A research and development centre for smart manufacturing systems is to be built in the UK.
Engineering consultants TWI and Lancaster University are collaborating on the 4.0 Innovation Centre, a facility to create the technology needed for the factories of the future.
The 4.0 in the name refers to what experts are calling the fourth industrial revolution – the Internet of Things, which relies on smart data, embedded sensors and analytics.
This technology would communicate directly and automatically with itself and its surroundings.
Smart factories with increased automation and artificial intelligence would be able to deliver better quality products more efficiently, according to the university.
The centre would cater to the aerospace, automotive manufacture, oil and gas, energy and nuclear industries.
The organisations believe the research will complement the UK’s industrial strategy, which has identified robotics and autonomous systems and advanced materials as two of eight technologies in which the nation is set to become world leader.
Professor Stephen Decent, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at Lancaster University, said: “This exciting new partnership with TWI will deliver the world-leading science, innovation and skills necessary to put the UK in the centre of the fourth industrial revolution.”
The centre will be owned by Lancaster University but will be based at a TWI facility in Cambridge.