“What a week at the NEC – a real buzz and a sense that UK manufacturing ‘is back’. The MACH show simply reinforced the fact that manufacturers are investing for the future and the sense of many was that the seniority of visitors had increased over 2010, with many badges revealing directors and other senior decision makers.
At the Renishaw stand we had strong interest across all our lines, especially our new Equator gauging system, but the real surprise was the volume of serious enquiries for our new additive manufacturing machines, and not just because of the neat bottle openers that we produced from powdered steel as giveaways!
As well as promoting our products we also made a significant contribution to promoting the engineering sector in general. Sixteen of our apprentices attended the show to help the efforts of the MTA to ‘inspire, prepare and motivate the next generation of British engineers’, by giving tours of ‘student-friendly’ stands, of which we were pleased to be one.
On Monday we also welcomed former javelin world-record holder Steve Backley to our stand for an overview of our own world-beating technologies. One of our greatest ever Olympians he opened the show by saying that “success in business and sport is all about passion”.
This was clearly in evidence at Tuesday night’s MWP Awards, often referred to as the UK metalworking industry’s ‘Oscars’, where we celebrated our own success with the Equator gauge which won the ‘Best Quality Control Equipment’ category.
Finally, on Thursday we also hosted a visit by Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, and joined him later at a roundtable discussion, where we raised the issue of skills shortages in engineering, our own efforts to provide the engineers of the future and how the Government should consider tax credits for companies employing young people.
At our stand he was introduced to two of our engineering ‘ambassadors’ – Tom Silvey who was recently named Gloucestershire’s Apprentice of the Year, and Roxanne Pollard who last year represented the UK at the International Science & Engineering Fair competition in Los Angeles.
A great week and we look forward to doing it all again in 2014!”