Manufacturing businesses got to see first-hand how digital technology could transform their productivity during a networking event at a cutting-edge Telford company.
Made Smarter West Midlands and Make UK, with support from Telford & Wrekin Council, organised the event for businesses from across the region at iconsys’ Technology Hub at Stafford Park 16.
Attendees toured the factory in five groups, seeing demonstrations of technology such as virtual reality, robotics, autonomous mobile technology, cybersecurity, energy storage, and digital twinning, which iconsys use to help clients with a wide variety of automation solutions to improve productivity, reliability, and quality.
Guests were welcomed with a speech from Make UK Region Director for the Midlands and East of England Charlotte Horobin before hearing from Andy Bunce, Sales Director at iconsys, on the work it does for clients including EDF Energy, Midlands Metro, and TATA Steel.
Barry Jones, Digital Transformation Specialist at Made Smarter, then explained how small to medium manufacturers in various fields can benefit from digital adoption and how Made Smarter can guide them through the processes and access grant funding to support the purchase of new technology.
Following the tour, further talks were given by Paul Milne, Deputy Director of SME Engagement at the Warwick Manufacturing Group, before Charlotte led a panel discussion with the speakers and Mike Wilson, Chief Automation Officer at the Manufacturing Technology Centre.
Barry said: “The event was a brilliant way to directly show businesses just how much impact digital technology can have on their fortunes.
“iconsys was the perfect place to bring them, as they are at the forefront of providing automation and digital solutions for their clients.
“We hope the attendees were inspired by their visit and would encourage anyone looking for further advice and grant funding to contact the Made Smarter team.”
Charlotte added: “The manufacturing sector is relatively strong despite the challenges in the economy at the moment, but more businesses need to grasp the opportunities that digital tech and automation can bring.
“It was fantastic to show business the possibilities that are out there at iconsys, and we hope many choose to adopt new tech and take their businesses to the next level.”
Andy Bunce, Sales Director at iconsys, said: “We were proud to host this event for Made Smarter and Make UK, and I hope the technology we showed to attendees inspires them to access the support that’s available from us to forge ahead.
“We have already helped clients across UK manufacturing adopt game-changing digital solutions, and we would urge businesses that haven’t considered it to think about how automation when correctly adopted and installed can improve safety, profitability, security, reliability and productivity.”
Made Smarter was launched in the West Midlands in 2021, and has been led by Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub with its fellow Growth Hubs in Greater Birmingham and Solihull, the Black Country, Worcestershire, The Marches, and Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire on behalf of the West Midlands Combined Authority and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
The Growth Hubs work alongside strategic partners WMG, at the University of Warwick, and the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry to provide expert advice to businesses.
Since Made Smarter was launched in the region, it has supported over 250 businesses with advice on how to improve their productivity through adopting digital technology, which has generated millions in GVA.
Craig Humphrey, Managing Director of the CWLEP Growth Hub, said: “Made Smarter has been highly successful since it launched in the West Midlands, and there are so many companies out there that would benefit hugely from the help it can provide.
“Events like this help open businesses’ eyes to the possibilities that are out there, and Made Smarter can give them the funding and support they need to make it a reality.”
For more information on Made Smarter West Midlands, visit madesmarter.uk
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