MANTRA (The Manufacturing Technology Transporter) is a specially customised 14m HGV trailer, packed with the latest machinery and simulators, designed to give aspiring young engineers a hands-on experience with real cutting-edge technologies.
The MANTRA lorry regularly tours schools, colleges and exhibitions to give students a taste of modern manufacturing, advanced modelling and assembly line technology to help inspire young people to take up careers in engineering.
Established by the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing (AMRC), and with funding from the Swindon-based Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), MANTRA aims to introduce companies to the latest production engineering technology and techniques helping them to innovate with new products, increase productivity and keep UK manufacturing competitive.
Equipment on board the MANTRA includes: a fully operational Lincoln Electric 3D virtual-welding machine, a fully automated robot and a tracked 3-D virtual reality system where students can dismantle virtual jet engines.
The seven video screens provide customisable content focusing on two key areas: Advanced Machining, including technologies such as tooling optimisation, damping and post machining inspection.
Advanced Assembly, which includes technologies such as GPS, laser alignment, smart tooling, virtual assembly and robotics.
The interrelated demonstrations show how such technologies have been successfully integrated; typically reducing manufacturing times by at least a factor of five.