Northwest based organisations, Northwest Automotive Alliance (NAA), Bentley Motors Ltd, Virtual Engineering Centre (University of Liverpool), Optis SAS, Icona Solutions Ltd and DNA-Agile Group Ltd have been awarded funding of £1.95million from the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) to create a new ‘digital’ supply chain for the UK automotive sector. In collaboration with Finance Birmingham, Programme Managers of the AMSCI initiative, this ground-breaking development project will lead to improvements in manufacturing productivity through the introduction of innovative new manufacturing planning processes.
The aim of the three year “Simulation Tools for Rapid Innovation in Vehicle Engineering” (STRIVE) project, is to facilitate a ‘step change’ in UK automotive manufacturing, enhancing product design to support improvements in manufacturing productivity whilst retaining(and improving) build quality.
The R&D programme, led by independent automotive sector organisation NAA, will combine next generation technologies provided by Optis, Icona and DNA-Agile Group, along with technical integration and research expertise through the University of Liverpool’s Virtual Engineering Centre. Collectively, they will work with Bentley Motors’ Engineering and Product Launch teams in the development and engineering design of new models.
Collaboratively, STRIVE will develop an integrated solution of high fidelity simulation, immersive virtual prototypes and processes for evaluation and, ultimately, application for the advancement of the UK automotive industry. The result will be significantly reduced timescales for the development of new vehicles and enhanced build quality.
Following successful completion of the project, the new processes will be available for ‘roll out’ to vehicle manufacturers tier 1 suppliers and other industries with a similar manufacturing and assembly environment.
The total investment of the STRIVE project, including investment by the partners, is £3.3 million and it is due to create 23 new jobs and safeguard 40 positions.
Carol Holden, Northwest Automotive Alliance commented,
“This is an exciting and innovative project. It has the potential to make a significant impact in terms of product quality and the speed in which it takes to get a new model to market. The benefits will be felt not just by consortia members but, ultimately, by all UK automotive manufacturers, endorsing the UK’s position as a quality and cost competitive manufacturing base”.