Sheffield City Council has approved the University of Sheffield’s plans for The Factory 2050 project, which will be the UK’s first fully reconfigurable assembly and component research factory. It is also forecasted to become the world’s most advanced factory.
The factory will house a range of cutting-edge technology including 3D-printing, flexible automation, unmanned workspace, off-line printing in virtual environments linked to plug-and-play robotics, man-machine interfaces and new programming and training tools and hundreds of engineers and employees.
The Factory 2050, supported by Boeing and Airbus, is expected to advance the field of aerospace, and build on the experience of the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre opened in 2004.
The University has already secured a 50 acre site for the new development at the business park, hoping to facilitate the creation and growth of new hi-tech, advanced manufacturing businesses along the Parkway corridor.
Graham Sadler, Managing Director at Sheffield Business Park, commented: “Over the last decade we’ve seen the enormous impact of the University’s active involvement in advanced manufacturing, creating high quality jobs and hundreds of new opportunities for apprenticeships, as well as attracting some of the world’s best known aerospace and engineering companies to work and invest here.”
“We’re working hard to make sure that we create the right environment to attract inward investment from high quality businesses, bringing real jobs to the region. The construction of Factory 2050 will send out a clear message of our ambition to maximise the benefit to the City Region of this vital location. Individual sites on the remainder of Phase 2 will be available this autumn and plans are well underway for the speculative development of four high quality production units. These are due for completion in mid-2015, building on the University’s vote of confidence in Sheffield Business Park.”
It is understood that BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and Spirit AeroSystems are involved in the project.
The construction works are planned to start at Sheffield Business Park in 2015.
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