Managing the life of your product

Manufacturing is all about product. You have to keep reinventing your product portfolio to keep ahead in today’s market. But the majority of R&D products don’t even make the market and of those that do only one or two really make a worthwhile profit. Simon Holloway explores product lifecycle management as a means for reducing the risk.

A balancing act

The Equality Act 2010 sets out new provisions for the employment of minority groups in a male-oriented industry. With fewer women in manufacturing than in the 1980s and 1990s, Jane Gray asks that needs support, or the industry that need to shake-up its equal opportunities efforts.

A matter of tax

Recent tax law changes have gone some way to justify the Government’s claim that the ‘UK is open for business’. But with many foreign jurisdictions still offering more competitive tax environments than the UK, Tim Brown investigates the feasibility of foreign profit attribution.

The 3D printing revolution

The advent of cheap, fast and versatile 3D printing has made it useful to an ever-wider variety of businesses, while competition-induced price reductions have meant that even the smallest SMEs can now afford to have a 3D printer installed in the corner of the office. Lorenzo Spoerry investigates its potential applications.

Spotlight on Six Sigma

The tools and techniques of Six Sigma are recognised to have a big impact on productivity given sufficient investment in senior people, time, cost and culture change. Brian Davis finds out the relevance of this long-standing business strategy on modern manufacturing.

What are you packing?

For years manufacturers have been fretting over the size of their packages. Simply taking weight out does not necessarily constitute a lower environmental impact, though. Mark Young seeks out alternatives.

Regional focus – South West

The South West of England is not renowned for being an industrial heartland. But by contributing 13% to the region’s economy, the manufacturing sector punches above its weight in the West Country. Will Stirling reports.