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The College is the first training provider in the world with a Festo FMS Industry 4.0 Product Manufacturing Factory and mechatronics suite. The system, described as a ‘smart factory that fits within a classroom setting’ has wireless connectivity and includes nine stations for distribution and testing, product handling and processing, robotic assembly and automatic warehousing.

Our CAD and Design suite uses industry standard 2D and 3D modelling software and additive manufacturing (AM) equipment that uses 3D printing to create functional, industrial components including prototypes, tooling and end-use production parts. The suite also contains a coordinate measuring machine (CMM) which measures the geometry of physical objects.

The Engineering workshop incorporates CNC mills and lathes, as well as a press brake machine pressing tool for bending sheet and plate material. There are also MIG, TIG and MMA welding bays and a dedicated electronics suite. More traditional engineering equipment is also used for manual machining, bench fitting, mechanical assemblies and sheet metal fabrication.

The Engineering Department has seen around £1m in investment over the last few years to install the latest, cutting-edge and in some cases, world first equipment. This was largely thanks largely to £500k in funding from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), via its Growth deal with Government to develop one of three advanced manufacturing training hubs in the region. The College added a further £250k investment and with gifts from a number of other companies, including Status Metrology, who put £100k towards metrology equipment and software for the College.

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