Fractory inspires next generation of engineers during National Manufacturing Day

Posted on 29 Sep 2023 by The Manufacturer

Fractory hosted a group of engineering students from Manchester College. This was one of many events taking place in manufacturing settings across the country this week as part of the second National Manufacturing Day, an initiative run by industry body, MakeUK.

The students learned briefly about the supercharged tech startup scene in Estonia where Fractory was founded. They learned about the specific problems in engineering which Fractory has set out to solve, specifically the many inefficiencies around procurement.

And the Fractory platform was demonstrated to them, so they learned about the way automation is revolutionising manufacturing. And Mark Kerwin, the company’s lead technical sales engineer in the UK, answered questions about his experiences moving from engineering education into the workplace.

The 18 students were packed into one of Fractory’s offices in the Bonded Warehouse in the heart of the old industrial centre of Manchester, now its gleaming, modern enterprise area. One of the day’s stated aims is to introduce students to the ‘realities of modern manufacturing.’ And so the students were introduced to cloud manufacturing in a machinery-free zone!

“Another of the day’s stated ambitions is for industry to connect with future engineering talent,” says Ashley Hickling. “And we are now collaborating on training and experience plans with the college,” he added.

The 2023 event was a great success. Guy Worsick, the Employer Engagement Leader at Manchester College, said it’s important for students to see not just traditional engineering environments, but the newer businesses entering the industry.

“Engineering students may well go on to work in, say, an entirely traditional metal fabrication company,” he said. “But they are just as likely to go on and experience varying levels of automation, including, for example, the cloud manufacturing that Fractory offers.”

National Manufacturing Day 2022

Last year, in 2022, Fractory took part in National Manufacturing Day, opening its doors to all-comers for a one-hour-internship. Only a few people came along, and the assumption was that it had been neither successful nor unsuccessful, explained Craig Morrison, Fractory’s Head of PR.

“But, in fact, we got really strong feedback from those who did come along,” he said. “Their friends and colleagues were soon getting in touch asking if we would run the same programme again. We got some media coverage. And more than that, we employed one of those who took part in the day. Lars Lind Hansen, a Danish Mancunian – a very experienced engineer – joined the team as a sales engineer and has just become our Network Manager, working on the team that grows and manages our list of trusted global suppliers.”

Fractory is already looking forward to National Manufacturing Day 2024.