The Manufacturer: Top 10 features of 2018!

Posted on 31 Dec 2018 by Maddy White

At The Manufacturer, we are lucky enough to visit world-leading factories. This year we've been to the elite in automotive and additive manufacturing facilities, and even the UK's largest supplier of own-label gin and vodka - to name a few. Here are our top features of 2018!

Resize - The McLaren Senna and Ayrton Senna’s victorious McLaren MP4/5 – image courtesy of McLaren.
The McLaren Senna and Ayrton Senna’s victorious McLaren MP4/5 – image courtesy of McLaren.

1) McLaren Automotive: The power of partnerships

In a place where once there was bitterness and division, partnerships are creating a brand-new future for a part of South Yorkshire where history was made. It involves AMRC, McLaren Automotive, and two very special cars.

2) British Rototherm: Made to measure

With a heritage dating back to the 1840’s, British Rototherm is a world-leader in the supply of industrial instrumentation and services.

Editor of, Jonny Williamson, reports on the 170-year-old manufacturer with the heart of a start-up.

3) The UK wine and spirit industry: Liquid gold

The UK wine and spirit industry is made up of whiskies (other than Scotch), gin and spirits distillers, brewers and winemakers, and they have an enviable reputation worldwide, doing much to add lustre to Brand UK.

Inevitably, however, their fortunes will rise or fall depending on the kind of Brexit that finally emerges. The Manufacturer’s Editorial Director, Nick Peters, spoke to Miles Beale, chief executive of the UK Wine and Spirit Trade Association about what lies ahead.

4) Digital Manufacturing: Now’s the time to grasp the opportunity

One year on from the launch of the Made Smarter Review, it’s lead – Professor Juergen Maier – took to the stage to chair the MTC’s Digitalising Manufacturing Conference 2018.

Jonny Williamson rounds up all the key takeaways, including a truly international perspective on the opportunities afforded by digital technologies.

Executives gathered at Manufacturing Innovation Summit 2018 to explore the need to disrupt or be disrupted – image courtesy of The Manufacturer.Manufacturing Automation and Robotics Summit

Industrial automation and robotics are key to creating the high-skilled job opportunities and productivity increases that a thriving manufacturing sector requires.

This uniquely interactive one-day conference allows delegates to choose which conversations to join and which speakers they sit alongside, ensuring you only have conversations meaningful to you and your goals.

Click here to secure your place | 13 February 2019 | Birmingham

5) Plastic: Recycling the unrecyclable 

Plastic waste is a problem, a huge one. Only 10% of plastic is recycled, the remaining 90% is buried, burnt or worse, dispersed in the oceans and environment. What if technology could convert ‘unrecyclable’ plastic waste back into the oil from which it came?

6) Bromford Industries: Competitive advantage through SMART production

As a precision aerospace components manufacturer, Bromford Industries operates in a highly competitive market, but proactive investments in digital technology, factory connectivity and its workforce has seen the business climb to new heights.

The global forklift truck market is expected to grow year-on-year by at least 100,000 - 150,000 for the next five years – image courtesy of MCFE.
The global forklift truck market is expected to grow year-on-year by at least 1for the next five years – image courtesy of MCFE.

7) Elevating the forklift industry

Jonny Williamson travelled to the Netherlands to discover how the combination of cutting-edge innovation, the Industrial Internet of Things and electric drive motors are helping one of the world’s leading forklift manufactures to reach new heights.

8) G&J Distillers: The Spirit of success

Forty-seven million bottles of gin worth £1.2bn were served up last year in the UK. That’s enough, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, to make 1.32 billion G&Ts. Gin has never been more popular and varied, and innovative manufacturer G&J Distillers is making the most of this trend. The Manufacturer’s Digital Reporter, Maddy White, reports.

9) Smiths Group: A history of innovation

Smiths Group has been innovating from the dawn of the Industrial Revolution to the space race. Nick Peters sat down with its Head of Innovation, Keir Boxshall.

10) Bonding with Loctite

Loctite adhesives have been used in manufacturing for decades, but the rapid change in the way materials are used mean the German firm that owns Loctite is on a never-ending quest to ensure manufacturers have a range of adhesive products that are effective and environmentally safe.

Nick Peters visited Henkel AG’s main adhesives R&D and Loctite production plant near Dublin.