National Manufacturing Institute Scotland

Reconfigurable Pilot Line


Our Reconfigurable Pilot Line (RPL) aims to provide an accessible, flexible and modular alternative to a traditional fixed pilot line for manufacturers that want to become more agile without an initial large upfront investment.

Introducing new products can be risky, particularly when navigating from laboratory to pilot production scale.

We aim to remove that risk and democratise advanced manufacturing by lowering barriers to entry and allowing smaller players to grow and become competitive.

Ultimately, this will generate broader innovation and help develop more sustainable manufacturing ecosystems with robust supply chains and more comprehensive capabilities. 

The testbed

A reconfigurable, modular and scalable production system - first we're developing it a single cell proof of concept for the sucessful delivery of manufacturing trials before we set our sights on multi-cell or line assembly including digitial integration. 


Collection of images of a pilot line production line and workers

Contact us

We’ve already received lots of interest from manufacturing businesses involved in everything from hydrogen to space. 

Contact us to get involved and learn about R&D opportunities in this area.

Alex Cochrane, Research and Development Engineer, Lightweight Manufacturing Centre

Through the RPL testbed we're supporting  small and medium sized businesses with scaling up using manual composites manufacturing processes and accelerating their entry into automation, allowing for crucial cost and time savings.

Low risk and accessible

The RPL is intended to benefit manufacturers of all sizes and is scalable for deployment in various settings.

However, some of the most significant risks in product development are shouldered by smaller businesses and this project aims to provide an accessible and low risk and accessible environment in which these businesses can innovate.