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.

Thursday – 22/04/2021

Ten-point export blueprint launched to help UK maximise ‘once in a generation’ international trade opportunity

A ten-point action plan, which includes the creation of a new UK Trade Committee chaired by the Prime Minister, has been launched as part of a major new report.

The Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) has published a Policy Platform paper that is designed to be a blueprint on how the country can maximise its first independent trade policy opportunity in 45 years. — Read more via The Manufacturer

‘Digital testbed’ could replace physical testing in aircraft manufacturing

‘Digital inspection’ using simulation and modelling could replace physical testing in the development of new aircraft, the partners behind a new project have said.

The three-year, £15m Smarter Testing programme, led by the National Physical Laboratory and Airbus, aims to explore how novel inspection techniques can be used to predict product performance and identify failures early. — Read more via Institute of Mechanical Engineers

Leeds manufacturer to increase capacity, reduce plastic use with six-figure investment

A West Yorkshire manufacturer has invested £550,000 in a new Kiefel KMD 78 thermoforming machine that increases its capacity and provides the firm with the flexibility to introduce hybrid packaging solutions at a time when many businesses are looking to reduce the amount of plastic they use.

Leeds-based LVF Packaging, which manufactures thermoformed packaging for a host of blue-chip brands and leading supermarkets, has seen demand for its products soar over the last 12-months. — Read more via LVF Packaging

Step forward for the drone industry as Civil Aviation Authority authorises trial of a concept for routine BVLOS operations

In a significant step forward for the drone industry, beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) command & control solution developer sees.ai has become the first company in the UK to secure authorisation from the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to trial a concept for routine Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations. The permissions come as part of a test project to prove the concept ahead of potentially opening it up to the wider market. — Read more via sUAS News

‘Manufacturers must trade off cost for security of their supply chains’ – IOE&IT chair Terry Scuoler

Solutions to the unprecedented challenges facing global supply chains in the past year – namely rising freight costs, physical logjams, capacity and over-reliance on single supply sources – will be discussed at a keynote debate today in front of key manufacturers.

Today at 9.20am on the final day of the virtual Santander Manufacturing Industry event, IOE&IT chairman Terry Scuoler CBE will host a debate featuring supply chain experts from China and India.

The event is free to attend for qualifying manufacturers and their suppliers by registering here.

Ahead of the panel discussion, Terry Scuoler CBE gave a preview of his thoughts and experiences on the topic. — Read more via Institute of Export & International trade

Wednesday – 21/04/2021

New cyber security laws to protect smart devices amid pandemic sales surge

Makers of smart devices including phones, speakers, and doorbells will need to tell customers upfront how long a product will be guaranteed to receive vital security updates under groundbreaking plans to protect people from cyber attacks.

Smart device manufacturers like Apple, Samsung, Google and others will say when smartphones, smart speakers and other devices will stop getting security updates. Easy-to-guess default passwords will also be banned on virtually all devices under the new law and there will be rules to make it easier for people to report software bugs that can be exploited by hackers. — Read more via GOV UK

Tetra Pak introduces 14 state-of-the-art lines for cheese manufacturers

Tetra Pak has announced the development of 14 new Best Practice Lines (BPLs) for cheese manufacturers, the latest of which – specifically customised for Cottage cheese – launched on 19 April. The other cheeses that will benefit from these BPLs include Mozzarella, Semi-hard cheese, Cheddar, and Fresh cheese production. Together, these cheese types make up 79% of all cheese volumes and have a CAGR forecast of 3% (2021-2025). — Read more via Dairy Industries International

Historic engine factory comes to market

THE former Cummins diesel engine factory in Shotts, which in its heyday made high-speed engines for cars and trains, is being marketed for industrial use again.

The site, located at Junction 5 M8 Business Park, was home to Cummins’ first manufacturing facility outside the US when it opened in 1956.

At its peak, Cummins employed around 2,000 people in the factory, where it pioneered a new breed of engines used by trains, including the British Rail Sprinter units. — Read more via The Herald

UK recovery accelerates with growth at a 6-month high

Business output across many sectors of the UK reached a six-month high in March. This last happened when Britain faced a second blockade last September.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) UK recovery trackers showed 11 out of 14 UK sectors that monitors increased last month-up from 6 in February.

The manufacturer of technical equipment was 69.7, the metal and mining products were reported at 64.3, and the carrier was 62.8. — Read more via RBS

UK aerospace body warns Brexit deal threatens parts production

UK aerospace-industry trade lobby ADS warned that Britain could lose business to the European Union after the Brexit deal failed to resolve issues concerning design-approval for plane components.

Almost four months after the trade deal was struck, firms are still struggling to secure EU signoff for British-designed parts and approval for maintenance work on planes registered in the bloc, ADS said. At the same time, the UK Civil Aviation Authority is granting automatic recognition to rival European players. — Read more via Bloomberg

Tuesday – 20/04/2021

Siemens and Google Cloud to Cooperate on AI-based Solutions in Manufacturing

Google Cloud and Siemens have announced a new cooperation to optimise factory processes and improve productivity on the shop floor. Siemens intends to integrate Google Cloud’s leading data cloud and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) technologies with its factory automation solutions to help manufacturers innovate for the future. — Read more via The Manufacturer

€400m European bakery manufacturer Baker & Baker launched

Baker & Baker, a €400m European bakery products manufacturer headquartered in the UK, has been formally launched, following the separation of CSM Bakery Solutions.

The move follows CSM Bakery Solutions’ October 2020 agreement to sell its European and international bakery ingredients business to a subsidiary of investment firm Investindustrial. Following that move, CSM and Rhone Capital retained two businesses: the North America business, operated as Brill North America, and the European products business – now known as Baker & Baker. — Read more via Food Manufacture

Johnson Matthey to open second battery components plant

Johnson Matthey (JM) has signed a deal with a state-backed Finnish company to set up a new battery components factory in the country.

JM said that it would scale up its battery business with its second plant, near the Finnish city of Vaasa on the country’s west coast. The plant will benefit from a partnership with Finnish Minerals Group, the company that manages Finland’s stakes in the mining industry. — Read more via Johnson Matthey

Go-ahead for £300m SmartParc food manufacturing campus in Derby

A new industrial campus dedicated to food production and research has been given planning approval.

The £300 million SmartParc in Derby could create thousands of new jobs and bring millions of pounds into the local economy.

Derby City Council has now given outline planning for the scheme on the city’s former Celanese site. — Read more via Business Live

AMT receives £87k Innovate UK grant to develop new organic solvent for elastomers

UK-based post-processing specialist Additive Manufacturing Technologies (AMT) has received an Innovate UK grant worth £87,000 to develop a new organic solvent designed specifically for the post-processing of elastomer materials.

Designed specifically for thermoplastic elastomers such as TPU, the solvent can be used in AMT’s PostPro Chemical Vapor Smoothing Process. The company will use the grant to further fast track its research and development program to produce a new generation of bio-renewable chemistries, with the goal to improve sustainability within the 3D printing post-processing market. — Read more via 3D Printing Industry

Monday – 19/04/2021

Under the skin: Solid-state batteries could be EV game-raisers

Until now, car manufacturers have been a little vague about the details of their EV batteries. At cell level, most are relying heavily on traditional cell suppliers, such as LG Chem or Sanyo, but Volkswagen has recently presented its detailed plans for the rest of the decade through to the switch to solid-state batteries after 2025. — Read more via Autocar

Wrightbus celebrates landmark £8m Far East orders

The international arm of Northern Ireland bus-maker Wrightbus was today celebrating two landmark orders to produce a total of 45 buses for markets in the Far East from its factory in Malaysia.

Worth £8m, the low emission diesel buses will be destined for the streets of Hong Kong and Japan. — Read more via Ballymena Guardian

UK aid and Unilever reach one billion people with global hygiene campaign to tackle Covid-19

A hygiene campaign launched by the Government and Unilever to tackle Covid-19 has now reached one billion people.

The campaign has:

  • Trained 140,000 staff, including community health workers and teachers, to deliver hygiene skills, including deep cleaning of public buildings and effective handwashing.
  • Installed over 500,000 handwashing stations around the world, including in Bangladesh, as well as health care facilities in Iraq.
  • Delivered 75m Unilever hygiene products to 60 countries — Read more via GOV UK

Western Europe is now the world’s largest investor in batteries

In 2020, Fitch Solutions analysts recorded 37 manufacturing projects for EV batteries and related components and materials worth $21.04bin, for those projects disclosing financial details.

Western Europe claimed both the biggest number of projects with 17, and the biggest combined value with $9.1 billion. This gave the region a 43.5% share of the total global investment into battery manufacturing projects, Fitch reports. — Read more via Oil Price

‘The UK Government should part-fund our own British Car Company’

An opinion piece by Mike Rutherford to end today’s digest, in which he outlines reasons why Britain’s new independence makes it perfectly poised to invest in car production. — Read more via Auto Express

Friday – 16/04/2021

Moog breaking new ground as work begins

Work has begun on a £40m manufacturing and design facility for Moog Controls in Tewkesbury.

The 184,000sq ft centre of excellence for Moog’s aircraft controls operation is being built at Ashchurch on a 10-acre site at the A46, near Junction 9 of the M5.

West Midlands development and investment company Barberry Industrial, who acquired the site from Sainsbury’s, have agreed a 35-year lease with Moog with main contractor Readie Construction appointed to deliver the £28m construction contract. — Read more via Punchline

Sheffield Forgemasters adopts pioneering robot assistance

Sheffield Forgemasters has adopted pioneering collaborative robotic (Cobot) assistance for some of its Foundry operatives, dramatically reducing exposure to vibration, improving safety and increasing productivity within its fettling operations.

Sheffield Forgemasters is one of the first foundries in the world to employ the 6A10 Grinding Cobot, from French firm RB3D, which works with operators of heavy grinders to stabilise and take the weight of the grinder, amplify its operational pressure and dramatically reduce the level of vibrations for the operator. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Tata Steel unveils multi-million-pound plan for tube making site in UK

Tata Steel on Thursday unveiled its transformation plans for a steel tube making site in the UK’s East Midlands, which the Indian steel major said will give the business the best chance of a strong future. Work has started at the 150-acre site at Corby, which produces vital products for everything from sports stadiums and iconic skyscrapers such as the Shard in London, to hospital beds and renewable green energy schemes around the world. Workers at the site produce steel tube products from steel made at the company’s Port Talbot works in Wales. — Read more via NDTV Profit

100+ jobs as hi-tech manufacturer raises investment

A business which manufactures high-performance carbon and metal components for F1 teams and other industries has raised £10m.

BGF’s investment will be used to support the business’ planned move into a state-of-the-art 100,000 sq. ft. facility at Horizon Technology Park in Eynsham, Oxfordshire, doubling the size of its production capacity and creating over 110 new jobs in the next two years. — Read more via Business Cloud

Huge industrial development to kick off on site of famous Spitfire engine factory near Glasgow

One of the largest industrial property developments in Scotland in recent years is set to kick off on the site of a famous aero-engine maker, providing space for scores of workers.

The development will be located on a site spanning more than six acres, at Hillington Park, seven miles west of Glasgow city centre. — Read more via The Scotsman

Thursday – 15/04/2021

Aerospace industry warns of supply crunch due to Liberty Steel crisis

Britain’s biggest aerospace employers, including Rolls-Royce Holdings and Airbus, have urged the business secretary to step into the crisis engulfing the steel tycoon Sanjeev Gupta amid fears of a global shortage of specialist materials. — Read more via Sky News

Bristol manufacturer acquires rubber, plastics processing companies

Bristol-based manufacturing and engineering business Avon Group has taken another step towards consolidating its position in the UK industrial components manufacturing sector with its second acquisition of an industrial component company within the past six months.

Avon Group added Northamptonshire gasket manufacturer Scandura to its list of recent acquisitions, after buying Gloucestershire company Edgewest Plastics in October. — Read more via European Rubber Journal

IAI and Thales UK partner to offer SEA SERPENT capability for Royal Navy

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Thales UK have partnered to offer the SEA SERPENT anti-ship and anti-surface missile solution for the Royal Navy.

The capability could be equipped on the navy’s Type-23 frigates to respond to growing current and emerging threats. It has been developed based on the GABRIEL family of surface-to-surface missiles. — Read more via Naval Technology

Ambienta purchases UK flavours manufacturer TasteConnection

European private equity investor Ambienta has completed the acquisition of TasteConnection, a UK manufacturer of natural seasonings and flavourings for food applications.

Founded in 2002, TasteConnection is a manufacturer of customised seasonings and flavourings for food processors and food ingredients producers, with a core focus on the snacks and savoury markets such as crisps, chips and ready-meals.

The deal marks the fourth acquisition by Ambienta in the last two and a half years, as it continues to build its Nactarome subsidiary – a European platform in natural colours, flavours and ingredients for the food and beverage sector. — Read more via FoodBev Media

Countries must rethink tariffs on bio-manufacturing

Bio-pharmaceuticals are increasingly central to healthcare delivery in high and low-income countries alike. Well-known examples of these large molecule-based treatments are vaccines and monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID-19.

But COVID-19 has revealed that the global manufacturing capacity for vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics is insufficient to support an effective pandemic response, and by addressing the current gaps, healthcare delivery and health security more broadly could benefit. — Read more via World Economic Forum

Wednesday – 14/04/2021

Ericsson fuels UK automotive company’s Industry 4.0 drive with 5G VR

Imagine simultaneously working on the same complex product with colleagues in multiple distant locations while everyone sees the result of the work right before their eyes. That’s exactly what Ericsson-powered 5G will deliver for UK vehicle battery manufacturer Hyperbat in a proof-of-concept virtual reality digital twin partnership with communications service provider BT and other technology leaders. — Read more via Ericsson

Electronics and Subsea industries partner on strategy to create new opportunities to advance UK technology

A new partnership between the subsea and electronics industries in the UK aims to unlock untapped potential for companies in both sectors that will develop advanced underwater technology, helping to increase exports and create new jobs.

Subsea UK and TechWorks have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to align their strategies and connect their supply chains. Through a shared understanding of what each industry can bring to the other, the organisations will foster collaboration that will result in new and advanced underwater technological solutions. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Jaguar Land Rover’s InMotion Ventures invests in battery recycling and manufacturing technology

Jaguar Land Rover’s venture capital and mobility arm, InMotion Ventures, has invested in Battery Resourcers, a lithium ion battery recycling and materials company.

The sustainable technology firm holds the exclusive licence for an innovative closed-loop process that integrates battery recycling, refining and materials engineering to convert scrap end-of-life batteries into new materials that can be used to make new batteries.

The investment in Battery Resourcers plays part of the plan for Jaguar Land Rover to establish sustainable solutions for end-of-life batteries, minimising waste and creating a circular economy across the battery supply chain. — Read more via Jaguar Land Rover

Jobs could return as Isle of Wight firm buys aerospace company

An Isle of Wight company is hoping to bounce back strongly from the worldwide slump in the aerospace industry… after it bought another firm in the sector.

IFPL Group, which had to lay off more than 30 employees at the turn of the year due to the Covid-induced downturn, has acquired Cobalt Aerospace Group — an up-and-coming business which has products to complement those offered by IFPL. — Read more via Isle of Wight County Press

Llanelli AIM Altitude factory to close with 99 jobs lost

A factory in south Wales which makes airline cabin interiors is to close with the loss of almost 100 jobs.

AIM Altitude cited the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the aviation industry as a reason for closing its plant in Dafen, near Llanelli.

The Bournemouth-based firm is one of the leading suppliers of cabin interiors for airlines such as Boeing and Airbus.

The factory, which employs 99 people, will close at the end of May. — Read more via BBC News

Tuesday – 13/04/2021

3,000-job ‘gigafactory’ comes step nearer as Britishvolt buys Blyth site

Plans to create 3,000 jobs with a ‘gigafactory’ to make batteries for electric vehicles have come a step closer after the company behind the scheme bought a massive site in Northumberland.

Britishvolt has worked with Northumberland County Council to acquire the former Blyth Power Station site where it wants to build its manufacturing facility.

The company still has to find £1.2bn to make its plans a reality, but says the land deal is an important step and means it is on course to start construction of the plant later this year and begin production of batteries by 2023. — Read more via The Chronicle

Titomic and NÉOS International to manufacture Invar36 faceplates in the UK

Titomic Limited, Melbourne, Australia, has signed a Heads of Agreement with NÉOS International Limited (Neos), headquartered in the UK, whereby the companies will enter into a joint venture to manufacture and sell Invar36 faceplates and multi-metal product solutions in the UK for the aerospace, defence, automotive and nuclear industries. — Read more via Metal AM

Toyota Motor Europe to supply fuel cell modules for train prototype

Toyota Motor Europe has secured a contract to supply fuel cell modules for a train project as a member of the Fuel Cell Hybrid Power Pack for Rail Applications (FCH2RAIL) consortium.

The consortium partners, including Belgium, Germany, Spain and Portugal, are developing and testing a new zero-emission train prototype.

Toyota Motor will be responsible for the supply and integration of fuel cell modules into the prototype as part of the FCH2RAIL project. — Read more via Railway Technology

Comau UK to develop battery manufacturing line for UK Battery Industrialisation Centre

Comau UK has been selected by the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) to develop and deploy a semi-automated battery module and battery pack assembly line for the publicly-funded ‘open access’ battery production development facility.

The Module and Pack assembly line is the first of UKBIC’s innovative battery manufacturing equipment to have been installed, commissioned and available for its customers to use. — Read more via Highways Today

UK Startup flypop Leases Airbus A330s From Avolon

UK startup airline flypop has signed a lease agreement for multiple Airbus A330 aircraft. According to the airline, the deal with Avolon means that it has now been able to apply for its Air Operator Certificate before launching flights from London to India. — Read more via Simple Flying

Monday – 12/04/2021

Battery assembly line for Coventry

Comau UK of Rugby has been selected by the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) to develop and deploy a semi-automated battery module and battery pack assembly line for the publicly-funded ‘open access’ battery production development facility.

The Module and Pack assembly line is the first of UKBIC’s innovative battery manufacturing equipment to have been installed, commissioned and available for its customers to use. — Read more via Electronics Weekly

How Siddall & Hilton is creating skilled manufacturing jobs in Yorkshire

Siddall & Hilton, which was founnded in 1895 and is the UK’s largest manufacturer of industrial welded steel mesh for high-security fencing, has just reeled in a record profit.

Having led a consortium of existing management team members in a buyout two years ago, Ian Thurley, the chief executive, is now installing new machinery to help the firm in Brighouse, West Yorkshire, increase its market share and position it as the firm of choice for local youngsters seeking employment in the manufacturing sector. — Read more via The Yorkshire Post

Truck firm launches heavy plant division with SANY

Commercial vehicle specialist MC Truck & Bus has launched a new division in partnership with heavy machinery manufacturing giant SANY. MC Plant has won the franchise to undertake the sales, support service and repairs of SANY excavators and other plant for Kent, Surrey & East Sussex. The move comes as SANY continues to establish a regional dealer network across England and Wales after its arrival in the UK in 2015.

New jobs will be created with MC Plant currently hiring specialist technicians and the division will grow organically as business expands. MC Plant will be headquartered at one of the group’s main bases in Larkfield, Maidstone, with support from the company’s existing dealerships in Burgess Hill, Hythe and Aylesford. — Read more via Building Design & Construction

Prince Philip helped design custom Land Rover which will carry his coffin

Prince Philip’s coffin will be carried to his funeral in a custom Land Rover he helped to design.

The Land Rover will transport the Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin in a ceremonial procession to his funeral in Windsor next Saturday.

The duke had a hand in designing the purpose-built vehicle, which was specially modified to carry a coffin. He was known to have a keen interest in design and engineering. — Read more via i News

Celebrating 20 years of the BMW Mini

The Mini brand remains unique, even though it’s part of a huge corporate company in the BMW Group.

Talking to people who have been part of the reinvention of the brand over more than 20 years, it’s a surprise to hear tales of experimentation, can-do engineering and production and a remarkable freedom to find its own way.

For the first 14 years of its second life, Mini was a kind of boutique operation, making a lot out of not very much, with engineering work executed by outside contractors and the design team based in a small studio in Munich. — Read more via Autocar

Friday – 09/04/2021

Deeside based drug developer set for multi-million-pound investment following acquisition

Deeside based drug developer, ADC Biotechnology has been acquired by UK based pharmaceutical development and manufacturing company, Sterling Pharma Solutions.

The North Wales facility will rebrand to become part of the Sterling Pharma Solutions international network. Together the teams will establish a centre of excellence for ADC development and manufacturing services. — Read more via Deeside.com

Chocolate maker finds the digital sweet spot with Made Smarter

A chocolate maker, supported by Made Smarter, is poised to experience a game-changing productivity increase by automating its manufacturing process.

Friars, based in Cumbria, started making its own brand of premium chocolates by hand last year, after nearly 100 years of retailing confectionary products.

Now to meet increasing demand and to accelerate growth, the third-generation family business is adopting a process solution which will automate the labour intensive element of its production line while retaining key handcrafted elements. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Airbus picks up the pace with 72 commercial deliveries in March

Airbus has picked up the pace for aircraft deliveries in March. The European aircraft manufacturer delivered a total of 72 aircraft to a range of airlines from Aer Lingus to Wizz Air UK. Most airlines only took one plane this month, with only nine customers taking three or more aircraft. — Read more via Simple Flying

Fears for thousands of British steel jobs as Sanjeev Gupta’s Australian business crumbles

Fresh fears have been raised about UK steel jobs after Sanjeev Gupta’s empire was thrown deeper into crisis.

Two of the tycoon’s businesses in Australia face being shut down as pressure mounts on his GFG Alliance.

The strain puts his operations in other countries including the UK at risk – he employs around 5,000 people in the UK including 3,000 at Liberty Steel. — Read more via This Is Money

New injection moulding technique allows glass to be cast in any shape

Fused silica glass offers numerous benefits as a material, but manufacturers often avoid using it because of the high temperatures required. However, researchers in Germany have now produced high quality glassware at far lower temperatures using injection moulding.

Their technique could potentially have significant technical, economic and environmental benefits. — Read more via Chemistry World

Thursday – 08/04/2021

Berlin orders 198 Scarborough-built double deckers for new generation of iconic yellow buses

Berlin’s iconic yellow double deck buses are to be manufactured in Scarborough for the first time.

Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) yesterday announced that Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe, the German capital’s public transport company, had exercised options for 198 of their Enviro500 double deck buses.

All 198 buses will be manufactured at ADL’s UK facilities, with final assembly taking place at the Scarborough plant, before being delivered to Berlin by the end of 2022.

The first two Enviro500 double deckers were delivered to BVG in October 2020 as part of a multi-year framework contract signed in 2018. — Read more via Yorkshire Live

Devon manufacturer boosts production with new press line investment

A specialist in precision pressed parts and machined components has invested more than £100,000 into the installation of a new high-speed press line to boost capacity ahead of a raft of new opportunities.

Source Engineering, which employs 32 people across its two divisions in Plympton, has tapped into the expertise of Bruderer UK to purchase a machine that can do the work of four conventional HME power presses. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Fast metal parts printing is UK first

Wall Colmonoy has fully installed the first Desktop Metal Shop System in the UK.

Using Desktop Metal’s innovative binder-jet technology and generations of its materials expertise, Wall Colmonoy can now offer affordable and fast metal 3D printing of small to medium parts.

The Desktop Metal Shop System complements the offerings of Wall Colmonoy’s Precision Components business. This division, based in Wales, encompasses a 23,500ft2 modern machining facility and 19,000ft2 casting foundry, with 50 years of casting experience in wear-resistant alloys. — Read more via Eureka!

Electric vehicle sales surge in UK, petrol engines slump and drop 10%

Electric vehicle registrations in the United Kingdom have exploded, increasing over 88% in March 2021 compared to the same month in 2020.

While battery-electric vehicle (BEV) sales surged, petrol and diesel engine sales collapsed by 10 and 31.4%, respectively, proving car buyers in the UK are becoming more attracted to sustainable powertrains compared to the gas-powered vehicles that have dominated the automotive industry for over 100 years. — Read more via Teslarati

Super-deduction tax spurs manufacturers’ spending plans

Almost a quarter (22.6%) of UK manufacturers are planning to boost their investments as a direct response to the “super-deduction” tax that chancellor Rishi Sunak announced in his recent Budget, with more than a quarter (28.1%) more saying they will bring forward their investment plans.

But, according to a new survey by the manufacturers’ organisation, Make UK, just under half of companies (48.6%) do not expect to make any changes to their investment plans as a result of the new tax, or say that their plans are too rigid to change. — Read more via Drives & Controls

Wednesday – 07/04/2021

New £20m fund to grow UK life sciences manufacturing opens for applications

Life science companies can now apply to the new £20m fund to expand manufacturing in the UK, Minister Nadhim Zahawi announced yesterday.

The fund will boost the UK offer in life sciences manufacturing, creating economic opportunities and highly skilled jobs across the country, supporting the government’s ambitions to build back better, ensuring greater resilience in UK supply chains. — Read more via GOV.UK

Shropshire galvanisers to create 45 jobs after landing major contract haul

The boss of one of the UK’s leading galvanizing businesses has appealed for people to come forward for more than 45 new jobs currently available.

Sophie Williams, Finance Director & General Manager at Corbetts the Galvanizers, is urging individuals who may have been made redundant during the pandemic to consider a career in the sector. — Read more via The Manufacturer

Dungannon-based Greiner Packaging invests over £3.7m to increase recycled content in packaging

Northern Ireland’s Greiner Packaging UK & Ireland has invested over £3.7m in a new PET decontamination and extrusion line to enable the use of more recycled materials in its market leading pot and tub range as well as continuing innovation with more sustainable materials. — Read more via Belfast News Letter

Prime Minister Boris Johnson celebrates AstraZeneca’s investment in advanced medicines manufacturing during Macclesfield campus visit

Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday visited AstraZeneca’s Macclesfield global manufacturing and development campus in North West England, to view a £380m investment in a new advanced medicine manufacturing facility and Global Medicines Packaging Centre.

The investment was made in March last year and the visit was rescheduled due to COVID-19 restrictions. The Macclesfield campus, employing more than 3,000 people, is the UK’s largest medicines development and advanced manufacturing site and is a global centre of excellence from where AstraZeneca exports more than 50 medicines to 130 countries. — Read more via AstraZeneca

Barbour sees revenues rise to top £240m despite backdrop of global uncertainty

Waxed jacket maker Barbour saw revenues rise by £17.6m last year, despite being heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

South Tyneside based J Barbour & Son Ltd, which trades under the brands Barbour, Barbour International and Barbour Beacon, has published accounts for the year ended April 30 2020, showing a 7.8% rise in revenues to £242.8m, though operating profit dropped 14.5% to £35.1m.

Total income, meanwhile, dropped from £31.4m to £28.9m. — Read more via Business Live

Tuesday – 06/04/2021

New Loughborough Uni ‘roadmap’ sets out 20-years of technological change

Loughborough University’s Institute of Digital Engineering has created a ‘roadmap’ to guide the UK automotive sector through the next 20-years of industry digitalisation.

The online interactive document sets out how digital technologies can support engineers and manufacturers in creating the next generation of products faster and more efficiently.

Drawing on more than 600 hours of interviews and workshops with experts from within the industry – as well as from academia and other sectors, such as aerospace, pharmaceutical and gaming – the comprehensive plan outlines the importance of tools and processes such as AI, digital twinning and cybersecurity. — Read more via Loughborough University

The next electric-car battery champion could be European

With Europe expected to lead the world in electric-car sales for a second straight year, a rush to build a battery-supply chain from scratch is playing out across the region.

After years of ceding the EV battery business to foreign companies, Europe wants in. Prospective manufacturers are popping up in the Nordic region, Germany, France, the UK and Poland in a transcontinental competition to reduce the dominance of China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. and South Korea’s LG Energy Solution.

Fueled by state support of at least 6.1 billion euros ($7.3 billion) and investment plans totaling 10 times that in just one year, the race is on for a regional champion to emerge. — Read more via Automotive News Europe

Liberty Steel boss Sanjeev Gupta says ‘no factories will shut under my watch’

The founder of Liberty Steel has revealed that the company owes “many billions” to collapsed financial backer Greensill Capital but insisted none of its plants will shut down “under my watch”.

Appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Thursday morning, Liberty Steel boss Sanjeev Gupta said Liberty Steel is “currently enjoying one of the best markets in steel and aluminium”, and its recent efforts to make “efficiency gains” are paying “good results”.

However, with Liberty owing “many billions” to Greensill, questions regarding the firm’s future do not seem out of place. — Read more via The Yorkshire Post

The Nottinghamshire company playing a key role in Covid-19 testing

A Nottinghamshire-based company is playing a key roll in the testing process for Covid-19 through its manufacturing.

TEQ – which has delivered a range of medical packaging solutions during the pandemic – is now manufacturing Covid-19 testing kits.

The company, which has a UK manufacturing base in Hucknall, says its IVD (In Vitro Diagnostic) test kit trays will be in great demand because they offer a high degree of functionality along with a speedy route to market. — Read more via Nottinghamshire Live

International growth programmes launch in Asia-Pacific

This week sees 30 UK tech scaleups join the inaugural Tech Nation International Growth Programme launched in Australia, Singapore, Japan and South Korea.

The new programme has been commissioned as part of the Digital Trade Network, by the UK Government, to help innovative tech companies access trade and investment opportunities between the UK and Asia Pacific and forge new partnerships in exciting new markets including Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Australia. — Read more via Tech Nation