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

Posted on 25 May 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.

Somerset poised to host giant electric vehicle battery factory

A giant new gigafactory looks set to be built in Somerset as the UK Government is poised to win an international battle for the project. The boss of Tata, the Indian firm which owns Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), will reportedly meet with the prime minister next week to draft an agreement for a plant to build electric vehicle batteries at a site near Bridgwater.

The reported deal, which is understood to include “hundreds of millions of pounds” of financial help from the government, has been described as a “must-win” for the UK, as Tata also considered a potential factory in Spain. Recent reports have indicated a bidding war took place between the UK and Spanish governments for the deal to host the new Tata gigafactory, with JLR an “anchor customer”. Read more via SomersetLive

CBI survey spells gloom for UK manufacturing

UK manufacturing is coming under increasing pressure according to a new survey, although signs of inflationary pressures in the sector continue to ease. Sentiment among manufacturers deteriorated and output volumes fell moderately in the three months to May, according to the CBI‘s latest Industrial Trends Survey.

Total order books were reported to be below normal, to a broadly similar extent as in April. Export order books were also seen as below normal, but to a greater extent than last month. The data corroborate the findings of the UK Manufacturing PMI surveys for both April and May which show the sector to be in an ongoing contraction.

“Our latest survey suggests the recent pressures on manufacturing activity have so far persisted through the second quarter. Sentiment continues to deteriorate and expectations for output growth in the coming three months have turned negative, which doesn’t suggest UK manufacturing is poised to recover any significant momentum in the near-term,” said Anna Leach, CBI Deputy Chief Economist. Read more via PoundSterlingLIVE

Britain’s new car market boosted by battery electric vehicle choice

Drivers in Britain have seen their choice of battery electric car models quadruple in the past five years as manufacturers commit to delivering the UK’s ambition of being the first major car market to go zero emission.

There are now around 80 ‘electric picks’ available across every vehicle segment – compared with just 21 in 2018 – ranging from super-small urban commuter vehicles to multipurpose people carriers, and everything in between. As result, almost one in four car models is available as a battery electric vehicle (BEV). Read more via The Manufacturer

Czech Republic awards BAE Systems $2.2bn contract

The Czech Republic has successfully completed negotiations with the government of Sweden, the Swedish defence procurement organisation FMV, and BAE Systems Hägglunds to buy 246 CV90 MkIV infantry fighting vehicles in seven different variants.

The contract is valued at SEK 22bn ($2.2bn). The agreement provides highly-capable vehicles for Czech soldiers while providing Czech industry a significant role in the program.

“As the ninth member of the CV90 User Group, the Czech Republic and its Army will benefit from this combat-proven infantry fighting vehicle with a leading combination of mobility, firepower, protection, and future growth potential,” said Tommy Gustafsson-Rask, Managing Director of BAE Systems Hägglunds, in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. “This contract also represents a significant win for Czech industry that will last for decades.” Read more via BAE Systems

ABB to unlock the power of STEM 

The ABB Robotics Education Package is a ready-to-use training kit that equips students with key skills and knowledge in robotics and automation, preparing them to excel in a future of work where robots are as common as laptops.

The package features a collaborative robot cell, student-friendly coursework and a globally recognised STEM package that enables students, anywhere in the world, to get hands-on experience in robotics.

Designed by experts at ABB in collaboration with educators, the ABB Robotics Education Package provides a strong foundation in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths), no matter the student’s educational background.
Read more via ABB

Sparking imaginations at Festival of Engineering

Babcock International has welcomed more than 300 local primary school children to its Rosyth facility over the last two days to get involved in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) activities as part of the company’s annual Festival of Engineering.

Pupils, aged between 10–12 years old, attended from five different schools and explored the hi-tech world of engineering, robotics and virtual reality when they made their way around five zones of engineering innovations, which Babcock organised in partnership with the Royal Navy and further education and industry representatives, including Fife College, Thales, Scottish Power and The National Robotarium.

From chocolate welding to sustainable boatbuilding using recycled materials, there was something on offer to stimulate and excite all the young imaginations. Read more via Babcock International

Tata Steel and LARAC join forces to champion steel packaging recycling

The powerful alliance is part of Tata Steel‘s nationwide drive to educate and engage local authorities and their communities in steel packaging recycling.

Tata Steel, one of the world’s largest steel producers and one of the UK’s leading steel re-processors, has announced a strategic partnership with LARAC (Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee), the leading voice for UK-based local authorities on recycling, waste and resource management.

The alliance will aim to boost awareness – among UK local authorities and the communities they serve – about the crucial role that steel packaging recycling plays in helping that nation transition to a greener, more sustainable future. Read more via Tata Steel

Leonardo announce new orders at EBACE 2023

Leonardo’s continued success in the UK and Ireland VIP/corporate helicopter market has expanded as its regional distributor, Sloane, announced orders for one AW109 GrandNew and one AW109 Trekker light twin during an official ceremony held at EBACE 2023 (Geneva, 23-25 May). The contract demonstrates the strong continued market demand in the UK for the popular class-leading AW109.

David George, Chairman of Sloane Helicopters, said: “We are proud to further strengthen our longstanding partnership with Leonardo through the order of two more airframes. With eight new helicopters delivered since the last EBACE and more to come, this rapid expansion exemplifies Sloane’s commitment to both the Leonardo products and growth of the UK & Ireland helicopter market. The addition of these two airframes further solidifies Leonardo’s position as the leading helicopter manufacturer in the VIP/Corporate market and we are honoured to play a key role in this attainment.” Read more via Leonardo