West Midlands group gets nod from Prisk

Posted on 14 Jun 2010 by The Manufacturer

Minister for Business and Enterprise Mark Prisk gets a taste of the strength and diversity of West Midlands’ manufacturing at MACH 2010.

A group of West Midlands-based manufacturers exhibiting together at trade show MACH 2010 has received a ringing endorsement from Mark Prisk MP, the new business minister.

Mr Prisk was given a guided tour of the ‘Made in the Midlands’ Zone by Simon Griffiths, chief executive of the Manufacturing Advisory Service-West Midlands (MAS-WM) last week and met several successful businesses that are banding together to bring business back to the UK.

The MP for Hertford and Stortford was shown a new coffee machine designed and made in North Staffordshire by sheet metal specialists KMF, as well as the latest robotics technology from Kuka and parts manufactured by Birmingham-based Precision Micro.

The Midlands’ stand was also occupied by MAN, a coalition of 10 manufacturers who work in collaboration to secure new orders, an approach that has already reaped £10m of sales and safeguarded hundreds of jobs.

“We have had lots of interest in the Made in the Midlands Zone during the five-day event and promising enquiries were taken by all our companies,” said Simon Griffiths.

“The Minister was impressed at the innovation and world class capabilities of each company and the fact that many are leading the world in value-added technologies and manufacturing standards. We’d be delighted to invite him back to the region to demonstrate this further.”

MACH 2010 is the UK’s most established showcase for the latest manufacturing technologies. On show were the latest developments in metal cutting including water jet technologies, CAD/CAM software, engineering lasers, metrology, multi-axis CNC machines, turned parts machines and rapid prototyping.

The Made in the Midlands Zone, organised by MAS-WM, Advantage West Midlands, Semta the sector skills council and UK Trade and Investment, featured KMF Precision Sheet Metal, Kuka, Laranaca Engineering, the MAN consortium, PP Electrical Systems, and Precision Micro.

The zone was specifically designed to give Wet Midlands’s companies the opportunity to exhibit at the international event for a fraction of the usual cost while showcasing their products to a dedicated audience.

Mark Prisk commented: “”It is particularly pertinent that MACH takes place in the West Midlands, a region that has a strong industrial tradition. The very best companies here are moving forward using innovation, advanced manufacturing and low carbon technologies.

“These advances were clearly demonstrated on the Made in the Midlands stand and I was encouraged to see that our manufacturing base has a positive future.”

Mick Laverty, chief executive of regional development agency Advantage West Midlands, added: “Supporting manufacturing is crucial to the recovery of our economy and this is one way in which we can pool our resources so that businesses have a platform from which to win new business.

“Sales are all important and the more work we attract to the region means the more jobs we can safeguard and create.”