The Manufacturer Podcast: The power of cloud-based manufacturing

Posted on 13 May 2022 by Tom St John

Tom, Joe and Lanna from The Manufacturer's editorial team return to bring you the third episode in this Technology Series. How is a cloud-based manufacturing solution driving the future production of EVs?

Hi there, listener. This week’s episode looks at the opportunities and misconceptions of cloud based manufacturing programmes. In the case of Britishvolt, the company responsible for the UK’s first Gigafactory, the Infor CloudSuite Automotive programme was selected earlier in the year to run operations at the plant. Andrew Kinder at Infor explains why such a programme is suited to managing the £3.8 billion facility in the northeast and David Therefall speaks about the reasons for the selection, as well as the future landscape of UK EV provision and infrastructure.

We also welcome Fractory on to the podcast. CEO Martin Vares, TMMX Awards finalist from last year’s Young Manufacturer of the Year category explains some of the common misconceptions when it comes to cloud solutions.

Join our editorial team for this third episode in our Technology Series


David Therefall, CIO of Britishvolt on the future of EV manufacturing:

David Therefall, CIO of Bristhvolt speaking at MACH 2022 “The market estimates that by 2030, to satisfy what we believe is electric vehicles only demand, it’s around about 90 gigawatts. By the end of the fourth phase, Britishvolt are looking to produce around 43 gigawatts.

So, it’s a quite a high percentage of that. In terms of the infrastructure, it really needs to be accelerated.  One Gigafactory is not enough. But, within the UK we’re really lucky that we’ve got, if not the best, then one of best infrastructure in terms of battery innovation. Think about the likes of UK Battery Industrialisation Centre and Warwick University. So, we can tap into a lot of that expertise and R&D.”

Andrew Kinder, Head of Industry Strategy at Infor on why a cloud solution works best for this project: 

Andrew Kiner, Head of Global Strategy at Infor, speaking at MACH 2022

“He (David) only looked at cloud solutions. One of the reasons for this is when you’re scaling up a business, you’re not going to go in with a  large IT team. You want a lean IT team, and you want to be able to learn with it.

Secondly, they (Britishvolt) knew from the off that they wanted standardised and industry specific processes. When you have a cloud solution like ours, you get the processes built as part of the solution, but you also get the cloud capability which means no mods – it’s always up to date. You can focus on your business and let the system take care of itself.”

Martin Vares, CEO of Fractory on the common misconceptions of cloud-based manufacturing:

Martin Vares, CEO of Fractory “There is the very obvious one of cybersecurity fears. While in fact, the older systems that a lot of the companies are using right now are actually less safe.

So we have, for example, compared these to our platform, where you can upload a CAD file and the and get your price straight away.

People are fearful of that CAD file travelling and ending up in places they don’t want it to be, but little do they know that it’s actually much safer than sending your files via email.

“Another misconception with cloud manufacturing is that it’s only meant for prototyping and not for setting up long term manufacturing orders. Actually that’s not true, it works just as well for one off parts as it does for long term orders or projects. At Fractory I think the longest we’ve seen was two years – one with with monthly deliveries. It’s definitely available to set up almost mass production with cloud manufacturing.”

Listen back to the previous episode in our Technology Series