Reports: Advanced Engineering 2019: developments shaping the automotive engineering sector
The automotive engineering industry occupies a huge section of the larger industrial landscape and throughout the two days at Advanced Engineering 2019, there were countless impressive companies in attendance; each showcasing their latest innovations and inventions.
Different engineering companies presented their own projects and research into automotive innovation as part of a dedicated forum, which highlighted the some of the exciting advancements within the sector.
After listening to a number of different speakers at the forum, the key talking points from within the sector became clear, including the integration of new technologies in the automotive production cycle, which can reduce time, make manufacturing cheaper, smarter and more sustainable.
Meanwhile, the theme of global warming is putting engineering companies under increasing pressure to change their approach, with more emphasis than ever on utilising materials that are easily recyclable and more economically friendly to help companies reduce their carbon footprint.
There were some notable companies and speakers on stage to discuss their innovations, and each provided a fascinating insight into how the automotive engineering landscape is shaping up – and how they fit into it:
One of Prodrive’s chief engineers, Ryan Vann shared interesting examples of their recent work.
This includes utilising their specialism in advanced technology to research and develop a hydraulic actuator on a much smaller scale to reduce the weight and increase space efficiency in engines, turning the entire process around in just ten months, and at a reduced cost.
Prodrive’s track record in automotive circles is certainly impressive and, after having worked with Aston Martin’s racing team to help them achieve consistent success on the endurance racing circuit, they have hugely diversified their work to help bring other aspects of automotives technologically up to date.
They have worked to create eco-friendly hybrid transit vans and ambulances and have even branched out into aiding developments in aerospace and marine engineering.
Total Control Pro
The firm’s strategic director, Dolores Sanders, explained how their production-tracking system utilises cloud technology to increase the profitability and efficiency of the manufacturing process.
Being able to track your entire production system from start to finish in real time is a key feature of the service Total Control Pro provide, and the business has evolved to offer support worldwide for manufacturers.
They have achieved this through the integration of a fully connected supply chain from consumer, through to staff and production.
University of Warwick (WMG)
Rachel Weare, Lead Engineer at WMG, the University of Warwick, provided an enlightening insight into one of their recent projects, InterComp.
This system aims to develop an integrated production process for the manufacture of compression-moulded structural components, or composites that are more lightweight, affordable and sustainable for the automotive industry.
The project was a 24-month process, where WMG teamed up with Aston Martin to create innovations in automated material management, moulding and pre-cut and pre-form development.
This helped to reduce cycle times, while also reducing the overall environmental footprint by utilising more environmentally friendly materials for composites.
The company’s founder, Dr Richard Ahlfeld, provided a unique first-hand insight into the impact AI technology can have on the manufacturing process.
He also discussed the research and development they have undertaken to assist car manufacturers Jaguar Land Rover and Rolls Royce in achieving more streamlined and intelligent production processes.
By introducing an intelligent engineering system and utilising AI technology to learn and retain data, production processes can become more time-efficient and cost-effective.
This has delivered massive benefits, not just to car manufacturers. Monolith were also able to develop intelligent technology which was used in designing a recent NASA Spacecraft.
How we can help your business
With so many different avenues for companies to explore, the possibilities for innovation in the months and years ahead are exciting.
Innovative companies are playing a significant role in advancing the automotive engineering industry, but we know that it can be very hard to bring your ideas or developments to life. At MPA we are committed to supporting your business by helping you access funding through government incentives such as R&D tax credits. Designed to reward innovating businesses, R&D tax credits can unlock funding to support your next big idea.
Speak to a member of our team to find out how we can release you to innovate.Get in touch