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  • 29th Mar 2017

    09.20 - 09.30
    Chair's opening remarks
    • Dr Graeme Philp, Chief Executive , GAMBICA

      After gaining his PhD in fibre-optic sensors in 1985 Dr Philp worked for ABB until 1991 when he joined the intrinsic safety specialist, MTL Instruments, based in Luton UK.  He became Managing Director in 1992 and then Chief Executive in 1995, a post which he retained until MTL was acquired by the US multinational, Cooper Industries in 2008.  By that time, MTL had annual sales of over £100m and sold its products in 70 countries around the world.  In December 2010 Dr Philp was appointed Chief Executive of GAMBICA, the UK trade body representing the instrumentation, control, automation and laboratory technology sectors of UK industry.

    09.30 - 10.00
    The myth of the robot uprising

    It is widely recognised that UK manufacturing has lower productivity than many of our competitors. The UK is also, particularly outside the automotive sector, significantly behind these same competitors with regard to the application of robot automation. We believe that automating our manufacturing to the same extent as other countries would significantly enhance productivity and competitiveness. This does raise a concern relating to loss of jobs which is often the view expressed in the media. However various studies have shown that the increased use of robots does lead to not only more but also better jobs. To ensure our manufacturing is competitive in the global markets of today we need to give our workforce the very best tools, including robots and automation, to ensure our businesses can continue to thrive and provide employment.


    • Mike Wilson, President, BARA

      Mike Wilson has over 30 years of experience in the application of automation to manufacturing across a broad range of industry sectors throughout Europe, Asia and America. Previously he has worked for both users and suppliers of automation and more recently as an independent consultant providing automation expertise to industry and training via Warwick Manufacturing Group. He is widely recognised as one of the leading authorities on the application of industrial robot systems in the UK.

      He is now General Industry Sales Manager for ABB Robotics leading the drive to increase the use of robots across UK manufacturing. In addition, he is Chairman of the British Automation and Robot Association, Director of the Processing and Packaging Machinery Association and also Vice Chairman of the Engineering and Machinery Alliance. He has previously been Chairman of the International Federation of Robotics from 2000 to 2003.

    10.00 - 10.30
    New demand, new techniques – Factory 2050

    Industry 4.0 is an incredibly exciting but equally daunting prospect. This talk will try to demystify what it means to SMEs and shows a route to starting the journey.

    • Ben Morgan, Head of Integrated Manufacturing, AMRC F2050

      Ben Morgan is the Head of the Integrated Manufacturing Group and Factory 2050 at the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing. He is responsible for a large team of multidisciplinary engineers solving problems in high-value, low-volume manufacture in aerospace and automotive industries.

      Ben graduated from the University of Leeds with a MEng in Mechanical Engineering and joined the ARMC with Boeing in 2008, gaining experience in robotics, assembly and large volume metrology. In 2011 Ben moved into a technical lead/project management role with responsibility for all robotics projects at the AMRC with Boeing.

      As Head of IMG the for the last 3 years, Ben is leading the development of Factory 2050, the world’s first fully reconfigurable assembly and component manufacturing facility for collaborative research. Since it’s opening at the start of 2016 Factory 2050 has accelerated IMG’s ability to impact UK manufacturing with transformational research. IMG develop innovative solutions with robotics, augmented reality and SMART factory technologies for some of the world’s leading aerospace and automotive manufacturing companies.

      For more information about the AMRC with Boeing or Factory 2050 please visit

    10.30 - 11.00
    Networking break
    11.00 - 11.30
    The secret to our success

    Agrimech set out to provide British farmers and pack houses with machinery of the highest quality that is designed and built here in the UK using only the best components and technology available on the market. This presented a unique challenge as the best technology was seen to be either prohibitively expensive or technically inflexible. By standardising components across their complete range from suppliers that share their focus on innovation, flexibility and quality, Agrimech has succeeded in making automation and robotics easy to use and therefore an alternative to brute human labour in the labour intensive market of food packaging. A case study to show how this was made possible and the results will be the focus of the presentation.


    • Darren Smith, Managing Director, Agrimech

      Darren has spent the past 20 years in and around packaging machinery for the agriculture and food and beverage industry. As managing director for Agrimech, he has overseen the design and engineering of a standard line of machines for packaging that they supply, service, and maintain across the UK. His passion for technical design is matched only by his love of Guns’N’Roses, whose songs inspire the naming of Agrimech’s machine base.

    11:30 - 12:00
    Making the transition to automated manufacturing

    Kohler Mira has a long history in investing in UK manufacturing. Recently, the company invested in UK automation for core product ranges to ensure it remains competitive, both within its market and with Far East supply. In this presentation Adam Garbutt, Director of Production, outlines the journey taken by Kohler Mira. Adam discusses not only the technical considerations of automation, but also the cultural and organizational changes needed to ensure long-term success. He also shares some of the inevitable challenges encountered through this process and how these were overcome.

    • Adam Garbutt, Director of Production, Kohler Mira

      Adam is the Director of Production at Kohler Mira – the UK’s market leader in showering. Kohler Mira is formed of 3 market-leading product brands – Kohler UK, Mira Showers and Rada, each specialising in different areas of bathroom manufacturing. Committed to investing in UK manufacturing and engineering, the business has been producing showers at its site in Cheltenham since 1937, supplying around half a million units per year across electric, digital and mixer products.

      Adam started his career with over 10 years as a production engineer at Nissan delivering design for manufacture, process planning and equipment specification, specializing in low cost automation and digital process simulation. He joined Kohler Mira in 2012 to support the transition to automated production, leading design for manufacture, equipment specification and sourcing, and implementing the ongoing support processes. He has since progressed to lead the UK Production function

    12:00 - 12:30
    Turning Data into Value: Agility in the Age of the Industrial Internet

    In a fast moving world where consumers are demanding greater customisation, businesses must work hard to continue to boost productivity whilst driving innovation.

    The rise of cheap sensors and cheap data storage has created huge opportunities for businesses of all sizes to increase the productivity of their operations. At the same time,  when faced with vast volumes of information – from multiple sources and from a range of architectures – companies can often struggle to get value from the data that their operations generate. However, new advances in edge to cloud technologies, and Industrial Internet platforms such as Predix from GE, are helping to make the Digital Transformation more accessible than ever.

    This presentation will demonstrate how GE is handling this Digital Transformation in its own factories, as well as how it is helping customers as diverse as JLR, Akzo Nobel and Pitney Bowes to increase both productivity and business innovation.


    • Dave McCall, Vice President Professional Services, GE Digital EU

      Dave has spent over 17 years working in customer-facing and customer-success roles in digital, technology and data companies. As a functional leader and MD he has worked at France Telecom, Experian and eBay.

      At GE Digital he leads the Professional Services team across Europe. His team of engineers and project managers bring GE’s software to life for customers ensuring that their productivity and efficiency gains are realised for improved economics.

    12:30 - 13:30
    Networking Lunch
    13:30 - 14:00
    Beyond robotics: Automation and lean methodologies for your back office

    Automation isn’t just about the ‘big boys’ purchasing the latest machinery and robotics. In this talk, PP Control & Automation’s Tony Hague explains how SMEs can ‘automate’ their equipment and processes to boost productivity, quality and make the most of real time information to improve ordering and logistics.


    • Tony Hague , Managing Director, PP Electrical Systems

      As MD of PP Electrical Systems, Tony Hague has grown into one of the manufacturing sector’s most popular commentators and a keen advocate of productivity and skills.

      The electrical engineer left school at 16 to serve an apprenticeship for a sensor and instrumentation manufacturer and this started a 30-year love affair with industry.

      After serving a number of different positions he joined PP Electrical Systems in 2001 as Commercial Director, quickly being promoted to Managing Director three years later.

      In the decade that followed, Tony has transformed the Cheslyn Hay-based firm into a world class provider of controls and automation systems, supplying 12 of the globe’s leading machinery manufacturers.

      This has seen the company achieve 400% growth to £18m annual sales and led to 7 Best Factory Awards and recognition with Manufacturing Excellence. The future vision is to double revenue by 2019.

      Tony, a member of The Manufacturer’s Editorial Panel, is also the current Chairman of the Midlands Assembly Network (MAN), a unique collective of 10 manufacturers who work together to win new contracts at home and abroad.

      A number of changes have been made under his leadership, including the appointment of a dedicated business development manager, a new website and creation of a strategic partnership with Warwick Manufacturing Group.

    14.00 - 14.30
    Industry 4: Beyond the hype

    Manufacturers are being overwhelmed with the expectation of Industry 4.0, the internet of things, disintermediation, and digitisation, and feeling the pressure to keep up, to have a strategy if not a plan. The reality we see at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is that the digitisation of manufacturing has started, more so in some sectors and geographies than others, but is certainly not universal. Paul will share HPE’s view of Connected Manufacturing, using a sector example to highlight a view of the future. He will also focus on current examples of manufacturers, from various sectors, who are delivering competitive advantage by making Connected Manufacturing a reality. Paul will share our learnings on the key conditions for success, and share HPE’s recommendation for getting started.


    • Paul Muscat, Vice President and General Manager - Private Sector, Hewlett Packard Enterprises

      Paul Muscat is the Vice President and General Manager for the Private Sector – Industry segment of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). In this role since 2016, Paul leverages more than 25 years’ experience of working in discrete and process manufacturing industries to grow clients’ profitability and agility in an increasingly digital economy. Paul joined HPE in 2013 having held UK board positions within CMG and Logica for the Oil and Gas, Business Transformation, and Trade and Industry sectors. His focus within HPE includes leadership for the Empower and Internet of Things (IoT) transformation areas in the UK and Ireland, identifying opportunities to profitably disrupt traditional business processes.

    14:30 - 15:00
    The human side to automation

    Although our future with robots is not as frightening or sinister as the national media often like to report, it is the case that, in general, there has been surprisingly little effort understanding and preparing for the potential impacts. This talk will focus on what the future looks like for human – robot collaboration and how best to adapt your thinking for a future of automated manufacturing.


    • Dr Sarah Fletcher, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Structures, Assembly and Intelligent Automation - Cranfield University

      Sarah joined Cranfield in 2000 to complete a PhD investigating the impact of human variability in highly automated manufacturing systems (funded by Ford Motor Co.). She has since conducted and supervised many more human factors research projects in a wide range of contexts but primarily for the manufacturing industry. In 2012, Sarah developed the Industrial Psychology and Human Factors group to focus on research and development for the integration of humans and intelligent automation in manufacturing.

      Sarah has taught various industrial / organisational behaviour and work psychology subjects at Masters level. Sarah has served on the School of Engineering Research Degrees Committee, the Engineering and Aerospace Faculty Board, and as Coordinator of the Cranfield Enhanced Engineering Doctorate (EngD). With a strong funded research interest in the human-centred development of safe and efficient intelligent work systems, Sarah is currently a member of both the BSI’s AMT/00-/02 Robots and Robotic Devices Committee and Workplace Standards Strategic Advisory Group, and sits as UK representative on the ISO Technical Committee 299 for Robotics, Working Group 3: Industrial Safety.

      Current activities

      Sarah has conducted a wide spectrum of human factors research projects relevant to automation and manufacturing systems but now particularly focuses on understanding the psychological and ethical issues surrounding the design of intelligent systems and collaborative robotics. She currently leads a number of projects developing interactive automation and informatics systems to optimise worker acceptance, satisfaction and performance and is an EPSRC High Value Manufacturing Fellow working on the integration of human factors in augmented reality devices for industrial applications.

    15:00 - 15:30
    Networking Break
    15:30 - 16:00
    Beyond OEE and KPIs

    This talk will be focused on the Automation journey for JSP.

    How JSP on-shored our production the importance of making things in the UK, the advantages it has brought.

    I will touch on the role of KPI’s, and the need to look beyond OEE, by setting up the manufacturing systems to look direct at the customers.


    • Steve Sanders, Manufacturing Director, JSP

      Graduated from Exeter University with degree in Engineering.

      Spent 10 years in motorsport responsible for the manufacturing facility making the car parts.

      After stints with Siemens and Indesit Company joined JSP in 2007 as part of management team, charged with reviving the manufacturing of its goods in the UK.

    16:00 - 16:30
    Working Capital Efficiency – Unlocking untapped assets and funding growth

    Cashflow is the life blood of all businesses at any time but perhaps even more so in times of uncertainty. Funding new capital assets that can support growth and productivity enhancements can place cashflow under still more pressure.

    The session will look at the pressures present in working capital and the key drivers of working capital efficiency and set out the funding options available to enable automation.


    • Andrew Charnley, National Director Business Development , Lloyds Bank

    16.30 - 16.45
    Chair's closing remarks
    • Dr Graeme Philp, Chief Executive , GAMBICA

      After gaining his PhD in fibre-optic sensors in 1985 Dr Philp worked for ABB until 1991 when he joined the intrinsic safety specialist, MTL Instruments, based in Luton UK.  He became Managing Director in 1992 and then Chief Executive in 1995, a post which he retained until MTL was acquired by the US multinational, Cooper Industries in 2008.  By that time, MTL had annual sales of over £100m and sold its products in 70 countries around the world.  In December 2010 Dr Philp was appointed Chief Executive of GAMBICA, the UK trade body representing the instrumentation, control, automation and laboratory technology sectors of UK industry.