The MTA was founded as the Machine Tools and Engineering Association in 1910 and reconstituted as the Machine Tools Trade Association in 1919. In the late twentieth century it became clear that rapid developments in manufacturing technologies and production methods needed the Association to provide a broader range of services to a widening potential membership base, and in 2001 the organisation changed its name to the Manufacturing Technologies Association. With a record of serving and representing the UK’s engineering based manufacturing sector stretching back over a century – and kept close to the modern realities through its organisation of the UK’s biggest manufacturing technologies trade show, MACH – the MTA has an unrivalled perspective on the industry’s strengths and challenges.
The advanced technology developed and applied by the sector delivers the means of production into the UK’s manufacturing companies, helping them innovate and improve, driving up quality and standards while reducing real costs. The MTA’s members’ products and services feed into a wide range of technology driven industries, both in the UK and abroad.
Central to the future of UK manufacturing are the highly sophisticated machine tools used in production. They are, quite literally, the cutting edge of manufacturing. Without them, the ground breaking technological successes that are celebrated every time the chequered flag is passed on the Formula 1 circuit would not be possible, nor would the continued innovations in communications technologies that depend upon satellites, or the fundamental reliability and safety that we all assume when we board an aircraft. The MTA represents UK companies that build and deploy machine tools, and those companies that drive innovation and technology in engineering based manufacturing. The advanced technology developed and applied by our sector delivers the means for UK producers to continuously innovate and improve, driving home-grown and export sales alike.
As part of the value chains for all of Britain’s advanced engineering industrial sectors, from aerospace through oil and gas to automotive, the MTA’s members are well placed to understand the cross-sector issues that the UK economy faces. The scope of our nation’s industrial base should be understood not just in terms of its breadth and the number of sectors we have in evidence. It is also crucial to appreciate the depth of knowledge and expertise underpinning our base, by understanding just how many parts of various technologies’ value chains can be found here. Whether it is parts for US aircraft designed using British software, high-precision automotive powertrain components ground on purpose built UK-made machinery, or specialist medical devices made from high-purity materials, the picture of the UK’s engineering based-manufacturing is a rich and diverse one.
The ability to manufacture the most complex, safety critical, parts, machinery and systems is a widely underappreciated British strength. The MTA is justifiably proud of its members’ achievements. But the MTA is not complacent; in a highly competitive global economy, it is absolutely essential that our members continually innovate, create, build and test to the highest imaginable standards.