Engineering festival confirms more speakers, sponsors and factory tours

Posted on 18 Jan 2013

AESSEAL and Sheffield City Region will sponsor the Global Manufacturing Festival 2013, while MTL Group and Surgical Innovations are confirmed as speakers and more factory tours have been confirmed.

Award-winning mechanical seals manufacturer AESSEAL and the Sheffield City Region have signed as sponsors of the Global Manufacturing Festival 2013 (GMF).

The £100m Rotherham-based  engineering group, named by The Daily Telegraph as one of Britain’s brightest businesses in 2012, will host a tour of its facilities on April 19th, as part of a set of factory tours around the Sheffield region organised by the GMF.

The Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership is the public/private sector consortium tasked with generating regional growth. On Thursday, the LEP confirmed that it would sponsor the Festival and a spokesman said “we are keen to promote the SCR Enterprise Zone to support manufacturers and business relocating to Sheffield, so we will be supporting this drive through the GMF 2013.”

The Sheffield region has three Enterprise Zones which offer business support such as cheaper rates and enhanced capital allowances. James Newman, chairman of the City Region LEP, yesterday called on businesses in the region to bid for a share of the £350 million cash pot by made available by round four of the Regional Growth Fund.

Nuclear AMRC welding apprentice Sam Biddleston. The Nuclear AMRC is part of the host venue for the Global Manufacturing Festival 2013

The three-day event will run a main exhibition and conference at the Advanced Manufacturing Centre with Boeing (AMRC) on April 18. Factory tours in the Sheffield region are arranged for April 19 at AESSEAL, Gripple, JRI Orthopaedics, Tata Steel, The Welding Institute and the AMRC.

MTL Group and Surgical Innovations have confirmed as speakers at the main conference on April 18. David Oswin at specialist metal fabricators and manufacturers MTL will talk about the development of some of their advanced metal shaping techniques.

On Thursday, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg visited Queens Award-winning medicalequipment maker Surgical Innovations in Leeds to congratulate the company on signing the Regional Growth Fund Final Grant Offer Letter. This bid could access a fund worth up to £5.05m for the company. Details of the speech to be given at the Festival by CEO Graham Bowland will follow.

A senior executive from Siemens Industry UK and Alison Bettac, director of training at the AMRC with Boeing – the venue for the main exhibition – were confirmed as speakers in December. Miss Bettac will talk about the LEP’s Manufacturing Skills Strategy blueprint for improving the calibre of apprenticeships, as well as an enhanced model for Higher Level Apprentices, funding for which the AMRC and SCR LEP will jointly bid for via the Employer Ownership Pilot in March.

The purpose of the GMF 2013 is to showcase the special materials and metal working knowhow of Sheffield-based companies to the world and to facilitate business networking.

In 2012, law firm Nabarro, Siemens, Tata Steel and the University of Sheffield – which operates the AMRC centre – were confirmed as sponsors.

GMF Factory Tours – TWI

GMF visitors can investigate several leading manufacturing facilities in the Sheffield region. One is TWI Ltd, The Welding Institute.

“TWI is one of the world’s foremost research and technology organisations, says sector manager Mark Roughsedge, based at the AMP site in Catcliffe, Rotherham. “Industrial membership services include confidential R&D, technical information, technology transfer, training and qualification. Over 700 staff give impartial technical support in welding, joining, material science, structural integrity, NDT, surfacing and packaging.

One of the specialist welding techniques that will be demonstrated here is stir friction welding, a technique that was invented at TWI that overcomes many of the problems associated with traditional joining techniques.

“Friction Stir Welding is a solid-state process which produces welds of high quality in difficult to weld materials such as aluminium and is fast becoming the process of choice for manufacturing light weight structures such as cars, boats, trains, aeroplanes and more recently the latest personal computers,” says Mr Roughsedge.

“Visitors will see the most powerful FSW machine in the world, as well as robotic and high precision FSW equipment, learning at first-hand about how FSW continues to develop into new and more challenging materials including steels and applications like underwater welding.”