Business invitation to innovation centre

Learn about latest in robotic technologies

Engineering and manufacturing businesses in North Lanarkshire are being given the opportunity to visit a centre of innovation to learn about the latest in robotic technologies and virtual reality.

North Lanarkshire Council's Enterprise Team is arranging a visit to the Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) in Inchinnan, Renfrew in the coming months and extends an open invitation to local businesses to get involved.

The centre operates as a centre of innovation and collaboration excellence, linking businesses with academia, new technologies and the latest in metal forming and forging research.

Businesses are invited to a guided tour of the centre, access to the factory to see a wide range of state-of-the-art, automated and robotic machining as well as a demonstration of the latest in virtual and augmented reality techniques.

They will also be able to learn more about the recently announced National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland, which will co-locate at the Inchinnan site, following a £65m investment in the manufacturing sector by Scottish Government.

"North Lanarkshire's manufacturing and engineering sector is a strong and thriving one, with 550 registered businesses, employing 11,710 people and generating £2.1 billion of turnover in the local economy," said Councillor Allan Graham, Convener of the Enterprise and Housing Committee. 

"AFRC is an excellent resource, carrying out pioneering work in this sector, which can help local businesses to develop and grow. So we are inviting companies to come along, find out more about what's on offer and how their business could benefit."

The centre can assist businesses with:

  • problem solving in manufacturing and engineering processes, materials, costs, product integrity, quality, durability and more
  • collaboration
  • innovation
  • access to new markets, and
  • developing a competitive edge.

A local company which has already benefitted from the resources at AFRC is Highland Galvanizers and Colour Coaters, based in Cumbernauld and Elgin.

The company, which employs 105 people, has been working with AFRC and Strathclyde University on testing motorway crash barriers.

Ageing or corroded motorway crash barriers have previously been removed and replaced by Transport Scotland. However, Highland Galvanizers recognised that the corrosion was only on the coating, and were challenged to prove that the mechanical integrity of the steel was not compromised through the re-coating process.

As a result of the project, Transport Scotland has identified a projected 50% (£3-4million) cost saving and Highland Galvanisers have a pipeline of future work to extend the lifespan of the steel products.

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