Space is one of the fastest growing industries in the UK. We are already a world leader in small satellite technology and applications, telecommunications, robotics and Earth observation, and we have manufactured over 20% of the satellites in orbit.
For the UK to become a ‘one stop shop’ for the space sector, industry will have to address key challenges facing the industry, which include:
The innovative UK space industry is already responding to these challenges by investing in the future through increased commitment to research and development.
The MTC forms part of the UK Catapult Network and takes a lead on Space Sector activity as a centre within the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, an expansive network of fellow Research Technology Organisations (RTO's) that work together to solve challenges faced by UK manufacturing across academia and industry. The Catapult Network is supported by the UK government to create agile environments to enhance partnership between industry, academia and other institutions.
By collaborating in this way, businesses can access and leverage experience, knowledge and ideas across sectors to collectively achieve so much more. It is this that enables the MTC to deliver end-to-end solutions and help UK industry to solve the challenges faced by the introduction of new technologies.
These capabilities, coupled with teams of researchers and manufacturing engineers, provide a platform to develop and prove manufacturing processes and technologies in a low-risk environment. This then becomes the catalyst for future growth of innovative, world-leading technologies.
The MTC is focused on supporting the development of net zero technologies by delivering value in three key areas - technology innovation, industrialisation and scale-up and sustainability.
The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) is focussed on the accelerated growth of industrial sectors including Space. Through development and application of innovative manufacturing technologies, the MTC supports industrial sectors to reach the next step in their commercial journey.
Based across multiple sites in the UK, the MTC houses some of the most advanced manufacturing equipment in the world. The high-quality engineering facilities operate at an industrial scale to support skills and productivity through development and demonstration of innovative manufacturing technologies and processes in (for example):
Component manufacturing – Near net shape (inc. MTC is an ESA benchmarking centre for Additive Manufacturing since 2017), Novel joining, Advance design, Rapid prototype
Systems Engineering – Tooling and fixture design and prototype, Electronics, Generative and knowledge-based design
Digital Engineering – Intelligent Digital twins, Virtual / augmented realities, Modelling and simulation, Production scale up and design
Robotic and Automation – Intelligent Automation, Autonomous Systems, Controls and connectivity, Remote / tele-operations, Real time feedback systems
Central to the work of the MTC is bridging the gap between academia and industry. By leveraging its network and capabilities, the MTC can bring R&D to life through applied research and support supply chains with the development of prototypes, into practical solutions and full-scale production.
The evolution from innovation to industrialisation is one of the biggest challenges faced by industry; often, businesses know what to do, but not how to get there. The MTC is adept in identifying skills and capabilities required and then integrating these to enable businesses to successfully implement new technologies or integrated manufacturing system solutions.
The MTC offers end-to-end capabilities to support businesses with implementing the principles of sustainability. Through people, processes and knowledge, the MTC seeks to challenge the status quo and support businesses with working towards more sustainable practices.
As experts in industrial manufacturing technologies and processes we look to partner with Space sector companies to pivot existing technologies and develop new innovations into the Space sector to support commercial growth and development. Some of the areas that we can provide value into the sector include:
The MTC works across many sectors. Here are some of our case studies that demonstrate technology that can be applied to the Space sector in the near future:
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