(Commonwealth) _ The OMNIFACTORY, which opened on March 1, 2023, is a state-of-the-art concept factory that integrates a range of cutting-edge digital technologies to enhance traditional manufacturing practices. The factory is lo cated in the UK and was inaugurated with a keynote address by George Freeman MP, Minister of State for Science, Technology, and Innovation, and Brian Holliday, Managing Director at Siemens Digital Industries and Co-Chair of the Made Smarter Commission.
The OMNIFACTORY is designed to demonstrate how digital technologies can transform manufacturing, making it faster, more efficient, and more sustainable. The factory features a range of advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence, automation, and robotics, which are all seamlessly integrated into the manufacturing process. One of the key features of the OMNIFACTORY is its ability to customize and optimize production processes based on real-time data. This means that the factory can adapt quickly to changes in demand, reducing waste and increasing efficiency. Additionally, the factory is equipped with a range of sensors and IoT devices that monitor everything from energy usage to machine performance, allowing for proactive maintenance and reducing downtime.
Another key feature of the OMNIFACTORY is its focus on sustainability. The factory is designed to minimize waste and energy consumption, and it uses renewable energy sources wherever possible. Additionally, the factory is designed to be highly modular, allowing for easy reconfiguration and repurposing of equipment, further reducing waste and maximizing efficiency. The OMNIFACTORY represents a significant step forward in the evolution of manufacturing, demonstrating how the integration of digital technologies can transform traditional manufacturing practices. As such, it is expected to serve as a model for future manufacturing facilities around the world, helping to drive innovation and sustainability in the industry.
On the university’s Jubilee Campus, the OMNIFACTORY is home to a custom test bed floor that was created in Nottingham and offers a distinctive reconfigurable environment. A mix of digital technology, robotics, and artificial intelligence is used to reshape the floor so that it can independently adapt to the surroundings and requirements of the next product.
“OMNIFACTORY is a unique facility that will allow us to develop, demonstrate, and quickly integrate the newest digital manufacturing technologies in industry,” said Svetan Ratchev, director of the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing.
Svetan continued, “By creating the next generation of smart, highly adaptable, and efficientfactories, which will also enable localized manufacturing supply chains, we seek to revolutionize present processes and enhance productivity across several industries. We can significantly speed up the development and sustainable production of new goods and provide substantial societal, economic, and environmental advantages by utilizing technologies like the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and data analytics.
“Processes used in manufacturing have a substantial negative influence on the environment, with a considerable amount of the carbon footprint of some items coming from the logistics and manufacture of such products. We will advance the net-zero agenda and take a big step toward the circular economy by building a new breed of intelligent, very efficient factories integrated into regional supply networks.
We invite new enterprises to join us and explore the future of manufacturing since OMNIFACTORY is a national testbed for future industrial technology. The five-year initiative is supported by Innovate UK and is coordinated with the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) Program, but OMNIFACTORY’s resources are also applicable to the food and automotive industries.
“OMNIFACTORY is a game-changing facility, which sets a roadmap for how future factories can drastically boost the productivity and competitiveness of British firms,” continued Professor Alan Norbury, Chief Technologist at Siemens Digital Industries.Based on the University of Nottingham’s exceptional research, Alan said, “This new facility will help industry in creating, testing, and evaluating novel digital manufacturing applications and their swift deployment across all industries. We’re pleased to sponsor this innovative project and see Siemens’ key technologies being used to present the UK manufacturing industry of the future.
Technology Director of Assembly Systems at GKN, Andrew Portsmore, said: “We developed the vision for the ELCAT project with the University of Nottingham, which aims to enable flexible manufacturing systems without the need for pricey “black box” integration, by fusing real-world industrial experience with game-changing theoretical proposals backed by academic analysis.