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HIGH-VALUE MANUFACTURING Polarised light


The University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) has been busy working on projects in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. As a member of the UK High Value Manufacturing Catapult, the AMRC is part of the industrial consortium that is helping deliver more than 10,000 ventilators to NHS doctors and nurses. In addition, its engineers are 3D printing 1,000 face masks a week for NHS staff at local hospitals. Greg Blackman speaks to Kieran Edge, technical lead for machine vision at AMRC’s Integrated Manufacturing Group, about new vision projects and the presentation he gave for UKIVA’s vision technology hub


Kieran Edge


at the AMRC, although


currently at his home office in Barnsley


What is AMRC working on during Covid-19 lockdown? A lot of our partners – AMRC has 125 industrial partners including aerospace giants Boeing, Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and Airbus – have eased up on the production side of their businesses, and are focusing more on R&D at the moment. We’ve had a lot of enquiries recently, more than we normally get. We’re undertaking projects that we can either do remotely or that we can start remotely – software development, for example. Tere are areas where we’re seeing more


interest in machine vision. A lot of firms are looking at how they will start up production again, by using streamlined working methods, and with fewer staff in any location at a given time. Some processes can be automated using machine vision to help with social distancing restrictions. Tere are lots of parts of the


manufacturing sector that haven’t been badly hit yet by the lockdown, and they are still very much interested in how to reduce overheads using automation. Aerospace is still looking at machine vision for inspection. We’re working with one of our partners to investigate inspection of sheet metal in aerospace to improve quality and reduce the cycle time for production. We’re also getting a lot of interest in


16 IMAGING AND MACHINE VISION EUROPE JUNE/JULY 2020


opens up composites inspection


AMRC’s Sean Wilson demonstrating HoloLens. AMRC used augmented reality in the UK Ventilator Challenge to give engineers instructions on how to adapt production lines for making ventilators


g @imveurope | www.imveurope.com


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