Analysis in a high tech factory environment

MTC Whitepapers

Delve into a world of advancements in manufacturing technologies and processes with MTC Whitepapers. Our whitepapers cover topics such as digital manufacturing, sustainable manufacturing, and the future of industrial practices where we aim to provide share knowledge and insights for the manufacturing industry.

AI: a trustworthy framework

Recent advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) have shifted its perception from science fiction to practical applications. Despite rapid AI development, its adoption in manufacturing has been slow due to a lack of trust and clear standards. Trustworthy AI aims to build confidence by ensuring systems are secure, fair, transparent, accountable, and robust. AI assurance techniques provide a framework to assess these aspects. However, the abundance of AI standards and policies complicates their practical application. Manufacturing stakeholders struggle to identify relevant guidelines, hindering AI integration. This paper reviews current AI standards and assurance techniques, highlighting the need for a comprehensive, applicable framework to enhance AI adoption in manufacturing. Recommendations include creating a universally applicable approach for broader industry implementation.

AI framework whitepaper

Download the Trustworthy AI framework whitepaper


AI Governance

The rapid proliferation of AI systems, especially Externally Hosted AI and Large Language Models (LLMs) like ChatGPT, has raised significant concerns about their responsible and secure use. This paper addresses these concerns within the manufacturing sector, presenting a procedural risk analysis and AI governance framework at the organisational level to ensure judicious deployment. Central to this proposal is the establishment of an AI Governance Team to oversee compliance with internal and external policies throughout the lifecycle of these technologies. A case study using OpenAI's ChatGPT demonstrates a three-tiered risk analysis covering Generic, Categoric, and Use-Case specific risks. This framework provides businesses in manufacturing with a comprehensive toolkit to navigate AI development complexities, ensuring efficiency and safety. 

Generative AI

Download the AI Governance whitepaper


A Guide to Human-Robot Collaboration in Manufacturing

Robotics and automation can significantly boost productivity and manage dull, dirty, and dangerous tasks in manufacturing. Despite this, the UK ranks only 25th globally for robot density per 10,000 workers in 2023, down from 24th in 2022. Many Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the UK struggle to identify automation opportunities or hesitate to invest due to technical risks, lack of internal skills, high setup costs, and long payback periods. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are addressing these challenges, particularly through the growing interest in collaborative robots or "cobots." Cobots facilitate human-robot collaboration, enabling more skilled tasks for employees and supporting automation in manufacturing. Reshoring manufacturing and the demand for customisable products have increased the popularity of easy-to-install and reprogram robots.

Engineer using a robot arm

Download the guide to human-robot collaboration in manufacturing


Hydrogen research paper

The urgent need to decarbonise human activity is transforming the global energy landscape. The UK was one of the first major economies to legislate 'net-zero by 2050' in 2019, and emissions have decreased annually since then. This goal has gained global recognition, with many countries defining their net-zero strategies, though the pathway remains uncertain. Achieving net-zero will require fundamental changes, integrating sustainable technologies and reshaping energy consumption. Electrification, the first step away from fossil fuels, is viable for many applications but challenging for sectors with high thermal energy needs or mobile applications. Hydrogen can serve as a low-carbon alternative. The UK aims to increase low-carbon hydrogen production capacity to 10GW by 2030. Realising hydrogen's potential requires competitive pricing and effective distribution and storage.

Hydrogen off shore storage

Download the Hydrogen research paper


Automation and robotics - a new perspective

Manufacturing is crucial for strong local economies and accounts for over half of UK exports. Recent technological advancements offer opportunities for improved efficiency and sustainability in manufacturing. Despite this, the UK lags globally in adopting automation and robotics, which are essential for productivity and achieving Net Zero. Barriers include high costs, lack of skills, and negative perceptions. This paper aims to assess the current automation landscape in the UK, identify adoption challenges, and highlight technology benefits. Key recommendations focus on skills and education, awareness, finance, and support. Investment in education, better communication, financial support, and enhanced business support are critical. Addressing these areas can help the UK fully leverage automation and robotics, fostering a competitive and thriving manufacturing sector.

Two engineers using a robot in manufacturing

Download the Automation and robotics - a new perspective whitepaper


The UK semiconductor industry

The global semiconductor value chain, generating $555.9 billion in 2021, is crucial for modern technology across various sectors. The UK's involvement spans all markets, utilizing both silicon and compound semiconductors. COVID-19 and geopolitical tensions have driven companies to seek end-to-end design and manufacturing capabilities, with governments supporting local markets. The UK's political stability, skilled workforce, and strong engineering education make it an attractive investment destination. This paper highlights the semiconductor industry's importance, recent supply chain disruptions, and key global players, focusing on the UK's landscape and future opportunities. Key points include the fragility exposed by the pandemic, Moore’s Law versus More than Moore devices, and the UK's strengths in More than Moore technologies. Recommendations emphasise early technology adoption, reshoring, and unified efforts from academia, industry, and government.

Robot placing a semi conductor

Download the UK semiconductor industry whitepaper


Midlands and the offshore wind supply chain

Climate change's impact is increasingly evident, driving demand for sustainable practices across the economy. The UK, with its favourable geography for offshore wind, leads globally in this sector, boasting a 10GW capacity. The UK government aims to quadruple this capacity in the next decade, as outlined in the 'Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution'. Offshore wind is crucial for decarbonizing the energy sector, supported by advances that have reduced costs significantly. The industry provides substantial economic benefits, including jobs and renewable energy. To capitalise on export opportunities, the UK must develop more intellectual property and skills. The Midlands region can seize this opportunity by fostering clusters, R&D, and skills, thus enhancing the offshore wind supply chain and creating lasting economic benefits.

Offshore wind  turbines

Download the Midlands and the offshore wind supply chain whitepaper


Textiles - opportunities and challenges for the UK and Midlands

Manufacturing is crucial to the UK economy, but the textiles and fashion industry has declined due to competition from cheap overseas labour and fast fashion. To revitalise this sector, the UK must overcome barriers like consumer habits and reliance on foreign manufacturing. The pandemic, Brexit, and Industry 4.0 present opportunities to restore the UK's textile heritage. This paper assesses the current state of UK textiles and proposes strategies for growth. Key points include the need for embracing circular economy practices, reskilling workers, and adopting new technologies like automation. Recommendations include developing coordinated policy frameworks, shifting to demand-led manufacturing, educating consumers on sustainability, and reshoring garment production to reduce waste and improve efficiency.

Craftsman prepares leather

Download the Textiles - opportunities and challenges whitepaper


Get in touch

Form submitted successfully