Digital Spare Parts Supply Chain: An Integrated Solution of Spare Parts Inventory Management and Predictive Maintenance

Lead Participant: NBT GROUP LIMITED


Traditionally, human intervention has and continues to be prevalent in manufacturing and industrial contexts to connect and control various production processes and systems. This feasibility study project aims to develop understanding of how new information technology and internet-based innovations could be applied to remove human intervention and transform inventory control and supply chain management in production maintenance operations. NBT Group Ltd, a 112-year-old family business based in North East England, along with it's research project partners Senseye Ltd, a leading industrial software business headquartered in the UK, and academic experts from the University of Northumbria, will assess the potential for applying intelligent systems in a smart factory context.

NBT Group Ltd currently provides a range of innovative technology solutions across industrial and non-industrial settings to manage complex supply chains. It enables organisations to manage their maintenance parts effectively allowing the client to focus on their core business and drive operational efficiencies, via automated self-service stock management technology.

NBT's goal is to change the way traditional B2B supply chains work. It continually seeks opportunities to foster greater collaboration between companies, applying new creative thinking and innovation to remove administrative and manual tasks which hinder business and productivity growth.

This feasibility study project will evaluate new and emerging 'smart' technologies in a manufacturing factory context to optimise maintenance inventory management and supply chain processes. The first area of interest is to develop an understanding of the feasibility of using intelligent based technologies to connect Senseye's robot installed predictive maintenance software, a platform that provides industrial maintenance personnel with an indication of what parts will need replacing on factory machines, to NBT's and its supply chain partners stock software without human intervention. Connecting these systems digitally could eliminate the requirement for manual intervention on a client site, reduce unnecessary and potentially obsoleted stock holdings, thereby freeing up space for production and driving down costs, and creating efficiencies amongst a wider manufacturing supply chain, and providing for improved client work scheduling.

This feasibility study project will lay the foundations for what could prove a game-changer in the journey of Industry 4.0 standards through digital transformation. The outcomes and knowledge acquired will be used to demonstrate and provide new knowledge, potentially informing intensive research and development, with the ultimate aim of exploiting new technology to deliver increases in production, more highly skilled roles, profits and revenues for the UK economy.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

NBT GROUP LIMITED £102,286 £ 71,600


SENSEYE LIMITED £108,251 £ 75,776


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