headquarters.

NMIS conducts groundbreaking manufacturing research to transform productivity levels and build workforce skills, working with companies of all sizes, from growing local businesses to manufacturing giants, including Boeing.

CPI collaborates with partners in industry, academia, government and the investment community to accelerate the development and commercialization of innovative products in the areas of health and sustainability.

critical moment

This is the first time that the NMIS and CPI High Value Manufacturing (HVM) catapult centers have joined forces to open a centre, the DPMC will provide unrivaled cross-industry and academic expertise to companies across Scotland and beyond. beyond at a critical time for manufacturers looking to become more sustainable and mitigate historically high energy costs.

The DPMC will be funded by Ayrshire Growth Deal, Scottish Enterprise, the University of Strathclyde and CPI, and will be supported by ongoing income from members. Currently home to Booth Welsh, GSK, DSM and Merck Group, the Ayrshire region is undergoing rapid industrial transformation, benefiting from an infusion of funding of up to £21m from the Ayrshire Growth Deal to create the i3 Digital Innovation Campus and Low Carbon Business Park in Irvine.

A new Center of Excellence is also being developed in Kilmarnock as part of the Ayrshire Manufacturing Investment Corridor (AMIC) project which will provide on-site support and start-up units to set up and grow local food and drink businesses, and complement the support offered by the DPMC .

Keith Ridgway, Executive Chairman of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, said: “At the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, we are re-establishing Scotland as a manufacturing powerhouse and we do so proudly as part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult family. Working closely with our Catapult colleagues at CPI, we leverage our combined experience, expertise and networks to deliver powerful solutions to the industry.

“Opening our first center outside of Renfrewshire also demonstrates that we are here to support manufacturers, wherever they are. From fish processing plants in Peterhead looking to become more resource efficient and cut costs, to pharmaceutical companies in Ayrshire looking to explore data control and analytics to become more competitive, Digital Process Manufacturing Center (DPMC) can help you.

“We are delighted to join forces with North Ayrshire Council on this vital new offer for the processing industries.

National Asset

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, said: “This new facility demonstrates that the NMIS is a truly national asset committed to supporting process manufacturing industries across Scotland.

“This is an example of the benefits that can be realized through collaboration between academia, industry and government and will help high value-added manufacturing companies across a range of sectors to take advantage of the digital revolution in the world. industry 4.0.

Strathclyde is proud of its ‘triple helix’ approach to working in partnership and we look forward to deeper collaboration with industry, the creation of jobs and skills, the growth of an innovation-driven economy and achieving a net zero future in North Ayrshire and beyond. ”

Frank Millar, CEO of CPI, said: “This partnership brings together the expertise of two high value manufacturing catapult centers to help future-proof digital process manufacturing by helping people and businesses improve, which translates into increased productivity and the creation of tomorrow’s workforce. It also strengthens CPI’s presence in Scotland, home to our Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre, a facility paving the way for advanced manufacturing.

Manufacturing jobs

Councilor Tony Gurney, Cabinet Member for Economy and Climate Change, North Ayrshire Council, said: “We are delighted that the new Digital Process Manufacturing Center is located in Irvine’s i3 area.

“North Ayrshire has a strong industrial heritage in manufacturing and this center will help transform and modernize our business base.

“Manufacturing jobs represent a higher proportion than the average of jobs in North Ayrshire. It is therefore essential that we target resources, skills and expertise towards this sector to create jobs of the future and guarantee our young people sustainable employment opportunities in the future.

“We have created strong partnerships with NMIS and CPI which will bring technical expertise and academic research and innovation to the heart of North Ayrshire.

This latest announcement is hugely important and will enable us to deliver an unparalleled level of digital and data support to Ayrshire businesses, helping to accelerate their future growth.

UK Government Minister for Scotland, Iain Stewart, said: “The DPMC will keep Scotland at the forefront of advanced manufacturing. This will attract new business investment, ensure our industries remain competitive and efficient, and create skilled, high-value jobs.

“The UK Government is investing £5m in the i3 Advanced Manufacturing space as part of its £103m support for the Ayrshire Growth Deal; and across Scotland we are investing £2bn. pounds in regional projects to improve communities.”


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