Tech giant Siemens praises Liverpool college students for work on research project

Youngsters from theCity of Liverpool College participated in the six-month project called ‘The Industry 4.0 Digital Twin’ from January until the summer at the Roscoe Street Learning Exchange

City of Liverpool College’s Learning Exchange in Roscoe Street


Technology giant Siemens has handed out awards to City of Liverpool College students after they took part in an advanced manufacturing research project.

The youngsters participated in the six-month project called ‘The Industry 4.0 Digital Twin’ from January until the summer.

Skills gap

It was launched by Siemens’ central technology officer Alan Norbury who tasked the students with asking how Britain can bridge the skills gap needed for ‘Industry 4.0’, where multidisciplinary hybrid skills will be required to engineer cyber physical systems capable of acting intelligently.

At a special event for the students taking part in the ground-breaking research at the Roscoe Street Learning Exchange, Siemens presented them with awards for their research. The students split into teams for the project:

  • A student manufacturing team created a 3D model using Siemens NX CAD software which was used by Game Design technology team to build a virtual reality model to replicate some practical scenarios that could occur in reality.
  • Electronic students in charge of implementing various sensors within the manufacturing process prototype collected the necessary manufacturing data, which populated a dedicated cloud system.
  • The IT team then developed a platform to allow users to extract the data from the cloud (in real-time) and present it to the engineering data analyst for decision making.

Robot arm

The project has evolved in to a ‘Digital Twin’ – where a physical simple robot arm and conveyor belt controlled using Siemens S7-1200 Programmable Logic Controller has been digitalised via CAD software from a gaming environment – and the students have successfully enabled communication between the two.

Alan explained “This a first for Siemens in the UK, if not globally, Siemens have 15 manufacturing sites in the UK all continuously driving up productivity and accelerating innovation cycles , the vision of mass customisation will add value to our products and as a consequence increase productivity.”

Raise awareness

Justin Smith, assistant principal for tech and enterprise at The City of Liverpool College, added: “The purpose of the project is to both raise awareness of and develop the skills necessary for Industry 4.0. 

“The project undertaken by the students in partnership with Siemens and the Liverpool Enterprise Partnership is unique in that it exemplifies the need of a cross disciplinary and cross college approach to address the skills required to ensure the growth of the sector.”

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