IMG works on a wide range of industry-led research projects addressing current manufacturing challenges in the field of large-volume and complex assembly.

Internally funded projects

Recent research projects include:

Reconfigurable Factory Demonstrator

A demonstration cell capable of highlighting the use of flexible automation techniques allowing low batch number products to be assembled. The cell demonstrates tracking technologies, just-in-time data and flexible robotics. 

SCADA and ‘Thinkworx’
Utilising low cost sensors to monitor in detail, any factor that directly affects a process, such as temperature, power consumption, harmonics, humidity and process KPIs.  This project is being used to demonstrate the use of data in a shop floor environment to improve production efficiency. 

Digitally Assisted Assembly Cell
The digitally assisted assembly (DAA) cell has been designed to showcase the use of digital technology to provide on-part visual work instructions. The cell contains optical, and laser projectors and also provides an environment to utilise wearable and handheld technology. The aim of the project is to allow partner companies to experience visual work instructions through a number of different mediums on their actual products.  

Externally funded projects
We also work on a variety of externally funded collaborative projects alongside key industrial and academic partners.

Validation & Integration of Manufacturing Enablers for future Wing Structures (VIEWS)
The VIEWS project is part funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, and covers a wide spectrum of projects for introducing new technologies into airframe production. IMG is to investigate advanced robotic drilling, visual works instructions, automation and assembly technologies, automated fixturing, production simulation and modelling as part of this programme.

Future of the Aircraft Factory (FoAF)
FoAF is a £16 million project, funded by Airbus UK and the Aerospace Technology Institute, to develop innovations that help manufacturers meet future demand for single aisle aircraft.
IMG is working closely with Airbus, suppliers and other universities to solve process problems and develop enabling technologies for the next generation of aircraft factories.

Aircraft Factory of the Future (AFoF)
Funded through the Aerospace Technology Institute, the AMRC is working with Spirit AeroSystems to conduct work in several areas of aircraft production. The project aims to highlight technologies and methodologies which can be implemented into future aircraft structure build programmes.

Flexible Robotic Machining in High Accuracy Applications (FRoMHAA)
FRoMHAA is funded through Innovate UK. IMG are utilising a KUKA Titan serial arm robot to machine metallic components. The robot will be upgraded prior to trial taking place, including the fitting of external encoders to each joint and the installation of a 200Nm spindle capable of milling metallic components. The intended outcome of this will be the reduction in positional error of the robot.

Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI)
Working alongside Laing O’Rourke, IMG are developing new technologies that can be used in the civil engineering sector. Specifically looking at ‘off site’ construction techniques that can be used to increase productivity in the manufacture of modular buildings.

Meggitt Modular Modifiable Manufacturing (M4) 
Working alongside Meggitt, the AMRC are showcasing and introducing technologies that can be used to improve production on low volume assembly cells. The work is investigating the use of cooperating robotics and flexible fixturing methods to assist with manual build techniques.   

For more information, please contact: 

Ben Morgan, head of IMG
b.morgan@amrc.co.uk
0114 222 7654

Chris Greaves, Project Manager
c.greaves@amrc.co.uk
0114 222 7654