Welcome to the Friday Brief for 11 July 2014.
Congratulations this week must go to all the finalists in the MTA’s annual Technology, Design and Innovation (TDI) Challenge. The two overall winners were: Ben Murray from Balcarras School – Cheltenham, in the 14-16 years category with his design for a hand held stabiliser for filming on a mobile phone and Charlie Smith from Sedbergh School – Cumbria, in the 17-19 years category for his innovative ‘SOLA’, a water heating stove for outdoor expeditions. The TDI Finals Day was held at Yamazaki Mazak’s European Headquarters in Worcester and all the finalists, their teachers and parents were given a conducted tour of the facility during the day. Thanks are extended to Yamazaki Mazak for its hospitality and to the time given up by the members of the MTA’s Education and Training Committee judging panel.
On the economic news front this week data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that manufacturing output fell in May, compared to April. Looking at monthly data can often be misleading especially as in this case news reporting had ignored the fact that manufacturing output had seen a spurt in March and April. Our statistician points out that the May figure could well turn out to be nothing more than a correction of this trend. The MTA’s preferred measure of looking at the 3-month rolling trend, shows that total manufacturing output in the latest 3 months (March, April and May) was +1.1% higher than in the previous 3 months (December 2013, January and February 2014) and +3.8% above the level in the same period a year ago (March, April and May 2013).
We have news this week of a 20% discount available to MTA members who wish to attend the TRAM conference which is being held in Chicago 10-11 September, during IMTS. TRAM is an international aerospace conference focused on transferring advanced manufacturing technologies to the business leaders, managers and engineers who lead or play a key role in a facility that serves the aerospace sector - so well worth a look if you’re going to be at IMTS or even a special visit.
We also have a report about last week’s launch of the Technology Strategy Board’s new Robotics and Autonomous Systems Strategy. The event brought together representatives from academia and people from the world of robotic vehicles but engagement with manufacturers was perhaps a little disappointing.
We have a reminder about the pavilion the MTA is organising at MAKTEK Eurasia 2014 in Turkey, between 14-19 October. The event aims to be the largest exhibition for the machinery industry in Eurasia. There is also news of the Precision Engineering Industrial Short Course being held at Cranfield University between 15-19 September.
Finally, there is a story from 600 Group about their participation in the first National Women in Engineering Day. To mark the event Joanne Zalesinski, 600 UK’s Educational Sales Representative, visited female apprentices at Training 2000 based in Blackburn, one of 600 Group’s many engineering education partners. Joanne shared her experiences of working at 600 UK with them.
Have a good weekend.