The world class Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) represents one of the largest public sector investments in UK manufacturing for decades. The West Midlands based research and development centre represents a unique collaboration between three of the leading manufacturing-focussed universities in the UK. MTC is also part of the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult network of seven research and innovation centres created in 2011 by the UK government to bridge the gap between academic research (TRL1-3) and industrial exploitation (TRL6-9). MTC also invests at least £2m per year on transformation of SMEs, including digital transformation and has unique capability to support SMEs including Digital Diagnostic Tools and Digital Manufacturing Audit.
With over 15,000m2 of workshop space, the MTC hosts an extensive range of state-of-art equipment and facilities including high and low power laser processing cells and equipment, CNC machining centres, various configurations of AM and hybrid machine-tools, industrial robotic cells, metrology and NDT equipment amongst others. Below are some examples of facilities relevant to this project:
- Laser processing: over €10m worth of laser processing cells and machinery including 10 and 20kW CW robotic fibre laser cell, 3.3kW disc laser cell, 90W UV laser cleaning cell, 20kW QCW laser drilling / cutting machine tool, dual ns/fs 5-axis laser texturing machine tool, waterjet guided laser machine tool, 500W CW laser polishing cell, 5J laser peening unit and a number of other multi-purpose laser cells.
- Additive Manufacturing: a wide range of equipment including laser powder bed (Eos M400-4, Eos M280, Renishaw AM250, Renishaw RenAM500M), electron beam powder bed (Arcam 2XX, Arcam Q20), binder jetting (ProJet 660 Pro), material jetting (Stratasys Objet 1000 Plus, Stratasys J750), Hybrid and DED hybrid (Matsuura Lumex Advance 25, GF Mikron 400)
- Metrology and NDT: a range of surface roughness measurement (including Alicona Infinite Focus SL robotic/modular inspection head) equipment, CMMs / PMM-C, GOM 3D scanner, robotic Eddie current unit, non-contact laser inspection (LUT system) and ultrasound inspection (Omniscan ET/UT)