Devon-based HepcoMotion is hoping to save more than £60,000 every year thanks to a number of projects managed by staff as they work towards a qualification developed by the National Skills Academy for Manufacturing - part of Semta, the Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies. In the final part of his diary for The Manufacturer, HepcoMotion manufacturing director Barry Engstrom talks about the projects that have been completed, the benefits they have brought to the company and the sense of achievement felt by staff who have taken part in the Business- Improvement Techniques (B-IT) NVQ programme.
Industry and government have accused banks of starving small businesses of funding and making a private-led recovery from recession impossible. The banks say the money is there to borrow but there is little demand and even less viability. Mark Young weighs up the arguments.
Design constraints sharpen leadership Motorsport design has been pushed to excel by the intense delivery constraints of the sport and the physical stress to which the components are subjected. Clever design engineers, digital product development that avoids prototypes and powerful PLM software are keeping motorsport the leading industry for design-to-manufacture, says Will Stirling.
When Toyota withdrew from Formula 1 in November 2009, it was not the first manufacturer to sever its previously strong ties with motor racing. Since 2008, some of the biggest automotive names have dropped out of motorsport in a difficult economy and with rising concerns about the environmentally-unfriendly image of the sport. Tim Brown reports.