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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.


Welsh Companies can capitalise on academic expertise in Industry 4.0

Continuing from the successful ASTUTE (2010–2015) project, which created economic impact of over £200 million in West Wales and the Valleys (WWV), the ASTUTE 2020 (Advanced Sustainable Manufacturing Technologies) operation is designed to stimulate growth in WWV by applying advanced engineering technologies to manufacturing challenges driving cutting-edge research and innovation, enabling projects with manufacturing companies in order to generate sustainable, higher value goods and services and bring them to a global market.

Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Welsh Government, the five-year operation (2015–2020) led by Swansea University, in partnership with Cardiff University, Aberystwyth University and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, will support industrial research, development and innovation (RD&I) through world-class academics and a team of highly qualified technical experts and project managers. 

Demand-led by industry, ASTUTE 2020’s focus is on collaborative projects between academia and industry, providing companies with unique access to world-class academic experts, highly qualified researchers, technology, and research facilities, encouraging stimulation of ideas and facilitating the adoption of change through research, development and innovation (RD&I).

Welsh companies have the opportunity to collaborate with world-renowned academics within the expertise areas of Advanced Materials Technology, Computational Engineering Modelling and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, such as Dr Rajesh Ransing from Swansea University, whose expertise on Industry 4.0 and process improvement has led to the development of a methodology for transforming in-process data into actionable information for process development, quality management and process control.

Photo: Dr Steve Leyland, Group Technical Director of Uni-Pol with Dr Rajesh Ransing, Swansea University

“ASTUTE 2020 will focus its resources working collaboratively with industry to provide support in areas that offer the best economic opportunities for the manufacturing industry in West Wales and the Valleys to improve the economic prosperity of the region.”

- Professor Johann Sienz, ASTUTE 2020 Operation Director

In a bold move led by Dr Steve Leyland, Group Technical Director of Uni-pol, the Uni-pol Group, a leading manufacturer of turbocharger turbine wheels, began its journey towards Industry 4.0 compliance by embracing all best-practice guidelines for process improvement, including Six Sigma process control methodology and industry-leading simulation tools.

In 2016 Dr Leyland decided to support and host Dr Ransing’s prestigious RAEng Industry Fellowship. Initially, Uni-Pol wanted Dr Ransing’s 7Epsilon philosophy to guarantee that process improvements achieved by the Uni-Pol group are sustained in the long term so that unforeseen increases in scrap levels do not reduce their expected capacity in a leaned out process.

Welsh companies have the opportunity to learn from the experience gained on ‘what worked’ and ‘what did not work’ during Uni-Pol’s journey to Industry 4.0 through collaboration with ASTUTE 2020. Dr Ransing co-hosted a panel discussion on Industry 4.0 for CEOs and Process Engineers of manufacturing industries at Warwick Manufacturing Group, University of Warwick on the 12th September 2017. The panel comprised of world-leading industry and academic experts.

Photo: Female engineer working in machine manufacturing company

Dr Ransing’s fellowship exceeded its goals and Swansea University’s relationship with the Uni-Pol group has been further strengthened with the launch of multiple new projects. Uni-Pol is presented the experience and benefits it gained from Dr Ransing’s fellowship at the European Investment Casters Federation (EICF) workshop in Bruno on 11th May, 2017. http://www.eicfbrno2017.com

An interview with Dr Steve Leyland covering his views on Industry 4.0 and the reasons he is collaborating with Swansea University is available at http://www.swansea.ac.uk/engineering/newsarchive/uni-pol-talk-mechanical-engineering/

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. All of these industries make increased use of sometimes complex computer models to better understand and therefore be able to improve and streamline their manufacturing processes, manufactured products and supply chain.

For more information, please contact:

ASTUTE 2020, Phone: +44 (0)1792 606378, Email: info@astutewales.com

Royal Academy of Engineering

As the UK’s national academy for engineering, the Royal Academy of Engineering brings together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering.


Uni-Pol Group

Uni-Pol Group is a world-leading company in high-volume investment casting technology and precision machined components offering a wide range of manufacturing techniques to markets requiring the highest quality, predominantly in the automotive sector, but also in the aerospace and medical industries.