Over the last year we've been working closely with the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) as one of their partners in delivering their Smart Manufacturing Accelerator (SMA) – an innovative new framework designed to put UK companies at the leading edge of the Industry 4.0 revolution.
Wonderware was selected by the MTC to supply industrial digital software, training and support to help it bring integrated digital manufacturing and supply chain solutions to UK businesses, including small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
The SMA provides a planning-to-implementation framework to help manufacturers adopt the smart factory technologies and techniques they need to become more efficient, productive and equipped to expand rapidly into global markets. It represents a collaboration between the MTC, the universities of Birmingham and Loughborough and industry, working under the £60m Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) programme funded by Innovate UK.
The concept is exemplified in the ‘Factory in a Box’ (FIAB), a remotely managed factory which demonstrates how manufacturing companies can rapidly implement industrial digital technologies and achieve a swift ROI on its manufacturing innovation. The FIAB will be demonstrated at an event hosted by the MTC on March 13th, where businesses can discover how they can benefit from adopting a more digital, smarter approach to their manufacturing and supply chain.
Wonderware UK products are central to delivering the SMA and FIAB.
- The Manufacturing Execution System (MES) - Wonderware UK’s MES, described by the MTC as ‘the backbone of FIAB’, was selected to digitise FIAB operations. Integrating with the Industrial Control System (ICS), it will deliver real time condition and status information insight to enable optimal production, inventory and quality operations management.
- Wonderware Operations Management Interface software will also run within the FIAB remote control centre and, being vendor agnostic, will seamlessly display FIAB applications with a centralised operations management interface (OMI) providing the ability to unify the different systems used into one common user interface.
- Insight will provide a secure, managed cloud-based digital service which collects and stores data and can be securely and remotely accessed from any location to enable predictive analytics.
Robin Thatcher, Chief Programme Engineer at the MTC, said:
“Wonderware UK has provided us with an extremely user-friendly, cost-effective method of gathering and presenting data from a number of different systems and has streamlined the process of getting data to the cloud.
“Before we came across OMI we were facing a really effort intensive and costly process to build a unified front end that would gather the data from the different systems and present it in a really user-friendly way. With OMI that development was cut off, facilitating this task enormously.
“The Wonderware team also provided training and support to ensure the MTC has the high level of expertise we need to deliver ground-breaking solutions to a very tight timescale. They have been a fantastic technology partner.”
David Baskett, Technical Strategy Manager at SolutionsPT, said:
“The SMA from the MTC delivers a transformative step change within UK manufacturing.
“Our team at Wonderware UK and Ireland have been inspired by the MTC’s mission to catapult innovative manufacturing processes into the manufacturing landscape.
“Wonderware asset modelling and process digitalisation, with execution capability, brings unrivalled market scalability and will enable the rapid development and deployment of FIABs into UK manufacturing and beyond.”
Official launch of the Smart Manufacturing Accelerator
The official launch event of the SMA and Factory in a Box demonstration took place on Wednesday March 13th at the MTC in Coventry and gave business leaders a chance to meet the experts and see an industrial-scale FIAB demonstrator.