The LNN is one of the six 24-month research projects on Re-Distributed Manufacturing (RDM) funded by the EPSRC and the ESRC which started in early 2015 and will be completed in late 2017.

 

The five projects which are part of the RDM are:

Network in Consumer Goods, Big Data and Re-distributed Manufacturing (RECODE) 

Within the UK, the development of RdM with the support of big data provides opportunities for economic growth and the creation of a more sustainable UK manufacturing system, while allowing for the personalisation of products and services, up-scaling of local enterprise, and the development of user-driven products that are tuned to their local markets. The EPSRC‐ESRC Network in Consumer Goods, Big Data and Re-distributed Manufacturing (RECODE) aimed to develop a multi‐disciplinary vision and research agenda associated with the application of big data in the transition towards a RDM model for consumer goods.

 

The Re-Distributed Manufacturing for a Resilient, Sustainable City (RDM|RSC)

The RDM|RSC (Re-Distributed Manufacturing for a Resilient, Sustainable City) aimed to study the potential impact of RDM at the scale of the city and its hinterland, using Bristol as an example in its European Green Capital year, and concentrating on the issues of resilience and sustainability. The network aimed to study from a number of disciplinary perspectives, bringing together experts in manufacturing, design, logistics, operations management, infrastructure, engineering systems, economics, geographical sciences, mathematical modelling and beyond.  The network has also explored research mechanisms by which interdisciplinary teams came together to address societal grand challenges and develop research agendas for their solution.

 

Redistributed Manufacturing in Healthcare Network (RiHN)

Personalised medicine is estimated to grow to two billion euros by 2018. Redistributed Manufacturing (RDM) has the potential to support this growth. This involves a shift towards more localised production, enabling faster response, lower cost or better preservation of goods. Working closely with key stakeholders, RiHN aimed to lead the research agenda and help position the UK at the forefront of healthcare manufacturing.

 

Future Makespaces in Re-Distributed Manufacturing

‘Makespaces’ can broadly be described as spaces with a suite of fabrication tools and technologies openly accessible for use by a community. The network ran symposiums, workshops and funded feasibility projects that investigated the role makespaces can have with respect to RdM now and in the future. Through a multidisciplinary network bringing multiple perspectives it has defined the challenges involved in interfacing and integrating makespaces with existing manufacturing businesses, and put forward a pathway and research agenda that contributed to sustainable redistributed manufacturing in the UK. Project run from the Royal College of Art, London.

RdM can be understood to be: technology, systems and strategies that change the economics and organisation of manufacturing, particularly with regard to location and scale, particularly smaller-scale local manufacturing.

 

Defining the research agenda for 3D Printing (3DP) enabled Re-Distributed Manufacturing (RDM)

The objective of 3DP-RDM is to convene a multi-disciplinary research and multi-industry user network that aimed to define and disseminate the research agenda for 3D printing-enabled re-distributed manufacturing. The first stage in this process was a scoping workshop at the Institute for manufacturing (IfM) and secondly to fund 4-6 feasibility studies across the two years of the network.

 

Other related projects and networks.

 

The Nexus Network

Funded by the ESRC, the Nexus Network brings together researchers, policy makers, business leaders and civil society to develop collaborative projects and improve decision making on food, energy, water and the environment.