Salford University has launched two new manufacturing facilities for students, while Manchester Metropolitan and Liverpool John Moores are part of a new Industry 4.0 curriculum with Siemens.
The Morson Engine Room features heavy duty, industrial-grade machinery typically found on the workshop floors of manufacturing businesses, while the Maker Space features a ‘print hive’ kitted out with a range of 3D printers.
Both spaces will involve collaboration between the university and local businesses to innovate and test ideas, with an opportunity to meet and work alongside students working on real industry briefs.
Dr Maria Stukoff, Director of the Maker Space, said:
“This is a flagship for Salford for attracting the next generation of engineers and to enable industry to recruit from our talent pool. It is exciting to be working alongside Morson Group to build on our manufacturing pedigree, which gave birth to the first engineering courses dating back to the Industrial Revolution.”
Named the ‘Connected Curriculum’, the universities will work with Siemens to bring advanced industrial tools, data and approaches into their courses, including Siemens’ world-leading Internet of Things (IoT) platform, MindSphere.
MindSphere connects industrial machines and devices, allowing data from multiple sources to be captured and analysed simultaneously - creating a real-time picture of whole production processes.
MMU will be the partner university focusing on postgraduate students, embedding the curriculum in its new Industry 4.0 masters courses launching in September.
Prof Andy Gibson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at MMU, said:
“Manchester Metropolitan is focused on bridging the Industry 4.0 skills gap by equipping students with the skills for the new digital economy. [This] partnership will ensure that we remain at the cutting edge of the digital revolution.”