A Visit To The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.

FoF-Aug12Approximately 30 mem­bers enjoyed a morn­ing visit to the AMRC wing of the Sheffield University on Wednesday the 11th February. The visit com­menced at 10:15 am with coffee fol­lowed by an intro­duct­ory talk at 10:30 am, and finally a visit to one of the advanced machin­ing labor­at­or­ies on the com­plex. The morn­ing was then roun­ded off with lunch at Whitby’s Fish & Chip Restaurant close by.

The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre or AMRC as it is known was estab­lished in 2001 as a £15 mil­lion col­lab­or­a­tion between Sheffield University and aerospace giant, Boeing with sup­port from Yorkshire Forward and the European Regional Development Fund. It was the brain child of Adrian Allen and Professor Keith Ridgeway.

rothbiz adrian allen AMRC
Adrian Allen OBE

Adrian Allen had worked in aerospace for over twenty years, which included owning and man­aging a Sheffield based engin­eer­ing con­sultancy busi­ness. He had developed a new method of machin­ing titanium alloys, used in large quant­it­ies in the air­craft industry. He took his ideas over to Boeing, only to be told that they no longer had their own man­u­fac­tur­ing facil­it­ies, they adop­ted the policy of sub­con­tract­ing everything to highly skilled spe­cial­ist com­pan­ies. They had in fact cre­ated a net­work of sup­pli­ers all over the globe and Adrian was not pre­pared to go globe hop­ping to all the man­u­fac­tur­ers, who might or might not have accep­ted his ideas.

He came back to Sheffield and dis­cussed the situ­ation with Professor Keith Ridgeway. Between them they decided to approach Boeing with the idea of estab­lish­ing a research centre in the UK as part of the Boeing net­work and that it you be based at Orgreave and they would call it South Yorkshire Knowledge Organisation, SYKO for short. Boeing were delighted and agreed to go into part­ner­ship with the organ­isa­tion, but the name had to be changed because SYKO had other con­nota­tions. It was finally agreed that it should be called AMRC and based at Orgreave.

In 2004, the AMRC moved into a purpose-built facil­ity as the anchor tenant for the Advanced Manufacturing Park and since then it has gone from strength to strength. The organ­isa­tion is headed by the Sheffield University and Boeing and includes more than 70 fee paying com­pan­ies. The AMRC iden­ti­fies, researches and solves advanced man­u­fac­tur­ing prob­lems and has over 80 highly qual­i­fied research­ers and engin­eers from around the globe.