Work starts on Ayrshire manufacturing innovation centre

WORK is underway on the development of Ayrshire’s new Digital Process Manufacturing Centre (DPMC), part of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS).

Paisley-headquartered Clark Contracts was awarded the refurbishment contract for the centre, which is a partnership between the University of Strathclyde as the operator of NMIS, North Ayrshire Council, and CPI.

Located at the Booth Welsh manufacturing space at i3 in Irvine, the DPMC is due to open next year and aims to accelerate the adoption of digital technology for process industry manufacturers to help cut energy costs and achieve net zero ambitions.

Stuart Laidlaw, head of operations at the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, said, “Now is a difficult time for manufacturers as they struggle with rising energy costs and supply chain shortages. As one of the country’s fastest-growing research and development organisations, we’re committed to helping industry embrace technology and innovation to overcome these challenges and enhance their performance to compete globally.

“The Digital Process Manufacturing Centre will bring significant benefits to UK process manufacturing businesses and the local community by attracting inward investment to Ayrshire through our world-leading research and development (R&D) expertise, training opportunities, cutting-edge digital demonstrators and supportive community of specialist technology centres, members and partners.”

The new centre was announced in June and marked the first collaboration between NMIS and CPI, which are both part of the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult. Its refurbishment includes a lecture theatre as well as collaboration and networking space. It will be digitally connected to the new NMIS HQ in Renfrewshire’s Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland (AMIDS), also opening next year.

Gerry Cummins, director at Clark Contracts, added, “Having worked with the University of Strathclyde for over 20 years, it is great to be continuing our relationship to deliver this innovative technology centre. We are also looking forward to working with North Ayrshire Council again to support the manufacturing sector across the country.”