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ASTUTE 2020 Update September 2020

Here at ASTUTE 2020, we can support your business throughout this period of uncertainty. Our world-class academics and technical experts from across our strong Welsh Universities partnership are available to support you through research and innovation activities. If you wish to discuss opportunities for working with us e.g. to modify your production to develop solutions to support the fight against COVID-19, you can contact us via email.


New Collaborative Robot Brings Industry 4.0 research opportunities to the Manufacturing Sector Across Wales

New Collaborative Robot Brings Industry 4.0 research opportunities to the Manufacturing Sector Across Wales


ASTUTE 2020+’s continued drive to support manufacturing companies across Wales to remain at the forefront of innovation has led to adding a new collaborative robot to their extensive state-of-the-art equipment and facilities available to manufacturers for research collaborations.

The KUKA KMR (KUKA Mobile Robotics) iiwa Robot is a collaborative robot that combines an autonomous robotics platform with a robotic manipulator into one unified robotics system that can flexibly automate tasks that require accuracy, mobility, sensitivity or human interaction. This remarkably flexible piece of kit allows for an optimal and adaptable production setup. With its omnidirectional and unrestricted manoeuvrability, simple operator control, autonomous sensor-based navigation, and deep programmability allowing safe collaboration with humans, this piece of equipment could transform the manufacturing industry, meeting businesses requirements for industry 4.0.

 The KUKA KMR iiwa Robot has the potential to be deployed in many industrial manufacturing environments such as automotive and aerospace industries. Fixtureless or mobile manufacturing workstations could be the future, with mobile workstations capable of the same applications as fixed manipulators and more as they augment their capabilities with greater range and mobility. This makes them advantageous for operations such as the transportation of parts, palletising, pick-and-place operations, and applications where a single robot can be deployed to work on large parts that are not suited to fixed production lines. Incorporating this technology has the potential for reducing manufacturing infrastructure and costs in the process.

Potential research opportunities with ASTUTE 2020+ could focus on investigating the fixtureless manufacturing of large workpieces, such as wings and fuselages in the aerospace industry using the KUKA KMR iiwa Robot and AI-based control techniques.

Manufacturing companies across Wales who wish to further their knowledge and understanding of implementing Industry 4.0 technologies into their production processes and systems have the opportunity to collaborate with ASTUTE 2020+. Through collaboration, businesses can de-risk the development and adoption of advanced technologies, increasing competitiveness and future-proofing by conducting industrial research on developing novel automated or semi-automated production processes for industrial deployment.

As businesses adapt to the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, Industry 4.0 technologies and the applications of advanced manufacturing and digital information technologies are proving to be paramount.

Dr Ian Cameron, Senior Technical Manager, ASTUTE 2020+ said:

“With the manufacturing industry embracing the importance of research and collaboration, investing in new equipment as well as cutting-edge technologies enables businesses to be better positioned to meet the changing preferences and requirements of customers and end-users. New equipment also facilitates reaching new customers and markets and offer new products and services as businesses requirements change.

Through industry-academia collaborations, manufacturing businesses across Wales can gain unique access to equipment such as the KUKA Mobile collaborative robot to ensure these intelligent systems and advanced techniques will work for their business moving forward.”

Get in touch to discuss opportunities for working with us; the team at Swansea University will be happy to provide support on your Industry 4.0 manufacturing challenge, email info@astutewales.com

ASTUTE 2020+ can support manufacturing companies across a variety of sectors, such as aerospace, automotive, energy generation, oil and gas, medical devices, electronics, foods, etc., stimulating growth by applying advanced engineering technologies to manufacturing challenges driving cutting-edge research and innovation. ASTUTE 2020+ collaborations inspire manufacturing companies to improve and streamline their manufacturing processes, manufactured products and supply chain, generating sustainable, higher-value goods and services and bringing them to a global market.

The ASTUTE 2020+ operation has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government and the participating Higher Education Institutions.