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.
The merger between American firms Woodward Inc. and Hexcel Corp. sent tremors through the entire global aerospace and defence industry – not least among trade suppliers and rival companies, since the union could create one of the world's largest aerospace and defence suppliers.
UK manufacturing continues to face significant change in automation and digitalisation, attitudes towards its emissions output and preparing its workforce for the future, while being beset by ever-shifting political challenges as the UK prepares to the the European Union.
A £20m cutting-edge R&D facility, dedicated to furthering aerospace, automotive and advanced manufacturing capabilities in the North West of England, has been approved for capital funding from the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership Growth Deal.
A consortium of partners are embarking on a project to refine the basic science of electron-beam welding over traditional welding techniques, something that could drive down production times in civil nuclear assemblies by as much as 85%.
The number of UK businesses willing to pay that little bit extra for British-made products for their quality and environmentally conscious manufacturing processes, chimes with a similar study about global attitudes to ‘Brand Britain’ conducted last year.