Team Leonardo SAL impressed the judges with their prototype and presentations, securing not only the overall victory but also the peer review award, as voted for by the other teams’ members at the finals. With UK households throwing away at least 40kg of plastic each year (equivalent to 117 bottles per person per year) the team chose to design and build a product that reduces plastic waste, with considerations for older customers and simplifying an existing process that would have real-world benefits.
Throughout the day, the team of judges assessed the team’s work from the past eight months, comprised of a full design specification, manufacturing instructions, user manual and business case for a prototyped product that automates a common task in the ome or garden. Team members specialised in mechanical, electrical and electronics engineering to help realise their prototypes ahead of the judging and respond to formal questions and queries during formal presentations of their work.
In addition to the overall winners, Team TurfTech from Marchantcain Design were also recognised for their efforts. A team notable for being comprised of just one apprentice engineer, Team TurfTech’s artificial grass cleaning product was well-realised and secured the Highly Commended Award, as voted for by representatives of The Manufacturer magazine.
As well as a cash prize of £2,000, the Leonardo Team SAL will also present their work and be recognised for their achievements at the prestigious The Manufacturer MX Awards held later this year, organised by The Manufacturer.
With seven teams of apprentices returning to the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry for the finals event, this year’s engineering competition was a great step in the right direction after difficulties experienced by teams unable to compete in previous years due to COVID restrictions.
Like the Institution’s other Challenges and Student Competitions, the Apprentice Automation Challenge aims to develop the next generation of apprentice engineering talent with a real-world project for apprentices to further their engineering knowledge, business acumen and practical skills to become well-rounded engineers post-apprenticeship
The Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the Manufacturing Industries Division’s Young Members Committee would like to thank The Manufacturer and The Manufacturing Technology Centre for their continued support of the Apprentice Automation Challenge.
Finally, the Institution would like to thank all teams for taking part in the Apprentice Automation Challenge 2022 and we hope that you enjoyed the experience of working toward a real-world product and that you will use the knowledge and skills gained this year in the next steps of your careers.
The Apprentice Automation Challenge will open for new registrations in January 2023, please bookmark the Challenge website, mark your calendars and follow our Twitter and Facebook channels for all updates and we look forward to welcoming new and returning teams next year.