Inside the Warwick Manufacturing Group
20 March 2012
Martyn Day reports on what WMG does to aid innovation in design and manufacturing
One of the key reasons we chose to stage DEVELOP3D LIVE at Warwick University was due to its engineering research heritage and strong links with local industry. This is exemplified by the on-campus Warwick Manufacturing Group.
Established in 1980 by Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, the group researches materials and sustainability, digital technologies, manufacturing technologies and operations and business management.
WMG’s research teams comprise a range of specialities including engineers, physical scientists, materials scientists, mathematicians, designers, IT specialists, social scientists, economists and knowledge transfer experts.
Historically WMG has been dedicated to supporting engineering businesses within the Midlands region and beyond and is a Centre of Excellence part funded by Advantage West Midlands (AWM) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
With the introduction of the new Technology Strategy Board’s (TSB think DTI for us old timers) Catapult R&D funding initiatives, Warwick has been declared one of the seven UK High Value Manufacturing Catapult centres to accelerate the commercialisation of new and emerging manufacturing technologies.
With the release of significant, staged R&D funding from UK Government over the next five years, access to this cash can be eased through engaging a Catapult centre such as WMG to generate new Intellectual Property (IP).
WMG is already working on a number of low carbon projects through this initiative.
Product Evaluation Technologies Group: WMG’s Product Evaluation Technologies (PET) group is a multi-disciplinary research team with a central goal of providing realworld solutions for various business sectors, from automotive engineering to the medical industry through cutting-edge research and technologies.
Projects: WMG has been played a signifiant role in the research of a number of innovative digital and physical technologies in the areas of Design Validation, Advanced Metrology and Human Machine Interface (HMI).
This has led to PVCIT (Premium Vehicle Customer Interface Technologies) and significant work with Jaguar Landrover.
WMG is utilising the latest 3D visualisation and validation technologies to minimise the expensive and time consuming production of physical models and prototypes.
A case in point is the McCamley vertical axes 3-24Kw wind turbine. These devices are able to operate in low winds speeds and continue to generate electricity during extreme weather events, even hurricanes. McCamley use WMG’s Power Wall to allow architects and planners to get a visual impression of how the wind turbine would look and work on their property.
The next generation designs will be offshore and McCamley is working with WMG to scale up the designs and include photovoltaic surfaces, harvesting both wind and solar power.