The UK’s manufacturers have been tasked with becoming the engine room of the country’s post-Brexit economy.
A weak pound, rising energy prices, increases in the cost of raw materials and general political uncertainty have led to businesses looking towards technology as the catalyst for increased productivity and efficiency gains.
When the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney predicted that 15 million British jobs could be replaced by robots the world took notice but manufacturers have been leading the way in automation for years.
Industry 4.0 is gaining more traction and has been defined by consultants at McKinsey as the “fourth major upheaval in modern manufacturing” and the “next phase in the digitization of the manufacturing sector”.
Germany has led the way in adopting Industry 4.0 but the UK’s manufacturing sector has been given a fillip with the launch of LCR 4.0, aimed at helping manufacturers in the Liverpool City Region to take advantage of digital technologies in advanced manufacturing.
Technology is also at the forefront of BAE Systems’ new £15.6m training academy at its site in Samlesbury, Lancashire. The Academy for Skills & Knowledge (ASK) is 7,400m2 in size and as well as training apprentices and graduates in the company’s military aircraft business it will act as a collaborative skills-hub for the North West’s engineering and manufacturing sector.
So what’s the future of technology in manufacturing? Who are the companies who are using tech as a driver for growth?
BusinessCloud’s ‘Technology in manufacturing’ breakfast will hear from leading experts in the field on the tech opportunities and challenges facing the sector.
- Steve Mulholland, manufacturing director, Polyflor
- Tom Dawes, Group CEO, Valuechain
- Robert Perkins, Chief Operating Officer, Hotter Shoes
- Vikas Shah, CEO Swiscot Group / investor / visiting professor (MIT Sloan, Lisbon )
- Leanne Holmes, Operations Director/Site Leader Manchester, Crane Payment Innovations
- Dave Holmes, Manufacturing Director at BAE Systems Military Air & Information c/o Coates
- Martin Strutt, consultancy director, EEF
- Luke Stubbs, IT and IP commercial lawyer, DLA Piper