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

Posted on 6 Nov 2023 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.

British Steel set to cut up to 2,000 jobs in furnace closure plan

British Steel has confirmed it plans to close down its blast furnaces in Scunthorpe, putting up to 2,000 jobs at risk. They will be replaced with two electric arc furnaces – one at Scunthorpe and one at Teesside.

The company said its £1.25bn proposal would make British Steel “a clean, green and sustainable business”. But it said the plans were still “subject to appropriate support” from the UK government.

The business, which is owned by China’s Jingye Group, said the new furnaces could be in operation by late 2025. Chief executive Xijun Cao said the firm was not able to keep the blast furnaces and meet environmental commitments. “We have engaged extensively with the public and private sector to understand the feasibility of producing net zero steel with our current blast furnace operations. However, thorough analysis shows this is not viable,” he said.

Unions expressed concern at the timescale of the migration and said they would examine British Steel’s proposals in detail. Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of Community, the specialist trade union representing UK steelworkers, said he was “deeply concerned” by the plans, which he described as “dangerous and foolhardy”.

“The plans that British Steel has announced, combined with Tata Steel’s plans, would leave the UK unable to make steel from raw materials and dangerously exposed to international markets,” he said. More via The BBC

Next Generation home buyers happy to pay more upfront for greener homes and put environmental issues top of the buying agenda – Make UK Modular/Octopus Energy survey

A new report by Make UK Modular, in partnership with Octopus Energy, reveals overwhelming backing from the British public for more energy efficient homes. The new report Green Shoots: The future of UK housebuilding shows broad public support for homes that are better for the environment and better for the public’s pocket.

Six in 10 home renters and buyers said that the environmental impacts of a new home was important to them, demonstrating the public’s desire for new homes to be more environmentally friendly. This was further underlined by 40% of the public saying it would be willing to pay more upfront if their home was environmentally friendly. More via The Manufacturer

Siemens to invest more than $500m in US manufacturing for critical infrastructure in 2023

Siemens has announced an investment of $150m in a new high-tech manufacturing plant in Dallas-Fort Worth to help power American data centers and critical infrastructure. This plant will produce state-of-the-art reliable and efficient electrical equipment. It will enable accelerated growth of US data centers, which is being driven by the exponential adoption of generative AI. It will also ensure secure operation of critical infrastructure. This investment specifically supports long-term customers in the data center space, where demand is expected to grow by around ten percent annually through 2030.

Siemens previously announced a $220m investment in a new rail manufacturing facility in Lexington, North Carolina, earlier this year. Construction of this facility is now underway. In addition, the company is investing in two electrical-products manufacturing plants in Grand Prairie, Texas, and Pomona, California. These projects bring the overall investment in the US this year to $510m, which will create 1,700 jobs at Siemens as a result. More via Siemens

Tevva Motors files lawsuit against ElectraMeccanica, seeking damages of $75m

Tevva Motors, a UK-based electric and hydrogen truck firm, has taken legal action against US vehicle manufacturer ElectraMeccanica and its CEO Susan Docherty. The lawsuit seeks damages of $75 million (£60m). This comes after ElectraMeccanica abruptly terminated a merger agreement with Tevva, claiming that the company had failed to disclose important information.

Tevva strongly denies these allegations, stating that it had provided complete access to ElectraMeccanica’s advisors and management throughout the process. The company insists that it conducted thorough financial due diligence before signing the definitive agreement. In fact, senior members of ElectraMeccanica’s executive team had been residing at Tevva’s facility in the UK for several weeks. More via EnergyPortal.eu

Sembcorp to make S$10.5bn renewables investment in brown to green transition

Sembcorp will invest about S$10.5bn in renewables, it said on Monday (Nov 6) in its 2023-2028 strategic plan announcement.

The investment comes as the energy player looks to grow its gross installed renewable capacity and halve its emission intensity by 2028.

The S$10.5bn sum translates to 75 per cent of its 2024 to 2028 total investments. More via The Business Times

Boeing delivers 100th Next Generation Automatic Test System

Boeing, the U.S. Army, Teradyne, and Logisys, are celebrating the milestone delivery of the 100th Next Generation Automatic Test System (NGATS) at the Teradyne manufacturing facility in North Reading, Mass. NGATS, a mobile diagnostic tool, offers high-quality fault detection and isolation of electronic Line Replaceable Units (LRUs) in the field and serves as the standard off-platform test set for the US Army.

The NGATS system eliminates the need for units in the field to return LRUs to depot and purchase replacements. The NGATS program began in 2015 and is currently producing a monthly cost savings of $22m per U.S. Army reports, due to fault detection testing equipment provided by Boeing’s system integration capability. More via Boeing

Element increases Digital Engineering and Aerospace capabilities with the acquisition of Filton Systems Engineering

Element Materials Technology (Element), a global leader in testing, inspection, and certification (TIC) services has taken a significant step in advancing its capabilities in the digital engineering and aerospace sectors through the acquisition of Filton Systems Engineering (FSE), a distinguished aerospace engineering and testing services firm with notable hydrogen capability. FSE combined with Element’s existing Aerospace and Digital Engineering businesses significantly bolsters Element’s offering. More via The Manufacturer

UKRI National Quantum Computing Centre signs agreement with IBM

The National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC) has announced an agreement to provide UK researchers with cloud access to IBM Quantum’s Premium Plan including IBM’s fleet of quantum computing systems.

The aim of the agreement is to drive new research directions based on the use of quantum computing.

It aligns with NQCC’s vision to enable the UK to solve some of the most complex and challenging problems facing society by harnessing the potential of quantum computing. More via UK Research and Innovation