Daily Manufacturing News Digest – the industry stories you should be aware of today

Posted on 2 Feb 2024 by The Manufacturer

Each day The Manufacturer compiles the top manufacturing news stories from around the web. To make your life a little easier, we trawl through all the major trade publications, broadsheets and business magazines to find you the most important manufacturing news each morning. Don't forget to bookmark this page and check back daily.

On-demand spare parts for space stations

Cranfield University is a collaborative partner in an international project which involves sending a custom-designed 3D metal printer powered by lasers to the International Space Station (ISS).

The goal is to gain insights into how microgravity influences its functionality. Scientists believe that in the future, the ability to print 3D metal parts using Additive Manufacturing (AM) on board the ISS would allow for the speedy replacement of components or manufacturing of new ones.

This would avoid the costly and time-consuming current approach of transporting physical parts to space. 3D metal printers fuelled by high-powered lasers have never been tested in a space environment before, and scientists will be examining data from this test to understand how the process and the metal is affected by the microgravity environment. More via Cranfield University

Reduced checks on British goods entering Northern Ireland under new agreement

The new deal struck between the UK government and Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) means fewer checks on goods entering the region from Great Britain, according to British and Northern Irish politicians.

‘Unfettered access’ the ‘Safeguarding the Union’ deal will mean less paperwork for firms moving consignments to Northern Ireland, according to the BBC. In a document issued by the government to detail the new measures, which will alter how the Windsor Framework operates, it says it will issue legislation ‘guaranteeing Northern Ireland’s unfettered access to the UK’s internal market’. More via The Institute of Export & International Trade

MAKE UK launches National Manufacturing Day 2024

Manufacturers are being urged to open their doors and SIGN UP to the recently launched National Manufacturing Day 2024 to help attract new talent into our vibrant sector.

Hundreds of British manufacturing companies will once again open their doors National Manufacturing Day in a UK-wide Open House on the 26 September, giving their local communities the chance to see the potential careers and jobs on offer. More via The Manufacturer

Tata Steel appears before Welsh Affairs Select Committee

Senior executives from Tata Steel have appeared in front of a House of Commons’ Welsh Affairs Select Committee session to answer questions on plans for the future of the steel industry in Wales and the company’s proposed transformation from ore-based steelmaking through blast furnaces to scrap-based steelmaking using electric arc furnace technology.

Tata Steel Group’s CEO and Managing Director, TV Narendran, attended the committee hearing along with Tata Steel UK CEO Rajesh Nair.

Explaining the recent announcement to restructure the UK business, Mr Narendran said: “The business was not generating any money at all for us to reinvest, and we had already put in a lot of money. The reason we are able to invest this money is because we are profitable in India. But the question we are being asked is ‘how much more money will you put into a business which is not giving you any returns?’

“But we’ve done it because we, along with our colleagues, have tried hard to make it work. But somewhere we have to take a call because this level of losses is not sustainable.” More via Tata Steel

British Steel submits application for electric arc furnace in Scunthorpe

British Steel has submitted a planning application to North Lincolnshire Council for a proposed Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) in Scunthorpe. Once the application document has been verified, it will be considered by the council.

The Scunthorpe application follows an application to Redcar and Cleveland Brough Council in December to build an EAF at Teesside Beam Mill. The applications are central to the company’s plans to transform British Steel into a clean, green and sustainable business by adopting electric arc furnace steelmaking at both sites. More via British Steel

BAE Systems acquires British technology business Malloy Aeronautics

BAE Systems has acquired Malloy Aeronautics – a leading company in innovative heavy lift drone and aeronautical technologies.

Malloy Aeronautics designs and supplies all-electric uncrewed aerial systems (UAS) to both civil and military customers. Their range of uncrewed, heavy lift quadcopters are capable of lifting payloads from 68kg to 300kg over short to medium range missions.

These platforms offer interchangeable capabilities and greater flexibility at a fraction of the cost and time of more traditional methods, whilst minimising risk to more expensive assets and human life. More via BAE Systems

Gloucestershire bathroom manufacturer secures £3.75m to drive growth

A nationwide bathroom manufacturer has secured a £3.75m funding facility from Greater Manchester-based Praetura Commercial Finance amid plans to grow the business and preserve its late founder’s legacy.

Lakes Showering Spaces, based in Tewkesbury, has manufactured and supplied bath screens, shower enclosures and walk-in showers since it was founded in 1986. The business secured the funding to help meet rising customer demand and changing trends in bathroom and shower designs. More via The Manufacturer

As predicted, Red Sea disruption begins to hit UK manufacturers

Britain’s factories have been hit by disruption caused by Houthi rebel attacks in the Red Sea that have led to shipping delays and contributed to rising costs. The boss of Adidas has warned about “exploding” global freight rates.

UK manufacturers have experienced growing supply chain difficulties, as the Red Sea crisis led to the rerouting of deliveries of raw materials, components and other goods away from the Suez Canal, a survey has shown.

The UK manufacturing sector remained in decline at the start of 2024, when output and new orders fell further, leading to more job losses and cuts in purchasing and stocks, according to the monthly survey from S&P Global. More via The Guardian