Good morning and welcome to this week’s Friday Brief.
On 27th June the MTA will be hosting a Engineering Digital Mash UP event at Mazak in Worcester. This free full day session is aimed at SMEs looking to adopt digital technologies within their workforce. In partnership with Stirling Media and with support from the Worcestershire LEP and DRL Tool, delegates will learn how digital tools can help your business: engineering, sales and much more. See within the Brief for more details.
On Tuesday we hosted over forty MTA members for the Spring Economic Update event, held this year at FANUC at Ansty Park. Andy Goodwin, Associate Director at Oxford Economics, joined the MTA’s Statistician Geoff Noon to outline the thinking behind the six month refresh of our market forecasts, as well as brief members on the wider economic picture. You can read about some of what they had to say below.
At a parliamentary briefing this week, MTA’s Education & Development Manager heard from both Government & Industry on the opportunities and challenges of implementing T-Levels. We have the full story of this below.
MTA CEO James Selka will be at Internet of Manufacturing UK 2019, taking place on the 14-15 May at Farnborough International Conference Centre. James will be speaking on Day 2 of the event, as part of a Keynote Panel discussing “Factories of the Future: Transforming Manufacturing with Industry 4.0” and as part of the Strategy 4.0 stream in the “MTA Innovation Hub”. The story below has details of how members can access free passes to the event.
A bank of powerful 3D printers linked to easy-to-use software has been built by AMRC engineers to show that the batch-printing of bespoke polymer components is an affordable option, even for smaller manufacturers who are keen to accelerate their design processes, shorten lead times and drive improvements in productivity and quality.
The North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA), the UK’s largest automotive cluster, has announced its first automotive conference, labelled The Future of Automotive, taking place on 27 June at Ramside Hall Hotel.
If you are interested in exhibiting at METAV 2020, International Trade Fair for Metalworking Technologies, registrations can be submitted until 31 August 2019.
After a quiet couple of weeks, there are some important new numbers to cover this time; chief among them are the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) numbers for the manufacturing sector which saw the UK slip back, but remain well into positive territory thanks to a continuation of the stock-building process, which seems to be mainly in the consumer goods sector. Although there was a small improvement in the Euro-zone, the PMI remained below 50 thanks mainly to Germany and Italy - France just managed to reach the 50 level. Elsewhere, there is a mix of trends, but the fact that Switzerland fell below 50 for the first time in 3½ years is testament to their links to Germany.
The latest CBI Industrial Trends Survey highlighted the pre-Brexit stock-building which was driving modest growth in the UK manufacturing sector; this survey also gave us the latest reading for investment intentions which, while not quite as weak as in October 2018 and January 2019, remain below the long-run average. There was also a fall in the Economic Sentiment Index produced by the European Commission for both the Euro-zone and the EU28, with industrial confidence among the weaker elements of this measure. This data also showed a fall in capacity utilisation rates although they are mostly still above the long-run average; the UK is the one that is out of line here with the rate right on its long-run average. Eurostat has also released its first look at GDP at the start of 2019 and although the quarterly growth rate for the Euro-zone and the EU28 picked up from the end of 2018, the annualised rates were unchanged. Finally, the latest figures for the Contract Price Adjustment service which we subscribe to on behalf of MTA members are available.
Thanks so much for reading, we’ll be back next Friday with more industry news and views, have a great bank holiday weekend from everyone at the MTA.