South Yorkshire engineering firm, MetLase has invested £565,000 in Sheffield to take digital products to the UK manufacturing industry and abroad.
MetLase is a joint venture between Unipart and Rolls-Royce.
The funding will be combined with £400k from the Sheffield City Region Mayoral Combined Authority’s Local Growth Fund.
MetLase, the provider of bespoke engineering solutions to complex industrial problems, will provide an ambitious series of standardised Industry 4.0 digital products that can be taken to market and applied in many areas of manufacturing.
The company expects to create up to four new high value engineering careers in the first seven months of the project, whilst also safeguarding a further 10 jobs at the company.
Phase two of the project will see MetLase applying its core digital architecture to develop and commercialise a suite of other digital products over a two-year period, including smart bench, smart cell, smart shield, smart fixtures, and smart machining. This will considerably widen MetLase’s digital offering and enable significant business scale-up and global export opportunities.
During Phase two, Metlase is planning to create additional new jobs in Sheffield over a two-year period.
Richard Gould, business development manager for MetLase, said: “We have ambitious plans for the future and see significant export potential for our Smart Measurement product in the next few years. We have also identified major market opportunities for this and the other digital products we are developing in Australia and the USA.”
MetLase’s ambitious plan will see the company developing a suite of digital technologies including control automation, industrial robotics, artificial intelligence, software programming, sensing, 3D printing, machine learning and augmented/virtual reality systems, which it then intends to sell into key markets such as automotive and aerospace.
In Phase one of the project, MetLase will apply these technologies to develop one new digital product, Smart Measurement. This innovation will enable manufacturers to digitally measure their components in a fraction of the time taken using conventional methods.