Leading the digital manufacturing revolution

A unique business support programme, set to power a digital manufacturing revolution in the Liverpool City Region, will be using research and academic expertise from the LJMU Faculty of Engineering and Technology.

The first of its kind in the country, and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), LCR4.0 will allow businesses in the region to access practical support and connect with other SMEs to help them unleash the transformational  potential of Industry 4.0.

Often referred to as the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0, involves the increasing connectivity between digital and physical assets in advanced manufacturing driven by advancements and greater reliability in data analytics and  human-machine interactions.

Dr Martin Sharp, LJMU Principal Lecturer and member of the Advanced Manufacturing Technologies group at the General Engineering Research Institute commented:

“The adoption of these new technologies in the sector is enabling businesses and their supply chains to optimise productivity and competitiveness.

“The project will use experience and excellence of academics from the Faculty’s Engineering and Technology Research Institute to find solutions to industrial problems. This will cover a range of areas including manufacturing, drones and sensors from GERI (General Engineering Research Institute), sensor technology and civil engineering from BEST (Built Environment and Sustainable Technology), data management, analysis, augmented reality and cybersecurity from PROTECT (Research Centre for Critical Infrastructure Computer Technology and Protection).

“There will be logistics from LOOM (Logistics, Offshore & Marine Institute), Mechanical Engineering and Materials from MEMARC (Mechanical Engineering and Materials Research Groups), Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and expertise from the Astrophysics Research Institute.”

LJMU is also contributing through its role in Sensor City, an innovation centre that brings together the knowledge and experience in sensor technology, and a partner of the LCR4.0 project. Additionally, LCR4.0 has the potential to lead  to student projects from undergraduate through to postgraduate level. Students will also benefit from engaging with SME companies throughout the Liverpool City Region in adopting Industry 4.0 principles to deliver smarter processes, smarter products and a  future, sustainable manufacturing base in the Liverpool City Region.

As well as manufacturing, other sectors set to benefit from the LCR4.0 programme include digital, scientific, engineering and sensors.

Simon Reid, sector manager for advanced manufacturing at the Liverpool City Region LEP, said:

“LCR4.0 is creating a long-lasting legacy for manufacturing in the city region by helping to stimulate sustainable economic growth. The wealth of knowledge we have access to through all of the partner organisations, as well as our connections with private businesses, means we have the opportunity to take a huge step forward in our goal for a technology-driven regional economy.”

The programme is also a part of the Liverpool City Region Local Growth Hub.

The project has attracted attention from regional media including the Liverpool Echo, North West Insider Daily, Move Commercial, Insider Media Limited, Click Liverpool, Your Business Ezine, Liverpool Express and BQ Magazine


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