Academic impacts will result from a world leading research programme focused on the development and understanding of advanced technologies and processes to drive innovation in electrical machine manufacturing. The Hub will deliver academic advances through the development and application of new and emerging manufacturing processes, new materials for enhanced functionality and/or light-weighting, new approaches for process modelling and simulation, and the application of digital approaches leveraging new sensors and Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) technologies for in-process verification and certification.
The Hub will unlock design freedoms for electrical machines with improved performance and functionality. There will be spillover benefits to the wider academic community across a number of EPSRC Research Areas including: Human-Computer Interaction, Information Systems, Robotics, Performance & Inspection of Mechanical Structures & Systems, Materials Engineering – Metals & Alloys and Composites, Digital Manufacturing, and Sensors and Instrumentation.
Technological impact on UK manufacturing research and industry
The Hub will be instrumental in establishing and maintaining a leading and differentiated technology needed to ensure the UK’s future success in strategically important sectors. The dividends from the true integration of electrical machine and advanced manufacturing research will enable the higher performance needed for increasingly demanding applications – higher power density, lower weight, embedded health monitoring – while reducing manufacturing cost and improving quality. It will help UK industry develop the smart industrial systems needed for the electrical machine factories of the future, with flexible manufacturing capability and support for manual processes and workers.
The Hub will deliver significant economic impacts through increasing UK productivity and competitiveness in a number of strategically important UK sectors – aerospace, energy (offshore wind), high value automotive / motorsport, premium consumer goods as well as future spillover benefits to wider sectors (mass market automotive). UK Aerospace Sector has a £35bn turnover with £30bn of exports, has seen 39% growth since 2012 and directly employs 123,000 people and a further 118,000 in well-paid jobs.
There is huge potential in the shift to More Electric Aircraft (MEA) and Hybrid Propulsion with the market for MEA predicted at $11B in 2025. The UK has the largest installed base for offshore wind, with a current installed capacity of 7GW and plans for a further 24GW in planning stage to be realised by 2030. UK industry has outlined potential for £48bn investment in energy infrastructure and a projected 3x growth in workforce to 27,000, underpinned by the recent UK Government sector deal.
The UK Motorsport Sector has annual turnover > £9bn, directly employs 41,000 people with companies in Motorsport Valley investing an average of 25% turnover in R&D.4 The UK Automotive Sector has a £77bn turnover, directly employs 169,000 people, accounts for over 12% of UK exports and has year on year growth of 5.5%. The market for automotive electric motors is estimated at $36B by 2024.
The Hub will help sustain and support future growth in these sectors, helping position UK industry to win future work, including: ensuring a UK presence in manufacturing the next generation of aircraft wings and hybrid propulsion (a strategic objective for the HVMC7) and supporting the target to increase UK content in UK offshore wind installations from 32% to 65% by 2030.
Societal, People and Policy Impacts
The Hub will support the UK Government shift to cleaner growth via low carbon energy generation and energy use in transportation. It will help improve the health (reduced pollution) and wealth (jobs, economic growth) of the nation. The Hub will shape the national debate and strategy around manufacturing and manufacturing research with the academic, industry and innovation communities, sponsors, policy makers and the public. It will train and nurture a new generation of manufacturing and engineering leaders.