Opportunities in West Midlands manufacturing to be explored at upcoming event at innovative Dudley business

Posted on 2 Mar 2023 by The Manufacturer

The state of the West Midlands’ manufacturing sector and the opportunities for businesses to get ahead will be discussed at an innovative Dudley manufacturer.

The Make UK West Midlands Regional Advisory Board is set to take place on Friday, March 3 at Thomas Dudley Ltd, a market-leading manufacturer of high-quality bathroom, plumbing and washroom products.

Make UK, the national body for UK manufacturing, has invited a range of representatives from West Midlands manufacturers, bodies and organisations – including Made Smarter West Midlands – to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the sector, and the support that is available.

Charlotte Horobin, Region Director for the Midlands and East of England at Make UK, will update attendees on the general state of the sector in the region and what more needs to be done to enable firms to get ahead.

Jit Gatcha, Digital Transformation Specialist at Made Smarter, will speak to attendees around how the Made Smarter has helped many manufacturers adopt digital technology through advice on the right solutions and accessing grants.

Further talks will be given by Sandy Finlay, Director at ABGI; Angela Curtis, Managing Director at Hasmo Thermic Ltd; Graeme Chaplin of the Bank of England; and Brigitte Amoruso, Senior Energy and Climate Change Policy Specialist at Make UK.

The day will finish with a site tour of Thomas Dudley’s factory where attendees can see first-hand how digital automation has benefited the company.

Charlotte Horobin, Region Director for the Midlands and East of England at Make UK
Charlotte Horobin, Region Director for the Midlands and East of England at Make UK

Charlotte said: “This Regional Advisory Board plays a vital role in ensuring Make UK champions the needs of our sector and members.

“This is a way for delegates to gain a clear insight into how manufacturing is doing in the West Midlands and how their businesses can move forward.

“It also brings together sources of business support such as schemes like Made Smarter West Midlands, and bodies like LEPs and universities, to support manufacturers.

“Thomas Dudley Ltd is one such business that has benefited from available support, so it’ll be a great venue for the Regional Advisory Board.”

Jit added: “Having this Regional Advisory Board meeting at Thomas Dudley is fitting as our advice and support with grant funding allowed the business to purchase a new manufacturing execution system to allow their machines to collect data in real time.

“This has helped the business significantly boost its productivity and allow their staff to focus on more important tasks.

“We hope those attending are inspired by Thomas Dudley’s success and seek out the support available to take their businesses to the next level.”

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.

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