Sun. Sep 24th, 2023
    Centre of Excellence for Manufacturing Innovation and Robotics Receives Additional Funding

    A centre of excellence for manufacturing innovation and robotics, called Smart Hub Lanarkshire (SHL), located in Motherwell, Scotland, is set to continue its operations until at least March 2025 after receiving additional funding. The project, jointly developed by North Lanarkshire Council, New College Lanarkshire, and the University of Strathclyde, aims to develop expertise in the field of robotics.

    SHL is a state-of-the-art hub that provides support for small to medium manufacturing businesses, helping them modernize, digitize, and improve efficiency and productivity. It offers a robotics and automation training facility along with a demonstration facility featuring six-axis robotic arms, controllers, and polyscope software. Furthermore, SHL provides learning opportunities for school pupils, encouraging their interest in STEM subjects and potential career paths.

    Funding for the project was awarded in 2020 but experienced delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, restricted campus access, and difficulties in recruiting qualified management. However, despite these challenges, almost 2,000 individuals, including students and employees from various companies, have already utilized SHL.

    To further support and expand SHL’s activities, an additional grant of almost £80,000 was received from Scottish Enterprise. This allowed for a year-long trial with cobots, which are cooperative robots designed to directly interact with humans. Twelve companies participated in the trial, with many of them expressing interest in investing in this technology.

    Phase Two of the project will be funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, ensuring the hub’s sustainability until 2025. A detailed financial plan will be developed in collaboration with New College Lanarkshire, who will be responsible for executing the project.

    According to a spokesperson from North Lanarkshire Council, SHL has significantly contributed to advancing the productivity and manufacturing capabilities of SMEs in the region. It has also played a crucial role in increasing knowledge and interest in robotics among school pupils, college students, and university students.

    The continuation of SHL will allow the partners to further develop and invest in its innovative approach, leveraging robotics and automation to enable manufacturers to work in new ways and increase productivity. This, in turn, will support economic growth in North Lanarkshire.

    Source: Lanarkshire Live article (source not provided)