Digital Manufacturing, Automation and Tooling Capability Group

Department overview

To enable the physical world of manufacturing to be evaluated in the digital world of design. The group bridges the gap between manufacturing data and conceptual design so that products can be developed and digitally validated before they reach the factory floor. The team uses CAD and CAM software to simulate manufacturing processes and evolve designs to improve production. The group encompasses tooling, automation and metrology teams so that all the steps needed to transform a concept into a product are integrated.


The Digital Manufacturing, Automation and Tooling team at the NCC is composed of four specialist teams:


The quality of composite components is highly dependent on the tooling used to produce them. The NCC have a team of specialist tooling experts to hand, to ensure that all tooling is designed, developed, manufactured, maintained and validated in line with ISO 10012 standards. 

Design and Digital Manufacturing 

Design & Digital Manufacture takes a concept, optimises it for manufacture, and generates all of the data required in order to manufacture it. Our specialist team at the NCC has the capability to create project specific machine programs based on this data with outputs ranging from nesting and laser projection to support hand layup, to Automated Fibre Placement (AFP) for automated deposition.  


Traditional manual processes and techniques have served the composites industry well. However, if composites are to fulfil their considerable promise, manual production alone will not be able to satisfy increased rate and quality requirements. 
We recognise the importance of automation and manufacturing informatics to the future of composites, and helping our customers to be competitive in this field drives everything that we do here. Our team of engineers explore the frontiers of robotics, sensors, data analytics, machine learning and more to create innovative solutions that add real value to composite manufacturing processes and advance the state-of-the-art.


The NCC has an experienced Metrology team focused on advancing measurement systems in the composites industry. Using specialist equipment and software, the NCC evaluates component geometry using validating simulation models, design for verification, process monitoring and optimisation, in-situ measurement, reverse engineering, as well as planning and implementing verification systems.


Main activities

  • Creating CAD/CAM simulations
  • Design for manufacture, improving a design for production benefits
  • Provide automation capabilities for the NCC and members
  • Provide expertise in the field of metrology, tooling design, composite manufacturing development in support of customer projects
  • Manufacturing process optimisation

Sound like you? Consult our Vacancies page for more info.

 +44 (0) 117 370 7600