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

Posted on 30 May 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.

DS Smith replaces one billion pieces of plastic ahead of schedule

Ahead of schedule and in partnership with some of the most iconic FMCG brands in the world, DS Smith has replaced more than one billion pieces of plastic, 16 months in advance of its 2025 target.

This marks a key sustainability milestone for one of the leading international suppliers of more sustainable packaging solutions. As of May 2024, DS Smith has replaced over 1.2 billion pieces of plastics across its international markets, surpassing the target 16 months ahead of schedule. More via The Manufacturer

Car production down as sector calls on next government to enhance competitiveness

UK car manufacturing output fell by -7.0% in April, down to 61,820 units, according to new figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). It was the second consecutive monthly decline, reflecting factory adjustments in preparation for next generation models and their electrified powertrains.

Output for the UK – at 14,021 units – rose 19.8% but failed to offset a -12.7% decline in production for overseas buyers to 47,799 units, with nearly eight in ten cars made shipped to global markets. The European Union took the majority of car exports (55.8%) followed by the US (15.2%), China (5.4%), Turkey (4.2%) and Australia (2.8%). Shipments to the US and Turkey rose, with those to the EU, China and Australia all experiencing double digit declines. More via The SMMT

Heaven-sent EarthCARE to study clouds and climate

The Airbus-built EarthCARE climate monitoring satellite has been successfully launched from Vandenberg military base, California. EarthCARE (Earth Cloud Aerosol and Radiation Explorer) is a joint undertaking between the European and Japanese Space Agencies (ESA and JAXA).

The satellite will examine the role clouds and aerosols (tiny atmospheric particles) play in reflecting solar radiation back into space (i.e. cooling down the atmosphere) as well as in trapping infrared radiation emitted from the Earth’s surface (i.e. heating up the atmosphere). More via Airbus

Shot in the arm for UK manufacturing with launch of Wolverhampton based Smart Factory Innovation Centre

Atlas Copco Tools and Industrial Assembly Solutions has demonstrated its commitment to supporting the digital transformation of the manufacturing sector by opening a new, state-of-the-art Smart Factory Innovation Centre.

The facility, which is located at i54 on the Wolverhampton-Staffordshire border, was officially opened by Leader of City of Wolverhampton Council, Councillor Stephen Simkins and Leader of South Staffordshire Council, Councillor Roger Lees. i54 – a technology-based business park – is a joint partnership between City of Wolverhampton Council, Staffordshire County Council and South Staffordshire Council. More via City of Wolverhampton Council

Second phase of construction launched at heavy engineering business

A demolition programme at Sheffield Forgemasters’ Brightside Lane base has opened the site up for the next phase of construction for the UK’s largest open die forge. With a footprint of 150 metres by 84 metres, the location is now undergoing piling works for the foundations and base, which will support a 148,000 sq ft building containing a new 13,000 tonne heavy forging press, furnaces, quenching pits and cranes.

Partnered by Vinci Building, which has has secured a £138m contract to deliver the forge building, Sheffield Forgemasters is undertaking a site-wide recapitalisation programme to produce a new level of technological advancements and production facilities in support of the UK’s defence programmes. More via The Business Desk

Engineering skills shortages grow as job applications fall

Skills shortages in engineering have continued to grow, with applications tumbling in April. That’s according to the latest insight from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).

The data – provided by Veritone Hire – showed a continued downward trend in permanent jobs in for the last three months, with April reporting a three per cent fall month-on-month. Contract jobs were also down 11% between March and April 2024. While this is indicative of wider economic trends, the statistics paint a more worrying picture for job applications.

In April, the number of people applying for permanent engineering jobs dropped by almost 40% month-on-month, with an annual fall of 23% also noted. Contract applications also declined, down 44% between March and April 2024. More via responsesource

Industry publishes manifesto for the first 100 days after the General Election

Looking ahead to July’s General Election, Britain’s manufacturers are calling on the next government to match their ambition for growth with a bold economic vision that puts the importance of the economy across every ministerial portfolio.

Publishing its manifesto Make UK believes that the centrepiece of this vision must be a bold, long-term industrial strategy announced within the first 100 days, along with four other specific policy measures. In particular, this strategy must embrace a skills revolution throughout the education and training system to provide future talent, as well as the upskilling and re-training of the current workforce. More via The Manufacturer

Diageo announces paper-based bottle trial for Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur

Diageo, the maker of Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky, Don Julio Tequila and Guinness has today announced new plans to trial paper-based packaging for Baileys, the Original Irish Cream Liqueur.

In partnership with PA Consulting, as part of the Bottle Collective with PA and PulPac, Diageo is trialling a Dry Molded Fiber bottle which is 90% paper, with a thin plastic liner and a foil seal. The bottle is designed for recycling in standard paper streams and does not require the consumer to separate the plastic liner from the paper bottle when disposing.

The 2,000-bottle trial with consumers took place on Baileys, the Original Irish Cream Liqueur, mini format (80ml) at Time Out Festival in Barcelona, Spain, from 25-26 May. More via Diageo