The Manufacturer: Best interviews of 2018!

Posted on 29 Dec 2018 by Maddy White

The Manufacturer's Editorial team regularly sit down with industrial business owners, decision-makers and experts to promote their successes, discuss where they see future opportunities and unpick what keeps them up at night.

Additive Manufacturing assembly area at Miskin - image courtesy of Renishaw
Additive Manufacturing assembly area at Miskin – image courtesy of Renishaw

1) Renishaw: The measure of success

It may enjoy a global reputation for precision metrology and process control, but more than anything, Renishaw represents innovation and technological advancement.

Editor of, Jonny Williamson, headed to South Wales and spoke to Gareth Hankins, Group Manufacturing Services Division director at Renishaw.

2) McLaren Automotive: The best of the best

The Manufacturer’s Editorial Director, Nick Peters, spoke to Alan Foster, McLaren Automotive’s Executive Director Infrastructure Projects, about the company’s continual success.

3) Cobots: Will working alongside one become the new norm?

Small, lightweight and designed to be inherently safe for close human operation, cobots are an ideal entry point for many companies looking to embrace robotics.

The Manufacturer’s guest contributor,James Lawson speaks to Peter Machin, field application engineer at Rethink Robotics.

4) Hayaatun Sillem – newly appointed chief exec of the Royal Academy of Engineering

The newly appointed chief executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering Hayaatun Sillem never intended to be an engineer. Indeed, Hayaatun Sillem was looking forward to a career in the laboratory as a biochemist until health problems meant she had to rethink her future.

She secured a job at the Academy, and realised she had found her niche in life. Now, she is responsible for guiding the Academy at a time when the profession faces an annual shortfall of 20,000 recruits. Here, she talks to The Manufacturer’s editorial director, Nick Peters.

Bad Management - UK Productivity Puzzle - View of a Businessman holding a Financial arrow going up and explosing at the end - image courtesy of Depositphotos.
It is not a comfortable subject to address if you are a manager, but not facing up to problems is no way to solve them – image courtesy of Depositphotos.

5) Does bad management lie behind the UK productivity puzzle?

The answer to the UK’s productivity puzzle is routinely cited as adoption of new digital technologies. It is a drum we bang all the time at The Manufacturer, but in so doing, are we ignoring a key issue that underpins business success, namely the quality of management in UK manufacturing companies?

Nick Peters speaks to Professor Sir Cary Cooper CBE of Manchester Business School and president of the HR professional body, the Chartered Institute for Professional Development.

6) How can we inspire more Industrial IoT case studies?

A lack of real-world case studies is one of the major barriers behind manufacturers not investing in Industrial Internet pilot projects, according to one industry leader. Jonny Williamson talks to John Fryer, senior director of industry solutions Stratus Technologies.

7) UK construction industry must ‘Modernise or Die’

The 2016 review ‘Modernise or Die’ provided a damning insight into the state of the UK construction sector and its structural issues, principally a growing shortage of labour that threatened it with ruin.

The report was put together by the CAST Real Estate & Construction Consultancy, the CEO of which is chartered surveyor, Mark Farmer. Nick Peters visited him at CAST’s Hatton Garden offices in London to discuss how manufacturing is disrupting the sector.

8) One manufacturer’s “revolutionary” shift to service

By adopting a digital, cloud-first strategy, Daikin Applied UK has created a truly connected customer value chain and a market-leading competitive advantage, as Jonny Williamson found out.

3D printed intake manifold delivers 50% less weight, with geometry optimisation for integrated parts, printed in Ti Gr23(A) with o,5mm typical wall thickness – image courtesy of 3D Systems.
3D printed intake manifold delivers 50% less weight, with geometry optimisation for integrated parts, printed in Ti Gr23(A) – image courtesy of 3D Systems.

9) Metal lightweighting: The additive advantage

The quest for metal lightweighting – the ability to make parts lighter – is prompting a whole new way to think about design and manufacture.

To learn more, Jonny Williamson caught up with Patrick Dunne, vice president of advanced application development at 3D Systems.

10) Feeding the world thanks to agribots 

The global population is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050. Ensuring an adequate, sustainable and secure supply of food is one of the great issues of our time.

The Manufacturer’s Digital Reporter, Maddy White, spoke with Small Robot Co about how automation could solve the question of how to feed the planet.