The Smart Factory Podcast

Throughout the 2017 Leaders Conference and Smart Factory Expo, The Manufacturer ran a global streaming radio service, offering interviews, comment and analysis from its conference studio in Liverpool.

On this page are some of the interview highlights for your pleasure and interest. All interviews were conducted by The Manufacturer’s Editorial Director Nick Peters.

Brian Holliday, MD Of Siemens UK Digital Factory

Brian Holliday and Nick discuss the urgent need for UK manufacturing to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies.

Innovation Alley – collaboration for success

A key feature of the Smart Factory Expo was Innovation Alley, which ran right through the heart of the exhibition. Dozens of small companies were given free space by the organisers, Hennik Research, to show off their wares. Innovation Alley was sponsored by Innovate UK‘s Manufacturing and Materials division. Nick spoke to Lead Technologist Lynne McGregor about the initiative.

4.0 technologies and disruption of the value chain

The need for investment in digitalisation is now a given. But still some SMEs are hanging back and risk becoming disintermediated – left out. That’s the view of James Petherbridge, an executive partner in IBM‘s Aerospace and Defence division, who discussed the issue with Nick Peters.

Hack and Pitch – innovation in action

A team from the Digital Catapult staged a Hack and Pitch event at Smart Factory Expo, whereby large companies invited small digital companies to pitch for a range of projects. Nick discussed this novel approach to innovation with Steve Wood from the Digital Catapult and with representatives of the challenger companies, Steve Gledhill of BOC, Ed Bryning of RS Components and Daniel Watson of Thales.

Productivity in the UK automotive sector

The best way to improve productivity in car plants is to get your co-workers permission for change. Gunther Boehner, Director of Assembly at BMW Mini at Oxford, told Nick this was working really well at their Oxford plant.

Why SMEs need to make ERP work harder for them

Recent research carried out by The Manufacturer on behalf of Oracle Netsuite demonstrated that SMEs buy powerful ERP systems but only use part of them. Nick Peters caught up with Gavin Davidson, Manufacturing Lead at Netsuite, responsible for ERP Marketing, to discuss this problem.

Liverpool, leadership and UK manufacturing

It was no accident that The Manufacturer staged its annual Leaders Conference, Smart Factory Expo, Top 100 and TMMX Awards ceremony in Liverpool last week. If there is any city in the UK that exemplifies the spirit behind all that is best in UK manufacturing, Liverpool is it. Nick spoke about the city’s stellar mojo to Simon Reid, Sector Manager for Advanced Manufacturing at Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, and Alison Mitchell, executive director of Sensor City, part of Liverpool’s ground-breaking effort to see as many SMEs as possible joining the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Advances in additive manufacturing

The potential for additive manufacturing to revolutionise almost everything in the manufacturing sector seems boundless. One of the key areas of change is in healthcare. Nick discussed new developments with Tim Van Cleynenbreugel, Business Development Director at 3D Systems‘ healthcare division in Leuven, Belgium.