The Manufacturer: Best Features of 2017

Here are the features that manufacturing decision-makers most engaged with, found the most useful, shared with their networks and discussed with their teams over the past 12 months.

Production at the McLaren Technology Centre - image courtesy of McLaren Automotive.
Production at the McLaren Technology Centre – image courtesy of McLaren Automotive.

Top five manufacturing myths busted

A national understanding and appreciation of all things manufacturing will never happen while widely-held and wholly incorrect perceptions of what industry looks like persist.

Jonny Williamson set the record straight in this handy bookmark-and-share article.

Behind the scenes of the F-35 Fighter

The Manufacturer was granted a rare exclusive tour of BAE System’s Military Aviation and Information Division at Samlesbury in Lincolnshire to witness the production lines of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the Eurofighter Typhoon.

Nick Peters reported.

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UK stands atop a “burning platform”

It’s claimed that the wider adoption of digital technologies could help cure Britain’s chronically poor productivity and create genuine social change.

In an exclusive interview, Nick Peters spoke with Juergen Maier – chair of the independent industry-led Made Smarter Review ­– to learn how.

Bremont: Flying the flag for British watch making

Bremont knows its branding – its Supermarine’s namesake dervies from the 1930s aircraft company, Supermarine, whose first ever Spitfire prototype – the Type 300 – led to one of Britain’s most iconic aircraft – image courtesy of Bremont.
The Bremont Supermarine derives its name from the 1930s aircraft company, Supermarine, whose first ever Spitfire prototype led to one of Britain’s most iconic aircraft – image courtesy of Bremont.

Behind the effortless glamour of a luxury watch brand, modern timepiece manufacturing requires ultra-precision engineering and a finely-honed sense of what to produce inhouse and what to outsource.

To learn more, The Manufacturer sat down with Giles and Nick English, the founders of Bremont – whose watches are largely manufactured in Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire.

A system not “fit for business”

In a damning interview, former Education Secretary Lord Baker explained to Nick Peters why the education system in England and Wales is failing to produce the young people with the skills that industry urgently needs.

From front line to production line

Manufacturers are increasingly recognising that ex-Forces personnel have many of the characteristics they are looking for in employees – hard working, team-oriented and technically skilled.

The Manufacturer explored the path from military to manufacturing.

UK bike manufacturers: A community riding high

UK bike makers - image courtesy of Hope Technology.
There has been a 25% rise in bike use over the past decade – image courtesy of Hope Technology.

The UK doesn’t just win gold medals for riding bicycles – it’s surprisingly good at making them as well.

The sector’s recent renaissance – fuelled by a 25% rise in bike use over the past decade, combined with the UK’s taste for high-end machines – has led to innovation, design and manufacturing growing apace.

The Manufacturer hit the road to learn more.

How is the HVMC driving the new industrial revolution?

The new chief technology officer of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult is professor Sam Turner – formerly the CTO at the associated Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).

Shortly after taking up his role, he discussed with Nick Peters the impact he hopes to make on UK manufacturing and why the UK’s video game industry could offer the country’s manufacturing base a unique competitive advantage.

Building a model engineering business

Matt Pulzer sat down with Adam Cro, the 25-year-old entrepreneur who turned a hobby into a successful business that blends traditional and modern, digital manufacturing processes.

BR Class 5 pedestal including the controls for the vacuum brake –CAD version and completed model.
BR Class 5 pedestal including the controls for the vacuum brake –CAD version and completed model.

By day, he is a degree-educated design engineer for a company producing fire hazard test systems.

In his spare time, he is the owner-founder, chief mechanical engineer, sales rep and everything in between for Cro Fittings – a company which produces super-detailed parts for model engineers constructing coal-powered, British steam locomotive models..

How does generative design unlock engineering innovation?

Generative design allows computers to do the heavy lifting, allowing engineers and designers more time to truly innovate. Jonny Williamson sat down with Jeff Kowalski, chief technology officer at Autodesk, to learn more.