It is perhaps unsurprising that in the world of British manufacturing the defence sector continues to be one of its most closely guarded frontiers – where few have ever ventured and the hackneyed trope, ‘If I told you then I’d have to kill you’, never seemed more appropriate.
At The Manufacturer, we’re fortunate enough to visit many of the world-leading factories the UK has to offer, as well as speaking to a host of industry experts about the various challenges and triumphs they’ve experienced.
The defining product of the digitalisation of manufacturing activities is data. Companies risk missing out on the opportunity to glean the maximum amount of information from their data and use it to drive their business towards becoming what SAP describe as an 'Intelligent Enterprise', a business whose activities are connected and transparent at every stage, from production to customer service.
The past half-decade has seen significant progress regarding the digitalisation of manufacturing, but there is still a way to go before the use of technologies, and the benefits they deliver, becomes the norm rather than the exception.
Susan Jones is a name in manufacturing circles that most people recognise for her more than 20 years of industry experience, and for her oftentimes insightful and practical approaches to better business practice – she also happens to be a senior quality systems specialist for Tata Steel Europe.
More and more companies are turning to cloud to optimise operations, increase productivity and deliver better customer experiences. But what does it take to deliver a successful, and sustainable, journey into cloud?
Dr Veronica Martinez from the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) at the University of Cambridge, working with Caroline Burstall and Andrew Noblett at Caterpillar, has used a pilot project to show that blockchain can deliver significant supply chain benefits.