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

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.

Friday – 27/11/2020

British Steel to create 66 new jobs in Scunthorpe and Skinningrove

British Steel is recruiting 66 new employees to support increased production at its operations in Scunthorpe and Teesside.

The company, which has maintained production throughout the pandemic, is looking to recruit 41 people into manufacturing roles at its Special Profiles business in Skinningrove, and a further 25 into trainee positions at its headquarters in North Lincolnshire.

The jobs are in addition to the 40 the company created in May which has enabled it to introduce an extra shift at its Teesside Beam Mill. — Read more via SteelGuru Business News

Birmingham engineering firm expands with new 11,000 sq ft premises

Following a more than 100% increase in employee numbers in its LEAN manufacturing service area, the automotive wing of a Birmingham engineering business has expanded into a repurposed 11,000 sq. ft. facility in Erdington.

Thanks to a number of increasing orders from a major online British supermarket, adi Automotive has been able to expand its operations. — Read more via TheBusinessDesk.com

UK engine production figures continue to fall

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), October saw engine production across the country’s plants fall once more, with a decline in output of 20.1%.

Engines for export took the greatest hit, with a 25.2% drop, while domestic production fared better, with a 16.4% reduction. According to the organisation, year-to-date figures remained 30.1% below 2019 levels. — Read more via Engine + Powertrain Technology International

Manufacturers see no single ‘silver bullet’ to reach aviation’s CO2 reduction target

Airbus chief technology officer Grazia Vittadini has said that the aviation industry’s stated aim of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050 had been a “pretty good problem to have” before the air transport sector and most other areas of public life were thrown into disarray by the coronavirus outbreak.

Vittadini and her counterparts at other major aerospace players have reiterated their commitment and expressed confidence that the target can be reached despite the pandemic. But all agree that there is no single “silver bullet” and multiple technological approaches must be followed to achieve the required emission reductions. — Read more via Flight Global

UK firms answering Government’s call for PPE now can’t sell them a single face mask

Four separate firms have spoken to Metro.co.uk about how they responded quickly to the Government’s call for a national effort on producing PPE in the UK, to help during the coronavirus pandemic. But just weeks after the request, health officials rejected offers of supplies – leaving potentially huge numbers of businesses out in the cold. — Read more via Metro.co.uk

Thursday – 26/11/2020

Manufacturers react to Government spending review

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has announced a one-year spending review to help the UK respond to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

The Spending Review will build on previous support and focus on three areas:

  • providing departments with the certainty they need to tackle Covid-19 and deliver our Plan for Jobs to support employment
  • giving our vital public services enhanced support to continue to fight against the virus alongside delivering first class frontline services
  • investing in infrastructure to deliver our ambitious plans to unite and level up the country, drive our economic recovery and Build Back Better — Read more via The Manufacturer

Troy Foods completes new factory, creates 20 jobs

Vegetable, salad and mayonnaise producer Troy Foods has completed a fourth factory in Yorkshire, creating more than 20 jobs. Supported by £500,000 via the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF), Troy Foods’ new site in Lofthouse, Wakefield, is dedicated to the preparation of freshly prepared, ready-to-eat vegetables, such as carrot batons and herby potatoes.

The new site has the capacity to process 1,000t of vegetables a week. — Read more via Food Manufacture

Turnover nears €3bn at Toyota’s UK arm

Turnover at Toyota’s Uk arm accelerated to almost €3bn in the 12 months to 31 March 2020, accounts for Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK reveal. The Japanese giant’s UK operations also generated a pre-tax profit of €8m after posting a loss of €43.4m in the prior year because of a cost of almost €300m to fix faulty airbags.

The company assembles the Corolla vehicle model at Burnaston, including the hybrid versions, and engines in North Wales. — Read more via Insider Media

Manufacturing production expanded at a robust pace during November

Latest reports from the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) show that UK manufacturing production expanded at a robust pace during November and the rate of growth accelerated since the previous month.

However, the latest manufacturing PMI survey nonetheless pointed to a sharp lengthening of supplier delivery times amid severe delays at UK ports, alongside a robust degree of stock building as manufacturers sought to accumulate critical inputs before the end of the Brexit transition period on 31st December 2020. — Read more via CIPS

Car production falls again as nightmare year stretches on

Car production fell once again in October as the sector’s nightmare year showed no sign of ending, according to new figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Just 110,179 cars were built last month, down almost a fifth on the same month last year. As a result, the SMMT estimates that the sector has lost out on £10.8bn this year. — Read more via CityAM

Wednesday – 25/11/2020

SME manufacturers must take a strategic approach to technology adoption

Manufacturers are risking wasted time, money and effort adopting digital technology without a strategic plan for digital transformation, research by Made Smarter North West Pilot has revealed.

A Made Smarter survey exploring the awareness, attitudes and approach to digital technologies of 201 SME manufacturers found huge appetite and motivation to introduce new digital tools into their operations. But the survey also highlighted the lack of a strategic approach to adopting technology. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Ilika confirms plans for own manufacturing facility

Solid state battery technology company Ilika has announced its intention to establish its own manufacturing facility close to its current Hampshire operating base in the UK.

The Ilika board said that having reviewed the various options, including transferring operations into a third-party facility, the “most efficient and cost effective” solution would be to establish its own manufacturing operation. — Read more via London South East

SMMT: Drive home Brexit deal for Christmas or risk £55bn manufacturing hit, warns UK auto sector

As Brexit talks enter the final stretch, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has made a final call for negotiators on both sides to keep the health of the automotive sector at the heart of discussions and stretch every sinew to get a deal in place by Christmas that avoids tariffs, or risk damaging one of Europe’s most valuable manufacturing industries. — Read more via Automotive World

Covid: Fitted face masks designed after nurse’s struggle

A nurse who struggled to get face masks to fit her has inspired the design of custom-fitted ones for frontline healthcare workers.

Valerie Bednar’s husband, Gareth Smith, set up MyMaskFit after his wife, who is an intensive care nurse, struggled to find a filtering face mask (FFP) to fit her.

Based in Swansea, the firm is working with a number of UK universities. — Read more via BBC News

Mann+Hummel to close UK manufacturing site

The Mann+Hummel Group, a leading filtration expert, is looking to close its main Wolverhampton manufacturing facility and relocate its operations to within the European Mann+Hummel network.

The decision will affect around 230 employees once operations are fully closed by the end of 2022. Nevertheless, Mann+Hummel will remain active with all its business offerings and services in the UK. — Read more via Nonwovens Industry Magazine

Tuesday – 24/11/2020

Multi-million-pound funding package pledged for UK Space Centre of Excellence in Ayrshire, Scotland

The UK and Scottish governments have committed to invest over £80m in a UK Space Centre of Excellence in Ayrshire, Scotland, in partnership with South Ayrshire Council, as part of the Ayrshire Growth Deal.

The funding package is designed to develop and support a wide range of new, cutting-edge aerospace and space activities around Glasgow Prestwick Airport, including a satellite launch site and a range of other advanced technology initiatives beyond space launch. — Read more via Daily Record

Covid and Brexit could see UK manufacturers bringing it all back home

UK factories could be making up to £4.8bn more goods for British retailers in the next 12 months as the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit prompt businesses to re-shore production.

The additional orders, largely of food and fashion but potentially including DIY products and homewares, would be equivalent to the country’s entire current clothing manufacturing output, according to a report by advisory firm Alvarez & Marsal and research group Retail Economics. — Read more via The Guardian

Steady turnover and rising profits for Yorkshire manufacturer

A Yorkshire steel products manufacturer has announced that it has witnessed a nearly 40% increase in profits in the past year.

Siddall and Hilton Products, based in Brighouse, reported that its pre-tax profits have risen from £1.07m in 2019 to £1.49m this year – in its first  year since an MBO in August 2019.

The company has said that it is now planning “major” investments in the coming year, moving its business into the next phase of development. — Read more via Bdaily

UK motor developers benefit from £92m vehicle programme

UK companies working on novel electric motor technologies are to receive millions of pounds of funding as part of a £92m government/industry scheme to accelerate decarbonisation of the automotive sector and to help achieve net-zero emissions.

A total of 49 projects will receive investments, coordinated by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC). — Read more via Drives & Controls

Fixie and Enable Manufacturing receive Innovate UK grants

Innovate UK has awarded Fixie, a 24/7 3D printing service for built environment professionals, and Enable Manufacturing, a UK-based metal 3D printing service provider, grants to expand their additive manufacturing activities within their respective sectors.

Fixie received £100,000 in funding to build an automated online platform that will significantly speed up the process of creating physical models from digital 3D designs for architects, while Enable received an undisclosed amount to embark upon a project to prove the concept of its Additive Casting process. — Read more via 3D Printing Industry

Monday – 23/11/2020

Scottish innovation centre revolutionising pharma manufacturing

The Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Renfrewshire, Scotland, a ground-breaking collaboration made up of government, industry and academic partners across the UK, is revolutionising pharmaceutical manufacturing.

A collaboration between CPI, the University of Strathclyde and founding industry partners, GSK and AstraZeneca, the centre is enabling the adoption of innovative, next-generation, technologies into the pharmaceutical industry. — Read more via The Scotsman

UK government buys chunk of bankrupt Starlink competitor, OneWeb

The UK has entered the increasingly competitive race to become a global satellite Internet provider after taking control of failed space startup OneWeb with Indian billionaire Sunil Bharti Mittal.

The low-Earth-orbit-satellite operator emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday and will now seek a further $1.25bn (£939m) through debt or equity to achieve its ambitious medium-term goal of launching a global commercial Internet service by 2022 focusing on remote areas. — Read more via Ars Technica

Manufacture of Boxer mechanised infantry vehicles moves forward

ARTEC consortium member, KMW, has concluded a further contractual agreement with WFEL for the production over ten years of Boxer Vehicle Drive Module fabricated hulls – together with a further contract for the Assembly, Integration and Test (AIT) of approximately half of the 500 vehicles to be supplied to the British Army, under the £2.3bn contract signed with ARTEC at the end of 2019. — Read more via UK Defence Journal

Manufacturers: Government not doing enough to ‘level-up’ Britain

Almost half of UK manufacturers are unhappy with the government’s efforts to “level-up” the country, a new survey has revealed.

According to research reported in Reviving And Rebalancing Regional Economies Through Manufacturing, published by manufacturers’ organisation Make UK along with tax and audit consultants RSM, 42% of manufacturers say the government’s efforts are not enough and that regional industrial strategies need to be refreshed with the help of improvements in infrastructure such as roads, rail and bus services. — Read more via Sky News

More than half of £50bn wind farm cash to go overseas

Britain is forecast to miss out on more than half of the £50bn investment in building offshore wind farms in its waters this decade, with the majority of orders for turbines and other equipment expected to go to factories and suppliers overseas. — Read more via The Times