The UK’s first cyber factory training facility has been opened at Middlesex University in London.
The facility houses a number of double-sided pneumatics and electro-pneumatics learning systems, modular production systems and a process automation system.
The facility’s training equipment comprises a comprehensive six-station table top unit – two production cells of three stations – as well as two bridging stations that enable an automated guided vehicle to deliver the logistics/transport between the cells.
Fully automated, the facility also features an energy monitoring system; RFID; a digital maintenance system; augmented reality; near field communication – which enables any object equipped with a chip to exchange information directly without the need for a computer or communications network; and a manufacturing execution system.
Professor Mehmet Karamanoglu, design engineering and mathematics head of department at Middlesex University, said: “Everything we have developed over the years has been specified to industry standard. Expanding our provision in automation, smart technologies is no exception.
“We have partnered with Festo since the early ’90s and have kept that partnership active for over two decades. We are grateful to Festo for bringing along some of their partner companies to enhance our provision, such as Siemens. All our automation labs are now fitted with technologies provided by Siemens. The benefit for our students, in working with such industry partners, is immense and will continue to have a huge impact on their employability,” he added.