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Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Efficiency drive 3D computer software that can create and test automation systems before they’re even built is set to save manufacturers millions of pounds, while increasing their global competitiveness. The Business Driven Automation (BDA) project based at the EPSRC Innovative Manufacturing and Construction Research Centre has focused specifically on applications in automotive engine assembly one of the UK’s major areas of manufacturing activity. The team led by Professor Rob Harrison have developed a tool which builds up a virtual representation of the automated system. He says: “we’ve developed innovative software to give a quick, accurate, virtual 3D prototype view of assembly machine behaviour before they are physically built. We aim to make these tools much easier and faster, and we want to see them used throughout the machine lifecycle, not just at initial build”. Industrial partners including Ford are trialling the software with actual engineering teams through a series of full-scale automationbuild events at Ford’s Dunton Engineering Centre. To download the Growth Stories app visit

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Efficiency drive growth story