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Initially, Manufacturing Made Smarter will focus on four core themes.

The Manufacturing Made Smarter challenge fund is designed to support a wide-range of manufacturing industries including sectors such as aerospace, automotive, chemicals, digital equipment, FMCG and food and beverage.

The projects cover cutting-edge digital technology concepts such as digital twin, additive manufacturing, and Industrial Internet of Things. Four core themes underpin our work; smart connected factories, connected supply chains, flexible manufacturing operations, and design make and test.

The core innovation themes
  • 1. Smart connected factory

    Harnessing technologies to optimise the design and execution of current and future factories.

    • Manufacturing process and operations
      • Use of robotics or additive manufacturing to accelerate processes
      • Dynamic, real time production planning and scheduling
      • Digital twins of facilities & processes to optimise future designs or current state
      • Real time/in process quality monitoring and process optimisation
      • Digital track and trace systems
    • Asset management optimisation
    • Use of robotics and autonomous systems to improve productivity or worker safety
    • Connected worker – augmented & virtual solutions for task assistance, training or safety.
  • 2. Connected and versatile supply chain

    Harnessing technologies to optimise the design and execution of current and future supply chains.

    • Interoperability and understandability of data across value chains
    • Supply chain design:
      • End to end supply chain visibility and effective risk management
      • Sustainable supply chains for increased flexibility
      • Warehouse and logistic optimisation
      • New business models such as distributed manufacturing.
    • Supply chain execution:
      • Demand management, sensing and shaping
      • Improved decision-making through analytics and artificial intelligence (AI)
      • Production planning or scenario modelling
      • Track-and-trace technologies, traceability and provenance.
  • 3. Adaptable, flexible manufacturing operations and skills
    • Enabling customisation: adapting processes to smaller batch size production, rapidly configurable processes with reduction of design and production time.
    • Flexible /distributed manufacturing using a flexible network of supply and skills to manage volatility/disruption effectively.
    • Simulation and understanding of real work using data from people and industrial systems, efficient transfer of trial results to the workplace.
  • 4. Design, Make, Test
    • Transforming product design through digital technologies
    • Virtual product testing, verification and validation, quality monitoring and inspection.