Posted: Thu 12th Oct 2023

Broughton: Gaming tech fuels paperless revolution at AMRC Cymru

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Oct 12th, 2023

Broughton-based AMRC Cymru is blazing a trail as it is set to become the first establishment within the University of Sheffield AMRC cluster to transition to a fully paperless shop floor.

The breakthrough initiative employs computer software coupled with an interconnected touch screen kiosk, ensuring all required documents for a safe shop floor operation are stored digitally.

The brainchild behind this forward-thinking concept is AMRC Cymru’s senior manufacturing research engineer, Anmar Al-Qutayri, whose keen interest in gaming and computing provided the spark for the innovative idea.

Anmar envisions a wider application, hoping to introduce the software across all AMRC shop floors, thereby fortifying the organisation’s sustainability commitment.

The primary advantage of this digital system, as Anmar emphasises, is its simplicity and efficiency.

Users can consolidate countless documents, ensuring easy updates without resorting to printing paper. This aligns with AMRC’s overarching vision of sustainability.

“Sustainability is big on the agenda for the AMRC’s future and AMRC Cymru has a key role in that vision,” asserts Anmar.

Integral to the system is the “stream deck”, a versatile interactive touch pad. Familiar to many in the gaming realm, it has tailored buttons that can be programmed to showcase documents and images.

Highlighting the multifaceted benefits of the system, Anmar underscores its ability to save not just paper but also time, energy, and money.

Additionally, it aids in familiarising staff with new machinery, adds interactivity to the shop floor, and allows engineers to swiftly update safety documents.

This is a “Stream Deck” by Elgato. The Stream Deck is a customisable control pad primarily designed for live streaming. Each of its buttons can be programmed to execute specific tasks, commands, or macros, and they come with LCDs that allow users to customise the display icons. In the context of the article you provided earlier, it’s used as an interactive touch pad to display documents and images, aiding in the transition to a paperless shop floor.

Andy Silcox, research director for AMRC Cymru, further elucidates on the system’s virtues, noting that it grants engineers effortless access to crucial documents, replacing the tedious search for paper-based information.

Matt Booth, the workshop manager, expressed that feedback from staff and visiting companies has been overwhelmingly positive.

He explained how, within six months, they’ve successfully set up four of these systems at the research facility.

Located close to Airbus Broughton, AMRC Cymru is under the University of Sheffield’s purview and is also an integral member of the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult.

With an investment of £1,700 for each full setup, funding came from a £1.5m grant courtesy of the Welsh Government, aimed at augmenting the research facility’s capabilities for future collaborative endeavours.

Anmar’s passion for the project is palpable. “I am really passionate about the work we are doing in sustainability,” he shared, hoping that the system could potentially be expanded to other departments reliant on paper documentation.

This pioneering step by AMRC Cymru, with its eye on environmental sustainability, is an example of how technology and innovation can play a crucial role in shaping a greener and more efficient future.

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