The Manufacturer: Top 10 innovation stories of 2018!

Innovation is pivotal for businesses to remain globally competitive. Naturally then it has been a key talking point throughout the year. From the commercial opportunities of graphene to clear 3D printing and flat wine bottles, here are the top 10 innovation stories of 2018!

3d-systems-visijet-sl-clear-sla-hero
When testing fit, function, serviceability, and assembly, see-through parts replace guesswork with observation and insights – image courtesy of 3D Systems.

1) The future of 3D printing is clear

Whether manufacturing personalised surgical guides, eye-catching consumer packaging, cutting-edge prototypes or anything in between, there are numerous advantages to 3D printing in transparent plastics.

The new materials being designed, manufactured and supported have pushed clear printing to the boundaries of what’s possible, offering ultra-high transparency, moisture and temperature resistance, biocompatibility, robustness and performance.

2) Autodesk Technology Centre: A new frontier for design & manufacture

Earlier this year, Jonny Williamson took a tour of the newly opened, cutting-edge Autodesk Technology Centre – the first of its kind in Europe.

3) What are the main barriers to innovation manufacturers face?

Innovation represents the most important driver for business growth and competitive advantage, yet manufacturers routinely face challenges around how to successfully manage the process.

One of The Manufacturer’s Director’s Forum Dinner brought together a dozen manufacturing executives representing businesses operating in a broad cross-section of sectors to explore the issue.

4) Manufacturing Innovation Summit 2018: The key takeaways

Innovation has become essential for manufacturers to make sustainable growth and move the industry forward.
Innovation has become essential for manufacturers to make sustainable growth and move the industry forward.

The only viable future for UK manufacturing is agile, high-margin and export-oriented businesses whose people, processes and systems are focused on fast-changing customer requirements and delivering transformational innovation.

Manufacturing Innovation Summit 2018 saw future-facing manufacturers from across the sector come together to look at how technology – particularly digital technology – is helping to grow margins and boost growth by compressing innovation and development cycles.

Manufacturing Innovation Summit returns in 2019! 

Disrupt or be disrupted – this future-facing, one-day conference focuses on putting the right people, processes, products and technologies in place to enable transformational innovation within your organisation and across your supply chain.

20 June 2019 | Birmingham

Click here to secure your place

5) 3D printed bone implants could revolutionise medical industry

Earlier this year the NHS turned 70, the average age at which people often require joint replacements; could additive manufacturing represent the medical industry’s future?

6) New partnership to boost graphene’s commercial opportunities

A new characterisation service for graphene was launched to help businesses and industries better take advantage of the material’s commercial opportunities.

7) Barefaced Audio: Rocking the speaker world with innovation

The challenge was to do something that nobody else has done, despite a century of speaker design - image courtesy of Barefaced Audio.
The challenge was to do something that nobody else has done, despite a century of speaker design – image courtesy of Barefaced Audio.

Tucked away in a non-descript Brighton business centre, managing director and owner Alex Claber and his bass guitar speaker factory, Barefaced Audio, are developing an international reputation for innovation and quality.

8) Marchant Cain: The ultimate innovators

It is not a well-kept secret that innovation now needs to be integrated into entire operations, from design to manufacture to end user, but executing this is only managed by very few. This is Coventry-based company Marchant Cain’s entire existence, its “bread and butter”. TM visited the innovators in September.

9) This wine bottle will always fall flat and that may just be a great thing

If you were tasked with re-inventing the classic wine bottle, glass and round in shape, what would you come up with?

10) Japanese scientists invent real life robot that morphs into a car

Japanese engineers unveiled a robot that transforms into a car and can carry people on board. The scientists said it was the first such accomplishment in the history of robots.

Don’t forget to sign up to our daily digital briefings to get insider information before anyone else!