The future of British manufacturing

Posted on 25 Mar 2016 by The Manufacturer

A new initiative is aiming to galvanise how the nation’s designers and manufacturers respond to Industry 4.0, and the many opportunities it offers.

In the words of Asif Moghal – manufacturing industry manager, Autodesk, “As we enter a new industrial era, British manufacturing has an opportunity to place itself at the centre of this disruption and once again become a driving force in this fourth industrial revolution.”

Asif Moghal, manufacturing industry manager, Autodesk.
Asif Moghal, manufacturing industry manager, Autodesk.

According to Moghal, this disruption means traditional approaches to competitive advantage are no longer enough, particularly for SME’s.

That’s a worrying proposition for any company, regardless of size or standing. So how can manufacturers gauge their current readiness, as well as prepare for the future? That’s where the Future of British Manufacturing initiative (FOBMI) comes in.

Launched by Autodesk and The Manufacturer – and supported by key partners, the initiative takes a hands-on approach to enabling British design and manufacturing companies to respond to the challenges of trends the likes of Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things.

Moghal explained, “Our objective is to enable British manufacturers to design, make and sell great British products everywhere through a truly agile product innovation platform that increases productivity, innovation and delivers what we like to think of as repetitive advantage.”

Managing director of The Manufacturer, Henry Anson concurred, stressing, “The fourth Industrial Revolution is already upon us, and the manufacturing landscape is arguably more complex and difficult to navigate than ever before in industrial history.

Henry Anson, founder and chairman, MSTLN.
Henry Anson, managing director, The Manufacturer.

“The opportunities are vast, however so are the threats. Companies absolutely have to embrace the fact the change is happening, with or without them.”

The Future of British Manufacturing initiative is comprised of four parts –

The FoMT readiness assessment:

Before considering the future, understanding your current level of design and manufacturing agility is a vital so start by taking a 20-minute readiness assessment and gauge how ready your business is for the Future of Making Things (FoMT).

Completion of the assessment provides instant feedback on ways to improve your readiness levels.

Future of Making Things Events:

Buzzwords such as Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT) are now frequently encountered, yet are still little understood by many. Gain a firmer grasp of the trends that are shaping design and manufacturing, and how other companies are already responding to them, by attending one of the four regional FoMT event at a High Value Manufacturing Catapult Centre:

  • April 28, Digital Catapult Centre – London
  • May 25, The MTC – Coventry
  • June 15, AMRC, Rotherham
  • September 21, AFRC, Renfrew

FoMT Fast Track:

Building on from the assessment and events, we’re inviting manufacturers to attend an exclusive one-day masterclass in repetitive advantage delivered by industry experts, designed to get your business on the path to the Future of Making Things and repetitive advantage.

National FOMT event:

The final step in the initiative is attendance at the National FoMT Event, held in autumn 2016.

The overall learnings from the national readiness assessment will be revealed, as well as examples of companies who have been on the fast track.

More information about FOBMI can be found at: