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

Posted on 15 Feb 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.

Thursday 15/02/2023

Leeds Manufacturing Festival launches to address recruitment challenges

Manufacturing employers from across Leeds will come together next week to launch a programme of events aimed at highlighting the latest career opportunities. This will showcase what the modern manufacturing and engineering sectors has to offer within the city and the wider region.

Read more via The Manufacturer

ZARGES enters the troposphere in University of Newcastle space flight

A microgravity parabolic flight mission launched by the University of Newcastle has seen ZARGES casing hit new heights, as its aluminium casing plays an integral part in transporting key elements of a scientific experiment safely to and from the Earth’s Troposphere.

Read more at Industrial Compliance

Electrification and Brexit are killing the British car industry

The UK is struggling to build a battery industry—and its new isolation isn’t helping. When US carmaker Ford on Feb. 14 announced 1,300 job cuts in the UK, it was just the latest blow for an industry that’s been struggling to keep up production levels in a post-Brexit, pandemic-hit economy that’s on the brink of recession.

Read more at Quartz

STILRIDE introduces 3D printing to “industrial origami” manufacturing arsenal

STILRIDE, the Swedish startup known for its origami-inspired approach to electromobility design and manufacturing, is joining forces with French-Swedish robotics company ADAXIS to introduce 3D printing capabilities to its suite of sustainable manufacturing tech.

Read more at The Manufacturer

University Technical Colleges (UTCs) gathering support to create new hubs

An education charity is gathering support for expanding a new technical education pathway within existing schools, based on the successful University Technical College (“UTC”) model.

Read more at The Manufacturer 

Wednesday 15/02/2023

Former NASA astronaut says engineering needs women for best talent

Progress in gender equality has improved for women in science and engineering, said two-time American space shuttle pilot Susan Kilrain at Space Camp 2101 five-day event at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) geared to engage and motivate primary and secondary grade students toward STEM careers.

More than 200 Saudi students participated. Held February 5–9, the camp featured three NASA astronauts and one Space X astronaut, an arrangement made possible by a sponsorship agreement with the Saudi Space Commission (SSC).

Read more via The Manufacturer.

Major milestone achieved at Scotland’s new flagship manufacturing R&D facility

The University of Strathclyde-operated National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) has taken ownership of its new flagship facility at the heart of the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland (AMIDS) in Renfrewshire, just over two years since construction began.

Flanked by Glasgow Airport and by fellow High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult centre, the CPI’s Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre, the 11,500m2 operationally carbon neutral HQ will act as a magnet for innovative global manufacturing, engineering and tech businesses. It is home to the NMIS Manufacturing Skills Academy, a fully connected Digital Factory and a publicly-accessible collaboration hub.

Read more via The University of Strathclyde Glasgow.

Bristol-based manufacturer secures £300,000 funding

A South West food tech manufacturer is increasing its capacity to source raw materials after securing a supporting trade finance facility from Lloyds Bank, driven by a 50% increase in sales over the past two years.

Bristol-based TasteTech is an encapsulation specialist that provides innovative flavourings and functional ingredients to global food and beverage manufacturers. Their markets include bakery, confectionery, chewing gum and nutrition.

In 2022, the business shipped more than 1.2 million kg of product to food manufacturers around the globe. TasteTech approached Lloyds Bank, securing £300,000 of funding that was used to purchase additional raw materials.

Read more via The Manufacturer.

Rolls-Royce, Airbus pen deal with Air India for 250 planes in boost for UK manufacturing

Rolls-Royce and Airbus have signed multi-billion pound deal to build 250 new planes for Air India, which is set to create hundreds of new jobs in the UK.

The wings will be designed in Filton and assembled in Broughton, creating 450 manufacturing jobs and bringing in more than than £100m of investment to Wales.

Meanwhile, the A350 aircraft are being exclusively powered by Rolls-Royce XWB engines, assembled and tested in Derby.

Read more via City A.M.

What the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology means for the space sector

The new Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT), created following the cabinet reshuffle on 7 February, promises to drive innovation, create jobs, and grow the economy. It all sounds encouraging, but will they take advantage of the innovation opportunities right in front of them?

2023 has seen the UK suffer several setbacks on the innovation front, with the failed launch of Virgin Orbit’s Cosmic Girl and the closure of tech incubator Tech Nation two high-profile blows to the science and technology sectors.

Read more via The Manufacturer.

Genentech to expand next-gen manufacturing network with new oceanside facility

Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, has announced the construction of a new biologics manufacturing facility at its Oceanside, CA campus, marking the occasion with a ceremony.

The new facility will harness transformational digital technologies to move medicines from production to patients faster and more sustainably, making it one of the most modern commercial-scale biotech manufacturing facilities in the world.

Read more via The Manufacturer.

Tuesday 14/02/2023

Ford to cut one in five jobs in the UK

Ford has announced plans to cut 1,300 jobs in the UK over the next two years, a fifth of its total workforce in the country. It is part of a major restructuring programme that will see the carmaker cut 3,800 jobs overall across Europe.

Ford is cutting back on development staff as it faces an uncertain economic future and prepares for the transition to electric vehicles. Most of the UK cuts will be at its research site at Dunton in Essex. Several hundred back-office posts are also expected to be closed at sites across the country. But production sites at Halewood, Dagenham and Daventry will not be affected.
Read more via BBC News

Positive outlook for manufacturing small businesses

The beginning of 2023 has seen a significant rise in manufacturing small businesses predicting growth in the next three months, from 35% in Q4 2022 to 44% this quarter, according to new research by Novuna Business Finance. The results found that the proportion of businesses in the manufacturing sector anticipating growth in the next three months was at its highest proportion for 12 months.

Meanwhile, the proportion expecting to contract in the next three months fell slightly on last quarter, (18% in Q4 2022 vs 16% in Q1 2023), although is above average for the past two years (13%). These are some of the latest Business Barometer findings by Novuna Business Finance, a study that has tracked small business outlook every quarter since 2015.
Read more via Novuna Business Finance

First anniversary of strategic partnership

A pair of the Black Country’s leading industrial voices have marked the first anniversary of a partnership aimed at tackling the skills crisis facing UK manufacturing.

MSC Industrial Supply in Wednesbury and Next Gen Makers in Kingswinford formed a strategic partnership at the end of 2021 to help engineering and manufacturing firms identify skills gaps within their organisation and improve the quality of their apprenticeship, talent development and retention schemes.

Next Gen Makers, which was founded in 2018, has established a group of more than 50 engineering and manufacturing firms as part of its engineering apprenticeships: best practice programme. It enables those companies to share best practice regarding how to run successful apprenticeship schemes, whilst benchmarking their individual approaches to identify areas for improvement.
Read more via Express & Star

115,000 more girls needed to bridge gender gap

Analysis based on Higher Education Statistics Agency data of UK first-year undergraduate students during the 2020/21 academic year, has shown that around 115,000 more girls would need to study A-levels in maths or physics, or both, to reach equal numbers of male and female students studying engineering and technology degrees.

Just eight percent of first-year undergraduate women who had studied maths and/or physics at A-level went on to study engineering and technology degrees, compared to 23% of first-year undergraduate men who had studied at least one of the subjects at A-level, an analysis by charity EngineeringUK suggests.

With the current conversion rate from A-level to undergraduate study, around 150,000 girls would need to study A-levels in one or both subjects to reach the same number of women studying engineering and technology as men – which represents an increase of around 115,000 girls, the report suggests.
Read more via The Manufacturer

Teams confirmed for the Apprentice Automation Challenge 2023

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers has announced the teams taking part in this year’s Apprentice Automation Challenge.

Teams are formed from apprentices working for companies in industry, colleges and engineering consultancies, with representatives from Manufacturing Technology Centre, Amazon and previous winners Leonardo UK entering once again in 2023. They will be joined by several new entrants this year from Springboard Pro, Meggitt, Niftylift, and Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land.

For the next stage of the Apprentice Automation Challenge will see teams develop their ideas into a working prototype, together with a detailed report including design specification, manufacturing instructions, user manual and a business case for the mass production.
Read more via Institute of Mechanical Engineers

IVS and AMRC announce smart workbench of the future

A next-generation smart workbench to showcase the latest production technologies has been developed by Industrial Vision Systems Ltd (IVS), a global supplier of inspection machines and industrial automation solutions, in collaboration with AMRC Cymru.

The smart workbench combines a mixed reality headset, smart tooling, 3D and 2D machine vision, seven-axis robotics, intelligent projection, pick-to-light and automation into one complete demonstration cell. The bench is designed to showcase the combined use of these cutting-edge technologies in a cell which can be used for demonstrations, research and development at AMRC Cymru, which is part of the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult cluster of research centres.

IVS combined the mixed reality environment with the various disparate tools and robotic assembly build, providing a step-by-step process control for an engineer to follow. With the mixed reality unit being an integral component, IVS has developed a template for an immersive inspection environment to assist users. AMRC Cymru will then use the data gathered from these processes to dig deeper into the potential applications of these tech combos in future manufacturing settings.
Read more via AMRC Cymru

Monday 13/02/2023

Energy intensive industries given £12m boost to cut emissions and costs

Businesses across the UK will benefit from a share of more than £12m government funding to help energy-intensive industries cut their carbon emissions and energy costs.

The funding for the 22 winning projects will help businesses across England, Wales and Northern Ireland clean up their industrial processes and improve their energy efficiency – benefiting industries including pharmaceuticals, steel, paper, and food and drink. Read more via GOV UK

UKESF collaborates with Apple to Inspire More Girls into Electronics

The UK Electronics Skills Foundation (UKESF), in collaboration with Apple, has announced its exciting ‘Girls into Electronics’ programme for 2023.

This initiative will provide opportunities for hundreds of girls between ages 15-18 to be inspired by Electronics and will be delivered in collaboration with 15 of the UK’s leading universities. Read more via The Manufacturer

Swiss manufacturing company sets up UK headquarters at Link Business Centre, Malvern

A Swiss company specialising in cleaning nozzles is all set to run its new UK headquarters from Link Business Centre in Malvern.

ENZ UK Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of ENZ Technik which is a global business with subsidiaries in the USA, UK, Germany and Sweden.

ENZ Technik also sells worldwide through more than 200 partner companies, generating sales in over 50 countries. Read more via Business & Innovation Magazine

Mentoring broadens focus of cycle storage firm Cycloc

Mentoring from a construction specialist is helping an entrepreneur to identify new markets for his award-winning cycle storage business hit by Brexit red tape and the economic downturn.

Cycloc founder Andrew Lang is being mentored by Dan Grimshaw from design and construction firm Beam Development as part of the British Library’s Innovating for Growth mentoring programme. Read more via The Manufacturer

Former Cadbury employee starts eco-chocolate company in Bristol

A new chocolate company which uses fully recyclable packaging has recently launched in Bristol and is now stocked in several shops in the city. Joel Manuvelpillai spent years working for Cadbury before co-founding his own kitchen to make his own chocolate with a more environmentally-friendly model.

The new chocolate company Goüter uses leftover bread that gets cut up and toasted to mix into crunchy clusters of chocolate. He claims that his chocolate is the first in the UK to have ‘zero carbon’ packaging. Read more via Bristol Live

UK to invest in defence, aerospace and medical sectors in Uttar Pradesh

The British Minister of State for Defence Procurement on Sunday said that the United Kingdom will invest in defence, aerospace and medical sectors in Uttar Pradesh. Speaking at the United Kingdom Partner Country/Defence session held at Dadhichi Hall during the ongoing Global Investor Summit-2023, Alex Chalk, said, “It is a matter of pride for me to participate in GIS-23. Standing on this great land of Uttar Pradesh and inviting the whole world to invest is a big achievement. At the same time, it is also a big achievement that we are witnessing this programme in a state known as the ‘Rice Basket’.” Read more via The Economic Times

Friday 10/02/2023

National Apprenticeship Week 2023: From shop floor to top floor with LISI Aerospace’s Marcin Klaczek

With apprenticeships firmly under the spotlight this week, who better to speak with than the winner of the People & Skills category at last year’s TMMX Awards, LISI Aerospace. James Devonshire recently jumped aboard with Marcin Klaczek, organisational development coordinator at LISI Aerospace and an apprentice himself, to discover more about the company’s apprenticeship initiatives. Read more via The Manufacturer

World’s first hydrogen-powered digger set to drive on UK roads

The world’s first digger, powered by a hydrogen combustion engine, will soon be on UK roads and building sites following recent government approval, helping to decarbonise the UK’s construction industry.

The UK government has given special dispensation, under a vehicle special order, that allows JCB, the British construction equipment manufacturer, to test and use its world-first hydrogen-powered backhoe loader on UK roads. Read more via GOV UK

Celebrating local construction and manufacturing apprentices in Plymouth

Outstanding local construction and manufacturing apprentices have been recognised for their efforts and abilities at an awards ceremony held as part of Plymouth’s National Apprenticeship Week 2023.

The Awards were presented jointly by Building Plymouth and the Plymouth Manufacturers’ Group (PMG), with nominations submitted by local employers and training providers, with nearly 40 finalist apprentices celebrated and 17 overall winners presented top awards. Read more via plymouth.gov.uk

BAE Systems begins construction on third Dreadnought Class submarine

BAE Systems yesterday marked the start of construction of the third Dreadnought Class submarine, Warspite, at its shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. Read more via The Manufacturer

Microsoft kills its industrial Metaverse team after 4 months

In a surprising reversal, Microsoft has killed a team it formed four months ago to help customers use the metaverse in industrial settings, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. The group’s roughly 100 employees have all been laid off, the person said. Read more via The Information

Tesla earns 5 times more per car than Toyota, earnings show

Toyota Motor earned less than a fifth in per-vehicle earnings compared with Tesla during the April-December period as Japan’s giant automaker struggles to absorb rising costs.

Toyota earned 240,000 yen ($1,820) in net profit per unit during that time span last year. In contrast, Tesla raked in the equivalent of 1.26 million yen per vehicle during the same period. Read more via Nikkei Asia

‘Net Zero’ roadmap urges Government to act now to unlock a £10bn boost for the UK foundry sector

The leading voice for the foundry industry has released a five-point blueprint that will help the castings sector deliver a £10bn boost to the economy. Read more via The Manufacturer

Thursday 09/02/2023

Jaguar Land Rover announces record number of degree apprenticeships to deepen talent pool for electrification

Jaguar Land Rover yesterday announced a record number of degree apprenticeships are on offer this year, opening up opportunities to gain a degree in a world class automotive business and develop the next generation of modern luxury vehicles, without accruing large debts. Read more via The Manufacturer

National Apprenticeship Week 2023: Making apprentices with Make UK’s Fiona McGarry

Make UK, the manufacturers’ organisation, focuses on championing industry’s growth and success. A significant part of its work is helping to create the next generation of engineers and manufacturing leaders through its apprenticeship programmes. The Manufacturer’s James Devonshire recently spoke with Fiona McGarry, Engagement Manager Make UK Apprentice and Skills, to find out more. Read more via The Manufacturer

Apprenticeships boosted under plans to broaden UCAS

Young people will be able to use UCAS to search and apply for apprenticeships, alongside degrees, under new plans announced by the Education Secretary and UCAS.

From this autumn, UCAS will expand their service so that young people can see more personalised options, including apprenticeships. From 2024, students will then be able to apply for apprenticeships through UCAS alongside an undergraduate degree application. Read more via GOV UK

SD launches its first Training Academy in the wake of construction skills shortage

SD Team, one of the largest cosmetic finishing groups in the UK, has launched an all-new training facility, SD Academy, at its headquarters in Caldicot to conduct off-site classroom teaching at a time of skills and labour shortages in the construction industry. Read more via The Manufacturer

Electrical control systems manufacturer in apprenticeship drive

Telford-based Transicon Ltd, a family run manufacturer of AC Drives, DC Drives, Servo Drives, PLC and SCADA Systems, is busy expanding the firm’s apprenticeship programme and has spent the last two weeks meeting candidates who are keen to make their mark in the sector. Read more via The Manufacturer

Finedale Foods doubles output with £400k factory investment

Frozen baked goods manufacturer Finedale Foods has reaped the benefits of a £400k investment into new production equipment, doubling production after Covid-19 decimated sales for the business. Read more via Food Manufacture

New Scottish all-electric 4×4 pitched at farmers and miners goes on show

New Scottish EV 4×4 manufacturer, Munro Vehicles, is displaying its Munro MK_1 production prototype for the first time this week at the Low Carbon Agriculture 2023 show which is running near Coventry in the UK.

Designed for use in the challenging conditions of farming, construction, mining, etc in addition to recreational use, the MK_1 has been deliberately built as a simple, easy to maintain vehicle for rugged conditions. Read more via The Driven

Slash new product costs and time to market with ‘Certification by Analysis’ standards for simulated testing

The High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult is launching a landmark £950,000 project to cut development costs and time to market for new products, by accelerating the UK’s capabilities in certification by analysis. Read more via HVM Catapult

Wednesday 08/02/2023

National Apprenticeship Week 2023: DP Engineering’s Phillip Anthony on his journey from apprentice to director

Continuing our coverage for National Apprenticeship Week 2023 (#NAW2023), The Manufacturer’s James Devonshire recently sat down with Phillip Anthony of DP Engineering to learn more about his journey from apprentice to director. Read more via The Manufacturer

Alstom opens national Training Academy to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2023

Alstom, global leader in smart and sustainable mobility, has opened its Apprentice Training Academy on the second day of National Apprenticeship Week 2023.

Following an investment of £250,000 over the last two years, the new Training Academy was officially opened yesterday by Derby MP, Dame Margaret Beckett DBE PC MP, accompanied by Nick Crossfield, Managing Director of Alstom UK & Ireland. Read more via Alstom

Magtec apprentice’s motivational message for young people

Magtec apprentice Bethney Machin has a simple message for young people out there: Go after what you want and get yourself to where you want to be.

The 27-year-old is a trainee software developer at the UK’s leading designer, manufacturer and integrator of drive systems for electric and hybrid vehicles. Read more via The Manufacturer

BAE delivers 1,000th F-35 fuselage to Lockheed Martin

BAE Systems has delivered the 1,000th rear fuselage to Lockheed Martin for the F-35, the world’s most advanced and capable fifth generation fighter.

More than 1,500 employees at the Company’s facilities in Samlesbury, Lancashire, produce the rear fuselage for every F-35 in the global fleet. The first fuselage was delivered to Lockheed Martin in 2005. Read more via BAE Systems

New car market defies national trend to deliver green growth – SMMT

The UK new car market grew 14.7% in January to reach 131,994 units, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), setting the tone for an anticipated countercyclical year of growth. This was the best start to the year since January 2020’s pre-Covid 149,279 units and marks the sixth successive month of expansion. Read more via SMMT

FANUC to host robotics competition to inspire Gen Z engineers

FANUC UK is once again inviting the next generation of robotics engineers to enter the WorldSkills UK Industrial Robotics competition.

A trailblazing industry-education joint initiative, the WorldSkills competition is a win-win for both the students who take part and the automation industry, inspiring young people to consider a career in robotics and equipping them with technical and workplace skills that are much needed by employers. Read more via The Manufacturer

Fresh Direct invests £2m in factory expansion

Condiments and desserts manufacturer Fresh Direct has invested £2m into its Bicester site as it scales up to meet a fourfold increase in demand. Read more via Food Manufacture

UK metal engineering firm Vesuvius hit by cyber-attack

Vesuvius, a UK-based molten metal flow engineering company issued an alert on February 6, 2023, which stated it was “currently managing a cyber incident, [which] has involved unauthorized access to our systems.”

The London Stock Exchange-listed ceramics manufacturer did not give any information on the nature and scope of the incident, the systems impacted, or the identity of the attacker. Read more via Infosecurity Magazine

Tuesday 07/02/2023

National Apprenticeship Week 2023: Skills for a lifetime

Creating a pipeline of skilled talent is a top priority for Norgren, which for more than two decades, has invested time and resources into its growing apprenticeship programme.

Twenty-one-year-old Christian Newey, currently in the final year of his four-year Engineering Technician apprenticeship at Norgren’s Fradley site, is an example of how a fulfilling engineering apprenticeship can lay the foundations for future career success. Read more via The Manufacturer

Sheffield Forgemasters launches drive for new apprentices

Sheffield Forgemasters has launched a drive to recruit 26 apprentices for September, as it progresses development on one of the World’s most advanced manufacturing facilities.

Marking the start of National Apprenticeship Week, the recruitment will see successful applicants join the Ministry of Defence (MoD) owned company during a hugely exciting period to participate in an award-winning apprenticeship scheme. Read more via The Manufacturer

Australian startup Recharge wins bid for collapsed UK battery company Britishvolt

An emerging Australian company yet to construct a major project will be responsible for delivering on UK hopes to electrify its automotive industry after outbidding rivals to take over collapsed battery maker Britishvolt.

In a whirlwind fortnight, Recharge Industries put together an aggressive package that also revives plans to build a £3.8bn (A$6.7bn) “gigafactory” in the north of England to supply the next generation of UK-built electric vehicles, free from Chinese materials. Read more via The Guardian

British business sizes up global trade wins as Malaysia and Chile join Indo-Pacific bloc

Malaysia and Chile have officially joined the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), meaning British businesses will get better access and lower tariffs in the Malaysian and Chilean markets when the UK joins the dynamic trade bloc.

Malaysia is one of the CPTPP members with which the UK does not currently have a bilateral free trade agreement. The UK and Malaysia both joining CPTPP will greatly increase the UK’s access to the Malaysian market and could boost the £2.9bn worth of exports we currently sell there annually. Read more via GOV UK

Report: Microsoft expects UK to oppose Activision Blizzard acquisition

Microsoft’s legal team reportedly believes that the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority is preparing to oppose its acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The acquisition of the publisher of Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and many other major video games is currently in limbo as international regulatory bodies do antitrust evaluations. The FTC in the United States is already moving to prevent the acquisition, and Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition could be blocked in the United Kingdom next. Read more via gamerant.com

University of Nottingham IAT projects receive £10m in funding to bring clean aviation one step closer to reality

Several projects led by the University of Nottingham’s Institute of Aerospace Technology (IAT) have received a total of £10m to fund research into the future of net zero aviation. Read more via The Manufacturer

Nissan warns costs must fall to make new electric cars in UK

A senior boss at Nissan has warned the “economics have to work” for the company to make new electric models of its Juke and Qashqai cars in the UK.

Ashwani Gupta, chief operating officer at the firm, told the BBC the UK faced a challenge to remain competitive with other car-making countries.

He said manufacturing costs in the UK were higher than others due to higher energy bills and overall inflation.

Nissan employs more than 6,000 people at its Sunderland manufacturing plant. Read more via BBC News

Monday 06/02/2023

We’re kicking off our National Apprenticeship Week 2023 coverage with a host of apprenticeship-related news stories today…

National Apprenticeship Week 2023: Earning, learning and chocolate with Mars Wrigley’s James Kinnaird

For manufacturing apprentice James Kinnaird, the idea of earning while learning was appealing. That’s one of the reasons why he is pursuing an apprenticeship at Mars Wrigley UK (that and getting to work with chocolate, of course).

The Manufacturer’s James Devonshire sat down with James Kinnaird, 24, a manufacturing apprentice at Mars Wrigley UK, to find out why he has chosen the path he has. Read more via The Manufacturer

Forterra continues to invest in its employees with new cohort of apprentices and graduates

Leading building products manufacturer, Forterra, has recently welcomed four new apprentices and three graduates as part of its Apprenticeship and Graduate schemes. Read more via The Manufacturer

Apprentices help engineer a bright future for historic gasworks

A restoration team at a historic Derbyshire Victorian gasworks is on track to complete an important part of its major renovation programme, with help from nearby neighbours JCB.

Engineers and apprentices from JCB World Headquarters, at Rocester and other JCB factories, have recreated vital parts of the Sudbury Gasworks engineering centrepiece – with the first phase now installed at the village centre site. Read more via The Manufacturer

Government must back UK semiconductor industry, says CEO of firm behind 125-jobs plan for North East

The Government must show commitment to UK semiconductor companies says the boss of an innovative firm under way with £68m plans to bring a chip factory to the North East.

Scott White, CEO of manufacturer Pragmatic Semiconductor, said the industry needs “a clear strategy and support” if it is to solve supply chain security issues and allow other sectors to reap the benefits of its world-leading technology. His call comes as the chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee said further delay on a semiconductor strategy would be an “act of national self-harm”. Read more via Business Live

Tata considers Spain, Britain for European EV battery plant – source

India’s Tata Group is considering setting up a battery cell plant for electric vehicles (EV) in Spain or Britain, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, as its carmaking unit seeks to boost supply chains in Europe.

Tata Motors’ chief financial officer told Reuters last month its parent, Tata, was considering setting up plants in India and Europe to produce battery cells for EVs. In Europe it would aim to provide batteries for its luxury Jaguar Land Rover unit, which has manufacturing facilities in Britain and Slovakia. Read more via Reuters

Watch Tesla Cybertruck’s impressive 4-wheel steering at work

A new video of the Tesla Cybertruck’s impressive four-wheel steering at work has leaked – giving us the best look at the feature yet. Read more via electrek

Friday 03/02/2023

Global robot report highlights UK’s urgent need to increase automation

The UK has a strong and proud manufacturing history and, for a small nation, has long punched above its weight on the global stage. Today, the UK remains the ninth largest manufacturing nation in the world, with a £183bn output. But our seat at the top table is looking precarious as a result of our slow adoption of industrial automation. Read more via The Manufacturer

BAE Systems part of contract award supporting CANES program

BAE Systems has been awarded a contract by the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) for the Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) program. The total value of the 10-year indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract is $4.1bn. BAE Systems is one of eight companies that will be competing for work on the IDIQ program. Read more via BAE Systems

Michelin Development supports Hydrogen Green Power’s green growth potential

A company providing decarbonisation systems for the whisky sector is joining the next generation of green economy businesses emerging in Dundee, with support from Michelin Development.

Hydrogen Green Power (HGP) has been established to develop and sell turnkey systems to facilitate the production of green hydrogen and the decarbonisation of production processes. Read more via The Manufacturer

Swedish armed forces invest £15.5m in engine test facility at GKN Aerospace

To ensure development and maintenance of the RM12 and RM16 fighter engines for the JAS 39 Gripen, the Swedish Armed Forces are investing in an extensive renovation and new construction of the engine test facility at GKN Aerospace in Trollhättan.

GKN Aerospace currently develops and maintains the RM12 engine, while also building the same capability for the RM16. The engine test facility in Trollhättan is unique as it can replicate the same conditions that an engine is exposed to when flying at supersonic speeds. Read more via GKN Aerospace

Revenue up at Safestyle UK despite ‘unforeseen challenges’

Revenue has grown at listed double glazing retailer and manufacturer Safestyle UK despite “a number of unforeseen challenges” last year.

In a trading update, the Bradford-headquartered company said it expects to report revenue of circa £154.3m for the financial year ended 1 January 2023, about 7.7 per cent higher than the prior year, and an underlying loss before tax in line with market expectations. Read more via Insider Media

Zytronic invests £400,000 in tech to capitalise on customers’ Covid bounceback

Tyneside touch tech specialist Zytronic has invested around £400,000 into new equipment to boost its manufacturing operations.

The Blaydon based business has invested in a second laser soldering system within a factory cleanroom, which directors say allows Zytronic to leverage the latest production technology. The system was developed by Industrial Vision Systems Ltd. Read more via Business Live

East Midlands home builder prioritises energy efficiency for all new builds

East Midlands-based, family-run home builder, Fairgrove, is committed to helping its customers tackle the cost-of-living crisis by making its new homes both affordable and cost effective. Read more via The Manufacturer

Thursday 02/02/2023

UK Manufacturing PMI: Industry starts the year on the back foot but there is optimism among companies

The UK manufacturing industry has started 2023 on the back foot, in much the same way as it ended 2022, with output, new orders and employment all contracting further, according to the latest S&P Global / CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI®. Read more via The Manufacturer

Harland & Wolff signs subcontract with Navantia for FSS

Harland & Wolff has announced that it has now formally signed the manufacturing subcontract with Navantia UK in relation to the £1.6bn FSS warship programme.

Under the terms of the Subcontract, Harland & Wolff will be responsible for delivering works worth around £700m to £800m through the life of the programme.

At the peak of the programme, Harland & Wolff will be providing employment to over 1,200 personnel (900 in Belfast and 300 in Appledore) and over 100 graduates and apprentices in Belfast and Appledore generating substantial social value across the UK. Read more via Harland & Wolff

OCI and Unibarge partner to develop Europe’s first dual-fueled green methanol bunker barge, driving cleaner shipping

OCI N.V. has partnered with Unibarge to develop Europe’s first dual-fueled methanol propelled bunker capable barge, which will be in service in the Port of Rotterdam.

The deployment of the retrofitted barge is significant milestone towards the sustainable transformation of the shipping industry, as it will be able to run on renewable and low carbon methanol fuel, as well as conventional biofuels. Read more via The Manufacturer

COROS to Setup Direct Operations in the UK & Ireland

After a partnership of more than three years, 2pure will hand back the UK and Ireland distribution of COROS products to the manufacturer, effective March 1st 2023.

Since owning the full distribution of COROS products in the UK, 2pure has made significant strides forward in the running and outdoor markets. With distribution in over 40 physical stores and a well-established online presence. As part of COROS’ European expansion, it has set up a direct presence in the UK to service retailers and consumers further. Read more via Bicycle Retailer

Reuse wasted Apprenticeship Levy funds to plug £63bn digital skills deficit – IET

Wasted government funds should be directed to nearly half of engineering firms suffering from a digital skills gap, says the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), as a digital skills deficit is costing the UK economy £63bn a year. Read more via The Manufacturer

British Steel draws up plan for 800 job losses amid government funding talks

Britain’s second-biggest steel producer has been drawing up secret plans to axe hundreds of jobs even as it continues talks with ministers about £300m of taxpayer funding that would partly depend on decade-long employment guarantees.

Sky News has learnt that British Steel has been discussing launching a consultation on around 800 redundancies, principally focused on the Scunthorpe plant in north Lincolnshire where the company is based. Read more via Sky News

Brexit is costing the UK £100bn a year in lost output

Brexit is costing the UK economy £100bn a year ($124bn), with the effects spanning everything from business investment to the ability of companies to hire workers.

An analysis by Bloomberg Economics three years after Britain left the European Union paints a bleak picture of the damage done by the way the split has been implemented by the Conservative government. Read more via Bloomberg Economics

Wednesday 01/02/2023

UK Government backing helps launch world first self-driving bus

Passengers will be boarding the world’s first fully sized, self-driving bus service in Edinburgh from the Spring, after it was awarded a share of £81 million in joint UK government and industry support for self-driving transport technology.

The project is one of seven successful projects from around the UK, and forms the most advanced set of commercial, self-driving passenger and freight operations anywhere in the world. Read more via GOV UK

McCain invests £35m in British farming

Potato processor McCain Foods, the UK’s largest manufacturer of frozen potato products, is to invest £35m into British farming to help potato growers who have seen their crops affected by heatwaves, droughts and floods, while simultaneously facing large increases in the price of fertiliser and energy. Read more via Food Manufacture

Transmission technology specialist Xtrac achieves hat trick of ESG accreditations

The UK’s award-winning high-performance automotive and motorsport transmission technology specialist, Xtrac, has achieved three more important accreditations over the past 12 months. They include attaining the Environment, Social and Governance ESGMark, setting emissions reduction goals through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), and recognition as a Real Living Wage Employer. Read more via The Manufacturer

GKN Aerospace to supply electrical wiring interconnection system for Lilium’s type-conforming aircraft

Lilium N.V. developer of the first all-electric vertical take-off and landing (“eVTOL”) jet, and GKN Aerospace, the world-leading developer of sustainable aerospace technology, have signed an agreement to work together to design and build an integrated and certifiable EWIS solution.

From its facility in the Netherlands, GKN Aerospace will build the EWIS hardware sets and support Lilium with on-site installation into the Lilium Jet at Lilium’s final assembly line at Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany. Read more via GKN Aerospace

Fabrinet UK: Wiltshire factory to shut as 100 employees lose jobs

Fabrinet UK has confirmed it will close its Calne factory, with 100 employees set to lose their jobs.

The factory has been operating on Harris Road, in Port Marsh Industrial Estate, for over 45 years since it opened in 1977.

But after uncertainty over its future, Fabrinet have confirmed that will change at the end of March 2023, when the factory will shut for the final time. Read more via Gazette & Herald

Stratospheric Platforms partnering with Britten-Norman on UK HAPS trial

Stratospheric Platforms (SPL) is partnering up with aircraft manufacturer Britten-Norman for its UK high-altitude 5G trials.

The company is currently trialing using High Altitude Pseudo Satellites to provide 5G in remote areas of the UK, alongside BT.

While the first stage of trials will see SPL’s phased array antenna technology, known as StratoMast, placed on the roof of a tall building to simulate the high altitude, it seems that the next stage will take to the skies. Read more via Data Center Dynamics

Tuesday 31/01/2023

Strong 2022 aircraft delivery figures show accelerating recovery

Overall aircraft order and delivery figures for 2022 show a growing recovery is underway from the lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Global deliveries in 2022 totaled 1,144 aircraft, significantly exceeding the ADS forecast of 997 aircraft made in Q1 2022 based on industry expectations and soaring beyond the symbolic 1,000 aircraft marker for the first time since 2019.

During 2022, 957 single-aisle aircraft and 187 wide-body aircraft were delivered, a 20 per cent increase on 2021, reflecting a steady growth in recovery as manufacturers deliver production rate ramp ups. Read more via ADS Group

Twelve-year-old’s invention to clean toxic air wins national competition

A twelve-year-old from Huddersfield has won the Institution of Engineering & Technology’s (IET) national ‘Backpack to the Future’ competition – ‘blowing away’ judges with a design that filters polluted air – helping the eight million people in the UK who suffer the often-crippling effects of asthma. Read more via The Manufacturer

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey to become Toyota’s first European plant to produce plug-in-hybrid vehicles and batteries

The second generation Toyota C-HR will be produced at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey (TMMT) in Sakarya. Available in hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions, the new Toyota C-HR will also be the first plug-in hybrid passenger car to be produced in Turkey. In addition, TMMT will be Toyota’s first European plant to start producing plug-in hybrid vehicles, and the first to be equipped with a battery production line.

The 100% electrified powertrain line-up of the new Toyota C-HR reflects Toyota’s commitment to offer appropriate carbon reduction opportunities to the largest and most competitive market segment in Europe. In addition to the hybrid version, the new plug-in hybrid Toyota C-HR with locally assembled batteries will further expand Toyota’s multi-technology offer towards its target of 100% CO2 reduction in its vehicle line-up in Europe by 2035. Read more via Toyota Europe

Vita unveils state-of-the-art sound reduction testing

The Vita Group, one of Europe’s leading providers of flexible polyurethane (PU) foam, has taken its R&D capabilities to the next level with the introduction of advanced acoustic testing technology.

Middleton-based Vitec, part of The Vita Group, has invested in the installation of an Alpha cabin, which provides in-depth data on the acoustic insulation and noise absorption properties of foam products. This will help Vita further formulate materials and composites with optimum noise reduction levels for end users in a range of market sectors. Read more via The Manufacturer

Huge Howdens kitchen factory expansion creates 100 jobs in East Yorkshire

Kitchen giant Howdens has unveiled its new multi-million pound state-of-the-art factory expansion, an investment creating 100 new jobs.

The East Yorkshire joinery specialist, understood to have invested tens of millions, opened up the Heartlands addition in the town it has taken as its name, onshoring production of high gloss cupboard door frontals from Italy. Read more via Business Live

Volvo Car UK postpones retailers’ agency model launch for three months

Volvo Car UK chief executive Kristian Elvefors has informed the Swedish carmaker’s dealers of a three-month postponement to its planned roll-out of agency model new car retail.

Retailers had been told that the new direct-to-consumer distribution model could be implemented as early as April, but Volvo has followed Stellantis in stalling its plans to transition away from a franchised car retail model and now expects to roll-out the new system from June 1. Read more via AM Online

Strong support for green steel deal as Humber revealed as Net Zero hot spot

Strong support for a steel deal to help in the green transition has been voiced as the Humber was revealed as one of 20 Net Zero hotspots for economic activity.

It is understood an offer may be on the table to support British Steel on decarbonisation, while navigating soaring energy prices and an economic downturn. A £300m war chest could be tapped into, a similar figure to that already invested by the Chinese Jingye Group, since it bought the business out of liquidation in early 2020. Read more via Business Live

New Chair appointed at Sheffield Forgemasters

Sheffield Forgemasters will welcome Sir Tim Fraser as its new Chair and Non-Executive Director from February 1.

Sir Tim has spent the last 20 years in senior Ministry of Defence positions, across both operational and senior central leadership roles, most recently as the Vice Chief of Defence Staff and has completed 40 years in the Royal Navy. Read more via The Manufacturer

Monday 30/01/2023

Airbus to recruit more than 13,000 people globally in 2023

To support its commercial aircraft ramp-up, meet challenges in defence, space and helicopters, Airbus intends to recruit more than 13,000 people globally in 2023.

Around 7,000 of these will be newly created posts across the company. The new hires will be instrumental in supporting our industrial ramp-up and Airbus’ ambitious decarbonisation roadmap and preparing the future of aviation. Read more via The Manufacturer

Faraday Institution announces £27.6m to help UK EV battery innovators

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) today announced a further investment of £27.6m from the Faraday Battery Challenge to support collaborative R&D projects co-funded by industry and managed by Innovate UK on behalf of UKRI. At least five of the projects chosen in what was a highly competitive process leverage the knowledge, capabilities and know-how developed by the Faraday Institution research community. Read more via The Faraday Institution

India’s Dhoot Transmission to build new factory in the UK

Indian conglomerate Dhoot Transmission, which manufactures wiring harnesses, electronic sensors and controllers, automotive switches, power cords and more for OEMs, has announced it will build a new factory in the UK. Read more via The Manufacturer

Up to 1,000 jobs coming as expanding Wren Kitchens buy land for new factory

Wren Kitchens is expanding and building a new factory which could create up to a thousand new jobs.

The UK kitchen maker employs over 8,500 people already and has two factories in Scunthorpe and its headquarters at The Nest, Barton. It has bought North Lincolnshire Council land off Moat Lane, Scunthorpe, about one mile north of its existing manufacturing facility in Foxhills Industrial Estate. Read more via Grimsby Telegraph

QinetiQ celebrates Early Careers Community

On January 18, the QinetiQ team came together to celebrate those who completed their apprenticeship and graduate programmes in August 2022. They were joined by members of QinetiQ’s leadership team and business colleagues to recognise their achievements and offer their thanks and continued support for the cohort in their new roles here. Read more via QinetiQ

New company launches ultra-light, low carbon ‘aerogel’ insulation materials for aviation and auto industries

University of Bath spin-out company Aerogel Core Ltd set to develop next generation materials for the aerospace and automotive industries.

A team of engineers from the University of Bath has created a new company, Aerogel Core Ltd, specialising in ultra-light ‘aerogels’ that can be used as soundproofing and heat-shielding materials for the aerospace and automotive industries. Read more via The Manufacturer

Mars UK named among most flexible large employers

Food manufacturer Mars UK, telecommunications business Virgin Media O2 and global data solutions employer Telus International have ranked as the top three most flexible large employers in the world for 2023. Read more via Employee Benefits

Mazda 6 removed from sale in UK

Mazda is removing the 6 saloon and estate from its UK line-up, due to dwindling sales in the segment.

The Mazda 6 competed alongside the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Insignia, both of which were axed last year.

More recently, the similarly-sized Volvo S60 was removed from sale.

Mazda said it is shifting the focus to its new CX-60 SUV, which is the brand’s first plug-in hybrid, and the established CX-5 SUV. Read more via Fleet News

Friday 27/01/2023

Rolls-Royce celebrates 20 years of manufacturing at Goodwood facility

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is celebrating 20 years of manufacturing at its Goodwood facility. In that time, the luxury marque has handcrafted no fewer than 20 different models and variants at the site – equivalent to one for every year. Read more via The Manufacturer

National Express West Midlands invests record £150m in 300 UK-made electric zero emission buses

National Express West Midlands is investing £150 million in 300 UK-made electric zero emission buses, for delivery by the end of December 2024. The buses will be deployed across the West Midlands.

This investment is part of National Express delivering on its commitment to have a completely zero emission bus fleet in the UK by 2030. Thanks to the original Government investment that kick started the transition to Zero Emission Buses (ZEB), the Birmingham-based bus operator is now in a position to acquire these buses. Read more via National Express

Tyne and Wear Metro: New train delayed by ‘technical glitch’

A “technical glitch” has delayed the arrival of the first new Tyne and Wear Metro train for a second time.

Nexus, which operates the Metro, is spending £362m on a fleet of 46 new trains, which will go into operation later this year.

The train had been due to arrive in the North East in December, but was delayed for engineering works.

Nexus said the fresh setback would not have an impact on its plans for the rollout of the new stock. Read more via BBC News

In-Comm launches £3m Technical Academy in the home of the industrial revolution

A new £3m technical academy, located just a few miles away from the home of the industrial revolution, has been officially opened to the public.

In-Comm Training, which already operates two highly successful facilities in the Black Country and Shrewsbury, is looking to train more than 350 apprentices and upskill 2500 existing workers at its T54 centre over the next 12 months and opened its doors yesterday. Read more via The Manufacturer

Tata Chemicals Europe and Vertex sign low carbon hydrogen offtake agreement

Tata Chemicals Europe and Vertex sign low carbon hydrogen offtake aTata Chemicals Europe (“TCE”) and Vertex Hydrogen have signed a ‘Heads of Terms’ offtake agreement for over 200 megawatts of low carbon hydrogen.

TCE is one of Europe’s leading producers of sodium carbonate, salt, sodium bicarbonate and other products used in the manufacture of food and animal feed, glass, detergents, chemicals and several other industry applications. Read more via Tata Chemicals Europe

Australia’s K-TIG expands into nuclear sector and the UK

Rapid automated welding systems manufacturer K-TIG has expanded its interests in the United Kingdom nuclear decommissioning sector, acquiring UK advanced manufacturer Graham Engineering Limited (GEL).

The £18m purchase gives K-TIG, which is vying for contracts to manufacture containers to house nuclear wastes, an in country manufacturing presence – GEL already produces highly engineered, large scale metal fabrications for the sector.

GEL has developed a range of innovative manufacturing processes with applications in nuclear, aerospace, security and medical industries.  Read more via aumanufacturing.com.au

Switch to JCB electric shreds emissions

Shred Station has switched from diesel to electric for its brand-new fleet of JCB materials handling machines.

The company – which shreds over 55,000 tonnes of paper per year – is replacing six of its diesel powered JCB Teletruks with six new electric models. And by making the switch the company estimates it will save around 62,000 litres of diesel per year. Read more via The Manufacturer

Thursday 26/01/2023

UK car production down but electric vehicle output surges to new record

UK car production declined -9.8% in 2022 to 775,014 units, according to the latest figures issued today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). December rounded off a volatile year, with output down -17.9% in the month after growth in October and November, with most of the year’s volume loss occurring in the first half.

Nevertheless, UK factories turned out a record 234,066 battery electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hybrid (HEV) electric vehicles, with combined volumes up 4.5% year-on-year to represent almost a third (30.2%) of all car production. Read more via SMMT

Bid by Australian startup Recharge could revive UK battery company Britishvolt

An Australian-based startup, Recharge Industries, has made a nonbinding offer for the collapsed UK battery company Britishvolt that could revive plans to construct a large plant in northern England.

The bid was lodged in the UK late on Tuesday, shortly after a cash crunch at Britishvolt sent the company into administration. The collapse has severely dented the country’s attempts to modernise its automotive industry and supply the next generation of UK-built electric vehicles. Read more via The Guardian

Top up degree programme reaches major milestone: Siemens and Salford University’s training solution upskills over 100 engineers

An innovative training solution from Siemens and Salford University has achieved a major milestone by upskilling its 100th engineer. The one year ‘top up’ degree programme gives young and experienced engineers a BEng Hons (Bachelor of Engineering) in Control and Automation. Read more via The Manufacturer

British Steel to become world leader in machining of Special Profiles

A new milling machine at the heart of a £26 million upgrade to British Steel’s Special Profiles business is under construction.

The travelling-column machining centre is currently being built in Germany by SHW Werkzeugmaschinen and will be delivered to British Steel’s Skinningrove site this year. Read more via British Steel

UK to introduce first-of-its-kind framework to make it easier to manufacture innovative medicines at the point of care

The UK will be the first country to introduce a tailored framework for the regulation of innovative products manufactured at the point where a patient receives care, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has announced. This will mean that new medicines with very short shelf lives and highly personalised medicines can more easily be made in or near a hospital setting or ambulance and can get to the patients who need them much more quickly. Read more via GOV.UK

Bentley celebrates 70th birthday of famous heritage car with modern interpretation

Bentley Motors has handcrafted a unique and one-off Continental GT Azure, inspired by Bentley’s retained example of the iconic R-Type Continental, JAS 949.

The new Continental GT is in honour of JAS 949’s 70th birthday, celebrating one of the important style icons in Bentley’s history. JAS 949 is one of only 208 examples of the R Type Continental ever built – but the car had a greater impact than the limited numbers suggest. Read more via The Manufacturer

Jaguar Land Rover returns to profit as chip shortages eased in the third quarter

Jaguar Land Rover Automotive plc yesterday reported its financial results for the three months to 31 December 2022 (Q3 FY23).

Jaguar Land Rover delivered on its plans and achieved positive free cash flow and profitability in Q3 as semiconductor supply challenges eased in the quarter. Revenues in Q3 FY23 were £6.0 billion, up 28% vs. Q3 FY22 and up 15% vs. Q2 FY23 reflecting strong model mix and pricing as the production ramp up of the New Range Rover and New Range Rover Sport continued with 27,456 units wholesaled in the quarter, up from 13,537 in Q2. Read more via Jaguar Land Rover

ScotWind developers commit £900K to expand UHI’s STEM engagement programme

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced today that a University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) initiative which promotes careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) has received a £900,000 funding boost from the offshore wind industry. Read more via The Manufacturer

Xaar aims to inspire STEM success with local school students

Continuing its collaboration with local schools and colleges, members of Xaar visited St. Peter’s School, Huntingdon for its recent Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Day.

Supported by engineering organisation, the Smallpeice Trust, over 50 local Year 10 students attended, with the day held on 18th January deemed a great success. Read more via The Manufacturer

Wednesday 25/01/2023

Babcock cuts steel on second Royal Navy Type 31 Inspiration Class frigate

Babcock has reached another major milestone on the Type 31 programme, to deliver five Inspiration Class frigates for the Royal Navy, as it cut steel marking the official start of HMS Active’s build programme at Rosyth.

Coming just 16 months since steel was cut on the first ship, HMS Venturer, Babcock welcomed senior guests from the UK Government and Royal Navy, alongside international industry to witness the traditional shipbuilding ceremony. Read more via The Manufacturer

Flash UK Manufacturing PMI: Industry output dropped considerably in January

The S&P Global/CIPS Flash UK Manufacturing PMI, released yesterday, shows that manufacturing production decreased considerably in January against a backdrop of weak customer demand. Read more via S&P Global

Over 250 organisations have joined together to inspire the next generation of engineers

The Tomorrow’s Engineers Code has reached an important milestone – there are now over 250 members who have pledged to increase the diversity and number of young people entering engineering and technology careers.

Managed and delivered by EngineeringUK for the engineering community, The Tomorrow’s Engineers Code brings together organisations working towards common goals. Signatories of The Code make 4 pledges – to inspire connection, drive inclusion, showcase engineering and improve the impact of their engineering outreach. Read more via The Manufacturer

Britten-Norman Gets FAA Nod For Turboprop-Powered Islander Twin

UK aircraft manufacturer Britten-Norman has received FAA type approval for the turboprop-powered version of its BN2-series piston twin. The new, larger BN2T-4S model has a pair of Rolls-Royce 250 engines and an increased maximum takeoff weight of 8,500 pounds. The certification comes via FAA Type Certificate reference A17EU Revision 22.

The Islander series of aircraft is available in multiple configurations, including commuter, medevac, surveillance and maritime patrol. Read more via avweb.com

No more Stellantis UK network cuts despite ‘theoretical’ 40-partner plan

Stellantis UK managing director Paul Willcox has insisted that there will be no more cuts to the carmaker’s UK retail network, despite revealing a ‘theoretical’ 40-partner plan for the longer term.

Willcox, who is addressing 2,300 retailers from franchisee partner businesses at a dealer conference at the Birmingham NEC this week, insists that there is no plan to trim dealer partner numbers further following a process which will reduce the count from 219 investors to 177 by this June. Read more via AM Online

Chinese IoT suppliers expose UK businesses to espionage and data theft – study

Chinese companies supplying network components, known as IoT modules, post a greater long-term threat to UK security than the now banned 5G supplier Huawei, according to a study by a Chinese expert and former diplomat. Read more via Computer Weekly

Lesters invests £100,000 into new ‘Recycle’ offer to support greener packaging solutions

One of the UK’s leading large packaging specialists is introducing a new service that will help companies improve their environmental footprint and their bottom line.

Lesters has invested more than £100,000 into creating its dedicated ‘Recycle’ offering that sells used cardboard boxes to existing and new clients looking for a greener and more cost-effective way of transporting their products. Read more via The Manufacturer

Tritium garners large order from Evyve in the UK

In the UK, the Australian charging station manufacturer Tritium has now become the preferred hardware supplier for charging provider Evyve. The British charging provider aims to install around 10,000 electric car chargers in the UK by 2023.

The agreement between the British and Australian companies includes an initial firm order from Evyve for 350 Tritium fast chargers. The first 60 charging columns have already been installed and commissioned. The order is part of the charging network’s plans to invest £25m in Tritium fast and ultra-fast charging stations over the next two years, for which Evyve will be using Tritium’s 75- and 150-kW chargers. Read more via electrive.com

Tuesday 24/01/2023

MTC offers lifeline to Britishvolt employees

The Coventry-based Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) is offering a lifeline to redundant employees of the collapsed battery manufacturer Britishvolt.

The MTC is offering Britishvolt employees the chance to fill more than 50 engineering, manufacturing and supporting roles at its Ansty Park headquarters. The roles available include engineers of all levels as well as project managers and trainers. Read more via The Manufacturer

UK’s largest manufacturer of salon, spa and barber furniture increasing workforce in Pendle

A Nelson based manufacturer of salon, spa and barber furniture is looking to expand its business and increase its workforce.

REM UK Ltd produces 90% of its products at its Glenfield Mill, and is now focusing on reducing its reliance on imports and expanding its 60 plus workforce, including the recruitment of several apprentices in the next few months. Read more via Burnley Express

Bentley seeking ‘extraordinary talent’ to accelerate path to full electricification

Bentley Motors today announced a recruitment drive creating 200 new roles as the luxury marque accelerates its forward-thinking Beyond100 strategy, the boldest plan of its kind in the sector.

Working across multiple disciplines to support delivery of the ambitious Five-in-Five plan, which commits Bentley to launching five new electric models by 2030, the growth will help redefine Bentley’s credentials as the benchmark manufacturer in sustainable luxury mobility. Read more via The Manufacturer

New MD for East Yorkshire shower manufacturer Kohler Mira

East Yorkshire shower manufacturer Kohler Mira Ltd has a new managing director.

Emma Foster, who joined the Cheltenham-headquartered firm in a temporary graduate role in 2004, takes the helm. She succeeds Craig Baker, who moves into a new global position within the wider business.

Described as a passionate people leader, she has held various positions in the company’s marketing team, sitting on the board as marketing director for the past five years, leading the division through a period of exponential growth. Read more via Business Live

Timber engineering manufacturer opens tenth UK site

Donaldson Timber Engineering Ltd (DTE) has opened its tenth branch in the UK.

The new site in Exeter in the south west of England will service Devon and the surrounding area, including Cornwall. It will manufacture and supply roof trusses for the UK housebuilding industry.

DTE revealed it has recruited a team of 12 for the branch, including Karol Radziejowski who takes up the role of general manager following three years as general manager of the Cambridge site. Read more via Project Scotland

British Steel’s Scunthorpe Mill celebrates golden anniversary

Last week marked 50 years since the first steel was rolled at the Medium Section Mill, now known as Scunthorpe Rail & Section Mill Areas 1 & 2.

Part of one of the largest investments for what was then the British Steel Corporation’s Scunthorpe site, the ‘Anchor Project’ cost around £235m.

The scheme included building what, at the time, was one of Europe’s largest steelmaking plants as well as the Continuous Casting (Concast) Plant, the mile-long Bloom and Billet Mill (BBM) and the Medium Section Mill (MSM), as well as provision for ore reception and blending facilities at the Ore Preparation Plant. Read more via The Manufacturer

‘Brexit has lost us 25% of sales’: British bike storage firm buckles under red tape

A British bicycle entrepreneur says Brexit has buckled his business and left him with a £100,000 hole in revenues, accusing the government of failing to do enough to mitigate its impact on British small exporters.

Cycloc, which has made a name for its distinctive indoor bicycle storage and accessories and includes Stella McCartney, Jonathan Ross and cycling star Mark Cavendish among its customers, says the EU represented 50% of its business before Brexit left it nursing a 25% decline in overall sales. Read more via The Guardian

Upperton breaks ground on £15m manufacturing facility

A UK CDMO has started work on the construction of its development and GMP manufacturing headquarters in Nottingham.

Upperton Pharma Solutions, a UK contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), announced that it had begun construction of its manufacturing headquarters. The facility will cover 50,000-square-feet and is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2023. Read more via outsourcing-pharma.com

Billionaire Ackman invests in Bremont in boost for UK watchmaker

Billionaire hedge fund manager and activist investor Bill Ackman is buying a minority stake in Bremont as the UK luxury watchmaker looks to expand in the fast-growing US market.

Ackman is teaming with Bremont’s controlling shareholder, Hellcat LP, to invest a combined £48.4m ($60m) in Bremont, the watchmaker said in an emailed statement. Read more via Bloomberg

Monday 23/01/2023

JCB’s hydrogen technology set for international debut

JCB is set to showcase its super-efficient hydrogen combustion technology on the international stage for the first time ever with a debut in North America.

The wraps will come off JCB’s brand new hydrogen combustion engine – the company’s zero-carbon emissions solution for construction and agricultural equipment – at the Conexpo 2023 show in Las Vegas as part of the International Fluid Power Exposition (IFPE). Read more via The Manufacturer

Hunt poised to approve £300m grant in bid to avert British Steel collapse

The Treasury is close to agreeing a £300m aid package for the UK’s second-biggest steel producer in a move aimed at reducing its carbon footprint and averting the loss of thousands of industrial jobs across northern England. Read more via Sky News

Juice founder takes financial hit to protect customers from rising cost of living

Mobile phone accessory provider Juice has taken the decision to peg prices for its products to protect customers from rising cost of living.

Founder and CEO of Banbury-based Juice, Jolyon Bennett, made the decision not to put up the prices on any Juice products, despite a rise in inflation in the UK and the economic impact of foreign issues such as the Covid-19 pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and post-Brexit trade. Read more via Business & Innovation Magazine

Applications now open for 2023 Rolls-Royce Motor Cars apprenticeship programme

Rolls-Royce is pleased to announce that applications for its 2023 Apprenticeship Programme are now open.

One of the leading schemes of its kind in the UK, the Rolls-Royce Apprenticeship Programme offers outstanding training and development opportunities for people with a wide range of educational backgrounds, interests and prior experience, designed to match candidates’ preferred learning styles and future career aspirations. Read more via The Manufacturer

New CEO for Nestlé UK & Ireland

Richard Watson is to become CEO of Nestlé UK and Ireland as Stefano Agostini moves to a new role after six years as market head.

Richard is the current Managing Director for Nestlé Confectionery in the UK & Ireland and becomes CEO of the market in his 27th year at Nestlé.

Stefano will become the new Head of Confectionery for Nestlé’s Zone Europe with both changes taking effect on 1st March 2023. Read more via Nestlé

High Value Manufacturing Catapult bolsters cross-sector expertise with New Year board appointments

The High Value Manufacturing Catapult has announced the appointment of four new non-executive directors to their board.

With extensive experience shaping transformation across the manufacturing and technology sector, their experience and insights will be instrumental in advancing HVM Catapult’s mission to promote and accelerate innovation across UK manufacturing. Read more via The Manufacturer

eVTOL innovator launches sustainable passenger aircraft

UK-based aviation startup, ARC Aerosystems, has unveiled its anticipated new passenger aircraft at the Air finance Journal event in Dublin.

The ARC LINX P9 is the latest in a successful line-up of eVTOL aircraft from ARC’s team. It’s designed to carry 9 passengers as a cost-effective, low-carbon solution to intercity travel.

Using Vertical Take-Off and Landing technology, the LINX P9 has the flexibility of a helicopter, with the performance of a fixed-wing utility aircraft, designed to address the challenging needs of regional air mobility. Read more via Aerospace Manufacturing

US battery maker targets uk for £1bn facility

US battery manufacturer Nanotech Energy has revealed it is investigating seven UK sites for a potential £1bn gigafactory.

Under the plans, the UK could become a second home for the production its graphene-powered lithium-ion batteries. Read more via Insider Media

Robotics provider Exotec expands product portfolio with three modular innovations

Exotec, a global warehouse robotics provider, has expanded its product portfolio with three innovative solutions: a new conveyor system, an improved picking solution, and new proprietary warehouse software. Read more via The Manufacturer

Friday 20/01/2023

Aston Martin increasing employment at Gaydon headquarters

Aston Martin is increasing employment at its Gaydon headquarters with the creation of more than 100 jobs in its manufacturing facility as it prepares to unleash its next generation of sportscars. Read more via The Manufacturer

Companies eye Britishvolt site in the wake of company collapse

UK battery firm Britishvolt has received interest from more than a dozen companies looking to buy its Northumberland, UK factory site, after last minute talks to save the company failed. The company was forced into administration earlier this week.

This, coupled with other recent industry setbacks, has prompted government to launch an inquiry into UK EV manufacturing. Read more via The Chemical Engineer

Premier Foods planning Knighton site closure threatening 300 jobs

Premier Foods is planning to close its Knighton site, putting about 300 jobs at risk, after the maker of Mr Kipling cakes and OXO cubes reported a rise in third-quarter sales. Read more via Premier Foods

MTC Training in finals of prestigious AAC Apprenticeship Awards

Accolade recognises future-focused training specialist’s commitment to excellence, inclusion and sector development.

MTC Training is one of two national finalists competing to be named Engineering and Manufacturing Training Provider of the Year in the FE Week and AELP AAC Apprenticeship Awards 2023. Read more via The Manufacturer

Durham manufacturer Apex Core secures major capital city contract

A Durham manufacturer has secured a major capital city contract as more developers embrace its products.

Apex Core designs, develops and manufactures prefabricated utility cupboards – hubs which can house heating, ventilation, electrical, communication and metering services – and it has delivered more than 6,400 units to sites since its launch. The firm was created three years ago when Apex Wiring Solutions owners Dave and Mike Lewis invested over £500,000 to create the UK’s largest utility cupboard manufacturing facility at the firm’s HQ in Durham City. Read more via Business Live

Forterra donates over £45,000 to Mind

Over the course of 2022 leading building products manufacturer Forterra has engaged in a range of fundraising activities, generating a total of over £45,000 in aid of its Charity of the Year, Mind.

After raising £24,680.60, Forterra matched the funds by £25,000 to bring in a grand total of £49,680.50. Read more via The Manufacturer

Thursday 19/01/2023

Britishvolt collapses into administration: where does this leave the UK’s hopes of a green industrial revolution?

The Manufacturer’s Lanna Deamer takes a deep dive into Britishvolt’s administration announcement and asks what it means for the future of the UK’s green industrial revolution. Lots of valuable insights in this one. Read more via The Manufacturer

Advanced battery plant in Oxfordshire to be opened later this year, creating up to 300 new jobs

Britain’s battery sector has been delivered some unexpected good news, after an Australian billionaire told Sky News he will be opening an advanced battery plant in Oxfordshire later this year, creating up to 300 new jobs.

Andrew Forrest, the founder of the Australian iron ore giant Fortescue, said he was expanding operations at WAE Technologies, the technical offshoot of the famous Williams Formula 1 team, which he bought last year.

The new plant in Kidlington will work on batteries and fuel cells which could be used in heavy goods vehicles in the coming decades. Read more via Sky News

Flex factory in Sorocaba recognized as the first Sustainability Lighthouse in Brazil by the World Economic Forum

Flex has announced its factory site in Sorocaba, Brazil has been designated as a Sustainability Lighthouse, a special distinction of the World Economic Forum’s Global Lighthouse Network (GLN). This is the first factory in Brazil to receive a Sustainability Lighthouse recognition and comes just three months after the company’s factory in Sorocaba was admitted into the GLN. Read more via The Manufacturer

Swedish HVAC manufacturer moves UK plant

Swedish HVAC manufacturer Swegon has moved its UK factory to a new 6,400m2 facility in Snodland, near Maidstone, Kent.

Its new Vantage Point factory will manufacture products specifically designed for the UK market and will be complemented by an adjacent customer experience centre.

The move from the former Waterloo factory in nearby Aylesford follows Swegon’s acquisition of the company in 2020. The Waterloo employees have moved to the new site, which is in the process of scaling up to full capacity and will eventually house up to 160 people. Read more via Cooling Post

SME exporters under tightening pressure – BCC

A survey of more than 2,300 UK SME exporters has revealed UK overseas trade continues to languish as the global economy heads into another difficult year.

More SME exporters are continuing to report falling export sales (27%) than are reporting an increase (26%).

Just over a third of SME exporters (36%) expect to see increased profitability in the next 12 months, while an almost equal number (35%) expect a decrease. Read more via The Manufacturer

Wednesday 18/01/2023

Britishvolt: UK battery start-up collapses into administration

UK battery start-up Britishvolt has collapsed into administration, with the majority of its 232 staff made redundant with immediate effect.

Employees were told the news at an all-staff meeting on Tuesday morning.

The firm had planned to build a giant factory to make electric car batteries in Blyth, Northumberland. Read more via The Manufacturer

Made Smarter backs 250th manufacturer with tech investment on fourth anniversary

Made Smarter’s pioneering technology adoption programme has marked its fourth anniversary by helping its 250th SME manufacturer invest in new technology.

Totalling 275 projects funded, the investment is worth £18m, including £5m funded by the government-funded and industry-led initiative and £13m from the businesses themselves. Read more via The Manufacturer

Britain’s ‘New Medium Helicopter’ project continuing

The New Medium Helicopter (NMH) programme is an initiative by the British military to acquire a modern medium-lift support helicopter, which will serve as a replacement for several existing aircraft currently in operation by the Royal Air Force and British Army.

It is anticipated that the new helicopter will be fully operational and integrated into service by the mid-2020s. Read more via UK Defence Journal

Kier partners with STEM Returners to get people back into the industry

Leading UK construction and infrastructure services company Kier is working with STEM Returners to help people get back to work after a career break. A variety of roles will be offered across the country, in both sites and offices and will play a vital role in the group’s delivery of its projects.

STEM Returners will source candidates for the programme and will provide returners with additional support including advice, career coaching, networking opportunities and mentoring; ensuring applicants are ready and confident to return to work. Read more via The Manufacturer

£173m turnover manufacturer gains a UK base with acquisition

CGR, which designs and makes mechanical and mechatronic components in Europe, America and Asia, has acquired John Binns Springs, a Skipton-based specialist manufacturer of wire springs.

John Binns Springs has more than 125 years of experience and offers solutions in all industrial sectors, including medical, nuclear, retail and automotive.

The management team of John Binns Springs will remain in place, adding its expertise and industry knowledge to the privately-owned CGR group, contributing further to its international development. Read more via The Business Desk

Paperchase on the brink of collapse

High street stationery retailer Paperchase is in talks about a sale in a bid to avoid falling into administration.

Begbies Traynor, the professional services firm, and the auditor PwC have been retained by the group to advise the company on its options – and handle a potential insolvency.

Paperchase, which employs about 820 people and has more than 100 stores, confirmed it is in talks “with a number of interested parties” that could result in a sale of the business. Read more via The Telegraph

MTC to hold Innovation in Aerospace Manufacturing conference

UK aerospace manufacturing innovation and competitiveness will get a boost next month when cutting-edge research and development and industry insights will be centre stage at a new event being held at the Manufacturing Technology Centre.

Innovation in Aerospace Manufacturing on February 7 will bring together industry leaders to share their strategic direction, priorities and insights. The event will provide some of the country’s most innovative companies with an opportunity to showcase their capabilities, and facilitate collaboration across the whole aerospace manufacturing supply chain including industry, academia and research institutions. Read more via The Manufacturer

Tuesday 17/01/2023

New funding call to develop new robotic and automation solutions in UK manufacturing

The Made Smarter Innovation Challenge, delivered by Innovate UK, has launched a new £6m late-stage robotics and automation industrialisation funding call for collaborative research and development. Projects can seek grant funding for project values up to £4m. Read more via The Manufacturer

Britishvolt hopes for last-minute bid to stave off collapse

There are hopes that a last-minute bid for Britishvolt, which plans a factory to make electric car batteries, may prevent it falling into administration.

The potential new bidder was described as “a British consortium”, according to people familiar with the matter.

The financially troubled manufacturer held a management meeting today and has moved an all-staff meeting to Tuesday.

Shareholders have been voting on who will take over the project to build a £4bn battery plant in Northumberland. Read more via BBC News

GEEKVAPE invests over £120m in smart manufacturing centre

GEEKBAR, a vape technology brand, is taking intelligent manufacturing to new heights by investing more than £120m into setting up a futuristic production facility, as part of its growth plans in the UK and to continue to be a leading vape brand of choice amongst British retailers. Read more via The Manufacturer

New billet caster among £330m of investments at British Steel

British Steel’s new billet caster, which is among £330m worth of investments Jingye has made in the UK business since acquiring it 3 years ago, is scheduled to be commissioned this Spring.

The new caster will manufacture lengths of semi-finished steel – known as billets – with enhanced internal and surface qualities, enabling us to become more competitive and expand our offering to customers.

The £54m project is the largest single investment Jingye has made since purchasing British Steel in 2020. Read more via British Steel

Record year delivers a perfect 30th birthday present to Spillard Safety Systems

The UK’s largest specialist safety equipment provider is celebrating thirty years in business by securing a record sales boost and drawing up plans for a new facility.

Spillard Safety Systems, which was founded by Vic Spillard in his garage in 1992, has just completed its best-ever 12 months, with the launch of the pioneering Spillard Live platform driving orders past the £7m mark. Read more via The Manufacturer

Welsh Economy Minister calls on UK Government to commit to a long term and stable economic strategy for sustainable growth

The UK Government must urgently provide a stable, long term strategy to tackle the urgent economic challenges facing Wales and the UK, Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething will say today.

The Minister made the call ahead of the first UK Interministerial Group for Business and Industry meeting of 2023, which will bring together ministers and senior officials from the Welsh Government, UK Government, Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive. Following the meeting, the Minister will update the Senedd later this afternoon. Read more via gov.wales

Underwater robot from Hampshire firm dives into crocodile-inhabited waters in Africa

An underwater robot from a Hampshire manufacturer is being used for vital work in crocodile-inhabited waters in East Africa.

The aquatic predators have been preventing the manual inspection of remote underwater structures that support power generation.

ASI Group, a specialist in inland waters, used a Seaeye Falcon machine to venture into rivers and reservoirs and inside structures and tunnels which support five power stations. Read more via Yahoo! News

Midtherm laser is in on growth after £1.2m machine investment

A specialist sub-contract laser cutting and forming specialist is reaping the operational and environmental benefits of a £1.2m machine investment.

Midtherm Laser, which employs 45 people at its factory on Peartree Lane in Dudley, has increased its capacity and speed of processing thanks to the installation of a new Bystronic Bystar Fiber 12kW laser with part automation. Read more via The Manufacturer

Nestlé plans to cut jobs at Dolce Gusto factory in UK

Nestlé is planning to cut 94 jobs at its Dolce Gusto factory in the Midlands.

The Swiss food giant told FoodBev that it is proposing some changes to its Tutbury plant, which would result in a reduction of staff.

The company says the decision was made due to a “significant drop in demand” for the company’s Nescafé Dolce Gusto products. Read more via FoodBev Media

Mini plant and Oxford University partner for sustainability development

The University of Oxford and the BMW Group, have joined forces to develop new sustainable practices at the Mini assembly plant in Oxford.

The 2023 Plant Oxford Programme will bring together 15 Oxford sustainable development goal (SDG) Impact Lab Fellows – all graduate students from across Oxford University – to work with the plant on projects focusing on new ways of addressing employee wellbeing, the local community and the plant’s impact on the environment. Read more via PES Media

Monday 16/01/2023

Joint cooperation to deliver two new Green Freeports in Firth Of Forth and Inverness and Cromarty Firth

Two new Green Freeports will be established in Inverness and Cromarty Firth and Firth of Forth, the UK and Scottish governments have jointly announced, helping to create jobs, drive growth and level up the country.

Backed by up to £52m in UK Government funding, the new sites are expected to bring forward an estimated £10.8bn of private and public investment and create over 75,000 new, high-skilled jobs. Read more via The Manufacturer

Cumbria engineering group aiming to expand workforce by a third

A Workington engineering group aims to expand its 65-strong workforce by a third after acquiring a new product line from a Swiss-based company, for an undisclosed sum.

McMenon Engineering Services has been chosen by global technology business ABB to make the variable area (VA) flowmeters product portfolio, which had been produced by ABB in Germany.

Following the acquisition, McMenon, under a supply partnership agreement, will continue to supply VA meters carrying the ABB brand and the meters remain part of ABB’s product offering. Read more via The Business Desk

Bentley Motors appoints new Mulliner and motorsport director in bespoke division reorganisation

Bentley Motors has announced the appointment of Ansar Ali as the new Mulliner and Motorsport Director, reporting directly to Adrian Hallmark, Chairman and CEO. Ali will lead the reorganised Mulliner division as customer personalisation reaches record levels of demand.

Ali, who has a 30 year career in the automotive industry, joins from McLaren Special Operations where he was Managing Director. Before this, Ali held senior management roles at Ford, Lotus, Caterham and co-founded Zenos Cars. Read more via The Manufacturer

Babcock engineers first 3D metal parts for British Army to tackle obsolescence

The first 3D metal printed parts to be used across the British Army’s active armoured fleets have been manufactured and fitted by defence company, Babcock International Group (Babcock).

The steel components are believed to be the first made in this way by any supplier to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) specifically to tackle the growing challenges of technical and commercial obsolescence. Read more via Babcock International

Back British microchip factories before it’s too late, Rishi Sunak told

Britain must start reshoring computer chip production before it’s too late, Rishi Sunak has been told.

Two of Britain’s pre-eminent microprocessor design companies have urged the Prime Minister to start lobbying big manufacturers to set up shop here, warning that Britain risks losing out without action. Read more via The Telegraph

International deal paves the way for Goodfellow’s scientific industry expansion

One of the UK’s leading manufacturers of specialist metals and materials has signed a new commercial agreement with Advanced Energy Minerals (AEM) to support its growing order book in the academic and research sectors.

Goodfellow Ltd, which recently delivered materials to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for the Nuclear Fusion Breakthrough that shook the world, will work with the Canadian company to build high purity alumina powders into its growing range. Read more via The Manufacturer

GE to develop ‘immortal’ battery with self-healing metals

Researchers at GE in the US are developing a solid state lithium ion battery cell that they say can have almost unlimited lifetime by using self-healing materials.

The $6m InterMetallic MORphogen Tailored Activity Lithium (IMMORTAL) battery project is developing a new intermetallic solid/solid charge transfer interface material for the project.

Working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the University of Michigan, University of California Santa Barbara, and Storagenergy, they are using AI and machine learning models to develop and demonstrate a prototype cell. Read more via ee News Europe

Friday 13/01/2023

LIBERTY Steel eyeing job cuts as ‘unviable’ market triggers production cut

LIBERTY Steel has announced that 440 jobs across its UK plants will be at risk under restructuring plans to mothball at least two factories and reduce production at a third.

The steelmaker said its plant in Newport, Wales will be idled and transformed into a sales and distribution hub for LIBERTY products. Meanwhile, its West Bromwich facility will close and primary production at LIBERTY’s Rotherham plant will be reduced. Read more via The Manufacturer

Engineering and manufacturing technology apprenticeship starts fall 34% in 9 years

The number of people starting engineering and manufacturing technologies apprenticeships has declined by a “worrying” 34% in nine years, according to two former government ministers and EngineeringUK.

The decrease is part of a wider trend, with engineering-related apprenticeship starts 9% lower than 2014-15, despite a modest uptick last year. Read more via Instiution of Mechanical Engineers

UK to deepen collaboration on critical minerals with Saudi Arabia

The British government said on Wednesday it had agreed to deepen its collaboration with Saudi Arabia on diversifying sources of critical minerals.

Britain’s Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy department said the partnership could see Saudi investment in the UK’s manufacturing and mining finance sectors, and new opportunities for UK mining firms to do business in Saudi Arabia. Read more via Reuters

GKN Aerospace to create AM center of excellence in Texas

GKN Aerospace has announced that it will relocate its North America additive manufacturing (AM) center of excellence to the Lone Star Commerce Center in Fort Worth, Texas. The move will strengthen its position as an additive technology leader with a larger facility, plans for an additional larger AM cell, and increased collaboration within the aerospace ecosystem.

The 100,000ft2 facility will initially house research and development of laser metal deposition with wire (LMD-w) AM technology for large-scale titanium aerostructures. Read more via Aerospace Manufaturing and Design

Food for thought – Sheffield Hallam joins new food and diet innovation hub to help improve people’s health

Sheffield Hallam University is a major partner in a new food and diet innovation hub bringing together academics and industry experts to help improve population health through changes to the food system.

Experts in the University’s National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering are working alongside colleagues from Imperial College London, who are leading the project, the University of Surrey and food and beverage manufacturer PepsiCo as part of the new Innovation Hub. Read more via The Manufacturer

Royal Mail and Twitter attacks highlight growing cyber security concerns

Twitter today denied that hackers, who overnight posted over 200mln user account details, garnered the information through a breach of the website’s security system.

“The data is likely a collection of data already publicly available online through different sources” the social media site said.

But Twitter is not the only recent victim of corporate cyberattacks.

Royal Mail was today still urging customers to avoid posting internationally due to a “cyber incident”, with the postie avoiding referring to it as a cyberattack. Read more via Proactive Investors

Thursday 12/01/2023

Entrepreneurial Spark and Exotopic launch UK Space Agency Accelerator

Applications for the UK Space Agency Accelerator open today, 12 January, with three levels of intensive business growth support to choose from, each designed to boost the success of entrepreneurs within, or looking to grow into, the UK’s vibrant space sector. Read more via The Manufacturer

British manufacturing firm Morgan Advanced Materials investigating cyberattack

UK-based manufacturing company Morgan Advanced Materials revealed on Tuesday that it’s investigating a cybersecurity incident.

The company has launched an investigation after detecting unauthorized activity on its network. The wording suggests that it’s an ongoing security breach.

“Upon becoming aware of the incident, the Company immediately launched an investigation, engaged its specialist support services and has implemented its incident response plans,” Morgan Advanced Materials said. Read more via Security Week

Manufacturing & Engineering Week 2023: the Glastonbury of the industrial sector

The award-winning Nineteen Group is pleased to announce the return of Manufacturing & Engineering Week in June 2023. The week-long festival combines both live and digital events and celebrates the best that the UK industrial sector has to offer. The centrepieces of the week are four exhibitions – Design & Engineering Expo, Drives & Controls featuring AirTech and Fluid Power and Systems, Smart Factory Expo and Maintec that take place at Birmingham’s NEC. Read more via The Manufacturer

Offsite engineering expert Merit starts growth plan with 4000 sqm expansion

Merit, a UK-based offsite engineering and construction specialist for technically complex, zero-carbon emissions buildings, has announced a 4000 sqm factory expansion at its Cramlington site, to accommodate its plans for continued growth.

Merit already has one of the largest construction manufacturing facilities in the UK at 270,000 sqft (25,084 sqm) and it is now extending its factory space to address increasing demand and to better meet customers’ needs. In line with its growth plans, Merit has already doubled its workforce in the last two years and expects this facility expansion to add over 50 new jobs. Read more via Cleanroom Technology

Vertex Hydrogen, Pilkington UK sign Heads of Terms deal for hydrogen offtake

Vertex Hydrogen and Pilkington UK have signed a Heads of Terms agreement for low carbon hydrogen supply within the HyNet North West cluster, a press release from Vertex Hydrogen showed on 4 January.

The deal will see Vertex supply Pilkington UK, a glass manufacturer based in St Helens, with low carbon hydrogen.

Pilkington, according to the press release, completed the first two global trials of hydrogen being fired in a glass furnace. Read more via icis.com

Wire specialist completes MBO and sets sights on record year

One of the UK’s leading manufacturers of round, flat and profile wire has completed a management buy-out, as it looks to target £15m annual sales for the first time in its 77-year history.

Alloy Wire International (AWI)’s senior management team, comprising Managing Director Tom Mander, Technical Director Andrew Du Plessis and Finance Director Adam Shaw, has purchased the business from the current owners, cementing the Black Country firm’s long-term future. Read more via The Manufacturer

Wednesday 11/01/2023

New energy support scheme: reaction from manufacturing

A new scheme to support firms with their energy bills was announced in the House of Commons on Monday. The current scheme, which caps the unit cost of gas and electricity for all businesses, expires at the end of March. Under the new scheme, businesses will get a discount on wholesale prices rather than costs being capped as under the current one.

While some industry groups welcomed the announcement, others warned it fell short for business struggling with soaring costs. Read what the manufacturing industry has to say. Read more via The Manufacturer

Jobs and investment boost for Liverpool and East Anglia as Freeports given green light

Freeports in Liverpool and East Anglia have received final government approval meaning the majority of English Freeports are now fully up and running.

Freeport East and Liverpool City Region will join Freeports that are already delivering jobs and investment across areas including Plymouth, Solent, and Teesside, as part of the government’s mission to level up, spread opportunity and drive economic growth. This is in addition to £52 million invested to bring two Green Freeports to Scotland, as well as at least one Freeport in Wales. The locations of these will be announced in due course, and discussions are ongoing to extend the Freeport programme to Northern Ireland. Read more via GOV.UK

Tevva gets go-ahead for electric truck manufacturing in UK and mainland Europe

British electric truck manufacturer Tevva has gained regulatory approval to manufacture and sell its vehicles at scale across the UK and Europe, marking a first for pure electric vehicles of this size.

The company is celebrating the achievement of European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA) for its 7.5-tonne battery-electric truck. In doing so, regulators have deemed the model as compliant with relevant safety and environmental standards. This is a prerequisite to selling any new vehicle models within the European Union (EU). Read more via edie.net

University of Warwick Energy and Net Zero roadmap helps reduce KW/h

WMG, at the University of Warwick, has launched an Energy and Net Zero Roadmap called Business Energy Aid Toolkit (BEAT), to help manufacturing small, medium enterprise (SME) companies reduce their energy consumption, save on costs and increase profitability. The programme has already proven a success, with business energy savings of up to 90%. Read more via University of Warwick

FET delivers trio of ROVs to OceanPact in Brazil

Forum Energy Technologies (FET) has delivered three of its 200HP Perry XLX-C work-class remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to Brazil-based OceanPact.

The systems, which were manufactured at FET’s UK facility at Kirkbymoorside, North Yorkshire, will be deployed across two of OceanPact’s vessels to support inspection, repair and maintenance services for the state-owned oil company’s oilfields (Petrobras). Read more via The Manufacturer

Geek Bar invests £120m in new plant to grow UK distribution

Vape producer Geek Bar has spent £120m creating a new production facility as part of its UK growth plans.

The complex will be located within the Zhuhai National Hi-Tech Industrial Development District in China’s Guangdong province and is expected to be completed in two years. Read more via Convenience Store

Robotics manufacturer acquires UK headquarters

A global robotics manufacturer has selected Bruntwood SciTech’s Innovation Birmingham for its UK headquarters.

Quicktron, which is headquartered in Shanghai and has offices in the US, Germany, Spain, Japan, Korea and Singapore, has acquired a 1,000 sq ft of space at the hub for technology businesses. Read more via Insider Media

Tuesday 10/01/2023

First-ever UK space launch ends in disappointment

The UK’s first ever attempt at launching satellites into space has, ultimately, ended in disappointment, with the rocket carrying the payload reaching space but not its target orbit. Read more via The Manufacturer

Bentley delivers more cars than ever in 2022

Bentley Motors today announced total sales of 15,174 in 2022, an increase of 4 per cent over the previous record year (14,659) in 2021 and the first time Bentley has reached over 15,000 cars.

This significant achievement was driven by new model introductions and increasing demand for Mulliner personalisation and Bentley’s new hybridised models, introduced under Bentley’s Beyond100 strategic path to full electrification by 2030. Read more via The Manufacturer

Virgin Orbit rocket suffers anomaly during 1st launch from UK

The first-ever orbital mission to lift off from the United Kingdom did not go as planned.

“It appears that LauncherOne has suffered an anomaly, which will prevent us from making orbit this mission,” Virgin Orbit’s Chris Relf, director of systems engineering and verification, said during a webcast of the mission. Read more via space.com

UK solar innovator Naked Energy continues European expansion with new partnerships

British solar thermal design and engineering company Naked Energy has announced further international expansion after partnering with two leading European manufacturing firms.

Portuguese business Tech4Food will now offer Naked Energy’s cutting-edge solar thermal and photovoltaic thermal (PVT) products as part of its engineering solutions for the food and beverage, textiles and hospitality sectors. Read more via The Manufacturer

UK battery startup Britishvolt in talks to sell majority stake

The battery startup Britishvolt is in talks to sell the majority of its shares to a consortium of investors, in a deal that could allow it to continue pursuing its goal of building a UK “gigafactory”.

Britishvolt said it was hoping to secure long-term funding in the talks, which are thought to be with new investors. Bosses at the company have been looking for new funding for several months, after its efforts to build the giant facility near Blyth in Northumberland stalled amid a cash shortage. Read more via The Guardian

Northern Bloc acquires two ice cream brands

British ice cream manufacturer, Northern Bloc, has acquired two artisan ice cream businesses, Criterion Ices and Marine Ices.

Marine Ices is a long-standing British scooping parlour and Criterion supplies its ice cream to UK theatres and restaurants. Northern Bloc expects to deliver an additional turnover of over £2m through the acquisitions. Read more via FoodBev Media

L’Oréal invests in temporary tattoo-maker Prinker Korea Inc.

L’Oréal has taken a minority stake in South Korean-based Prinker Korea Inc., the inventor and manufacturer of the world’s first digital temporary tattoo device.

In a statement, L’Oréal said that its investment in Prinker Korea Inc. was made through its corporate venture fund BOLD Business Opportunities for L’Oreal Development, following the success of the Korean brand’s temporary tattoo products at CES. At the show, it won multiple CES Best of Innovation awards and the prestigious global iF Design award. Read more via Fashion United

Conservatory Outlet marks training milestone with £130,000 investment in apprentices

One of the UK’s leading manufacturers of home improvement products has celebrated more than 15 years of backing apprenticeships by offering employment to six young people.

Conservatory Outlet, which employs more than 120 staff at its Thomas Wharf Lane factory, invested more than £130,000 into nurturing future talent over the last twelve months by continuing to offer access to vocational learning opportunities and ongoing professional development. Read more via The Manufacturer

Monday 09/01/2023

UK’s first orbital space launch set for Monday

The first-ever orbital space launch from UK soil is set to take place today, Monday 9 January.

Virgin Orbit’s Cosmic Girl, a modified Boeing 747-400 aircraft, will take off from Spaceport Cornwall sometime after 22:16 UTC carrying the 21-metre LauncherOne rocket, which contains a number of small satellites. Once Cosmic Girl reaches 35,000 feet, it will fire LauncherOne into space, where its satellite payloads will be released. Read more via The Manufacturer

Shipbuilders A&P Group report turnover boost on the back of repair work

Shipyard operator A&P Group has hailed an improvement in repair work at its Tyneside site and its wider defence contracts.

New accounts for the group – which runs yards at Hebburn, on Teesside and in Falmouth – detail improvements across A&P’s defence division which handles a long term contract to deliver repairs to the Royal Navy’s auxiliary fleet. The firm also singled out strong revenues at its Tyne operation in the final quarter of the year to the end of March 2022 where there had been more use of its dock facilities and larger contracts from new and existing customers, albeit at lower margins. Read more via Business Live

Soaring energy costs to continue to hamstring manufacturers in 2023 – Make UK/PwC survey

The impact of the seismic increases in energy prices show no signs of abating as manufacturers enter 2023. The proposed energy relief scheme is likely to exacerbate planned reductions in headcount and production according to a major survey published today by Make UK and PwC. Read more via The Manufacturer

US manufacturer moves for North Yorkshire firm

A North Yorkshire business has been acquired by a US-based manufacturer of industrial and commercial cutting tools and accessories.

The M. K. Morse Company has acquired long-time distribution partner and welding centre, PJ Wiseman Ltd.

Effective from 3 January 2023, PJ Wiseman has become The M. K. Morse Company UK Ltd. Read more via Insider Media

Ellesmere Port hydrogen project announces Merseyside manufacturer deal

A Mission to create a hydrogen production hub near Ellesmere Port has announced an agreement to supply low-carbon hydrogen to a Merseyside glass manufacturer.

Vertex Hydrogen, which will convert waste fuel gas and natural gas produced by Essar Stanlow into hydrogen and captured carbon dioxide, has signed a ‘Heads of Terms’ offtake agreement for low carbon hydrogen with Pilkington UK. Read more via Wirral Globe

Engineering students from diverse backgrounds to get new enterprise training to break down employment barriers and keep them in industry

University of Bath engineering students from minority backgrounds are set to be offered additional training in enterprise and starting their own businesses through an innovative new project, following a £100,000 funding award from the Royal Academy of Engineering. Read more via The Manufacturer

IBM loses top patent spot after decades as leader

International Business Machines Corp. dropped from the top spot for US patents in 2022, the first time in decades Big Blue hasn’t claimed the most in a year, signaling a strategy shift at the longtime intellectual property leader.

IBM’s patent count declined 44% to 4,743 patents in 2022, falling to No. 2 behind Samsung Electronics Co.’s 8,513, according to Harrity LLP’s Patent 300 list. Technologies such as semiconductors and hardware memory saw the largest drop in IBM patents, though the reduction was across all major types. Read more via Bloomberg

Friday 06/01/2023

UK reclaims position as Europe’s second largest automotive market

The UK has reclaimed its position as the second largest automotive market in Europe (behind Germany) following a fifth consecutive month of growth, preliminary industry figures revealed on Thursday show.

Moreover, electric vehicles (EVs) have surpassed diesel cars for the first time to become the second most popular powertrain after petrol. Read more via The Manufacturer

Almost 50 jobs at risk at industrial manufacturer Exel Composites as it considers downsizing UK operations

Almost 50 jobs have been put at risk at an industrial manufacturer in a move which the business said could save around €1.6m a year.

Exel Composites has launched consultations with 48 employees at its Runcorn site over the possibility of downsizing its operations.

The business, which is headquartered in Finland, designs, manufactures and sells composite profiles and tubes for industrial applications. Read more via Business Live

Offsite specialist announces factory expansion

Offsite construction specialist Merit has announced a 4,000-square-metre expansion of its North East manufacturing plant.

The planned expansion would increase the size of its factory in Cramlington, Northumberland, from its existing 25,000-square-metre floorspace.

The firm said that the move will allow it to test the stacking of modules on top of each other before they are transported to site. Read more via Construction News

AF Switchgear opens new 40,000 sq ft factory

Switchgear manufacturer, AF Switchgear, recently opened its fifth production facility, a 40,000 sq. ft. factory in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire (UK).

The brand new factory F5 was officially opened by Lee Anderson MP for Ashfield. A speech and traditional ribbon cutting service was undertaken by Anderson and Managing Director, Ian Foster as part of the annual Christmas party which was held in the new facility. Read more via Trade Arabia

Corby food packaging factory closure could affect 95 jobs

A factory that produces plastic packaging for supermarkets could close with the possible loss of 95 jobs.

A consultation is ongoing with workers at Berry Superfos Thermoforming in Corby, Northamptonshire, regarding the possible closure.

Berry Global Group has proposed the closure to “streamline operations, increase capacity utilization, and best serve its customers”.

The company said it would “work diligently” to help those affected. Read more via BBC News

Thursday 05/01/2023

TISICS awarded UK Space Agency funding for sustainable launch tech

Aerospace manufacturing specialist TISICS has received funding from the UK Space Agency to develop demisable launcher components that will reduce the risk of damage to spacecraft by space debris, whilst reducing the processing time and materials waste experienced from current HPV-liner manufacturing. Read more via The Manufacturer

British-built Nissan Qashqai confirmed as UK’s best-selling new car of 2022

The Nissan Qashqai is officially the UK’s favourite car of 2022, and the first British-built model to top the annual sales charts for 24 years.

Figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders confirm that the home-grown Qashqai – which was designed in Paddington, engineered in Cranfield and is built in Sunderland – was the nation’s best-selling car of the last 12 months.

A total of 42,704 new Qashqais were driven off dealership forecourts across the UK in 2022 and the figure for December alone stood at an impressive 3,506, reported the SMMT. Read more via Nissan

ZeroAvia receives CAA approval for next phase of hydrogen-electric test flights

The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority has granted a permit to fly for ZeroAvia’s (Kemble, U.K.) Dornier 228 aircraft, which has been retrofitted with the company’s prototype hydrogen-electric powertrain. ZeroAvia secured the permit to fly following an extensive ground testing campaign and a rigorous review of the full development program.

As a result of this approval, ZeroAvia can now begin the first test flights of its 600-kilowatt hydrogen-electric powertrain. Read more via Composites World

Tesla shares continue slide with shrinking demand and logistics snags

Tesla shares started 2023 where they left off last year, plunging more than 14% on Tuesday on growing worries about weakening demand and logistical problems that have hampered deliveries for the world’s most valuable automaker.

Once worth more than $1tn, Tesla lost more than 65% in market value in a tumultuous 2022. Tuesday’s slide knocked off nearly $60bn in market value, roughly equal to the valuation of rival Ford, which last year sold three times as many cars as Tesla. Read more via The Guardian

Vehicle manufacturing specialist WN VTech secures £2m funding line with Lombard for electric bus fleet

A Bolton-based vehicle manufacturing specialist has secured a multi-million-pound deal with Lombard, the asset finance division of NatWest Group, enabling the business to support its mission of increasing the number of electric vehicles on roads.

The £2m deal will allow WN VTech to fund a fleet of its innovative Mellor Sigma electric demonstration buses, meaning prospective customers will have the opportunity to trial the new electric model and experience the benefits of a more sustainable transport option before choosing to purchase. Read more via The Manufacturer

Wednesday 04/01/2023

UK Manufacturing PMI: Industry ends the year with accelerated downturn

The UK manufacturing industry ended 2022 on somewhat of a downer, with output, new orders and employment all falling at faster rates, according to the latest S&P Global / CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI®.

Despite beating the earlier flash estimate of 44.7, December’s seasonally adjusted PMI of 45.3 — a 31-month low — remains in contraction territory (below 50), down from 46.5 in November. The UK Manufgacturing PMI has now remained below the neutral 50 mark for five consecutive months. Moreover, December’s PMI is actually one of the weakest since mid-2009. This reality is masked by the unusual series lows recorded during the first COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. Read more via The Manufacturer

Brompton Bicycle draws up plans to shift suppliers out of China and Taiwan

Britain’s biggest bicycle maker is drawing up plans to shift parts of its supply chain out of China and Taiwan as Western companies scramble to protect themselves from a possible invasion of the island.

Brompton Bicycle said that the brewing threat of conflict means it is preparing to source parts from other Asian countries instead, amid a broader geopolitical rift with Beijing that some analysts have likened to a new Cold War. Read more via The Telegraph

10 million tonnes of steel needed to power future Britain

The UK will need more than 10 million tonnes of steel over the coming years to become more energy self-sufficient, according to new figures published yesterday.

New research from Tata Steel reveals more than 5 million tonnes of steel will be needed to build thousands of wind turbines at sea by 2030. Planned solar and nuclear power plants which would power future Britain are expected to require about 3.5 million tonnes of steel over the coming years. Read more via The Manufacturer

Harrogate food manufacturer retains major retail contract thanks to Net Zero commitment

A Harrogate manufacturer of award-winning gluten and dairy free chilled ready meals, frozen pizzas and deserts has retained a major UK retail contract thanks to support from the Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP).

Kirsty’s, which was started by entrepreneur Kirsty Henshaw after her son Jacob was discovered to be allergic to nuts and intolerant to gluten and dairy, is working towards being Net Zero by 2050 which is a key requirement of one of its largest retail customers.

Having a plan to reach net zero has helped safeguard the jobs of Kirsty’s 49 staff, including 18 new recruits brought on to help support its expansion. Read more via Bdaily News

Manufacturers feature among best places to work in 2023

BAE Systems, Unilever, Hitachi, Bentley Motors and Cummins are among the top 10 best places to work in 2023, according to ratings published by community job platform Breakroom.

The Breakroom Quiz also reveals that GKN Aerospace, Airbus, Sellafield Ltd and Rolls-Royce are all in the top 20, rounding out a solid performance by manufacturers. Read more via Breakroom

BAE Systems boosts apprentice and graduate jobs by more than 40%

BAE Systems is set to hire more than 2,600 new apprentices and graduates in 2023. Representing a 43% increase on last year’s early careers intake, the announcement reinforces the company’s commitment to invest in the next generation, equipping young people across the UK with the skills they need to succeed in the workplace.

The majority of roles will be based in the North of England, with opportunities also available across the South of England, Scotland and Wales, supporting the UK Government’s aspiration to put education at the heart of plans to stimulate economic growth. Read more via The Manufacturer

Tuesday 03/01/2023

UK nuclear fuel production to be bolstered by £75m government funding

Nuclear fuel production in the UK is set to be bolstered by up to £75m in UK government funding in a bid to support development of alternatives to Russian fuel supply and strengthen UK energy security, the Energy and Climate Minister Graham Stuart has announced.

This will encourage investment in new and robust fuel production capabilities in the UK, backing the government’s ambition to secure up to 24GW of nuclear power by 2050. Read more via The Manufacturer

Eight firms set to create North Wales jobs in 2023

Among the eight firms highlighted by North Wales Live’s Owen Hughes are several manufacturers, including Airbus, Eren Holding and Boccard. Read more via North Wales Live

La Maison Camus chooses Infor for global digital transformation plan

Maison Camus, a manufacturer of exceptional cognacs and one of the leading French spirits companies worldwide, has chosen Infor CloudSuite Food & Beverage, a comprehensive enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution designed to help food and beverage companies meet changing customer expectations, better manage their supply chains and reduce waste. This project is part of a wider digital transformation plan, of which the deployment of this new ERP is one of the key steps. Read more via The Manufacturer

Car Dealer Magazine’s top automotive picks for 2023

Car Dealer Magazine has compiled a list of cars it’s looking forward to in 2023. With a lot of great metal on the horizon, find out which models made the final list. Read more via Car Dealer

Microsoft celebrates Future Ready Champions of Code with over 100K developers and technology enthusiasts

Microsoft has announced over 100,000 developers participated in the Future Ready Champions of Code program to receive Microsoft certifications. The program, launched in December 2022, equips developers with globally recognized and industry-endorsed skills and competencies in digital and cloud technologies. Developers also participated in a nationwide hackathon to ‘Innovate for India’s Growth’ as part of the program.

The hackathon saw innovative solutions and prototypes built on cloud-native architecture, leveraging the Microsoft Azure platform, around the themes of Industry innovation, Smart city and Green or Sustainable software. Read more via Microsoft

Tesla reports record quarterly deliveries but misses estimates

Tesla Inc on Monday reported record production and deliveries for fourth-quarter electric vehicles, but it missed Wall Street estimates, burdened by logistics problems, slowing demand, rising interest rates and fears of recession.

The world’s most valuable automaker delivered 405,278 vehicles in the last three months of the year, compared with Wall Street expectations of 431,117 vehicles, according to Refinitiv data. Read more via Reuters

Eden invests in new Bruderer high-precision press to advance innovation and sustainability

Taking advantage of new export opportunities has seen a Middlesex manufacturer invest more than £300,000 into a new high-speed precision stamping press line.

Eden Limited, a specialist in optical air-blown fibre and cables fittings for the global telecommunication industry, renewed a 35-year working relationship with Bruderer UK to place the order for the BSTA 180-36B press – fitted with the latest high speed precision servo feeder. Read more via The Manufacturer

Turning tables: the UK’s new vinyl manufacturer riding the music revival

It only received its first pressing machines on Christmas Eve 2022, but Press On Vinyl is well on its way to becoming the biggest manufacturer of vinyl records in the UK, already churning out about 3,000 a day and hoping to double that this year. Read more via The Guardian

Wednesday 21/12/2022

Goodfellow Corporation’s specialist material helps with nuclear fusion breakthrough

A Cambridge-based manufacturer of specialist metals and materials is playing a key role in the nuclear fusion breakthrough that could change the way we power the world.

Goodfellow Ltd, who supplies over 6000 customers across the world, provided materials to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California for the eagerly awaited experiment.

On Tuesday 13th December 2022, researchers confirmed that they have overcome one of the major barriers to producing clean energy from fusion: producing more energy from the experiment than was put in. Read more via The Manufacturer

3M manufacturing giant to stop making ‘forever chemicals’

Manufacturing giant 3M has said it will stop making and using so-called “forever chemicals”, common materials that have been linked to a range of health problems including cancer.

The firm, which also makes Post-Its, cited increased regulatory and consumer concern about the substances, known as PFAS, to explain the move.

The chemicals are used in many everyday items, including food packaging. Read more via BBC News

Greencore Warrington site will host job open day in the new year

Greencore has announced it will be hosting a recruitment open day on January 4 to welcome potential candidates who wish to apply for the vacancies of the role of food production operative.

The manufacturer’s Warrington site is based on Grosvenor Grange in Woolston and produces Italian style microwavable meals that are distributed to major supermarkets all over the UK.

Currently employing more than 14,000 workers, the brand is continuing to expand and have said how the towns base has been ‘heavily invested’ into recently. Read more via Warrington Guardian

Scottish company building UK’s first 100% renewables powered timber kit factory

Industry has been transformed time and again by great Scottish innovation, fuelled by limitless imagination and exceptional creativity. It is this same passion for innovation that drove a timber frame specialist in Foveran, Aberdeenshire to design and build a factory that will be powered exclusively by renewable energy thanks to an ingenious heat capturing design.

The first of its kind in the UK, NorFrame’s factory will manufacture timber kit frames for homes, schools and commercial buildings using power generated from an on-site Anaerobic Digestion plant fuelled by silage from a neighbouring farm – eliminating the need for fossil fuels to heat or power facility and its processes.

Spanning 31,000 sq ft with a completion date of Spring 2023, the £4m factory will initially create 11 new jobs and safeguard a further 14 in a rural area, produce 20 timber kits per week, and have the capability to meet demand from Scotland’s private and public sectors. Read more via Scottish Business News

Walker’s Director Receives Knighthood from King Charles III

Jim Walker, director and third-generation member of Walker’s Shortbread, was recently invested as a Knight Bachelor in recognition of exceptional services to the food industry.

Named within the Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood, the Knighthood recognizes Walker for bringing international success to a once small Scottish family business that supports both the local community and economy of Aberlour, Scotland. Read more via Specialty Food

Tuesday 20/12/2022

Hyperbat’s EV battery expertise wins £multi-million Lotus Evija contract

One of the UK’s leading manufacturers of high-performance electric vehicle battery packs has sealed a £multi-million-pound contract to supply batteries to Lotus for its new all-electric Evija, the world’s most powerful production car.

Hyperbat was formed to bring together Williams Advanced Engineering’s (WAE) EV battery expertise with Unipart’s capability in manufacturing safety-critical products for premium OEMs.

This combination of engineering excellence and Tier 1 manufacturing capability was established to support the scale-up of EV production in the UK and will manufacture the 90kWh lithium-ion battery packs destined for use in the first British-made all-electric hypercar. Read more via The Manufacturer

Manufacturing output volumes fall at the fastest pace in over two years, while selling price inflation remains high – CBI Industrial Trends Survey

UK manufacturers reported a fall in output volumes in the three months to December, at the fastest pace since the three months to September 2020, according to the CBI’s latest Industrial Trends Survey. This fall was largely driven by the food, drink & tobacco, paper, printing & media, and mechanical engineering sectors.

The survey found that selling price inflation is expected to accelerate slightly in the next three months (though below the record high reached earlier this year). Total order books as well as export order books were reported as below normal, while stocks of finished goods were seen as adequate. Read more via CBI

Steel & Glass Solutions takes delivery of Nukon fibre laser cutting machine

Dunstable-based Steel & Glass Solutions has taken delivery of a new Nukon Rex 315 6 kW 2D fibre laser cutting machine from Nukon Lasers UK. The machine was ordered at the UK’s MACH 2022 machine tool exhibition, with installation postponed until Steel & Glass Solutions moved into purpose-built new premises. Read more via The Manufacturer

Two North East sites among final shortlist for Rolls-Royce nuclear factory

Two sites in the North East are among the final three locations being considered by Rolls-Royce for a £200m nuclear reactor factory.

The IAMP site near Sunderland and the Teesworks site in Redcar are competing with Shotton on Deeside to land the plant that promises to bring up to 200 jobs and substantial investment. The factory, which is proposed to be 23,000 sqm, will produce component parts to be used in the firm’s fleet of small modular reactors (SMRs). Read more via Business Live

Heat pump manufacturer exceeds €1bn turnover

A Wirral-based manufacturer of heat pumps, solar systems, electric hot water and heating products has exceeded £1bn turnover amid growing demand.

Stiebel Eltron has more than doubled its turnover in the past five years, reporting “record-breaking” increases consecutively for each year since 2017.

From €550m in 2018, turnover climbed to €594m in 2019 and €700m in 2020. Last year, it was €830m and now the €1bn mark has been reached. Read more via Insider Media

Magtec named Manufacturing Company of the Year in the Sheffield Business Awards

Magtec has been named Manufacturing Company of the Year in the Sheffield Business Awards, the premier showcase of enterprise in the industrial heartland of South Yorkshire.

Judges singled out the fast-growing company’s “efficient and innovative approach to manufacturing” in a highly competitive field. Magtec was also shortlisted in the Scale-Up Award category for best business growth. Read more via The Manufacturer

Monday 19/12/2022

UK downturn moderates in December but recession begins – PMI

The downturn across most British businesses eased slightly this month but manufacturers struggled and the economy is still likely to contract this quarter, marking a recession, a survey showed on Friday.

The UK S&P Global Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose unexpectedly to 49.0 from 48.2 in November, although it remained below the 50 threshold for growth. A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to a slight fall to 48.0. Read more via Reuters

Bentley Motors uses ground-breaking 3D printed gold in Mulliner Batur

Bentley Motors has introduced 3D printed solid gold in the exclusive Mulliner Batur – the first time such a ground-breaking process is believed to have been used in the automotive industry. The ‘additive manufacturing’ (AM) technique will add up to 210 grams of 18ct yellow gold to the coachbuilt coupe, the fastest Bentley in the company’s 103-year history. Read more via The Manufacturer

Fruit juice and oat drink manufacturer creates 54 jobs at new Co Tyrone site

A family run fruit juice and oat drink manufacturer l is creating 54 new jobs at a site in County Tyrone after embarking on a major expansion to boost production.

Mulrines, a fourth generation County Donegal business which produces fruit juice from its own apple orchards as well as so-called plant-based beverages – made the announcement after securing a 22 acre site in Sion Mills. It is renovating existing buildings at the former linen factory in the town owned by the Herdman family from where it will increase its production of fruit juice and oat drinks. Read more via Business Live

The Manufacturer Podcast: Innovation and reflection

In the final episode of The Manufacturer Podcast for 2022 (boo!), The Manufacturer Editorial Team reflects with an end of year special.

Our most excellent podcast sponsors Accenture also joins us to review the trends in manufacturing and technology innovation. Stephanie Lindan and George Long join us to discuss common misconceptions, the areas where manufacturers are making progress and the abundant rewards that can be achieved through innovation. Read more via The Manufacturer

Russell Roof Tiles brings Christmas cheers to charities

Leading pitched roof tile manufacturer, Russell Roof Tiles, has brought some much-needed festive cheer to charities close to its Burton and Lochmaben sites – donating an impressive £55,300 to them.

The company has presented a number of its Burton charities with a £6,300 donation at their special event held at its site on Wetmore Lane, which is set to be followed by an event at its Lochmaben site. Read more via The Manufacturer

Friday 16/12/2022

Manufacturers herald new digital age with tech investment set to increase in 2023

Digital Catapult’s Manufacturing Leaders Poll 2022 has revealed that investment in deep tech solutions and a commitment to innovation remain top of the agenda for many business leaders across the UK manufacturing industries, despite economic headwinds. Read more via The Manufacturer

Nissan LEAF Powers Christmas Lights as UK Plant Marks Production of 250,000 Electric Vehicles

A Nissan LEAF is providing the sparkle for Nissan Sunderland Plant’s Christmas display to celebrate production of 250,000 of the pioneering electric vehicle in the UK.

Demonstrating the ability of the LEAF to act as a mobile power plant, the lights on the 32-foot Christmas tree and its shimmering reindeer are being powered by the vehicle’s battery, using V2X (or V2X-MAS TREE) technology. Read more via Nissan UK

Swegon to acquire British air handling manufacturer Dalair

Swegon is set to acquire Dalair, the family-owned manufacturer of bespoke air handling units (AHU) based in Wednesbury just outside Birmingham.

Dalair is one of the AHU market leaders in the UK, with a highly regarded brand and offers air handling units in various segments covering commercial buildings, offices, retail, health care and pharmaceutical industries. Read more via Cleanroom Technology

Siemens factory in Switzerland wins award for production and supply chain resilience

The Siemens Smart Infrastructure plant in Zug, Switzerland, has been named Factory of the Year 2022 in the category Excellence in Supply Chain Resilience.

The award recognizes the plant’s supply chain resilience and preventive risk management, which were found to be outstanding measured against other plants in Europe. Organized by international management consultancy Kearney, the Factory of the Year industry competition is considered one of the most prestigious in Europe. Read more via The Manufacturer

The giant factory expansion in the heart of Hull safeguarding hundreds of jobs

For more than 100 years, it has been one of Hull’s biggest employers. But for a gigantic factory in the heart of Hull, it looks like the best is yet to come.

A massive expansion is under way at t in National Avenue, where around 800 people are employed, with bosses hailing the most challenging but exciting times in the company’s long history. Read more via Hull Live

Alloy Wire International gets in the festive spirit with Santa’s Black Country Toy Appeal donation

One of the UK’s leading manufacturers of round, flat and profile wire is throwing its weight behind a project that is aiming to provide a Christmas gift for every child in poverty in Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

Alloy Wire International (AWI) has pledged £,5000 to Santa’s Black Country Toy Appeal and is now urging more companies and individuals to get behind the festive push that is looking to support nearly 105,000 kids. Read more via The Manufacturer

Thursday 15/12/2022

Eight colleges awarded Construction Hub status

Eight colleges across the country have recently been named a Construction Hub by leading building products manufacturer Forterra, a scheme in alignment with Forterra’s mission to keep Britain building by plugging the existing skills gap.

The selected colleges are Buckinghamshire College Group, Burnley College, Hertford Regional College, Lewisham College, Preston College, Stamford College, Truro and Penwith College, and Warrington and Vale Royal College. Read more via The Manufacturer

Coventry University to receive £5m grant to fund digital laboratory

An innovative digital laboratory will be created at Coventry University to further help students learn the in-demand skills needed within the healthcare and engineering sectors.

The Precision Digital Manufacturing and Healthcare Technology Lab has been awarded £5m from the Office for Students and will be equipped with industry standard digital technologies such as 3D metal printing and high-end radiography equipment. Read more via Coventry University

Lift-off for new launch technology with UK Space Agency funding

The UK Space Agency has announced £2.7m for 13 early-stage technology projects across England, Scotland and Wales to support the growing satellite launch sector.

The UK is home to a thriving satellite manufacturing industry and is on track to become the first country in Europe to offer commercial launch services to small satellite manufacturers, from a range of spaceports offering both horizontal and vertical rocket launch capabilities. Read more via UK Space Agency

Mazak rewards production staff after record month

Yamazaki Mazak has put on a month’s worth of festive activities for its production staff after November 2022 saw its European Manufacturing Plant produce the highest number of machines for three years.

The month-long programme saw employees treated to a broad array of festive fun, with each day involving a different activity. These included a range of Christmas treats such as mince pies, doughnuts and hot chocolate, as well as a number of different games and competitions including finding the ‘Elf on the Shelf’, ping pong and darts. Read more via Aerospace Manufacturing

Europump presents its approach to the circular economy

Europump – the European Association of Pump Manufacturers – has released details on a position statement recently published by its Circular Economy Working Group. Read more via The Manufacturer

UK has just five years to secure green manufacturing investment – think tank

The UK has five years to secure investment in green industries or risk missing out forever, a think tank has warned.

In a report released on Thursday, centre-right think tank Onward said the Government should provide cash incentives for green manufacturing businesses to set up in the UK.

The report warned that the country was already “rapidly falling behind the EU”, where nations offered incentives for electric car and battery manufacturers. Read more via Energy Voice

Moy Park in £4m partnership for sustainable manufacturing research

Moy Park, the poultry processor, together with a consortium of UK manufacturers from other sectors, has secured £4m in match funding to progress research into sustainable smart factory projects. Read more via Food Manufacture

Wednesday 14/12/2022

Siemens finds future talent at engineering hackathon

Siemens has unearthed a pipeline of future talent through a 48-hour engineering hackathon.

Held at the University of Birmingham, the hackathon brought together more than 70 students from 27 UK universities studying engineering, mechatronics, robotics or digital courses including computer science, cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence, telecommunications or a related degree. Read more via The Manufacturer

UK Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult to Open Stem Cell Labs in Edinburgh

The U.K. innovation accelerator for cell and gene therapies, the Cell and Gene Therapy (CGT) Catapult, is building more than 3,500 ft2 of lab space in Edinburgh, Scotland, to help increase the country’s expertise in stem cells. The new lab space, which is due to begin wet work in the second quarter of 2023, will consist of two manufacturing labs and one analytical development lab.

The high-spec non-GMP lab space is designed to support stem cell projects at a variety of stages. These could include helping startups move from manual to closed processes or supporting established equipment suppliers with upscaling. Read more via Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

Inventor-e targets £1m opportunity after signing PP C&A manufacturing deal

Transforming inventory management is paying off for Inventor-e after it signed its latest deal to scale-up production.

The Solihull-based company has extended its working relationship with PP Control & Automation (PP C&A) to include the build of its latest model, the iVendScale+, and has already won orders to supply Mitsubishi’s vast factory in Scotland and Babcock’s Faslane and Coulport facilities. Read more via The Manufacturer

Peugeot UK targets younger customers with premium shift and EV knowhow

The average age of a Peugeot new car buyer is 56. However, the brand sees winning the hearts of younger consumers as a vital step in securing sales growth for the long term.

Last year, it introduced a new 2D logo design, started rolling out a revised showroom corporate identity and emphasised a focus on allure and attraction, with design-led cars that it positions as affordable, yet near-premium.

Managing director Julie David tells AM that Peugeot aims to be more of a first preference car brand for Gen Z consumers (born between 1997 and 2012) in particular. Read more via AM Online

UK player plays part in expansion project aimed at ramping up gas production off Israel

UK-based centrifugal pumps and associated equipment manufacturer, Amarinth, has delivered two pumps to Norway’s process engineering business, Kanfa. These pumps will be used for a second oil train on an FPSO working on the Energean-operated field, offshore Israel. Read more via Offshore Energy

Oxfordshire engineering & technology training specialist wins commitment to workplace wellbeing award

An Abingdon training centre specialising in technology and engineering has won Oxfordshire Mind’s annual Commitment to Workplace Wellbeing award.

The accolade recognises Oxfordshire Advanced Skills’ (OAS) efforts to improve the wellbeing of its learners, training staff and industry partners by making positive changes throughout the training centre and beyond. Read more via The Manufacturer

Brompton Bikes submit planning application for new Kent headquarters

A planning application for a £100m new Brompton Bikes factory has been submitted for approval.

The UK’s largest bicycle manufacturer announced earlier this year that it had chosen Ashford as the company’s new global headquarters.

The planning application, submitted to Ashford Borough Council, details how the new factory will be constructed within a 100-acre floodplain, which will provide an opportunity to restore the wetland and promote walking and cycling. Read more via The Business Magazine

Lighting equipment manufacturer appoints administrators

A purchaser is being sought for the business and assets of a Leeds-based lighting equipment manufacturer after administrators were appointed.

Gareth Harris and Lee Lockwood of RSM UK Restructuring Advisory LLP were appointed joint administrators of Litetask Ltd on 12 December 2022.

The business stopped trading immediately on appointment of the joint administrators with its four members of staff made redundant. Read more via Insider Media