Daily Manufacturing News Digest – the industry stories you should be aware of today – 5 October

Posted on 5 Oct 2022 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.

Wednesday – 05/10/2022

National Grid launches record £2.5m fund to fight fuel poverty

A record £2.5m support fund to help vulnerable customers this winter is being pledged by National Grid, the electricity distribution network operator for the Midlands, South West and South Wales. The shareholder-funded initiative has been set up as an urgent response to the national cost of living crisis. — Read more via The Manufacturer

EU Parliament approves common charging cable from 2024

European MPs have voted for a law requiring all new portable devices to use the same type of charging cable.

Smartphones and tablets, including the Apple iPhone and iPad, would have to use a USB-C charger from 2024, while laptop manufacturers would have until 2026 to make the change.

There were 602 votes in favour and 13 against, with eight abstaining.

Member states are expected to grant approval on 24 October, before the rule is signed into law at the parliament. — Read more via BBC News

Mellizo unveiled – S&P UK launches its quietest and most efficient twin fan

Leading ventilation manufacturer S&P UK has announced the launch of Mellizo, the quietest and most efficient twin fan it has ever made following years of research and development.

Designed for simple installation in a range of environments such as bathrooms and changing rooms, Mellizo benefits from optimal efficiency, innovative design, and the lowest Specific Fan Power (SFP) possible. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Gel-Clear celebrates 10 years

Gel-Clear, the manufacturer of HVACR drainage efficiency products for the retail food industry, has celebrated its 10th anniversary with a special celebratory dinner for staff and customers.

Gel-Clear was founded on 17 September 2012 after company founder Paurick Gaughan discovered a company with a patented solution for biofilms in nuclear bunker drinking water tanks. Gaughan partnered with them to create a tablet-based solution to fix biofilm blockages in retail cabinet condensate drains.

Such was the success of the product that Gel-Clear went on to develop and manufacture other products and picked up six industry awards for its innovative products along the way. — Read more via Cooling Post

Winning bid announced to host UK fusion plant

The West Burton power plant site in Nottinghamshire, England, has been selected to host the UK’s prototype fusion energy plant – the Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP). The demonstration plant is due to begin operating by 2040. — Read more via World Nuclear News

Mars selects Accenture to deliver a large-scale “Digital Factory” using AI, Cloud, Edge and Digital Twins

Accenture is working with Mars to transform and modernise its global manufacturing operations with artificial intelligence (AI), cloud, edge technology and digital twins. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Tuesday – 04/10/2022

UK manufacturing PMI shows falling output, weak foreign demand

British manufacturing output fell for a third month in a row in September and orders declined for a fourth consecutive month, hurt by falling foreign demand, according to a closely watched survey released on Monday.

The S&P Global manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 48.4 from August’s 27-month low of 47.3 but remained below the 50-level that separates growth from contraction and was a fraction weaker than the initial ‘flash’ estimate of 48.5. — Read more via Reuters

Siddall & Hilton Products invests in state-of-the-art automation as it pursues world-class manufacturing excellence

As part of its commitment to driving operational excellence and manufacturing efficiencies, leading welded steel mesh manufacturer Siddall and Hilton Products has invested in two innovative automation projects designed to further streamline its processes and accelerate the company’s journey to being recognised as a world-class manufacturer.

The Yorkshire-based business, which is the UK’s largest manufacturer of industrial welded mesh and perimeter fencing panels, partnered with Sewtec, a global market leader in bespoke machinery and automation, to develop a robot to automate the process of packaging and banding its finished product – it is believed to be the only robot of its type in the UK. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Probe into Chinese takeover of Newport Wafer Fab delayed a third time

The government’s national security review into the acquisition of Newport Wafer Fab by Chinese-owned semiconductor manufacturer Nexperia has been delayed for a third time.

UKTN can reveal that the decision on whether to unwind the £63m takeover of Britain’s largest semiconductor manufacturer will miss the deadline of 23:59 on Monday 3 October. — Read more via UKTN

Major employer near Burton taken over by its own staff

Members of staff have taken control of a North West Leicestershire NHS provider after its shareholders agreed to sell the entire share back to the staff. Medstrom, in Castle Donington – 20 minutes’ drive from Burton – was founded in 2010 to provide hospital equipment, bed management and service delivery to the NHS.

With the announcement, the firm has grown to become the only UK-owned manufacturer of acute care beds in the UK and now employs around 300 people, The Business Desk reports. Management has welcomed the announcement, saying the decision has secured the future of the business. — Read more via Staffordshire Live

Digital Manufacturing Centre wins Innovative Business Award

The Digital Manufacturing Centre (DMC) has taken home gold in the Innovative Business category at this year’s Buckinghamshire Business Awards.

The prestigious event, which took place at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre (28 September), aimed to shine a spotlight on the region’s most inspiring companies.

Founded, built and opened during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the DMC has quickly established itself as a world-leading, multi-technology additive manufacturing facility. These efforts were recognised by the judges, who praised the team’s ambition and early success. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Nissan recruiting at Sunderland plant as production soars

After it was recently revealed that Nissan’s Sunderland plant is playing a key role in the company’s electrification of its UK vehicles, The Northern Echo has found 15 opportunities across a wide range of roles at the facility.  — Read more via The Northern Echo

Monday – 03/10/2022

Modular homebuilding revolution set to come of age as traditional builders fail to tackle housing crisis

Britain’s modular construction companies are moving at speed to deliver widescale change in the housing market unseen in the UK for generations, according to new research published today by Make UK Modular.

‘Greener, Better, Faster: Modular’s Role in Solving the Housing Crisis’, shows that while innovation has left the construction industry largely untouched till now, precision engineered homes, factory-built in areas where employment is required and delivered to regions of the UK where housing is scarce, are set to revolutionise the sector and help solve Britain’s growing housing crisis. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Arrival produces first production verification van in microfactory

Arrival has announced that it has produced the first production verification vehicle from its Bicester Microfactory.

Arrival produced the first Van in a Microfactory using in-house technologies, including composite materials, autonomous mobile robots, in-house components and a software defined factory.

The milestone is a big stepping stone towards at-scale production and delivering vehicles to its customers. — Read more via Arrival

Rolls-Royce and Water Revolution Foundation driving sustainability in the superyacht industry

Rolls-Royce is stepping up its sustainability strategy by forging a partnership with Water Revolution Foundation (WRF), a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote sustainability through collaborations with the superyacht industry.

The Rolls-Royce Power Systems business unit with its mtu product and solutions brand is the first propulsion system manufacturer to support the Water Revolution Foundation by committing to it at the highest level as an Anchor Partner. During the Monaco Yacht Show, the leading industry event for large-yacht manufacturers and customers, the company agreed for a promising collaboration with the foundation. — Read more via Rolls-Royce

The Royal Mint unveils official coin effigy of His Majesty King Charles III

The Royal Mint has unveiled the official coin effigy of His Majesty King Charles III. The first coins to bear The King’s portrait are a special £5 Crown and 50 pence commemorating the life and legacy of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The King’s effigy has been created by renowned British sculptor Martin Jennings, and has been personally approved by His Majesty. In keeping with tradition, The King’s portrait faces to the left, the opposite direction to Queen Elizabeth II. — Read more via The Royal Mint

AWI’s new Managing Director sets out ambitious growth plans

One of the UK’s leading manufacturers of round, flat and profile wire has named a new Managing Director as it looks to build on a record 12 months.

Alloy Wire International (AWI), which employs 33 people at factories in Brierley Hill and Batley in Yorkshire, has promoted Tom Mander to the role after being with the company for more than 17 years.

The move will see previous MD Mark Venables move upstairs to Chairman, remaining in the business to guide and advise for the foreseeable future. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Burton Latimer cereal giant Weetabix marks 90th anniversary

Staff at Burton Latimer’s iconic breakfast brand Weetabix have been celebrating the cereal giant’s 90th anniversary of fuelling the nation.

Founded in 1932 in Station Road, the Weetabix Food Company still operates from its original Northants base – alongside sites in Corby and Ashton-under-Lyne.

Renowned for making some of Britain’s favourite breakfast cereals such as Weetabix, Alpen and Ready Brek, they also produce breakfast drink Weetabix On the Go. — Read more via Northamptonshire Telegraph

BYD sets prices for 3 EV models to be sold in Europe

BYD, seeking to fast establish a foothold in Europe, disclosed tentative prices on Wednesday for three full-electric passenger vehicles to be delivered in six European countries.

The Atto 3, a compact crossover, will be sold for 38,000 euros ($36,480). Two midsize models, the Tang SUV and the Han sedan, have been priced at 72,000 euros, the largest Chinese electrified-vehicle manufacturer said. — Read more via Automotive News Europe

Friday – 30/09/2022

First electric Nissan models roll off Sunderland Plant

Electrified versions of two pioneering crossover models are now rolling off the lines at Nissan Sunderland Plant. The Nissan Qashqai, the original crossover, is now offered with Nissan’s unique e-POWER system, a first for the company in Europe. Its B-segment stablemate, the Nissan Juke, is now equipped with an advanced hybrid powertrain.

These new powertrains have been launched as combined production of the two iconic crossover models has passed five million units in Sunderland. Built alongside the Nissan LEAF, these technologies mean every model built by Nissan in the UK now has an electrified version. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Huddersfield manufacturer expands team to further growth

Huddersfield-based glass manufacturer Specialist Glass Products (SGP) has appointed a general manager to support the business’s growth strategy in 2022.

SGP is a leading supplier of curved, flat and bespoke toughened and laminated glass products, which are used in applications including building facades, balustrades, spiral stairs, shopfronts, plus many more weird and wonderful structures across the UK, Europe and America.

Joining the team is John Day as General Manager. With over 20 years of experience in the glass processing industry, John will manage, implement and improve all systems across the company as they look to go through extensive growth. — Read more via Business Up North

Joint UK/EU project to scale-up additive manufacturing

A new UK and European consortium made up of engineering firms, academic leaders and scale-ups has been formed to increase Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) productivity.

The project, known as LAMM, brings together four specialist organisations with the aim of achieving substantial improvements in deposition rates and printing efficiency.

To aid in reaching its goal, LAMM has received €428,000 of funding from EIT Manufacturing (EITM), an organisation formed in 2019 that strives towards making Europe a global manufacturing hub. — Read more via Gas World

KLA plans new R&D and manufacturing facility in Wales

KLA Corp. said it is planning to build a new research-and-development and manufacturing center in Wales.

The facility, which is being constructed for the SPTS semiconductor division, will be located in Newport. The company said the planned 200,000 square foot facility is expected to include a capital investment of more than $100m and will accommodate over 750 employees. “The new innovation center will provide more than 25,000 square feet of cleanrooms for R&D and more than 35,000 square feet of bespoke manufacturing assembly halls,” the company said. — Read more via Market Watch

Nineteen Group acquires Drives & Controls Show

The award winning Nineteen Group today announces that it has acquired the Drives and Controls Show and its co-located manufacturing events (Plant and Asset Management, Fluid Power systems and Airtech) www.drives-expo.com — Read more via The Manufacturer

Thursday – 29/09/2022

British car output up but record input costs threaten recovery

UK car manufacturing output rose for the fourth consecutive month in August, up 34.0% year on year to 49,901 units, according to the latest figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The performance was, however, -45.9% below August 2019’s pre-pandemic level of 92,158 units, underlining the scale of recovery still needed.1 The rise, though welcome, follows a very weak performance in August 2021 when production stoppages and extended summer shutdowns caused by the global chip shortage saw volumes plummet to historic lows. — Read more via SMMT

XAAR celebrates sustainability roadmap success

Leading inkjet technology business Xaar has made positive progress in driving forward its ESG commitments as set out in its ambitious Sustainability Roadmap to 2030.

Xaar’s Sustainability Roadmap is based on four key pillars – Environment, People, Innovation and Community, and is an important driver, fully integrated into Xaar’s growth strategy, with challenging targets set for all areas of the business. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Astroscale opens Zeus Satellite manufacturing facility in UK’s Harwell Cluster

Astroscale has opened a new satellite manufacturing facility and operations facilities at the Harwell Science & Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom. The new facility, dubbed Zeus, covers approximately 20,000 square feet for a manufacturing facility, satellite operations center, and offices.

Astroscale Limited, the U.K. and European subsidiary of Astroscale Holdings, announced the opening on Wednesday. The company said this location in the Harwell Space Cluster alongside the UK Space Agency, European Space Agency (ESA), Satellite Applications Catapult, and others will contribute to the in-orbit servicing supply chain and commercial servicing economy through creating new jobs and national capability. — Read more via Satellite Today

Global manufacturer continues support for future scientists

Leading manufacturer of solid format bases and natural ingredients for the personal care sector, Stephenson, is continuing its support for STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) by strengthening its links with further education.

The global business employs over 100 people from its manufacturing site in Leeds and is aiming to boost its links with leading Yorkshire universities over the next 12 months. The manufacturer is working with Leeds University on student placement programmes for the first time this year. It has had a successful partnership with Huddersfield University for 10 years. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Leading UK tissue producer moves into new unit at Lancashire Business Park

Lancashire-based Accrol have increased their operational base by leasing a new logistics building, giving them more space to develop their business.

Construction has finished on the new building at Lancashire Business Park near Leyland and it has now been handed over.

The new 68,000 sq ft building is next to their main manufacturing unit on the popular Lancashire Business Park at Farington. It is equipped for the changing face of business and the emerging green agenda with solar panels and EV car charging points. — Read more via Lancashire County Council

Israel’s Rafael acquires UK defence firm Pearson Engineering

Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. has completed the acquisition of the British defense specialist company Pearson Engineering Ltd. The acquisition was executed under a stock purchase agreement (SPA), transferring 100% of the ownership. The acquisition includes Pearson’s metalworks subsidiary company Responsive Engineering Ltd.

According to M.G (ret.) Yoav Har-Even, RAFAEL’S President and CEO, this acquisition is part of RAFAEL’s continued strategic investments to transfer cutting-edge, state-of-the-art technologies, products, and systems into the United Kingdom, addressing UK national security and economic interests. — Read more via Defence Update

Drones – the ‘end’ of Britain’s silent killer

One of the world’s leading experts in drone technology, Robert Garbett, has called on the UK Government to support the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) plea for Britain to “rise up and act to protect the health of our most vulnerable people” by confronting the global threat of air pollution, which “is killing 7 million people per year and shaving over two years off the average life expectancy.”

Robert Garbett, Founder of Drone Major Group Limited, stated: “Lives can be saved, disease in the youngest reduced, the oldest and most vulnerable members of society protected, as well as saving the NHS millions by replacing many of our delivery vans, trucks and heavy goods vehicles with battery-powered drones.” — Read more via The Manufacturer

Wednesday – 28/09/2022

GKN Aerospace – Northrop Grumman collabortion achieves additive manufacturing milestone

GKN Aerospace has completed its largest structural titanium additive manufacturing (AM) demonstration to date with the production of a component measuring 8 feet (2.5 meters) and processed from approximately 100 pounds of titanium.

The demonstration, conducted in collaboration with aircraft manufacturer Northrop Grumman, focused on the additive manufacturing process of laser metal deposition with wire (LMD-w), which successfully doubled the scale of previous components produced. The ability to scale additive manufacturing technology–also known as 3D printing—for large aerostructure components has a wide range of aerospace and defense applications. Additionally, the technology enables components to be produced faster than current methods, uses raw materials more efficiently, and may ultimately result in reduced costs. — Read more via GKN Aerospace

Skincare business looking good after sustainable approach drives sales success

A specialist in organic skincare and beauty products has become one of the greenest businesses in its field, doubling sales in the past two years in the process.

Good Ventures, which was first formed by female entrepreneur Laura Rudoe in 2007, is on course to hit £5m by the end of 2022 and its desire to be a ‘regenerative’ force for the environment and body and mind is driving this growth. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Redundancies at Derbyshire factory leave staff devastated

Staff at a rail manufacturer have been left “heartbroken” after redundancies were announced. Dellner, in Hearthcote Road, Swadlincote, employs more than 150 staff but has made redundancies, leaving workers “on a knife edge”, they say.

The manufacturing firm makes couplers which connect trail carriages together, and gangways which enable passengers to move from one coach to another without danger of falling from the train. They also make dampers which are fixed to both sides of the rail to reduce noise vibrations. — Read more via Derby Telegraph

Manufacturer to relocate on back of major contract win

A Birmingham manufacturing business has made the major move to Redditch on the back of the company’s biggest-ever contract win.

RCS Manufacturing has paid £2.86m for the freehold of the 54,496 sq. ft. unit at 18-19 Park Farm Industrial Estate on Crossgate Road.

Established in 1981, RCS Manufacturing manufactures the ModuSec modular construction system, providing high security walls or complete enclosures from cabins to entire factories, working with partners Remtech across the UK, Europe and world markets. — Read more via The Business Desk

UK MOD to flex-up supply chain by 3D printing military spares in £5m Tampa Project

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is seeking to establish a network of suppliers capable of 3D printing military-grade spare parts on-demand.

As part of ‘Project TAMPA,’ the MoD aims to create a multi-supplier framework with the capacity to 3D print lighter, stronger metal parts as and when they’re needed. If this can be achieved, the UK government department anticipates being able to drive down military equipment and weaponry lead times, while improving the availability of difficult-to-source obsolete components. — Read more via 3D Printing Industry

UK trade pact: India weighs offering duty concessions for EVs

India is weighing its options to offer tariff concessions to products such as electric vehicles that receive support under the government’s phased manufacturing programme, as part of the proposed free trade agreement with the UK.

Discussions on the proposed trade pact are now in their final phase and the agreement is likely to be inked by Diwali, officials said. — Read more via The Economic Times

Progress made on new nuclear manufacturing and research centre site

The new Nuclear AMRC Midlands site progresses after a successful interim period in the iHub at Infinity Park Derby.

Stephen George + Partners (SGP) is pleased with the progress of the new 46,904 sqft research and development design and manufacturing centre at Infinity Park Derby (IPD), for Nuclear AMRC Midlands. — Read more via Derby City Council

Aerospace giant Airbus welcomes second highest intake of graduates and apprentices

Aerospace giant Airbus has welcomed its largest number of apprentices and graduates since the end of the pandemic.

The 144 apprentices intake is its second largest cohort ever and just shy of the 155 pre-pandemic intake in 2019. Some 20 graduates and 53 interns have also joined its 4,500-strong workforce at Broughton in Flintshire, where it manufactures aircraft wings.

Its Filton operation, near Bristol, has welcomed 71 new recruits to the company’s graduate programme, along with a further 68 apprentices and 69 interns. — Read more via Business Live

Tuesday – 27/09/2022

Manufacturing sector set to lose 1.3 million jobs by 2030

A new report published by Arden University has found that the Manufacturing sector is set to lose 1,387,194 jobs in the hands of automation and technological advances in the workplace.

The 2030 Workforce Report also found that by 2030, 30% of all jobs in the UK could be eradicated due to automation changing the workforce. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Fujifilm Diosynth breaks ground on UK and Danish expansion projects

Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies (FDB) said the expansion of its large-scale microbial manufacturing facility at the Billingham campus in the north-east of England, has got underway.

The 1,858 sq. m (20,000 sq. ft) expansion will include modular clean rooms, purification suites and a column packing room. The work is expected to be completed in late 2023/early 2024, enabling the manufacturing capacity of the large-scale microbial production facility to increase by 70%. — Read more via Biopharma Reporter

Cleckheaton manufacturer works to inspire pupils during Bradford careers week initiative

Cleckheaton-based Orean has joined a careers initiative to help inspire students to consider jobs in manufacturing.

Based on West 26 Industrial Estate in Cleckheaton, Orean creates skin and hair products for national and international beauty brands, specialising in first-to-market innovation, manufacture, filling, distribution and export. — Read more via Dewsbury Reporter

New research outlines Drax’s contribution to the UK economy

Independent analysis by Oxford Economics has shown that last year renewable energy leader Drax contributed £1.8 billion towards the U.K. economy and supported 17,800 jobs across the U.K.

The analysis measured the economic impact of Drax Group’s U.K. operations, which includes Drax Power Station, near Selby in North Yorkshire – the country’s biggest renewable power generator, which produces enough renewable electricity for 4 million homes. — Read more via Biomass Magazine

MTC Training apprentices reach WordSkills national finals

Four MTC Training apprentices have reached the National Finals of the 2022 WorldSkills UK competition. They will put their advanced manufacturing skills to the test at the finals in November.

Two learners from the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre and two from Oxfordshire Advanced Skills beat stiff competition from across the country to qualify for the national finals. — Read more via The Manufacturer

3D printing drones work like bees to build and repair structures while flying

Imperial College London and Empa researchers have created a fleet of bee-inspired flying 3D printers for building and repairing structures in-flight.

The technology could ultimately be used for manufacturing and building in difficult-to-access or dangerous locations such as tall buildings or help with post-disaster relief construction, say the researchers, who publish their work in Nature. — Read more via Imperial College London

Monday – 26/09/2022

UK builds leadership in space debris removal and in-orbit manufacturing with national mission and funding boost

Two UK-based companies are designing missions to clear hazardous space junk alongside the launch of a new programme to back cutting-edge space technology, the UK Space Agency has announced.

ClearSpace and Astroscale have been awarded £4m from the UK Space Agency to design missions to remove existing pieces of space debris, working with a consortium of industry partners. Once the designs are complete, the teams, along with other UK space companies, could receive further funding to see the UK’s first national space debris removal mission launch in 2026.

The projects will directly support the creation of 70 new jobs, with further opportunities to increase growth in the wider UK space sector, which already supports 47,000 jobs and generates an income of £16.5bn each year. — Read more via GOV UK

Manufacturers competing with digital innovators to grab shrinking pool of skilled employees

British manufacturing companies are now having to compete with top city banks and leading innovation companies to secure employees with the relevant digital and technical skills needed to drive automation through traditional businesses.

The move towards digitalisation of production processes has accelerated in recent months, leaving companies desperate to recruit the very best qualified technical engineers and data experts to ensure new automation is as successful as possible. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Nissan electrifies its UK-built models

As Nissan Qashqai and Juke production in Sunderland passes the five million mark, electrified versions of these pioneering crossover models are now rolling off the lines.

The Nissan Qashqai, the record-breaking original crossover, is now offered with Nissan’s unique e-POWER system, a first for the company in Europe. Its B-segment stablemate, the Nissan Juke, is now equipped with an advanced hybrid powertrain.

These new powertrains have been launched as combined production of the two iconic crossover models has passed five million units in Sunderland. Built alongside the Nissan LEAF, these technologies mean every model built by Nissan in the UK now has an electrified version. — Read more via Nissan

Manufacturing SMEs set to target growth and investment

A significant majority of UK manufacturing SMEs are predicted turnover growth in the next 12 months, new research from Paragon Bank has found.

A survey of over 1,000 SMEs, conducted by Opinium on behalf of Paragon found that, despite wider economic challenges, 45% of firms in the sector are expecting turnover to increase, with a further 30% planning for it to stay at its current level.

Optimism within the sector is matched by plans for investment, with 55% of manufacturing SMEs set to increase investment in their businesses in the next 12 months – and a 29% to maintain current investment spending. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Research ties between Scotland and Australia could advance shipbuilding on the Clyde

Scottish and Australian researchers have struck a new agreement to strengthen collaboration on modern manufacturing methods that could be adapted to shipbuilding and marine operations underway in both hemispheres.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow – operator of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland – Flinders University in Adelaide and BAE Systems is key to the establishment of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Exchange to foster closer working relationships and facilitate the development of international best practice for shipbuilding manufacturing methods and processes. — Read more via University of Strathclyde

Britishvolt powers a sustainable future with Infor

Infor, the industry cloud company, has announced that battery pioneer, Britishvolt, the UK’s foremost investor in battery cell technologies and research and development, has selected Infor CloudSuite Automotive to manage business operations at its £3.8bn 38GWh Gigaplant in Cambois, Northumberland, UK. — Read more via Intelligent CIO

New factory for recyclable food packaging manufacturer

Green Rock Group, the recycling package manufacturer, has opened new manufacturing facilities on the Whitegate Industrial Estate in Wrexham, Wales.

The company said that its “seven-figure investment would help meet the demand for fully sustainable, UK manufactured paper cups as well as allow the business to extend its product range to include all food to go paper packaging products. — Read more via Food Manufacture

QTS Group adopts Pathfindr’s Zonr smart worker safety system

Zonr, the smart safety system which creates virtual exclusion zones to protect worker safety in heavy industry, will be adopted by engineering contractor QTS Group across all its UK sites following a successful trial.

QTS collaborated with Zonr’s manufacturer Pathfindr – the asset tracking and Industrial IoT tech specialist – over its initial development and will now implement the system itself to improve health and safety across its rail engineering, infrastructure and electrification operations throughout the UK. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Friday – 23/09/2022

£6.1m funding boost to accelerate digitalisation among North West manufacturers

A trailblazing programme that has backed 2,500 North West manufacturers to adopt new digital technology and skills to create growth and jobs has secured £6.1m funding to continue for three more years.

Made Smarter has helped small and medium-sized companies start their digital journey by providing them with specialist advice and a digital roadmap to help them select the right approach, level of investment and tools for their business. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Jaguar Land Rover begins converting Halewood factory to build EVs

Halewood factory in the UK into a site that can build vehicles based on its new electrified modular architecture (EMA).

Sources have revealed that the British car manufacturer has started the tendering process to upgrade the factory. Current plans call for an extended shutdown at the plant to begin in 2024 when the actual conversion will begin.

The site will be responsible for building both plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles using the EMA platform. This factory currently houses 3,700 employees and will soon benefit from an enlarged body shop. Both the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport are manufactured at the site. — Read more via Carscoops

Investment firm swoops for manufacturer

A UK manufacturing business supplying the aerospace and defence, space and cryogenics, automotive, healthcare and industrials sectors has been acquired by investment firm Inspirit Capital.

The firm has signed an agreement to acquire the Alpha3 Manufacturing group through a carve out from a UK division of US-based Avnet group.

Alpha3 specialises in the manufacture of complex electro-mechanical assemblies, cable harnesses and other electrical components.

The business operates across a number of brands including Tekdata Cryoconnect, Tekdata Interconnections, CTL Manufacturing and CCS Electronics. — Read more via Insider Media

South West manufacturer Jasun Envirocare accelerates UK production capacity

An air filter manufacturing firm is investing in new automated equipment following increased demand, thanks to support from Lloyds Bank.

Based in Bridgwater, Jasun Envirocare, manufactures a range of bespoke and standardised air filters and air filtration systems. It has seen a 15.7% increase in demand since the start of the pandemic, particularly from firms in the commercial, retail and office environments and hospitality sectors, wanting to implement new air filters that help increase air hygiene and cut operating costs. — Read more via The Manufacturer

368 jobs lost as paper maker Arjowiggins fails

Administrators have been called in to 10 UK subsidiaries of historic paper manufacturer Arjowiggins with 368 jobs made redundant.

This evening’s announcement affects two mills in the UK – Stoneywood, Aberdeen, and Chartham in Kent.

Mounting cashflow problems following the Covid pandemic have led to continued losses, exacerbated by rising energy costs and the price of raw materials, including pulp.

The group, which has produced fine and custom papers for various purposes including graphic design, packaging and labelling, and security printing, can trace its origins to 1738. — Read more via Daily Business

World-leading Australian building operations solution CIM raises AU$10m

CIM, the creator of a world leading property operations software solution that enables teams to work more collaboratively and accelerates the journey to net zero emissions, has announced that it has raised AU$10m after closing its Series A.

The round was led by Five V Capital alongside Carthona Capital and also included seasoned property executives such as Mark Steinert, former CEO of Stockland. The new capital will be used to expand CIM internationally into Asia and North America, in addition to building out the team with a doubling of headcount expected in the next 12 months. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Thursday – 22/09/2022

Industry slashes growth forecasts as economic tsunami looms – Make UK/BDO survey

Britain’s manufacturers have slashed their growth forecasts for both industry and GDP in 2023 in response to the escalating economic crisis and the likely impact on consumers and major markets.

The revision downwards comes in the Q3 Make UK/BDO Manufacturing Outlook survey published today which is forecasting growth for manufacturing of just 0.6% in 2023, down from 1.7% being forecast as recently as June. Make UK has also slashed its GDP forecasts from 3.6% this year to just 0.3% in 2023. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Pendragon in talks to bring Chinese EVs to UK

British auto dealer Pendragon is in advanced discussions with BYD to be its UK launch partner as China’s biggest electric-vehicle maker enters the market later this year.

The move is part of Pendragon’s broader efforts to boost its new car franchise business, the London-based company said in a statement Wednesday, after posting 1.6 percent first-half revenue growth. — Read more via Automotive News Europe

Royal Academy of Engineering welcomes 72 new Fellows

At its AGM on 20 September 2022 the Royal Academy of Engineering elected 72 leading figures in the field of engineering and technology to its Fellowship.

The group consists of 60 Fellows, seven International Fellows and five Honorary Fellows, each of whom has made exceptional contributions to their own sector, pioneering new innovations, leading progress in business or academia, providing high level advice to government, or promoting wider understanding of engineering and technology. — Read more via The Manufacturer

UK and Japan sales boost surgical equipment manufacturer

Revenue has grown in the half-year results for Leeds-based surgical equipment manufacturer Surgical Innovations, boosted by strong sales in the UK and Japan.

The listed company reported revenue of £5.41m for the six months ended 30 June 2022, up 28 per cent from £4.22m in the same period of 2021.

An adjusted EBITDA profit of £290,000 was also recorded, up from £210,000 the year before. — Read more via Insider Media

Manufacturers expect a sharp fall in output in next three months – CBI/Accenture Industrial Trends Survey

UK manufacturers reported a slight fall in output in the three months to September, with a much sharper decline expected in the next three months, according to the latest CBI/Accenture monthly Industrial Trends Survey. This is the weakest expectation for output growth since the three months to January 2021.

The survey found that total order books were seen as broadly normal in September, while stocks were more than adequate for the first time since April 2021. Manufacturers continue to expect a rapid increase in average selling prices in the coming quarter (+59% from +57% last month). — Read more via CBI

Manufacturers react to business energy support package 2022

Energy bills for UK businesses will be cut by around half their expected level this winter under a new government support package. The scheme will fix wholesale gas and electricity prices for firms for six months from 1 October, attempting to shield businesses from crippling costs.

Some industry groups have warmly welcomed the package but warned further support may be needed after the winter. Others have expressed that the business energy support guarantee period is “really not certain enough” as it’s seen as a short-term fix with no long-term strategy. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Chard Oscar Mayer factory expected to be replaced by housing after sale

The site of a former ready meals factory which operated in Chard for almost 40 years has been sold.

The Oscar Mayer factory closed in August 2021 with the loss of 860 jobs.

The firm said at the time that it was relocating because it was too expensive to modernise the buildings on the site.

While the buyer has not yet been named, the estate agents overseeing the sale had been in talks with the local council about redeveloping the site for housing. — Read more via BBC News

Wednesday – 21/09/2022

New growth opportunities etched in metal as ACE completes £500k investment drive

A major £500,000 investment drive has reached its final stage at a Telford-based precision manufacturer, with the arrival of two new state-of-the-art etching machines.

Advanced Chemical Etching (ACE), which has recently boosted its workforce by 12%, has taken delivery of two Chemcut Etch machines at its Hortonwood 33 facility in a bid to meet increasing global demand from the aerospace, electric vehicle, and hydrogen fuel cell markets. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Buyer sought for East Midlands seating manufacturer

A buyer is being sought for an East Midlands designer and manufacturer of seating systems for the automotive industry following the appointment of administrators.

Raj Mittal and Ben Jones of specialist business advisory firm FRP were appointed as joint administrators to The Seat Design Company and SDC Manufacturing UK Ltd on Monday 12 September 2022.

The group provides concept, design, prototype and development services to major automotive manufacturers, as well as the healthcare and leisure industries. Established in 2003, the business employs 32 staff from its offices and manufacturing site in Riddings, Derbyshire. — Read more via Insider Media

US exports surge by 120% for Yorkshire-based natural paint manufacturer

A Yorkshire-based natural paint manufacturer has seen its US exports surge by more than 100% over the last year.

Leeds-based Brouns & Co, a business that manufactures traditional paints based on linseed oil made from Yorkshire-grown flax, has seen orders from the US for its natural and sustainable products increase by more than 120% in the last 12 months, with the support of the Department for International Trade (DIT) in Yorkshire and the US. — Read more via The Manufacturer

GSK puts suppliers on the hook as it amps up sustainability crusade

Starting next year, GSK will require and help suppliers to make sustainability commitments and chart improvements on emissions, energy, heat, transport, waste, water and biodiversity, GSK said Tuesday. The plan, unveiled at Climate Week in New York City, builds on the company’s established mission to achieve net zero climate impact and provide a net positive impact on nature. — Read more via Fierce Pharma

Jankel establishes agreements with key UK defence industry partners to deliver Oshkosh JLTV

Jankel, a British manufacturer in the design, integration, manufacture, and support of high-specification defence systems, announced the establishment of agreements with a number of key UK defence industry partners in order to create a team of experts to deliver the Oshkosh Defense Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) to UK. — Read more via Army Recognition

Blackline Safety sets new standard in connected worker safety with launch of G6

Blackline Safety Corp., a global leader in connected safety technology, continues to trailblaze in the industrial worker safety market with the launch of a new connected wearable to transform single-gas detection.

The all-new G6 personal gas detector – unveiled today at the National Safety Council (NSC) Safety Congress & Expo in San Diego – offers fast incident response time and a more efficient way to manage safety and compliance. — Read more via The Manufacturer

FANUC UK to unite automation community in bid to address labour crisis

In a bid to address the ongoing manufacturing labour crisis, FANUC UK is uniting a collective of automation experts, bringing together more than 30 leading names from across the automation and robotics industry to debate and discuss the most pressing issues facing the manufacturing sector today. Giving visitors a behind-the-scenes, all-access pass to its cutting-edge automation facility, FANUC UK will open the doors to its Coventry HQ on 2-4 November 2022. The event will also feature live robot demonstrations and hands-on robot training and will showcase the next generation of industrial robotics talent, offering visitors the chance to pit their skills against this and previous years’ WorldSkills UK finalists. — Read more via Process & Control Today

Tuesday – 20/09/2022

Wind(ings) of change – Electrifying innovation in motor manufacturing with Mitsubishi Electric’s robot solutions

Integrating Mitsubishi Electric’s robotic solutions, Horizon Instruments and the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), part of the University of Warwick, have created the first automated solution which combines two key operations in rotor assembly. — Read more via The Manufacturer

OneWeb seeks £3bn for GEN2 satellites that could support navigation

OneWeb is looking to raise around £3bn to expand its constellation with second-generation satellites that could support navigation.

The British firm is part-owned by the UK government and currently has 428 satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) at around 1,200km. By the end of 2023, OneWeb aims to have increased the size of its constellation to 648.

OneWeb is already able to provide speeds exceeding 100Mbps and with sub-100ms latency. While impressive, OneWeb can’t match the coverage and performance delivered by Starlink’s over 2,300-strong constellation. — Read more via Telecoms Tech News

Azure Power signs agreement for 600 MW of First Solar high-performance modules

First Solar, Inc. has announced that it has entered into an agreement to supply 600 megawatts (MW)DC of its high-performance, advanced thin film photovoltaic (PV) solar modules to Indian renewable power producer Azure Power Global Limited.

The agreement is the first for production from First Solar’s new manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, India, which is expected to be commissioned in the second half of 2023. Under the agreement, Azure is expected to take delivery of First Solar’s Series 7 photovoltaic (PV) solar modules from the fourth quarter of 2023 to 2025. — Read more via Renewable Energy Magazine

UK-based EV-tire-maker ENSO in talks to supply multiple global OEMS

London-based EV tire manufacturer ENSO said it is in discussions with multiple international car makers and has begun trials with major fleet operators. Multiple EV manufacturers have expressed interest in fitting ENSO’s range-extending, emissions-reducing tires. Fleet operators, meanwhile, are investigating fitting ENSO’s tyres to their electric vehicles to help lower operating costs and reduce their carbon footprint. — Read more via Green Car Congress

Red Bull Powertrains partner with tool manufacturer Snap-on

Red Bull Powertrains announced earlier this week that they are to partner with American tool manufacturer Snap-on, as it continues to develop capability at its state of the art Formula 1 powertrain facility, which is housed at the Red Bull Technology Campus in Milton Keynes, UK. — Read more via The Checkered Flag

What technologies make up a smart factory?

There’s no question that smart factories are at the heart of the future of manufacturing. But what exactly is a smart factory, what technologies make it tick, and what makes it ‘smart’? — Read more via The Manufacturer

Friday – 16/09/2022

Low Earth orbit satellite cluster to provide secure digital military intelligence from 2024

BAE Systems is set to launch its first multi-sensor satellite cluster into low Earth orbit in 2024 to deliver high-quality information and intelligence in real time from space to military customers.

Known as AzaleaTM, the group of satellites will use a range of sensors to collect visual, radar and radio frequency (RF) data, which will be analysed by on board machine learning on edge processors to deliver the resulting intelligence securely, anywhere in the world while still in orbit. — Read more via The Manufacturer

UK probes Microsoft’s $69bn bid for gaming giant

Britain on Thursday announced an “in-depth investigation” into Microsoft’s planned $69bn takeover of US gaming giant Activision Blizzard, citing UK competition concerns.

US technology giant Microsoft in January announced a bid to create the world’s third biggest gaming company by revenue, behind China’s Tencent and Japan’s Sony, by purchasing the owner of hit games “Candy Crush” and “Call Of Duty”.

The proposed deal, already controversial owing to allegations of sexual harassment against women at Activision, now faces a probe by Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority. — Read more via Barron’s

Wirral-based Stiebel Eltron UK looking forward to boost following German branch investment

A Wirral-based heat pump maker is looking forward to a financial boost after the company’s German branch looks to invest hundreds of millions into increasing its capacity, research and development, and creating new jobs.

The investment will have a positive knock-on effect across the entire company as it feeds into its supply chain and makes it more robust, Mark McManus, Stiebel Eltron UK managing director said.

With demand for environmentally friendly electricity-based heating booming, the German branch of Stiebel Eltron expects to have produced 80,000 heat pumps – an increase of 60 percent compared to the previous year. — Read more via Wirral Globe

Girls into Electronics: inspiring secondary students with electronics

The UK Electronics Skills Foundation (UKESF) has delivered a series of 10 Girls into Electronics events aimed at providing girls between the ages of 15-18 with a unique opportunity to develop an interest in Electronics.

Attended by 230 girls, the events took place in Spring/Summer 2022 and were hosted by leading universities throughout the UK, with support from the CSA Catapult. — Read more via The Manufacturer

3M becomes latest MTC sign-up

Global science-based technology manufacturer 3M has become the latest company to join the Manufacturing Technology Centre as a tier 3 member.

3M has been working alongside the MTC since 2018 on several different projects and as part of its membership, is expecting to focus on utilising manufacturing technology and application to abrasive and adhesive systems. — Read more via Plant & Works Engineering

Essentra Components opens new Eastern Europe hub to strengthen service

Essentra Components has opened a new European distribution hub in Łódź, Poland to enhance service and lay the foundations for future growth.

The new location is part of an ongoing investment by Essentra Components to enhance its European distribution footprint by merging its legacy Lodz warehouse and Bratislava warehouse into a purpose-built hub.

With the new hub, products previously held across multiple locations will now be centralised, enabling Essentra Components to distribute complete orders from a single source, improving service through improved lead times and reducing carbon footprint. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Thursday – 15/09/2022

UK startup unveils solar trees for commercial, industrial areas

UK startup SolarBotanic Trees has designed a photovoltaic tree for applications in commercial and industrial buildings.

The system is based on a supporting structure that makes use of a mixture of materials, including carbon fiber, metal and polymers. And according to the manufacturer, it is designed for quick and easy installation, so it can be packed for efficient shipment. — Read more via pv magazine

Fujifilm to Invest $20m in 24M SemiSolid Manufacturing Platform

24M Technologies, Inc. (24M) announced today that it has licensed its SemiSolid manufacturing platform to FUJIFILM Corporation (Fujifilm). As part of the partnership, Fujifilm will invest $20m in 24M.

By reinventing the way lithium-ion cells are made, the chemistry agnostic 24M SemiSolid manufacturing platform enables higher energy densities, lower costs, unmatched recyclability and increased safety for next-generation batteries. This new agreement builds on previous investments from Fujifilm in 2020. — Read more via Silicon

Pet-food firm Voff snaps up UK peer Nova Dog Chews

Voff Premium Pet Food, the Sweden-based pet-food business, has made UK peer Nova Dog Chews its latest acquisition.

The deal for Nova Dog Chews – based in Scotland – was finalised at the start of the month. Established in 2004 and previously known as Antos Ltd, Nova Dog Chews is a manufacturer and supplier of dog treats, snacks and chews. The company has an office in France.

Financial terms were not disclosed. — Read more via Just Food

Cumbernauld manufacturer lands contract at landmark net zero housing project

Cumbernauld-based manufacturer Cube Glass has secured one of its most lucrative contracts to date with a seven-figure deal at Western Villages, Scotland’s largest operational net zero housing development in Granton, Edinburgh.

The firm will partner with CCG Group to supply glazed screens for staircases in a project worth £1.4 million.

Cube Glass revealed its sustainable products will contribute to the first phase of the waterfront regeneration project, which will deliver homes with enhanced energy performance and act as an ‘exemplar’ for low carbon transport and active travel integration.

The deal is the latest in a series of major contract wins adding up to close to another £1 million, which Cube Glass said will ‘sustain and enhance’ its current growth phase. — Read more via Project Scotland

Volvo Trucks, IKEA and Raben Group join forces to accelerate zero emission transport

Volvo Trucks, IKEA Industry and the Raben Group have signed a collaboration agreement on zero-emission heavy transport. IKEA will introduce heavy electric Volvo trucks for internal transport flows at two of its factories in Zbąszynek in Poland, which will be operated by the Raben Group. Lessons from the pilot will be used for the electrification of transport operations at scale in a larger transport network. — Read more via Automotive World

Canada’s MOBILTEX acquires UK manufacturer GCRTech

MOBILTEX Data Ltd. has announced the acquisition of GCR Tech Limited.

The company says the acquisition will bring together Mobiltex’s IIoT technologies with GCRTech’s experience in pressure management and product quality.

The newly appointed VP of value stream, Alain Lalonde will lead the Mobiltex GCRTech Product Group.

Dr. Gurch Chana, who founded GCRTech and now serves as its managing director, expressed that the partnership will allow the company to accelerate its product development roadmap, grow its position in existing markets and expand into new ones. — Read more via Canadian Manufacturing

Wednesday – 14/09/2022

Cummins to reveal zero-carbon H2-ICE concept truck powered by the B6.7H hydrogen engine

Cummins Inc. will reveal a medium-duty concept truck powered by the B6.7H hydrogen internal combustion engine (H2-ICE) at the IAA Transportation exhibition (Sept. 20-25, Hanover, Germany).

The proof-of-concept installation is rated 290 hp (216 kW) and features a 700-bar pressure high-capacity hydrogen storage system. The H2-ICE conversion highlights the opportunity for truck applications across the 10-to-26T gross vehicle weight (GVW) range to operate on zero-carbon hydrogen fuel with a potential operating range of up to 500-kilometres. — Read more via The Manufacturer

UK’s £50bn aftermarket sector to seek trade opportunities at Automechanika Frankfurt 2022

Automechanika Frankfurt 2022 today plays host to the largest UK aftermarket overseas trade mission since pre-pandemic 2019, with a dedicated UK Pavilion organised by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Twenty-two leading companies will represent the breadth and quality that the British sector has to offer, from engine remanufacturing and suspension system design services to specialist components, lubricants and tyre sealants. — Read more via SMMT

Ex-Newport Wafer Fab owner close to buying it back

Drew Nelson, the former owner of Newport Wafer Fab, is reportedly close to a deal with a private equity firm to buy back Britain’s biggest semiconductor manufacturer, if the government decides to unwind its purchase by the Chinese-owned business Nexperia.

The investor, Palladian Investment Partners, also considered teaming up with Nelson to rescue the business last year but this was rejected by Nexperia, a key customer, shareholder and board member, because it said the terms were too punitive. — Read more via The Times

New analysis reveals design and technology student numbers have fallen

The number of students taking design and technology at GCSE and A-level has fallen off a cliff, with 71% fewer GCSE candidates than when the Conservatives came to power, an education charity has found. The Baker Dearing Educational Trust, which supports around 50 University Technical Colleges delivering technical and academic options, is now concerned fewer young people will progress onto apprenticeships and T-levels if they cannot experience technical subjects at school. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Oundle-based boat maker Fairline recruits 15 apprentices as it looks to plug skills gap

A luxury boat manufacturer in Oundle has recruited 15 apprentices as the company looks to build a new construction team.

The trainees will carry out a two to four year course in carpentry and joinery or engineering as Fairline Yachts looks to fill a skills gap in its workforce.

To deliver the programme, Fairline Yachts, based in the Nene Valley Business Park, is partnering with Tresham College, in Corby, which has played a key role in the recruitment and selection process. — Read more via Peterborough Telegraph

Tuesday – 13/09/2022

Autonomous transport specialist Aurrigo takes AIM with flotation

One of the UK’s leading providers of transport technology solutions is planning to list on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange as it looks to accelerate growth across its aviation division.

Aurrigo International plc, which was formed 29 years ago by brothers David and Graham Keene, has raised £8m to fund strategic expansion plans that will see the continued development and future roll-out of its Auto-Dolly product, an autonomous vehicle for carrying cargo and luggage at airports around the world. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Hackers compromise employee data at PVC-maker Eurocell

A leading British PVC manufacturer has been contacting current and former employees to inform them about a “substantial” data breach, according to a law firm.

Derbyshire-based Eurocell, which also operates as a distributor of UPVC windows, doors and roofing products, revealed the news in a letter to those affected, according to data protection law specialist Hayes Connor.

In it, the firm apparently explained that an unauthorized third party accessed its systems. Among the data compromised are: employment terms and conditions; dates of birth; next of kin; bank account, NI and tax reference numbers; right to work documents; health and wellbeing documents, learning and development records; and disciplinary and grievance docs. — Read more via Infosecurity Magazine

MTC apprentices reach for the skies

High-flying apprentices studying at MTC Training – the training arm of the Manufacturing Technology Centre – are getting the chance to build major components for an airworthy light aeroplane in an initiative to give them valuable manufacturing experience.

The apprentice team is celebrating after completing the first stage of the project – a critical structure for the left wing. They plan to have both left and right wing assemblies complete over the coming weeks, along with the aircraft’s fuel tanks. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Closure plan put forward at factory near Swadlincote leaving hundreds of jobs at risk

A meat factory in North West Leicestershire has announced it has faced multi-million-pound losses putting hundreds of jobs at risk. Bosses at Pilgrim’s UK confirmed their intention to close the factory in Mantle Lane, Coalville, as part of wide-ranging measures to secure the business.

Some 318 employees at the site face losing their jobs, while hundreds more could be made redundant at the firm’s Bury St Edmunds plant. Bosses have called the move “unfortunately essential”.

The announcement comes after the pork market sector was badly hit over the past 18 months. Rising production costs and plummeting prices of pigs led Pilgrim’s to record operating losses of £16m in the past 12 months. — Read more via Staffordshire Live

Royal Warrants granted to bakeries are voided following Queen’s death

Royal Warrants for more than a dozen bakery businesses have been voided following the Queen’s death on Thursday 8 September.

The firms, which include craft bakeries, ingredient suppliers and manufacturers, will have two years to discontinue the use of the Royal Arms in connection with their business as is standard when the grantor dies.

A Royal Warrant of Appointment is a document that appoints a company or individual in a trading capacity to the Royal Household. It entitles the holder to use the Royal Arms in connection with their business, with many opting to display it on packaging, websites and marketing material. — Read more via British Baker

10 new hires for manufacturer after growth in automotive business

Panel Graphic, a Norfolk-based manufacturing company, has recruited 10 new employees to meet increased workload and a number of large contracts.

Founded by Steve Earl in 1998, Panel Graphic supplies enhancement screens and filters for electronic information displays in cars, aircraft, trains, sea vessels and medical equipment – as well as other devices such as fridges, water dispensers and smartphones.

The company’s products help protect digital displays against scratches, chemicals and reflections. — Read more via Eastern Daily Press

West Midlands’ leading apprentices recognised at 11th In-Comm Training Awards

An advanced engineering & manufacturing apprentice from Telford was named as the region’s brightest vocational star last week.

Torus Measurement Systems’ James Morgan overcame competition from more 100 apprentices across the West Midlands to secure the ‘Outstanding Learner of the Year’ title at this year’s annual In-Comm Training Awards. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Monday – 12/09/2022

Almost 5,000 drone patents granted last year – a 39% increase

Patents granted for drones worldwide have increased by 39% to 4,876 in the past year*, shows new research by leading intellectual property law firm Mathys & Squire. The figure is up from 3,511 in the previous year and up three-fold from just 446 patents five years ago.

Mathys & Squire says the global drone market is dominated by China. Of the patents granted in 2021, 3,262 (67%) belong to Chinese companies and research institutions. The US trails in second place, with 751 drone-related patents granted in 2021 – 15% of the global total. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Lush creating UK manufacturing and distribution hub in Poole

LUSH is significantly expanding its warehouse operation in Poole with two further units on a large business park.

Federated Hermes has announced that the costmestics brand has selected two of Fleets Corner’s refurbished units.

The new signings will take Lush’s total space at Fleets Corner to 275,000 square foot and establish the business park as Lush’s UK manufacturing and distribution hub. — Read more via Daily Echo

Battery and lithium mining projects share £25m funding boost to scale up UK EV supply chain

Advanced Propulsion Centre hands out grants to 22 projects aimed at developing a UK supply chain for batteries and other EV components
A raft of battery, electronics, mining, and recycling projects have scooped up a share of £25m in government funding this week designed to help scale up the supply chain for electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing and recycling in the UK.

Twenty-two projects comprising 35 UK-based companies and research organisations have each secured grants worth up to £2m each through a programme aimed at supporting large-scale industrialisation led by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC). — Read more via Business Green

Chemical manufacturer celebrates “growth milestone” with new County Durham office

Speciality chemicals manufacturer and global distributor, Devine Chemicals celebrates a milestone in its growth strategy with a new head office and a European office.

The company has relocated its head office to a larger premises in County Durham. In addition, the company has opened a second office and warehouse facility, Devine Chemicals BV in Heerhugowaard, Holland, to serve its European market.

The new premises form an “instrumental” part of Devine Chemicals long-term growth plans to scale up its infrastructure and resources in the UK and EU, and to bolster its customer base in its key markets which include coatings, construction and agrochemical. — Read more via Bdaily News

Cast iron radiator manufacturer sets its sights on Europe after moving from Scarborough to Filey

A company which restores and manufactures cast iron radiators is increasing production and creating new jobs after moving to a new Yorkshire factory as it expands into new export markets across Europe.

Cast Iron Radiators, which has received a Queens Award for Industry, moved its factory from three small buildings in Scarborough to one larger factory of 25,000 sq. ft. in Filey.

The total investment, including new equipment and energy efficient features such as solar panels and LED lighting, is £750,000. — Read more via The Yorkshire Post

Wakefield Materials manufacturer secures contract with Robson Handling Technology

Hallamshire Engineering Services, a leading Wakefield-based manufacturer of material handling equipment, including pulleys, rollers and conveyors, has secured a major new contract to manufacture stainless steel drums for the food sector.

The contract win is with Robson Handling Technology, based in Sheffield, with the drums forming part of a conveyor system that the company is supplying to a sugar processing plant in Portugal.

One of only a small number of conveyor manufacturers in the UK to be able to produce drums, pulleys and rollers in stainless steel, Hallamshire Engineering Services supplies both standard and bespoke product sizes. — Read more via Bdaily News

Friday – 09/09/2022

UK manufacturers leading the charge at Battery Show North America EV tech expo

An alliance of the UK’s leading automotive businesses will head to the USA next week to showcase the latest Electric Vehicle battery innovations to accelerate the global transition towards electrification.

Under the banner of the UK Pavilion, 14 of the UK’s most innovative automotive businesses will exhibit at The Battery Show in Novi, Michigan, USA (September 13-15), as part of a wider campaign to promote Britain’s clean automotive capability to a global audience of manufacturers, investors, and tech businesses. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Melrose to break up one of UK’s oldest engineers GKN

Melrose Industries, the turnaround specialist that owns British engineer GKN, plans to spin off the unit’s automotive division and retain its aerospace arm. read more

GKN supplies airframe structures and engine components for aerospace and defence companies including Airbus (AIR.PA) and Rolls-Royce (RR.L) and parts like driveline systems to Volkswagen and other major carmakers. — Read more via Reuters

Premium British sportswear brand Castore secures £50m revolving credit facility

Castore, the British sportswear brand, has secured £50m revolving credit facility (RCF), which has an initial maturity of 3 years.

The brand, reportedly, also has the ability to extend the facility by another year and further increase the RCF to £75m.

The new debt facility, Castore said, will provide additional liquidity so as to further support its strategic growth ambitions and its financial flexibility. — Read more via Apparel Resources

Eade becomes the UK Metals Council’s first female Chair

One of manufacturing’s leading champions and business support professionals has been appointed as the new Chair of the UK Metals Council (UKMC).

Rachel Eade MBE will become the first woman to take the helm of the organisation, which initially began life 20 years ago as the Metals Forum and today represents more than 11,100 companies and supports more than £200bn of UK GDP. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Bajaj Vincent Motorcycles launch planned to rival Royal Enfield?

Bajaj Auto Ltd has reportedly acquired the rights for the Vincent motorcycle brand. Bajaj has likely acquired HRD and Egli-Vincent brands as well.

The Vincent brand was previously owned by Dave Holder & Family and now it appears Vincent is heading for a modern-day revival financed by Bajaj, according to Indian publication Rush Lane. — Read more via Rush Lane

EnerMech invests €9.2m in first Irish facility to support growth in new markets and announces the creation of 170 new jobs

EnerMech has officially opened its first facility in Ireland, creating approximately 170 jobs opportunities over the next three years. The base cements the integrated solutions specialist’s commitment to the area and its growth drive across new sectors and geographies.

Bringing its five decades of engineering and manufacturing experience to bear, EnerMech has already delivered several campaigns from the site, including providing its services to a large semiconductor project for a world-leading North American company. — Read more via The Manufacturer

West Midlands gigafactory appoints former Lotus director to spearhead global strategy

West Midlands Gigafactory has appointed battery industry technology expert Richard Moore to spearhead its strategy and global contact with leading cell manufacturers. This appointment will support the investment into and development of what will become the UK’s largest Gigafactory in Coventry.

Based in the automotive skills capital of the UK the heart of the UK’s manufacturing sector, the 60GWH per annum West Midlands Gigafactory could become Britain’s largest cell factory. — Read more via Business and Innovation Magazine

Thursday – 08/09/2022

North West defence manufacturer receives new contract from Irish Military

WFEL, world leading supplier of rapidly deployable military bridges, has signed a contract with the Irish Defence Forces for the supply of the MGB Medium Girder Bridging System.

The Irish Defence Forces have chosen the 31m double storey MGB variant, which can be erected in various configurations to cover the full range of military and emergency bridging requirements and will be supplied complete with handrails, making the system adaptable for use not only during military operations but also in Disaster Relief and Emergency scenarios, such as the severe flooding situations seen in Europe recently. — Read more via The Manufacturer

InnovateUK funnels $9m into UK microelectronics infrastructure

CIL (Custom Interconnect Ltd) has announced that it is creating an advanced semiconductor packaging, power device and volume Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Assembly (PCBA) manufacturing facility in the UK.

Supported by £9m ($10.3m) in capital investment the 46,000 sq. ft. is in addition to its existing 34,000 sq. ft., giving CIL over 80,000 sq. ft. in Andover. Following the first stage six-month fit out of its ISO Class 7 (Class 10,000) cleanroom totalling 15,000 sq. ft. and associated offices, all of CIL’s microelectronics production and power device development will relocate to the new facility in March 2023. — Read more via Cleanroom Technology

NCC launches UK initiative to industrialize continuous carbon fiber reclamation

On Sept. 7, the National Composites Centre (NCC, Bristol, U.K.) launched an initiative to industrialize continuous carbon fiber reclamation in the U.K. The three-year innovation program will see a team of composites specialists refine and scale the industrial processes needed to establish a commercial market for reclaimed continuous carbon fiber.

With global demand for virgin fiber set to exceed supply by 2025, the NCC believes this could ease pressure on supply chains and see the U.K. take a leading role in defining a new era for composites. — Read more via Composites World

Servitization push set to deliver £800,000 sales boost for Alucast

One of the Black Country’s leading aluminium foundries is reaping the benefits of a move to ‘servitization’ and forecasts that it will add nearly 10% to its annual turnover.

Alucast, which employs over 100 people at its continuously growing factory in Wednesbury, has invested nearly £500,000 in new technology to ensure that it now offers customers access to Magmasoft casting simulation, prototyping and heat treatment.

The company has also expanded its CNC machining capacity to offer 5-axis machines and non-destructive testing, including X-Ray and dye-penetrant testing. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Derbyshire chicken factory faces closure, threatening nearly 1,000 jobs

One of Derbyshire’s biggest employers looks set to close, threatening the jobs of nearly 1,000 people. The Irish-owned poultry processing plant Moy Park, which has a sprawling base in the Airfield Industrial Estate at Ashbourne and several farms in the local area is said by bosses to be unsuitable for future investment and its output could be consolidated into three other factories in the group.

The firm dropped the bombshell on around 860 employees on Tuesday, September 6, and the company says up to 935 people overall could be affected by the closure, across an army of workers in the hatchery, processing plant, farming operations and among its drivers and temporary workers. — Read more via Derby Telegraph

Wednesday – 07/09/2022

Liz Truss’s energy price freeze could soften UK recession, say economists

Liz Truss’s expected energy price freeze could stop inflation in Britain from rising further and reduce the severity of the recession that is forecast to hit the country this winter, economists have said.

As details of the new prime minister’s plan to tackle soaring household bills emerged on Tuesday, some of the UK’s largest pub groups, food chains and retailers were among the biggest risers on the London stock market as investors bet that support for struggling families would bolster household spending across the economy.

The price cap, expected to be announced on Thursday after Truss assembles her cabinet, would freeze an average energy bill at about £2,500 a year and come with a price tag for the exchequer of up to £90bn. — Read more via The Guardian

Supporting UK businesses to trade: TFG partners with UKEF and DIT to create a trade and export finance guide

Trade Finance Global (TFG) has partnered with UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK government’s export credit agency, and Department for International Trade (DIT) to produce the UK Trade & Export Finance Guide.

The 60-page guide comes against a backdrop of complex geopolitical circumstances and an ever-changing financial landscape.

Exploring recent issues, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, Brexit, and the current Russia-Ukraine conflict, this guide aims to paint a clearer picture of how to navigate the current economic status of the industry. — Read more via GOV UK

Zero Waste to Landfill Confirms Berry Llantrisant’s Sustainability Commitments

Berry Global’s factory in Llantrisant, Wales has been awarded Valpak’s Zero Waste to Landfill Certification.

The accreditation provides independent confirmation that none of the business’s waste, including production, hazardous, and packaging, goes to landfill. It also confirms Berry Llantrisant, which produces high-quality plastic bottles and containers for the personal care, healthcare, food and beverage, homecare, and commercial sectors, is committed to continual improvement in the areas of waste reduction, recycling, and diversion. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Welsh biotech manufacturer secures HSBC UK funding to activate growth plans

A Caerphilly-based environmental biotechnology firm has secured a £3.9m finance package from HSBC UK to support future growth plans, including investing in new technologies and greater research facilities.

The HSBC UK funding will enable Biological Preparations to construct a new 700 sq. ft chemistry lab with state-of-the-art equipment. This investment will pave the way for an increase in the research and development of environmental solutions that greatly reduce carbon emissions, plastic pollution and aquatic toxicity, as well as create healthier, safer conditions for people to work.

The HSBC UK funded expansion will also enable Biological Preparations to support local employment with the creation of ten job roles across finance and operations. — Read more via News From Wales

UK’s Baker & Baker expands Portuguese footprint with Peipen buy

UK-based Baker & Baker has increased its presence in Portugal with the acquisition of local business Peipen.

Peipen, which makes the Portuguese egg custard tarts pastel de data, is Baker & Baker’s first acquisition since being given a new identity as CSM Bakery Solutions’ standalone European bakery arm last year.

Baker & Baker, based in the Wirral in north-west England, sells branded and private-label bakery products to retail, specialist bakeries and foodservice. Its range features donuts, muffins, cakes, cookies, breads and viennoiserie pastries. — Read more via just-food.com

AWI overcomes Brexit challenges to post European sales boost

A Black Country manufacturer has shaken off the Brexit blues to post a major increase in European sales.

Alloy Wire International (AWI), which supplies round, flat and profile wire, has seen orders soar to nearly a third of its predicted £13m annual turnover, with the firm’s commitment to short lead times and security of supply securing a string of new clients.

Investment in creating a strong network of sales offices across the globe is really paying off, with local on-the-ground knowledge now present in forty countries and proving crucial to building strong relationships in the automotive, aerospace, high value engineering, medical, oil and gas and nuclear sectors. — Read more via The Manufacturer

UK start-up targets niche marques with cost-cutting battery R&D

British tech start-up Ionetic, established in January this year, has revealed a new battery pack design platform which it claims is much more cost- and space-efficient than off-the-shelf solutions. The company’s software automatically generates a battery pack design based around a series of adjustable parameters, using an architecture similar to that in the Tesla Model 3. According to Ionetic, its software re-worked an EV conversion company’s battery pack to boost it from 40kWh to 88kWh, without altering the size of its footprint. — Read more via Autocar

Tuesday – 06/09/2022

Digital Catapult launches world-first testbed network to help businesses navigate complex supply chains

Supply chain woes could soon be a thing of the past, thanks to a new series of world-first national digital testbeds that will apply advanced technologies to help resolve fractured supply chains.

Digital Catapult is launching the series of national testbeds to trial digital technology solutions to revolutionise supply chain productivity, sustainability and resilience – as part of its Made Smarter Innovation | Digital Supply Chain Hub. The four national testbeds will act as a proving ground for technologies like blockchain, quantum computing and Artificial Intelligence to help organisations measure supply chain emissions, optimise inventory management, and automate supply chain mapping. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Taiwanese battery manufacturer considers UK for $8bn gigafactory

Taiwanese solid-state battery specialist ProLogium has announced the UK is on its shortlist for an $8bn (£6.9bn) investment for the establishment of its first overseas factory. The firm expects the battery plant to be one of Europe’s biggest, targeting 120GWh of total battery production capacity when complete. — Read more via Autocar

Major growth creates 25 new jobs at Corbetts the Galvanizers

More than 25 new jobs are up for grabs at one of Shropshire’s oldest manufacturers this Saturday 10 September, 2022.

Corbetts the Galvanizers is holding a special open day this Saturday for people looking for work or a change in career, with shopfloor operatives, forklift truck drivers and sales administration roles all currently available for an immediate start. — Read more via The Manufacturer

NMIS appoints former UKRI Challenge Director as Chief Executive Officer

The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) has appointed former UKRI Made Smarter Innovation Challenge Director, Chris Courtney, as Chief Executive Officer.

Operated by the University of Strathclyde, NMIS is a group of industry-led manufacturing research and development facilities focused on revolutionising skills, productivity, technologies and innovation to make Scotland and the UK a global leader in advanced manufacturing.

Chris will be responsible for providing direction, vision and commercial and operational leadership, working with businesses, universities and public sector partners to drive growth through innovation, new talent and novel advanced manufacturing technologies. — Read more via University of Strathclyde

Bike manufacturer raises more than £1m to begin European expansion

A Bristol bicycle designer and manufacturer, which produces sustainable bicycles and electric bicycles in the UK, has raised more than £1m on Crowdcube to begin expansion into Europe.

Matt Mears started Temple after spending his university years repairing vintage bikes from the 60’s to the 80’s. He grew to love their dependable and elegant designs, and so, in 2014, he saw the potential in creating something from scratch, and went about designing the perfect bike. He combined what he loved about vintage bikes with the advances in materials, manufacturing and technology that have since filtered into the bike world.

Since the company raised £200k in 2017 it has increased revenues to £1.94m, increased production capacity by moving into a 14,000 sq. ft. facility in Bristol, gained 15,000 customers worldwide, exporting 16 per cent of bikes made. — Read more via Business & Innovation Magazine

Sports nutrition business secures £3.5m investment to grow, keep jobs local

A sports nutrition business that supplies England’s Lionesses has secured an investment of £3.5m to expand, while keeping jobs local.

Blackburn-based Science in Sport, the premium performance nutrition suppliers to the English Football Association and the 2021 NBA Champions, has secured a £3.5m funding package from Lombard, part of the NatWest Group in collaboration with PMD Business Finance. — Read more via The Manufacturer