Atlas Copco Tools and Industrial Assembly Solutions has demonstrated its commitment to supporting the digital transformation of the manufacturing sector by opening a new, state-of-the-art Smart Factory Innovation Centre.

The facility, which is located at i54 on the Wolverhampton-Staffordshire border, was officially opened by Leader of City of Wolverhampton Council, Councillor Stephen Simkins and Leader of South Staffordshire Council, Councillor Roger Lees. i54 – a technology-based business park – is a joint partnership between City of Wolverhampton Council, Staffordshire County Council and South Staffordshire Council. 
Swedish-owned Atlas Copco is a world-leading provider of industrial productivity solutions for a wide range of markets, including general engineering, manufacturing and process industries, such as automotive, aerospace, electronics and renewable energy. Representing a six-figure investment in re-engineering the company’s existing building, Atlas Copco will use its UK-first Smart Factory Innovation Centre as a showcase and training hub for its industry-leading smart tooling, industrial assembly systems and machine vision solutions. The Centre will be enabled by Ericsson’s private 5G network, delivering a leading ‘Industry 4.0’ deployment that combines human-centric skills with a customised, secure, real-time wireless solution.  
The Centre features a replica factory production environment, enabling Atlas Copco to demonstrate the company’s whole portfolio of solutions. This includes its customisable, 5G-enabled tool control software and its newest error-proofing solution, and its latest inspection solution, with 3D laser technology. 
As well as participating in a ribbon cutting event, Councillor Simkins and Councillor Lees had the opportunity to see the Smart Factory Innovation Centre in action and learned about how Atlas Copco is nurturing the next generation of smart manufacturing leaders by meeting some of the company’s current apprentices and recent graduates. 
Speaking on behalf of the i54 partnership, Councillor Stephen Simkins, Leader of City of Wolverhampton Council, said:  “Once again, the award-winning i54 business park developed collaboratively by City of Wolverhampton Council, Staffordshire County Council and South Staffordshire Council is providing the springboard for innovation in industry.  
“Atlas Copco’s new Smart Factory Innovation Centre will help manufacturing businesses – from the West Midlands and much further afield – to gain a competitive edge by improving efficiencies and strengthening their sustainability levels.  
“It’s been brilliant to see some of these emerging technologies today first-hand, to better understand how this cutting-edge facility will further reinforce the region’s world-class strengths in this sector.”  
James McAllister, General Manager at Atlas Copco Tools and Industrial Assembly Solutions, said: “The Atlas Copco Group continues to innovate and break new ground as a worldwide strategic partner to manufacturers, and this major investment in our Midlands operations will further strengthen our commitment and ability to deliver real-time production efficiencies. Our Smart Factory Innovation Centre reflects Atlas Copco’s vision and mission to create a smart manufacturing ecosystem that allows our customers to digitalise production processes and achieve sustainability goals, by harnessing real-time data insights from industry-leading smart tools, vision systems and software. We look forward to welcoming customers and aspiring industry partners to visit during 2024.”