Our new Make-Like-Production (MLP) facility is a manufacturing research centre which will provide the opportunity to comprehensively investigate the feasibility and stability of new manufacturing processes. It will allow performance and testing of manufacturing and assembly processes under real operational conditions and production rates.
The facility will run production 'at rate' for short period of time (30-60 minutes), to make small batches of components in each run. These components can then be analysed for failure rates, production tolerances, performance and durability.
The first project to make use of the MLP facility will be the APC-funded HVEMS-UK project (High Volume E-Machines Supply from the UK). The HVEMS project is being led by Jaguar Land Rover and involves a consortium of partners including WMG, Tata Steel, Grainger & Worrall, Midland Tool Design, Motor Design Ltd, Horizon Instruments, Newcastle University and HSSMI.
The HVEMS project will develop the facility to prove production feasibility for automotive traction electric machines at takt time of 60-90 seconds, corresponding with high volume production of e-machines. The partnership will be able to understand the key attributes of the new manufacturing processes required to make the machines in high volumes and to understand the trade-offs between product performance and manufacturing cost and time.
Key processes which will be tested within the MLP facility will be:
These facilities will allow comprehensive investigation into the feasibility of new processes for electric machine manufacture. The machines which are produced will be suitable for analysis or demonstration. The facility will allow us and our industrial partners to transfer the results of this research to other production facilities in order to achieve improved productivity, quality and cost.