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Manufacturing and robotics join forces to tackle housebuilding crisis

Liverpool-based CNC Robotics has partnered with a roof slate manufacturer in Wales to develop a plug-and-play ‘factory in a box’ that can be deployed anywhere to support housebuilding. Liverpool-based CNC Robotics has partnered with a roof slate manufacturer in Wales to develop a plug-and-play ‘factory in a box’ that can be deployed anywhere to support housebuilding.

Liverpool-based CNC Robotics has partnered with a roof slate manufacturer in Wales to develop a plug-and-play ‘factory in a box’ that can be deployed anywhere to support housebuilding.

With funding from Innovate UK, the robotics firm is working with SunScape Systems Ltd to develop a modular automated roof tile factory that can be built offsite to manufacture the latter’s patented snap-fit roof tile system, Carapace Slate.

Carapace Slate can be installed 90 per cent faster than current roof tile systems, but with the government aiming to build an additional 300,000 houses per year beyond 2025, new manufacturing infrastructure is required to produce it at volume in order to address the deficit between construction output and available labour. Traditional methods of production have led to an alarming supply deficit, which is challenging government policy to alleviate the housing crisis.

The Industry 4.0-aligned ‘Factory in a Box’ system will be deployable to any location to support housebuilding, with production monitored and operated through advanced cloud-based and Internet of Things technology.

Martyn Lucas and Amy Sheldrake, founders of SunScape Systems, said:

We’re thrilled to be collaborating with CNC Robotics to deliver a repeatable high volume manufacturing solution capable of sustainable growth in times when the UK roofing industry needs it most.”

Jason Baker, founder of CNC Robotics Ltd, added:

This is a great example of how SMEs can work collaboratively to solve a national issue. The Factory in a Box utilises infrastructural innovation and close teamwork to tackle the UK’s housing crisis.”

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