On the 15th and 16th of May policy makers, industry leaders and manufacturing researchers attended the Lightweighting Conference at AMRC. The lightweighting conference provided deep insights into the future of mobility through powerful presentations and real-world technology demonstrators: from machining thin wall aerostructures and additive manufacture of satellite components, through to innovative castings of complex airframes, the design of joints containing dissimilar materials, and one-way-assembly.

Technical presentations from experts in the following organisations: ACT Blades, BAE Systems, BEIS, GKN, Group Rhodes, Laing O’Rourke, Lightweight Manufacturing Centre (NMIS), Lotus, McLaren Automotive, MSC Software, Northern Aircraft, Rolls-Royce, Rotherham Council, Shape Machining, Sheffield Council, Tata Steel, Tinsley Bridge, Ultimate Battery Company, University of Sheffield, Williams Advanced Engineering. The agenda can be found by clicking: Lightweighting conference agenda.

Sectors and technologies covered: Aerospace, Automotive, Construction, Rail, Space, Composites Manufacturing, Machining, Casting, High Strength & Light Weight Metals, Additive Manufacturing, Battery Technology. You can find out who attended here: list of companies attending.

Delegates of the lightweighting conference attending tours to showcase the AMRC’s capabilities in: 

Composites Manufacturing

  • Automated Production – utilising automated fibre placement and advanced robotic filament winding to demonstrate the cost and performance benefits of the technologies.
  • Advanced Curing – enabling technologies and autoclave alternatives that will reduce costs and energy, whilst enhancing throughput and quality of components.
  • Novel Materials & Processing – the development of processes and materials to improve net shape component manufacture and material properties.
  • Dry Fibre Technologies – working with traditional textile technologies, such as weaving and braiding, and pushing their capabilities beyond the conventional standards to produce novel composite fibre architectures.
  • Composites machining – making subtractive composite processing affordable, fast and safe, so that it is more attractive to machine a high value-add component to net shape than to use any other technology.


  • Lightweight Thin Wall Machining – milling part features with thin wall characteristics on a variety of materials, whilst maintaining dimensional accuracy and straightness.
  • One-way Assembly – The ability to manufacture fastener-ready holes in composite-metallic stacks that fully comply to specification without the need to disassemble, inspect, deburr, clean or rework.


  • Titanium Investment Casting – for weight optimised aircraft structural components.
  • Optimisation of the Design for Manufacture – reducing components and wall thickness.

Design and Prototyping

  • Design for Additive Manufacturing – allowing complex design geometries to be produced in polymers and metals that are topology optimised for lightweight structures.
  • Analysis – developing and validating analyses for many structural, fluid flow and thermal design questions.

Robotics and Automation

  • Lightweight reconfigurable carbon composite robotic machine tools – for faster drilling and milling applications and without having to make major investment in purpose-built machine tools, which cannot easily be moved.
  • Robotic composite machining –for improved accuracy, increased throughput and safer working environments.

Additive Manufacturing

  • The benefits of utilising powder metallurgy to produce lighter weight parts with reduced parts counts and increased functionality.