Manufacturers must unlock supply chain visibility to rebuild after the COVID-19 pandemic, WMG and Blue Yonder are warning.
The pandemic has disrupted supply and demand in many ways, from factory and border closures to swings in consumer needs, and those without supply chain visibility have been struggling to adapt and keep up. Digital supply chain technologies perform a vital role across all stages of manufacturing, from sourcing materials and quality control to warehouses and shipping. Now the industry is being warned any talk of ‘building back stronger’ won’t come to fruition if manufacturers don’t have the visibility over demand and supply that digital supply chains can bring.
The warning comes as a result of WMG research conducted in with almost 250 manufacturing companies revealing that lack of visibility and workforce issues are creating the biggest supply chain bottlenecks:
- 47% cited lack of visibility of capacity at suppliers and 37% cited lack of visibility of demand from customers as major supply chain constraints.
- More than half (55%) used inventory as the major buffer against disruption. This ties up cash and can leave organisations exposed if demand falls.
- Less than a third (32%) used visibility in their supply network to react to disruption. This is potentially a more effective strategy in the longer term.
To help manufacturers assess their supply chain needs, WMG at the University of Warwick and Blue Yonder worked together to design a freely accessible digital readiness tool. The digital readiness tool gives manufacturers the ability to assess their current supply chain to see where they are now and where they need to be. Manufacturers can also enquire about a further consultation to understand what they need to do to get to their goal and survive in the post COVID-19 world.Professor Jan Godsell, WMG, University of Warwick
Professor Jan Godsell, from WMG, University of Warwick, comments: “As we continue to deal with the disruptions of COVID-19, demand and supply visibility has never been more critical. It enables manufacturers to better plan their manufacturing operations, to minimise costly inventory buffers. We hope that the supply chain digital readiness tool can assist manufacturers with identifying opportunities to use digitisation to help their businesses to survive and thrive amidst the challenges of COVID-19. We are also offering manufacturers further advice.”
Alan Duncan, Senior Director of Manufacturing Strategy at Blue Yonder, adds: “They say ‘the wise man built his house on the rock,’ and when they’re rebuilding after COVID-19, manufacturers must put resilient digital supply chains at the centre of operations. Manufacturers have been investing more in the move to digital supply chains in recent years, but it’s crucial that their plans are pushed through to fruition. A digital supply chain will give them the end-to-end visibility, resilience and agility required to emerge from pandemic disruption in the strongest manner possible.”
4 MARCH 2021
NOTES TO EDITORS
The data comes from a WMG survey of 248 manufacturers in September 2020.
High-res images available at:
Caption: Professor Jan Godsell, WMG, University of Warwick
Credit: WMG, University of Warwick
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University of Warwick
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While the Summer months are used for relaxing and revision for most students, a group of students who form Warwick Racing stayed behind to continue their work on the single-seater electric race car, ready for the Formula Student events later in the academic year.
The Warwick Racing team consists of students from the School of Engineering, Warwick Business School and the Department of Computer Science, with support and facilities courtesy of WMG. The team comprises members of different gender, race, nationality and degree, with an expansion to the business team in term one adding 12 additional new members to the fold, overseeing the website, marketing and social media.
Due to the pandemic the students worked remotely to design the second race car, WRe2. But as labs reopened over the summer it was time to start putting the real-world production of components into action.
Following social distancing guidelines, wearing protective equipment and ensuring that workstations are properly sanitized, Warwick Racing has been able to successfully ensure that component production was able to continue safely.
They were able to focus on two critical components of the car, the front upright and the wiring harness.
Watch videos documenting the creation of these two components at https://youtu.be/IF2RFvn5pYE and at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSQqVBKCD5Y
Angel Marco Ansenjo, Chief Chassis Engineer at Warwick Racing comments:
“The front uprights are the real workhorses of the vehicle: holding the front wheels in place and resisting the various dynamic loads that affect the car whilst cornering, braking and moving over bumps. As such the uprights must be one of the sturdiest and most resilient parts of the whole car.
“The process of creating an upright begins in the telemetry of last year’s car. By understanding what loads are going through the car at various points in the drive, we can better design the updated component in line with the needs of the new car. From there, the entire suspension system is digitally recreated on Autodesk Fusion 360 and simulated against a variety of stresses and load combinations to test how the suspension holds up against them. These include a hard braking scenario where the steering is put on full lock and the car hits a bump at the most loaded corner of the vehicle. This is to ensure that even in the most extreme of circumstances the part remains intact and the driver is safe.”
From here, the engineers decide on many of the intricate specifics of the upright, such as deciding on the component volume, the wheel bearings and the seals. Then, the exact material for the upright is chosen in order to allow the component to perform its job in the optimal manner. In this case, the team chose to use an aluminium-silicon alloy.
Once the volume and material are chosen, the design is run through a second phase of CAD tests to optimize the efficiency of the component and to ensure that any additional weight is shed. The engineers will then re-subject the part to digital testing and produce the toolpath which is sent to the computer-controlled manufacturing machines (CNC).
Once the part has been machined, it will be cut and measured to exact specifications and the additional bracketry will be manufactured. The wheel bearings are pressed in, followed by all the mounting hardware and the wheel hub, before the component is eventually mounted onto the chassis.
The wiring harness of a race car connects and controls various electronic components of the vehicle and ensures that wires are connected in the shortest, safest and most efficient ways possible.
Rens Bossers, Chief Powertrain Engineer at Warwick Racing comments:
“The first stage of designing a wiring harness is identifying what sensors, control units and actuators need to be connected to the circuit. On the WRe2 this contains over 50 components including, but not limited to: Battery Monitoring Systems (BMS), Inverter Data, Coolant monitors, speed sensors, steering wheel position sensors, brake pressure sensors and GPS.
“Once the components are decided on, we used smart wiring software to add all the connectors in and all the shielding and seals to protect the wiring from water and dust. The system must also be designed to ensure that it can survive the vibrations and stresses of racing without braking or compromising the safety of the car. Once the design is decided upon it is refined to ensure maximum efficiency (both in terms of cost and performance) by reducing the length of wires where possible and saving weight. “
Once the digital section of the design stage is complete, the team map out the building process using a Nailboard Wiring Diagram and begin cutting and crimping the wires to motorsport grade standards. In total there are over 5 meters of wires cut for the harness and over 200 separate connections which must be individually tested and validated. Once the tests are certified, the loom is sealed to make it both waterproof and fireproof, ensuring the elements can’t get into the circuit even in the event of a crash. Once the loom is completed, it is carefully installed and secured within the chassis.
20 JANUARY 2021
NOTES TO EDITORS
High-res images available at:
Caption: A render of WRe2 spaceframe.
Credit: Warwick Racing, University of Warwick
Video available to view at:
Credit: Warwick Racing
For further information please contact:
Media Relations Manager – Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 7920 531 221
WMG Centre HVM Catapult was pleased to contribute a chapter to the recent Midlands Manufacturing Resilience Commission (M2R) report: Manufacturing Confidence.
Led by M2R Chairman, Dr Clive Hickman, the Commission gathered evidence from a series of roundtables, surveys and contributions from some 200 participants from industry, academia and Government, including WMG’s Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Strategy, Jan Godsell.
The various discussions centred around key issues impacting Midlands’ manufacturing including skills, productivity, supply chains, leadership, innovation and finance, plus the region’s identity and reputation now and in the future.
This work culminated in “Manufacturing Confidence,” which shares the findings of those discussions, supported by a series of independently authored chapters focusing on key themes.
CEO WMG centre HVM Catapult and Director of Industrial Engagement, Professor David Greenwood authored the Manufacturing Business Support section of the report. This chapter considered the specific needs of Midlands Manufacturers, with one of the recommendations being the provision of a ‘one-stop-shop’ for business support focusing on sustainability, innovation and skills development.
An official launch event took place, virtually, on 2nd December, with presentations from Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands; Nadhim Zahawi MP and Hannah Boardman, Director, Advanced Manufacturing, BEIS.
Download the report here.
WMG is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor David Greenwood, as the new CEO of the WMG centre High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult.
Professor Greenwood will replace Archie MacPherson, who has successfully led the WMG Catapult team since 2016.
WMG Executive Chair, Margot James, said: “We thank Archie for all that he has achieved in this period and wish him all the very best as he returns to a role in industry.”
The CEO role is part of Professor Greenwood’s remit as Director for Industrial Engagement at WMG.
He currently leads WMG’s Energy Research, and also holds advisory and board positions for the Advanced Propulsion Centre, Innovate UK (Faraday Challenge and IDP and the Faraday Institution, and is Head of the Advanced Propulsion Centre's Electrical Energy Storage Spoke. Professor Greenwood also provides academic leadership for the development of R&D activities within the National Automotive Innovation Centre at the University of Warwick.
Margot added: “Dave’s passion and unrivalled experience make him the ideal candidate to lead the HVM Catapult drive to de-risk innovation in UK manufacturing, enabling its productivity, growth and sustainability.”
Professor Greenwood added : “The focus of my career has been around bringing science and technology into industry, and I am delighted that these new roles will bring together the academic strengths of WMG with the transformative capability of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult to benefit Industry and the UK. I look forward to strengthening our existing partnerships and welcoming new ones.”
Professor Greenwood will officially start as CEO from 26th October 2020.
WMG an academic department at the University of Warwick was on this day, the 1st of October, 1980 started by the late Professor Lord Bhattacharyya.
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya sadly passed away on the 1st March 2019. His long and highly accomplished career in engineering and manufacturing began with his studies in Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur, before he moved to the UK to further his studies. After working at the University of Birmingham he was persuaded by the then Vice Chancellor at Warwick, Lord Butterworth, to move to the University of Warwick where he started WMG.
Over the years he went on to become a Government adviser to Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat Industry Ministers and Prime Ministers.
Vice Chancellor of the University of Warwick, Professor Stuart Croft comments:
“I’m sure I speak for the whole Warwick community when I say how fantastic it is to see how Professor Lord Bhattacharyya’s vision for WMG has flourished to become not only an exceptional part of our University but also our whole region, by connecting engineering and manufacturing industries with academia. I look forward to seeing what is in store for WMG in the years ahead, as it continues to go from strength to strength.”
The new Executive Chair for WMG is Margot James, who was appointed in April 2020, comments on the achievements so far and plans for the future of WMG.
“We operate on a huge scale today but our mission and vision is the same it was on that first autumn morning. The challenges we are addressing now are different to those of 40 years ago; the need for a zero carbon industry is at the forefront of so much of our work. Our experience and expertise have never been more relevant and vital.
“Whether educating the next generation of engineers or developing the technologies that will change our world, the challenges we embrace today will shape the next chapter of the WMG story. We have the creativity, the insight, and most of all, the people to make the next 40 years of WMG even more exciting and impactful as we build a smarter, greener, cleaner and healthier world.”
WMG at the University of Warwick is helping a body of British citizen scientists, medical clinicians, academics, manufacturers and engineers who have developed an alternative model of ventilator to support the Government’s drive to equip the NHS.
Marshall Aerospace & Defence Group, the UK’s leading privately owned Aerospace and Defence business, is exploring the technical aspects of the scheme ahead of rapid production and roll-out of the Negative Pressure Ventilator (NPV). The exovent concept is also supported by WMG at the University of Warwick and representatives from Imperial NHS Trust and The Royal National Throat Nose and Ear hospital. Two leading intensive care units have agreed to trial the prototype ventilator support devices.
exovent is non-invasive, which means that patients do not need to have their windpipes intubated, so they don’t need to be sedated or paralysed. Instead, they can remain conscious, take medication and nutrition by mouth, and talk to loved ones on the phone. It can be used on a normal ward, keeping patients out of intensive care.
Margot James, Executive Chair, WMG, University of Warwick comments: “We are delighted to be working with exovent to help scale up their non-invasive ventilator from prototype to volume manufacturing. Our engineers and researchers are collaborating with the exovent team on the design, engineering, component sourcing and assembly of the ventilator. I am extremely proud of the unstinting and dedicated efforts of our research team, led by Archie MacPherson at WMG, and glad that we are able to apply our expertise to this important project.”
*Please credit images to John Hunter Steer Energy
• A replica of Percy Riley’s 1898 Voiturette has been built by members of the Riley Motor Club and Riley Register with the encouragement of William Riley’s grandson Victor Riley
• WMG, at the University of Warwick, are sponsoring £2,000 to help with the construction of a replica engine.
• The car featured was the first to have a mechanically operated inlet valve and led the way for the British motor industry and prevented royalty claims.
• There was a launch event at the Coventry Transport Museum on the 6th November to showcase the replica prior to the engine being made.
In a bid to get the first Riley car recreated and back on the roads of Coventry for City of Culture 2021, WMG, at the University of Warwick, are helping with sponsorship to construct a replica engine which will complete a working replica of Percy's Riley 1898 Voiturette.
The launch of the replica, in its near finished state, was revealed at the Coventry Transport Museum, on 6th November by the Lord Mayor of Coventry, Councillor Linda Bigham, alongside Victor Riley, WMG and invited guests.
The Riley car company started in 1890 as the Bonnick Cycle Company of Coventry before William Riley Jr incorporated the Riley Cycle Company in 1896.
His son, Percy Riley started his first car secretly, aged 16, in 1896 and completed its build in 1898 then drove it to Stratford upon Avon to test the car. By 1903 the Riley Engine Company was established, and in 1919 the company changed its name to Riley (Coventry) Limited.
Driven by Percy and his three brothers, the company’s focus shifted to manufacturing entire cars in early 1906.
Professor Dave Mullins, Interim Head of Department WMG comments:
“The Riley brand has played a leading role in the City’s automotive manufacturing industry and we are delighted to be able to support such a significant project for the Riley Motor Club. The family owned company has always focused on being innovative and entrepreneurial, and these characteristics align with those of WMG. We look forward to showcasing the Voiturette during the Coventry City of Culture 2021. ”
Victor Riley, the grandson of William Riley, comments on the difficulty of constructing a replica especially in light of the fact the original car no longer exists:
“Much experimentation has been carried out particularly in some detail of the steering geometry. With help from the Souck Bucks Riley Register members were able to put some of the components together to give an idea of the car taking shape. We are now at the stage where we need to complete the engine to get a fully working replica, and we’re grateful for the sponsorship from WMG, University of Warwick, which will enable this to happen.”
Lord Mayor of Coventry, Councillor Linda Bigham, said: “Coventry is the birthplace of the British Motor Industry. It’s important that we celebrate this and are proud of the innovation, which is still very much alive today especially in the green revolution.
“That’s why I was so pleased to be able to unveil the Voiturette today. With our year as UK City of Culture fast approaching, having a working replica of this iconic car will help us showcase our past and celebrate our future.”
The 1898 Voiturette will be on the Rily Motor Club stand at the Classic Car Show at the NEC from 8th to 10th November. It will share the stand with the 3rd car of the 1906 first production car, 1919 side valve car and a 1967 Elf.
Three new exciting opportunities for engineering and manufacturing experts are being advertised at WMG, University of Warwick, including Regius Professor of Manufacturing – which was last held by the late founder of WMG Professor Lord Bhattacharyya.
The three engineering and manufacturing roles being advertised at WMG, University of Warwick are:
1. Regius Professor of Manufacturing
2. Professor (Research Director) in developing WMG’s research strategy
3. Associate Professor or Reader in Future Mobility
The Associate Professor or Reader in Future Mobility will focus on Intelligent Vehicles research, exploring ways to move people and goods around in a safer, more efficient and environmentally friendly way.
WMG is partnered with many local businesses, keeping the West Midlands at the forefront of autonomous vehicle research, and this new Associate Professor or Reader will be working with Government and industry funded projects to exploit new ideas and technologies to look beyond traditional, infrastructure-heavy approaches to transport, and create innovative ways to improve vehicles and make journeys better and accessible to all.
The Professor (Research Director) will lead the development of WMG’s research strategy and provide academic leadership in their chosen field, to keep WMG at the forefront of innovation in research, education and knowledge transfer activities.
Finally the Regius Professor of Manufacturing which was bestowed by Her Majesty the Queen in 2016 was held by the founder of WMG the late Professor Lord Bhattacharyya. As WMG enters its 40th year in 2020 an exceptional researcher is sought to shape the future of manufacturing.
Professor David Mullins, Interim Head of WMG at the University of Warwick comments:
“WMG is at the forefront of research and innovation. As a key element of our future strategy and leadership, we are recruiting three senior engineering and manufacturing specialists with a passion and exemplary research and impact track record in areas from electrification and intelligent vehicles, to advanced manufacturing and materials, health and wellbeing and cyber security.”
29 OCTOBER 2019
NOTES TO EDITORS
For more information about the Associate Professor or Reader in future mobility see: https://atsv7.wcn.co.uk/search_engine/jobs.cgi?SID=amNvZGU9MTgzMzAyNSZ2dF90ZW1wbGF0ZT0xNDU3Jm93bmVyPTUwNjI0NTImb3duZXJ0eXBlPWZhaXImYnJhbmRfaWQ9MCZ2YWNfeHRyYTUwNjI0NTIuNTJfNTA2MjQ1Mj0yMzk5NzcmcG9zdGluZ19jb2RlPTYzNQ
For more information about the Professor (Research Director) in developing WMG’s research strategy see: https://atsv7.wcn.co.uk/search_engine/jobs.cgi?SID=amNvZGU9MTgzMjU0MiZ2dF90ZW1wbGF0ZT0xNDU3Jm93bmVyPTUwNjI0NTImb3duZXJ0eXBlPWZhaXImYnJhbmRfaWQ9MCZ2YWNfeHRyYTUwNjI0NTIuNTJfNTA2MjQ1Mj0yMzk5NzcmcG9zdGluZ19jb2RlPTYzNQ
For more information about the Regius Professor of Manufacturing see: https://atsv7.wcn.co.uk/search_engine/jobs.cgi?amNvZGU9MTgzODM0NiZ2dF90ZW1wbGF0ZT0xNDU3Jm93bmVyPTUwNjI0NTImb3duZXJ0eXBlPWZhaXImYnJhbmRfaWQ9MCZ2YWNfeHRyYTUwNjI0NTIuNTJfNTA2MjQ1Mj0yMzk5NzcmcG9zdGluZ19jb2RlPTYzNQ=&jcode=1838346&vt_template=1457&owner=5062452&ownertype=fair&brand_id=0&vac_xtra5062452.52_5062452=239977&posting_code=635
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Media Relations Manager – Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 2476 574 255 or +44 (0) 7920 531 221
In a bid to fulfil a two-year ambition, Senior Teaching Fellow Piotr Klin teamed up with WMG to prepare the race package for his UCI World Masters Hour record attempt on July 21st.
Scooping the cycling accolade at his native Polish velodrome of Arena Pruszkow, Piotr’s distance of 49.649km beat the previous record for the 30-34 age group of 48.234km set by Britain’s Ryan Davies.
The World Masters Hour concept requires racers to ride around a velodrome and cover the furthest distance within 60 minutes. Having narrowly missed out on breaking the Polish hour record in August last year, Piotr collaborated with WMG at the University of Warwick to make technical advancements to his bike, utilising the state-of-the-art facilities at WMG.
Piotr reviewed the 3D printed parts within his bike to minimise the drag on the track, and commenting on his successes, the Coventry resident originally from Lublin in Poland said:
“This is a great achievement for me, and it feels extra special to do this in my home country. The extra time that I have spent training in the velodrome has paid off. WMG manufactured parts were custom made to best fit my body, using 3D scanning and printing techniques to deliver a custom cockpit fit, providing comfort during the longest hour in cycling.
“By leveraging the world-leading expertise and facilities through my collaboration with WMG, I’ve been able to bring the best race package I’ve had to-date and deliver this world record performance.
“I’m excited for new challenges following this milestone and look forward to collaborating with WMG further to post even faster times.”
By breaking the world record, Piotr added a further feather to his cap, which already includes a well decorated repertoire of accolades, including merits for being a three-time Polish Masters National Time Trial champion and his crown of Amateur Sportsman of the Year from the 2018 Coventry and Warwickshire Sports Awards.
Building on his successes, Piotr now hopes to go one better than his second place in 2017 at the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships Time Trial in Poznan in August.
Archie MacPherson, CEO of the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult at WMG is part of the expert panel at the Enterprise Research Centre (ERC)’s State of Small Business Britain Conference 2019, taking place at The Shard in London today.
Archie joins automotive experts as well as representatives of the FSB and officials from the Department of Business, Innovation and Industrial Strategy, to discuss how to strengthen key sectors of the economy.
He explains: “Support is needed now, more than ever, from the High Value Manufacturing Catapult to ensure that UK businesses maintain competitiveness during this period of uncertainty in UK Manufacturing.”
The ERC’s State of Small Business Britain report, which was launched at the Conference, presents a new analysis of the fortunes of the manufacturing and services sectors since the Great Recession of a decade ago.
The report provides a broader snapshot of the health of UK manufacturers in light of recent announcements about factory closures and job losses by the carmakers Ford at Bridgend and Honda at Swindon which the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has estimated could lead to the loss of 60,000 jobs directly and in supply chains. In May, British Steel collapsed into administration after a last-ditch appeal to the Government, putting a further 25,000 jobs at risk.
Following the Conference, Archie will be making his way back to WMG for “The Future will be Autonomous, Connected, Electric and Shared (ACES)” networking dinner bringing together global leaders in the transport and communications sector. Guests will discuss the opportunities and challenges that ACES technology can bring.
About High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult at WMG
WMG is one of the founding members of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult (HVMC), and the lead centre for Vehicle Electrification and Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) within the HVMC network. The centre is also active in showing how Digital Manufacturing technologies can help improve company and supply chain competitiveness.
As part of the £640m Government funding package for HVM Catapult, WMG was allocated £100m in 2018 to continue strengthening UK industry through collaborative R&D, innovation and technology transfer from automotive into other transport sectors over the next five years.
About the Enterprise Research Centre
ERC is the UK’s leading independent research institute on the drivers behind the growth and productivity of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It is funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Innovate UK, The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and the British Business Bank (BBB).
ERC is producing the new knowledge around SMEs that will allow us to create a business-friendly environment nationwide, grounded in hard evidence. We want to understand what makes entrepreneurs and firms thrive so we can spread the lessons from best practice and make the UK a more successful economy.
The Centre is led by Professors Stephen Roper of Warwick Business School and Mark Hart of Aston University, Birmingham. Our senior researchers are world-class academics from both Aston and Warwick Universities as well as from our partner institutions which include Imperial College, Queens University Belfast and the University of Strathclyde.