Ironmongery manufacturers Instinct Hardware are working with Aston University on a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project, using real-time data to allow more accurate planning and decision making.

The KTP is formed through a three-way collaboration, a business, an academic partner and a highly qualified researcher (KTP associate). This collaboration allows for a deep dive into the business processes, and to see where technology can integrate smoothly.

Part of the process will involve the implementation of real-time data systems. This will allow the team to not only see what is happening around the factory at any time, but to also make decisions at once, rather than relying on hindsight. It will also allow for more accurate planning and future decision-making using simulation software and virtual representations.

The Aston University team will be led by Dr Donato Masi, senior lecturer in operations management, whose research focuses on how digitalisation and the emerging Industry 5.0 approach can enhance the sustainability of operations and supply chains. He will be supported by Dr Gajanan Panchal, lecturer in operations management, whose research is focused on how technologies support businesses towards achieving sustainability. Leading the Instinct Hardware team is Nil Chohan, Operations and Technical Director.

Nil says: “This is a really exciting project for us as a manufacturer, as it will really help us to look to the future and to be prepared digitally. Like many businesses, we are trying to keep up with technology and marry that with our existing working methods. The knowledge and expertise that is available through this scheme helps you to see where your business can go and strengthens your market position. Help to Grow has already been invaluable to our business, and we are in no doubt that the KTP project will mean we can be more slick when manufacturing. This will in turn lead to increased productivity, quicker turnaround and accurate information. ”

Dr Masi tells us: “The project presents an opportunity to deploy the concepts and theories resulting from our research in a real-world situation and demonstrate its high-quality impact. The digital virtual representation of the factory will also become a powerful teaching aid in research and taught programmes, exposing students to real manufacturing issues.”

The KTP project is part of the Innovate UK scheme, a government initiative to help UK businesses elevate to the next level through the implementation of digital technology.

(original article from Aston University available here)

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