The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) was established in 2010 as an independent Research and Technology Organisation (RTO) with the objective of bridging the gap between academia and industry.
The MTC was founded by the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham, and TWI Ltd. Meanwhile the MTC’s industrial members include some of the UK’s major global manufacturers.
The MTC is part of the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult, an expansive network of fellow RTOs that work together to solve challenges faced by UK manufacturing across academia and industry. By collaborating in this way, businesses can access and leverage experience, knowledge and ideas across sectors to collectively achieve so much more. It is this that enables the MTC to deliver end-to-end solutions and help UK industry to solve the challenges faced by the introduction of new technologies.
The MTC is focused on supporting the development of net zero technologies by delivering value in three key areas – technology innovation, industrialisation and scale-up, and sustainability.
Find out more by visiting: www.the-mtc.org
Key strengths and unique capabilities
- Component and product design (eg. design for manufacture/assembly)
- Modelling and simulation
- Design for additive manufacturing
- Automated design.
- Technology down-selection and process mapping of PEMD
- Additive manufacturing
- Laser processing (inc. cutting, welding, cleaning, and surface texturing)
- Automation, robotics, tooling and fixturing
- Electronics manufacturing
- Digital manufacturing and process simulation.
- Special purpose machines
- Robotic workstations
- End effectors and fixtures.
- Scenario mapping
- Layout optioneering
- Discrete Event Simulation (DES)
- Virtual build events and visualisation
- Digital twins.
- Future skills and foresighting
- National apprentice standards creation
- Upskilling and reskilling
- Training and apprenticeship delivery.
- Manufacturing support services
- Automation adoption
- Assessment and oversight of supply chain
- Targeted supplier development programme.
The evolution from innovation to industrialisation is one of the biggest challenges faced by industry; often, businesses know what to do, but not how to get there. The MTC is adept in identifying skills and capabilities required and then integrating these to enable businesses to successfully implement new technologies or integrated manufacturing system solutions.
Equipped to manufacture a range of products across a range of sizes and materials:
- CNC subtractive manufacturing equipment up to a size of 3.4m diameter and 2.0m height
- A range of automation and robotics cells across a significant range of payloads (750+ kg)
- Switchtrack Braiding Machine suited for the production of multifilar wiring looms (eg. windings) of a range of material, structures, and profiles.
- Additive Manufacturing (AM) capabilities which span metallic, polymer, and ceramic materials
- End-to-end manufacturing process
- AM of high-purity materials suitable for highly conductive applications
- AM of high-strength aluminium suitable for high-performance, lightweight structures
- Powder management and characterisation facilities
- European Space Agency (ESA) AM Benchmarking Centre and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Centre of Excellence.
- Laser welding capability for dissimilar materials such as copper, aluminium and stainless steel using a variety of sources including infrared (IR) and blue sources
- Laser in vacuum welding system for deep penetration of hard-to-weld materials
- Advanced machining systems including high throughput, industry standards (DMG LT50, IPG multi-axis) and unique research systems (Synova waterjet guided laser)
- Ultrafast, 5-axis systems for surface engineering and micromachining. Capable of forming surfaces with super-hydrophobicity, improved thermal properties, adhesion promoting, self-cleaning, antibacterial etc. on 3D components.
- Metrology equipment including a range of high accuracy coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) up to large measurement volumes
- Non-destructive testing including X-Ray CT and optical profilometry
- Powder characterisation facilities
- A full metallurgy lab including grinding/polishing, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) analysis.