Smart factories: new government funding to save 300,000 tonnes of CO2

Smart factories: new government funding to save 300,000 tonnes of CO2

The government has granted just under £14m to a range of projects aimed at harnessing digital technologies to improve the efficiency and productivity of key manufacturing processes.

Announced late last week, the latest round of grants from the Sustainable Smart Factory competition is expected to create 1,000 jobs across the UK and save 300,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, equivalent to removing 65,000 cars from our roads.

“Creating and adopting the latest digital technology solutions will be critical to the continued success of our manufacturing sector,” said Industry Minister Jackie Doyle-Price. “It is now essential that companies in sectors as varied as baking or advanced robotics maximize their potential by using technologies such as AI and virtual reality.

“The funded projects will reduce energy consumption and boost business growth in regions across the UK, while helping our leading global manufacturers keep pace with ever-increasing global competition.”

A total of 12 projects are to share £13.7million in funding. Recipients include a project led by Rakusen Ltd to deploy AI to improve the consistency of products made by the company’s century-old bakery machines, which is expected to help reduce energy consumption by 60%. Meanwhile, the LEAD Factory project, led by Photocentric, is described as the first technology allowing products to be 3D printed at scale using recycled materials.

Similarly, Topolytics’ WasteMap project aims to use machine learning to develop a visual map of useful and reusable manufacturing products that can be extracted from the UK’s waste system and the Reducing Energy Consumption and Material Loss in Steel project. Production Using Predictive Machine Learning by Deep .Meta aims to use machine learning to improve the efficiency of steel production processes.

Other successful projects include Pragmatic Semiconductor’s INSPIRE, which aims to tackle global semiconductor shortages by using AI to optimize manufacturing productivity, and Smart People + Smart Process = Smart Factory, led by Raynor Foods Limited, which aims to increase the company’s energy efficiency. sandwich factory by allowing staff to see their energy consumption and CO2 footprint in real time.

Chris Needham, Head of Innovation for UKRI’s Made Smarter Innovation Challenge, said: “Effective digital technologies can have a substantial impact on manufacturing, bringing outdated, inefficient and unproductive products and processes up to standard. necessary for a net zero industry of the future. It is clear from the wide range of applications we received how waste and energy issues cut across different industries.

“The successful candidates have clearly demonstrated true innovation and demonstrated how the right use of data and technology can make a meaningful difference to businesses. We now look forward to working alongside them to deliver results.” successful.”

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