Electric Machines Manufacturing – Putting the UK at the front of the electric revolution
Future Electrical Machines Manufacturing Hub
In an open competition in April 2019, The Future Electrical Machines Manufacturing (FEMM) Hub received £10.45m of funding from EPSRC over a seven-year period to support a wide-ranging programme of research projects, develop collaborations and carry out feasibility studies drawing in expertise from across the UK academic sector. In addition, the Hub received a £13m contribution from industry for projects that align with hub activities and a £4.7m contribution from the core institutions.
Geraint Jewell Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Sheffield and FEMM Hub Director
The vision of the FEMM Hub, which is led by Professor Geraint Jewell at The University of Sheffield, is to put UK manufacturing at the forefront of the electrification revolution. Over the course of the seven-year programme of research, the Hub aims to address key manufacturing challenges in the production of high-integrity and high value electrical machines for the aerospace, energy, high-value automotive and premium consumer sectors. Through delivering world-class manufacturing research and innovation, the Hub will assist UK manufacturing to capture significant value in the electrical machine supply chain, improve UK industrial productivity and deliver the environmental benefits and cleaner growth at the heart of the UK’s industrial strategy.
The Hub is anchored within six high profile and research groups across 3 institutions, which collectively offer unparalleled access to electrical machine manufacturing technologies and research infrastructure, as well as significant emphasis on translational research and impact working with industry. From the University of Sheffield: the Electrical Machines and Drives group from the Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department, the Digital Manufacturing group from the Automatic Control and Systems Engineering Department and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. From the University of Strathclyde: the Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department within the Institute of Energy and Environment, and the Advanced Forming Research Centre within the National Manufacturing Institute of Scotland, and from Newcastle University, the Electrical Power Group.
The Hub will deliver academic advances through the development and application of new and emerging manufacturing processes.
The Hub will be instrumental in establishing and maintaining a leading and differentiated technology.
The Hub will deliver significant economic impacts through increasing UK productivity and competitiveness.
The Hub will support the UK government shift to cleaner growth via low carbon energy generation and energy use in transportation.
Our research agenda is informed and driven through long standing and deep partnerships with industry. We have 19 industry partners representing expertise in Aerospace, offshore renewable energy, premium consumer products, automotive, material supply expertise, as well as input from ATI and HVM Catapult Centre to give us wider representation and access to other industries and wider UK manufacturing. Three innovative UK SMEs have joined the FEMM Hub as industry partners in the past year. Tannlin, Motor Design and Rotary Engineering. Each bring new expertise and perspectives into the Hub and have already provided valuable insight into developments in their respective fields and contributed technical expertise and manufactured test-pieces.
We are always on the lookout to expand our group of industry partners, so please get in touch if you would like to explore joining.
Latest FEMM Hub Updates
We have recently published our annual report which details our latest research, to request a copy please visit our website.
Cross Cutting Theme 1 – Sustainable Manufacture of Electrical Machine Components for the Circular Economy
The activity on sustainable manufacturing and circular economy, which we initiated in January 2021, continues to develop at pace with strong leadership from Jill Miscandlon at Advanced Forming Research Centre within the National Manufacturing Institute of Scotland. This has already generated significant interest from the research community, industry and R&D funders, with a growing portfolio of case studies and projects. Jill recently featured on an Enlit Europe podcast discussing this project, visit the following link to find out more: https://electricalmachineshub.ac.uk/femm-hub-project-lead-features-on-energy-transitions-podcast/
Cross Cutting Theme 2: In-process tracking and tractability for zero-defect manufacture of electrical machines
The recent uptake of smarter manufacturing has brought with it significant improvements in productivity. Unfortunately, some processes require modalities such as imaging or vision in order to perform a task, and in some cases the required data can be hard to acquire e.g process failure detection. Looking more specifically within electrical machine manufacture we can find several processes in which it is beneficial to identify anomalies that may occur that give rise to manufacturing error. This theme is centred on the numerous manual processes that underpin electrical machine manufacture, and how non-destructive testing and manufacturing digitisation methods can be integrated to provide added value to the manufacturing life-cycle. Through such technologies and methods, our aim is a zero-defect manufacturing approach in the production environment for electrical machines where we can move away from end-of-line test and towards in-process inspection, verification and digital certification of parts and processes. For more detail on this project, visit https://electricalmachineshub.ac.uk/news/
The Hub continues to expand its outreach activities and has recently had a stand at two exhibitions and participated in a highly successful schools STEM event at the Magna Science Centre in Rotherham where researchers and PhD students from the Hub helped a large number of secondary school pupils build machines from a small kit of parts.
If you would like more information about the FEMM Hub, please contact Hub Manager Laura O’Keefe: L.OKeefe@sheffield.ac.uk