University invests £250,000 in state-of-the-art machinery for engineering students


Birmingham City University has invested £250,000 into state-of-the-art new machinery for the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment. The machines, purchased from XYZ Machines, will give students the opportunity to operate industry-standard machinery and engineer more complex designs.

Several new devices have now been installed at the University’s Millennium Point home ahead of students returning for their studies. The West Midlands has identified skills gaps in the engineering professions, and it is hoped the investment will help support the development of the next generation of workers and equip them with the skills needed to enter the workplace after leaving the University. Each machine has a different function and is designed to produce a range of components.

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The new tools will allow students to hone their skills using the same equipment and technology used across the industry and is capable of producing intricate and complex products and components. Both the SMX 3500 – Bedmills and SLX 355 – CNC Lathe machines are ideal for small batch and prototype work.

Students will find the machines are both very easy to use and capable of programming with the ability to be used in CNC and manual modes. The 1060HS Vertical Machining Centre (VMC) is capable of producing complex geometries by utilising state-of-the-art Siemens ShopMill software and comes equipped with five axis machining capability. This machine delivers high accuracy and feed rates which means this machine eats work.

Finally, the CT65 LTY CNC Lathe machine is a heavy duty robust box guide construction with live tooling capability, which can produce intricate geometries. This lathe is able to remove vast amounts of material with its milling capability and allows milling features to be added to the part. The new equipment will allow students to produce an array of inventive prototypes which can help students to develop the skills needed to plug skills gaps across the West Midlands.

Head of the School of Engineering, Professor Gareth Neighbour, had this to say about the development:

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