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

Posted on 6 Dec 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.

Britain’s TCA still challenging for manufacturers

Britain’s manufacturers are calling on the government to continue working closely with the EU to make exporting easier and improve Britain’s Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) with the EU so companies both sides of the Channel can prosper and grow their businesses through the delivery of more frictionless trade.

When the new post-Brexit trading arrangements came into force three years ago, 96% of UK manufacturers said the new rules were badly disrupting trade with the EU. Make UK‘s latest trade bulletin published today shows that some 90% of UK companies still find trading with the EU a challenge.

Customs paperwork and border delays prove the biggest barrier for 64% of companies, with logistics an issue for over half of exporters (52%). Demonstrating Rules of Origin of goods is still difficult for 36% of businesses as they struggle to ensure their goods meet the tariff-free rules of entry to the EU, by showing they contain sufficient product of UK origin. More via The Manufacturer

Pragmatic Semiconductor secures £182m investment

Pragmatic Semiconductor, the world leader in manufacturing flexible integrated circuits, has announced that it has completed a first close of its Series D funding round, securing an investment of £162m.

The company is planning a limited second close for key investors, of which £20m additional investment is already allocated. M&G’s Catalyst and UK Infrastructure Bank co-led the funding round with participation from new investors including Northern Gritstone, Latitude and MVolution Partners, and existing investors such as British Patient Capital, Cambridge Innovation Capital and Prosperity7 Ventures (the diversified growth fund under Aramco Ventures). More via The Manufacturer

Siemens hosts Greater Manchester schools for COP28

Siemens has hosted 60 secondary school students from across Greater Manchester for a day of learning about sustainable futures, as world leaders gather in Dubai for COP28.

The event at Siemens’ Manchester HQ forms part of WildHeart’s Global Youth Summit – the world’s largest youth-led sustainability event. This year’s summit has run at the same time as COP28 in Dubai and has been the largest to date, with 60,000 students getting involved globally. Participants discussed and debated global sustainability issues impacting different countries and how they can be overcome. More via The Manufacturer

The importance of supply chains in accelerating decarbonisation

With COP28 underway, Graham Hoare, CEO of the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), commented on how robust supply chains can accelerate the pace of decarbonisation.

“Ahead of COP 28, the UN’s top climate official, Simon Stiell, stressed the need for ‘giant leaps’ in tackling climate change, rather than the ‘baby steps’ taken so far to cut greenhouse emissions. For the UK to play its part in driving decarbonisation, leveraging our track-record of excellence in research and development to accelerate green energy supply chains – namely nuclear, green hydrogen and renewables – will be crucial. Failure to do this not only hinders our net zero goals but also the growth of the green economy in the UK.

“Green energy supply chains need to be resilient, competitive and sustainable. This relies on having a skilled workforce who can use advanced technologies effectively. The investment in engineering and manufacturing apprenticeships announced in the government’s recently published Advanced Manufacturing Plan is, therefore, very welcome news.” More via The Manufacturer

Orbex appoints John Bone as Chief Commercial Officer

UK-based orbital launch services company, Orbex, has announced the appointment of John Bone as its new Chief Commercial Officer. This key appointment comes as Orbex advances its preparations for the launch of Orbex Prime, expected to be the UK mainland’s first vertical rocket launch.

John Bone brings a wealth of experience to Orbex, with over 20 years in the Space Industry, including 18 years in Director or C-level positions. His comprehensive knowledge of the industry and high-level contacts across Europe and the UK make him an invaluable addition to the Orbex team. John has been instrumental in the growth of various organisations in the sector, and has played a pivotal role in supporting the North East Space Industry’s growth since 2014 as the chair of the North East Space Leadership Group. More via Orbex

Beverage can manufacturing factory in Peterborough is complete

Construction of a ​£150m beverage can manufacturing centre in Peterborough has been officially declared completed. Trebor Developments says it has achieved practical completion on Crown Packaging’s new manufacturing facility at the former Mars Petcare site in Shrewsbury Avenue, Woodston.

The 632,000 square feet factory will employ at least 280 people. Construction work on the factory began in May last year and the completed building features production and distribution accommodation with a fully automated clad rack system and a new headquarter offices.

It is Crown’s largest beverage can manufacturing facility in Europe and the development has transformed the 30-acre brownfield site that has been derelict for about eight years. Greg Dalton, Development Director for Trebor, said: “We are delighted to have reached practical completion on this significant project and one that has huge local and regional significance.” More via Peterborough Telegraph

Bus manufacturer workers begin two-week strike amid pay dispute

Hundreds of workers at a bus and coach manufacturing company have walked out amid an escalating dispute over pay. Unite said that around 400 union members at Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) will go on strike for two weeks after voting to reject pay offers under 5% for 2023 and 2024, which they said represents a real terms pay cut.

The union said members demonstrated their frustration over the company’s failure to make a fair pay offer by recording an 81.3% yes vote in favour of industrial action on a 72% turnout. The union represents coach builders and spray painters at the Camelon factory in Falkirk.

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “Unite’s skilled manufacturing members at Alexander Dennis deserve far better from their employer. The pay offer tabled by the company represents a substantial real terms pay cut and is totally unacceptable. The workers at Alexander Dennis will receive Unite’s full support in their fight for better jobs, pay and conditions.” More via STV News