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Rotherham's AMP Set For A Bright Future

posted 11 Jan 2013, 07:39 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 11 Jan 2013, 07:41 ]
There's no doubt that 2012 was a significant year for the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, but with new and further development of current technologies, new developments and expansion plans all expected, indications point to the fact that 2013 is set to be equally momentous.  

In a review of 2012, Simon Spode, Marketing Manager at the AMP said:

"When the AMP concept was first muted back in the late 1990's, the idea was for it to bring together world-class research and development activities, alongside high quality manufacturing operations on a single site.

"It has taken a number of years, with some ups and downs, but the AMP is now at the stage where it is really fulfilling the original ethos, along with the added element of helping address the skills issues that are prevalent within advanced manufacturing industries.

"The two planned Rolls-Royce facilities at the AMP were (and continue to be) the most high-profile developments to date on the Park. Construction of the Advanced Blade Casting Facility begun last summer following an official ground-breaking ceremony undertaken by the Business Secretary, Dr Vince Cable. The construction phase is due for completion in summer 2013, with the facility operational and producing up to 100,000 aero engine turbine blades by mid-2014.

"The second Rolls-Royce facility, Project PoWeR, is planned to manufacture and assemble large pressure vessels for the next generation of nuclear power stations. The precise timetable for the construction of the new facility is still unclear as Rolls-Royce continues to develop its plans for the civil nuclear manufacturing facility in line with the needs of its customers.

"Further construction is underway at the AMP with the development of the University of Sheffield AMRC with Boeing's facilities for the AMRC Training Centre (pictured) and their new UK centre of excellence for industrial design, prototyping and structural testing. "The Training Centre will provide the practical and academic skills that manufacturing companies need to compete globally from autumn 2013, allowing students to develop from apprenticeship through to doctorate and MBA levels, plus officering continuing professional development.

"The AMP Technology Centre [the park's business incubation centre] now boasts over 75% occupancy of the lettable space, with all the workshop space currently occupied. In addition to providing a base for in excess of 30 companies, the Centre has provided a venue for a number of events for organisations including; Deloitte, Rolls-Royce, UKTI, and Yorkshire Business Gold.

"Plans are currently being finalised by landowners Harworth Estates to assess the potential development platforms across the remaining AMP site and including additional land which would take the full size of the development up to around 150 acres. This includes the development of a second phase of light industrial / hybrid units similar to the existing Evolution @ the AMP units, which were fully occupied in 2012.

"At the same time the wider Waverley development, of which the AMP is a key part continues to grow, with 15 families already moved into the first phase of housing as construction carries on."

Looking ahead to 2013, Simon continues: "The AMP has always been a hot-bed for the development of new technologies and manufacturing processes and 2013 will see at least two of these technologies set to gain greater impact in their respective markets.

"Xeros Ltd is focused on bringing to market a variety of polymer based cleaning applications that dramatically reduce cost and environment impact. The company now have their laundry systems installed at commercial laundry operations in both the UK & US and aim to further increase this penetration of the laundry markets in 2013.

"Icetope Ltd is due to launch a revolutionary solution which is set to dramatically reduce power consumption in IT data centres by cooling servers at the source of the heat: the component level.

"It is not only new technologies that are being developed at the AMP, but current technologies and processes are being further developed to meet new market needs. Examples include work by The AMRC, TWI and and Fripp Design.

"Despite the tough financial conditions experienced by all, a number of the AMP's companies are bucking this trend. These include X:cel Superturn who beat rivals from America and Asia to secure a three-year deal to make precision gaskets and sealing rings for operations in the U.S., Brazil, Scandinavia and Singapore.

"2013 will also see the AMP host this year's Global Manufacturing Festival (GMF): Sheffield, with the conference and trade show taking place at the AMRC. The event will be themed around key manufacturing sectors such as aerospace, renewable energy and civil nuclear, with speakers and visitors expected from around the world. The AMP will also be hosting events linked to the 100 years of Stainless Steel celebrations this year.

"The success of the AMP is down to a combination of the visionaries that created and backed the original concept of an advanced manufacturing technology park, at a time when financial services and other business support industries were in fashion, and the partner organisations that have worked together and maintained their faith in the Park's concept throughout the years.

"The AMP will continue to be home throughout 2013 to new products, technologies and skills, and maintain its role as an asset to advanced manufacturing industries regionally, nationally and internationally."