Advanced Manufacturing Research Centres (AxRCs)

Research centres

The AxRC network is a network of seven Advanced Manufacturing Research Centres (five in the UK) that is being established to help Rolls-Royce and other industrial partners achieve Best in Class capability across the full portfolio of manufacturing technologies.

This developing network linking companies, industrial sectors and universities provides a radical new model of collaborative research designed to achieve transformational and step change improvements. The five UK centres together with two others, WMG and Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), were awarded the first Catapult, High Value ManufacturingLink opens in a new window, guaranteeing long-term government funding to accelerate the commercialisation of new and emerging manufacturing technologies. 

The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC)

The MTC is situated in the Midlands near to Coventry. It is operated by a Company Limited by Guarantee formed by the Universities of Nottingham, Birmingham and Loughborough, and TWI Ltd. Investment from the government agencies (AWM & EMDA) was used to build and equip the facility, which opened in July 2011. This is the largest of the research centres with over 12,000 m² of floor space, reflecting the intention to address a broader range of manufacturing processes.

  • Technology focus is on high integrity joining, intelligent automation, advanced tooling and fixturing, powder net shape manufacture and electronics manufacture, all underpinned by supporting research groups in metrology, computerised engineering and manufacturing informatics.
  • Industrial membership includes the founding members,  Rolls-Royce, Airbus & Aero-Engine Controls and a total of 40 members from a wide range of manufacturing sectors. 
  • Facility equipment includes medium and small tri-mode rotary friction welders, a range of robotic cells, automated wing assembly, parallel kinematic machine, automated TIG and laser welding cells, automated electronics assembly line and pre-production cells and 3D immersive virtual reality capability.

For further information please visit opens in a new window

Manufacturing Technology Centre


The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM)

CCAM opened in 2012 at the Crosspointe Center in Prince George County, Virginia. University partners include the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University.

  • Technology focus is on surface engineering, advanced manufacturing systems and related technologies.
  • Industrial membership includes founding members Rolls-Royce, Newport News Shipbuilding, Canon, Sandvik Coromant, Siemens, Sulzer Metco, and Chromalloy.

For further information please visit www.ccam-va.comLink opens in a new window


The Advanced Remanufacturing & Technology Centre (ARTC)

The centre will be owned by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research institute (A*STAR) in partnership with Nanyang Technological University. The ARTC will be situated at CleanTech II, a new development located in close proximity to the campus of Nanyang Technological University. Operations at the Centre are planned to start by mid-2014 with significant funding support from the Singapore Economic Development Board.

  • Technology Focus is on repair and restoration, surface modification & product verification.
  • Industrial Membership interest; Rolls-Royce, IHI and Siemens

 For further information please visit


The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC)

The AMRC is situated in South Yorkshire and managed by the University of Sheffield. Its main facility, the Rolls-Royce Factory of the Future (FoF), opened in 2008. Regional, European and Government agencies have continued to invest in the ongoing development of the AMRC infrastructure, with the 40 per cent expansion of the FoF and the new Knowledge Transfer Centre now open. The next approved phase of expansion will involve the creation of a Design, Prototyping and Testing Centre and the building of a new and enlarged apprentice training academy. The AMRC employs over 200 highly qualified staff.

  • Technology focus is on advanced machining, machine characterisation, programming and measurement technologies.
  • Industrial membership includes Rolls-Royce, Boeing, BAE Systems & Messier-Dowty, plus 60 other organizations.
  • Facility equipment includes large 5-axis machining centres, large horizontal and mill-turn machines, large vertical turning centres, large 5-axis grinding machine and measurement  equipment (CMM & GOM).

 For further information please visit opens in a new window


The National Composites Centre (NCC)

The NCC was launched as a result of the UK Composites Strategy in November 2009 and was formally opened in November 2011. It is based on the Bristol & Bath Science Park and is hosted by the University of Bristol in an 8,500m² state of the art facility, which was supported by ERDF, BIS and regional funding. The NCC acts as the hub for the UK composites industry, and hosts the Composite Skills Alliance organisation which is currently developing accredited training to support industry needs.

  • Technology focus is on advanced composites design, structural analysis, modelling and simulation, as well as materials and process engineering. The NCC is also investigating the increased use of robotics and automation within composites, and optimised manufacturing and tooling engineering systems.
  • Industrial membership includes Rolls-Royce, Airbus, GKN, Agusta Westland, Vestas & Dassault Systèmes, Umeco plus a further 10 members covering a wide cross-sectoral range of industries.
  • Facility equipment includes clean rooms with robotic auto-fibre placement machines (thermosetting and thermoplastic heads), a large ply cutter. There are also industrial scale auto-claves in place, as well as liquid resin and dry forming cells, jet impingement ultrasonic and CT X-Ray NDE systems, and a material characterisation laboratory with equipment including optical and scanning electron microscopy and mechanical test machine. 

For further information please visit opens in a new window

National Composites Centre


The Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC)

The AFRC is located in Renfrew, Scotland, adjacent to Glasgow Airport. It is operated by The University of Strathclyde in collaboration with Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Government and global engineering organisations.

  • Technology focus is on forming and forging of metals with associated materials characterisation and process modelling.
  • Industrial membership includes Rolls-Royce, Boeing, Aubert & Duval, Barnes Aerospace and Timet, plus 11 additional tier 2 members.

The current facility is sized at 2,600m² with plans to double its size during 2012-13. Fundamental and applied research is completed using industrial scale equipment across a range of forming and forging processes, e.g. closed & open die forging, superplastic forming, flow forming and rotary forging.

For further information please visit opens in a new window

Advanced Forming Centre


The Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC)

The Nuclear AMRC is a partnership between the Universities of Sheffield and Manchester, and a consortium of industry partners. It will provide a national focus for development of the UK manufacturing supply chain for nuclear new build and other nuclear market sub-sectors.

  • Centre focus to raise the quality, capability and cost-competitiveness of the UK civil nuclear manufacturing supply chain, to a level of “best global practice”. To assist UK manufacturing companies to compete for nuclear contracts worldwide and become part of the global supply chains of the reactor vendors and their first tier suppliers.
  • Industrial membership includes EDF, Areva, Westinghouse, Rolls-Royce, Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd and Tata Steel (formerly Corus).
  • Facility equipment within the centre includes machining, welding & cladding, non-destructive evaluation, automation / robotics, near net shape manufacture, virtual reality / simulation and advanced metrology. 

For further information, please visit opens in a new window

Nuclear AMRC


» Email
Mobile phone icon

» Sign up to the RNS on your handheld device or mobile phone

Alert service icon

» Sign up to get the latest news
delivered to your inbox

Contact us icon

Contact us