UK research project to improve product analysis

The High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult, a group of manufacturing research centers in the UK, has begun a £950,000 project to help improve the testing and certification of products.

Partners include the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), the National Composites Centre (NCC), National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) and the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC).

Plans are to increase the use of ‘certification by analysis’, the testing of goods through techniques such as computer modelling, rather than just using physical stress testing that can be destructive. The project could help cut development costs and time to market for new products, according to its participants.  

“Digital technologies, simulation and advances in mathematics offer significant opportunities to optimise the use of physical testing, cutting development costs and time to market,” a press release said. “However, transitioning to a ‘certification by analysis’ approach remains a major challenge and one that requires input from industry and certification organisations.”

The Towards Product Certification by Analysis project will reportedly involve developing an overall product certification assessment framework to assess the readiness level of individual products to transition to certification by analysis and identify key challenges. The framework will be tested against industrial use cases looking first at the certification of composite and steel pressure vessels. 

“Certification for the net zero world is not simply a case of ‘digitising’ today’s processes – we need to define a new way whereby complex products are validated and regulated,” said Katherine Bennett, HVM Catapult CEO. “The UK has an opportunity to lead in this area, accelerating pathways to certification by developing new UK standards that encourage the use of analysis techniques.”