The AMRC Factory 2050. (Credit: AMRC)

A powerful private sector consortium in the UK has developed a connected facility that will de-risk investment in the digital technologies at the heart of the government’s Industrial Strategy and Made Smarter initiative.

The connected smart factory test bed includs real-time data streams from remote machining activities, smart assembly using intelligent work benches and augmented reality, visual inspection linked to artificial intelligence, and a reconfigurable factory cell.

The test bed aims to show the significant opportunities of applying digital technologies to manufacturing with 50 percent productivity benefit, 30 percent reduction in defects, and 50 percent improved time to market increasingly being demonstrated.

The Smart Factory test bed has been built on representative cyber and physical environments and provides a robust open agnostic innovation framework to explore, challenge, mature, and exploit these rapidly evolving technologies. Working with both large and small-scale technology companies, industry can test and mature not only new technologies, but data strategies and new business models and promote common standards and interoperability.

The AMRC Factory 2050 is the UK’s first state-of-the-art factory entirely dedicated to conducting collaborative research into reconfigurable digitally assisted assembly, component manufacturing, and machining technologies and is capable of rapidly switching production between different high-value components and one-off parts.