Sheffield partnership to boost offshore wind industry

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Smart robotics and automation will drive productivity improvements in offshore renewable energy generation via a new partnership between magnetic gear maker, Magnomatics, and the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).

Magnomatics, a University of Sheffield spin-out company, has won funding from a key offshore wind supply chain support programme to help solve the challenge of robotic placement of large rotor magnets on wind turbines.

The company is one of seven UK companies awarded grant funding from the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP) to carry out supply chain improvement projects for offshore wind power.

It is working with engineers from the Integrated Manufacturing Group at the AMRC to deliver the ambitious ROBOMAG project.

“This project is a fantastic opportunity to support Magnomatics in increasing production rates to capitalise on demand for offshore wind generation, by automating the task of manipulating high-strength permanent magnets,” said Dr Lloyd Tinkler, Senior Project Engineer at IMG.

“A clear benefit of this would be the elimination of any potential trapping hazard when manually placing the magnets as they snap into position.

“It also links in with the AMRC’s activities within the EPSRC Future Electrical Machines Manufacturing Hub to address challenges in the production for high-integrity, high-value electrical machines in order to secure the UK as a leader in this area.”

David Latimer, CEO of  Magnomatics, added: “This project is all about developing the processes and methods to help anchor the manufacturing in Sheffield City Region and the UK.”

The project is due to begin in February 2020.