The Manufacturer reflects on some of its most insightful, thought-provoking, shared and original contributions from the past 12 months.
[In no particular order]
A uniquely quirky piece from Jon McKnight about how security is being stepped up at a Plymouth factory after a routine risk-assessment revealed its sheet-metal fabrication capabilities could put the planet in peril in the event of an extra-terrestrial invasion.
Despite what you may have heard, British manufacturing is strong and performing well. Tom Chapman – on behalf of Silicone Engineering – reported on the myth of an industrial decline, the nation’s biggest competitors, and what’s in store for the future of manufacturing.
Brian Holliday, managing director of Siemens UK & Ireland, argued that focusing on innovation, investment and skills are the foundation to building a nation at the cutting-edge of manufacturing – to be at the heart of what many are referring to as the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0.
Highlighting a trend too often forgotten, co-founder of Laser Cutting Technologies and named among The Manufacturer’s Top 100 2014, Jane Robinson explained why an open dialogue with the art world is so important for the future of modern manufacturing.
Looking from the outside in, David Landsman – executive director at Tata Limited and chairman of Tata Europe Network Forum – suggested that those with an interest in the growth of manufacturing needed to think harder about how to tell its success stories if the UK is to achieve – and sustain – its potential.
Professor Sir Mike Gregory from the Cambridge Institute for Manufacturing gave The Manufacturer his retrospective account of the past, present and future outlook of the UK manufacturing sector ahead of his retirement in September.
Looking beyond the hype, IFS’ Antony Bourne focussed on how the growth of 3D printing was ushering in a fundamental change in the operation of manufacturing supply chains, and what this meant for businesses the world over.
Autodesk’s chief technology officer, Jeff Kowalski explored how generative design is ushering in a new era of CAD in which computers can creatively come up with ideas on their own.
The Internet of Things; 3D printing; cloud deployment, and big data may have captured the imagination and budget of many manufacturers, but amid this glamour, it’s easy for the basics to fall to the bottom of the list of IT priorities, warned Infor’s Andrew Kinder.
Managing director of PP Electrical Systems, Tony Hague unpicked the possible root causes behind the productivity puzzle and how UK manufacturers can begin to embrace the missing pieces of the jigsaw.