AMRC Cymru has signed a deal with Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK

Toyota on the road to ‘green’ future propulsion

Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK has signed a deal with AMRC Cymru to accelerate the decarbonisation and digitalisation of the transport sector by optimising hydrogen fuel cell assembly. 

Article featured in the latest issue of the AMRC Journal.

Exciting, new advancements have been made to the Hydrogen Electric Propulsion Systems (HEPS) assembly testbed, based at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) Cymru in North Wales, since work began in October 2022.

The HEPS project aims to de-risk the assembly and production scale up of hydrogen fuel cells for the automotive, aerospace and rail industries. The first iteration of the HEPS testbed consists of a reconfigurable floor, collaborative robots and other advanced Industry 4.0 technologies in a self-contained assembly area, making it ready for developing and de-risking innovative new methods of fuel cell assembly.

Building on a long-standing relationship, Toyota and the AMRC, part of the High value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult, are collaborating on a 12-month project where Toyota will use the HEPS testbed to assemble its hydrogen fuel cells in the North Wales facility, focusing on enabling fuel cell manufacturing in the UK. The Toyota project is funded by the Welsh Government’s Low Carbon Automotive Transformation Fund.

Lee Wheeler, senior engineer and hydrogen/ future propulsion lead at AMRC Cymru, says that working with Toyota is an exciting opportunity for the AMRC. He said: “Toyota brings in the expertise around its manufacturing system and the fuel cell that’s currently used in its vehicles. The AMRC will play a pivotal role in the project by contributing our expertise in digital manufacturing, future propulsion, hydrogen, sustainable manufacturing and by providing the assembly testbed to perform the tests.”

Simon Foster, senior manager for production control and new business development at Toyota UK, said: “This is a brilliant opportunity to work with the AMRC Cymru, part of a network of world-leading research and innovation centres. This exciting project allows us to develop the concept / proof for assembly of fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) powertrains, significantly contributing to the skill base of Toyota and AMRC. The collaboration with the AMRC will challenge our way of thinking, allowing the development of new and innovative solutions.”

Since its inception, Toyota has been an active part of the industry steering board assembled by AMRC Cymru, which guides the work of the HEPS assembly testbed, to ensure the work being done is relevant to industry and addresses real-world manufacturing needs and challenges…Read more