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Friday Brief Archive

2019

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2018

Week 51

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Friday Brief

Good morning and welcome to this week’s Friday Brief.

On 10th October at the AMRC Factory 2050 in Sheffield, the MTA is co-hosting an event to give our members another chance to see the Digital meet Manufacturing joint project, first demonstrated at MACH 2018. The project saw legacy machine tools retrofitted with sensors to provide accurate data about operating condition and performance and shows what is possible if companies embrace Industry 4.0 technology.

The UK5G Advisory Board (UK5G AB) has decided to create a number of working groups, with manufacturing being one of the industries covered. The UK5G AB are looking for people to sit in these working groups to understand specific needs and challenges in the UK 5G ecosystem and to develop practical ways of overcoming these. If you are interested in getting involved see the story below for more details.

MTA members Renishaw have been running Technology Teardown workshops, to help inspire the next generation of engineers. The workshops see students, aided by engineers, disassemble domestic technology to understand how its component parts, work together, to perform the function of the product.  

Staying with MTA members Olympus Technologies are hosting an Open Day on Thursday 5th September in Huddersfield. At the Open Day you will also have chance to see Olympus’ Universal Robot Welding System, other robotics & visions solutions and a host of other technologies from partners including OnRobot, Sensopart, Dinse & Nederman. To register see the story below.

More MTA member news; Siemens Financial Services (SFS) has released a new research paper examining how UK manufacturers can more easily implement energy optimisation solutions to reduce energy usage with the help of innovative financing methods.

We have an update from the EMO Hannover team about what you can expect to see at this year’s exhibition where they will be showcasing solutions for complex networked systems and how protect machine tools from cyber-attacks.

This week The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark, opened the country’s first R&D test bed facility dedicated to helping UK manufacturing develop digital solutions to drive innovation and productivity in their companies. He came to Factory 2050 in South Yorkshire to see how a powerful private sector consortium led by Rolls-Royce and Accenture – and drawn from the aerospace, automotive and pharmaceutical industries – has collaborated with the University of Sheffield AMRC to develop a connected facility that will de-risk investment in the digital technologies at the heart of the government’s Industrial Strategy and Made Smarter initiative. More details are available within the Brief.

The manufacturing output headlines this month were broadly positive, although as is often the case, the devil lies in the detail.  At the overall sector level, the improvement was largely related to the events in the automotive industry in April being reversed, which generated a boost to manufacturing output despite more than half of the sub-sectors showing a month-on-month decline.  In detail, the capital goods industries were the only one of the groups to see output falling in the latest 3 months and by industry, there were sharp falls for both the Automotive and Machinery industries that were only slightly off-set by increases for Aerospace and Metal Products.  Please read the article below for more about these trends.

In other economic news this week, the monthly UK GDP figures that parallel the output data suggests that growth in the 2nd quarter is likely to be flat following the relatively strong 1st quarter of the year.  In particular, the services sector which dominates the UK economy was unchanged in May following only fractional growth in April.  These trends are also confirmed by the Bank of England’s Agents’ report which shows only modest growth in manufacturing output (and what there is being driven by the food industry), manufacturing exports weak and investment intentions at their lowest for some time, although capacity utilisation remains high.  There is also a brief note about the latest productivity data which shows a fall for the manufacturing sector with hours worked rising faster than output in the 1st quarter and we conclude with details of the investment grants which are still available in Scotland - members may find some potential contacts in amongst the list of companies who have received support from the Scottish Government recently.

Thanks for reading we’ll be back next Friday with more industry news, until then have a great weekend from everyone at the MTA.

Olympus Technologies Open Day

Olympus Technologies Open Day

Olympus Technologies Ltd specialises in Industrial and Collaborative Robotics, Automation and Welding Technologies, enabling the automation of a large range of processes across all business sectors, e.g. machine tending, gluing, painting. Founded in 1987, Olympus has been providing bespoke, high quality integrated solutions for almost 30 years. The company’s skills are constantly evolving as new technologies are introduced, and the team is growing in response to customer demand.

Smart financing is enabling manufacturers to invest in energy optimisation without the need to commit capital

Smart financing is enabling manufacturers to invest in energy optimisation without the need to commit capital

Siemens Financial Services (SFS) has released a new research paper examining how UK manufacturers can more easily implement energy optimisation solutions to reduce energy usage with the help of innovative financing methods.

MTA Business Survey

MTA Business Survey

The June edition of the MTA Business Survey will remain open for a few more days so if you have not done so already, please go to the secure on-line form at www.mta.org.uk/mta-business-survey-jun19 - we look forward to hearing from you.  This is one of our slightly longer quarterly surveys, but we hope that will not put you off.  Sentiment appears to be cooling and it will be important that we maintain the overview of the market situation that this survey provides over the Summer.

ECONOMIC DATA THIS WEEK

ECONOMIC DATA THIS WEEK

UK GDP, monthly estimate for May 2019:  The ONS also publishes the monthly output data for the services and construction sectors from which the monthly estimate for GDP is built-up.  The rolling 3-month growth rate to May was +0.3% - this is the second consecutive slowing of growth since the peak of +0.5% in March (the April figure was revised up slightly).

UK MANUFACTURING OUTPUT, MAY 2019

UK MANUFACTURING OUTPUT, MAY 2019

The data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) this week showed the expected recovery in output in May, but there is an indication that all is not well in that the increase in total manufacturing output was +1.4% compared to April with that month having seen a fall of -4.1%.  While the decline in April was blamed largely on the automotive shutdowns that were moved from the Summer in case of delays in the supply chain because of Brexit, it is clear that there was also an element of the end to stock-building in the data.

UK5G Manufacturing Working Group is now looking for contributors

UK5G Manufacturing Working Group is now looking for contributors

Background on working groups

The UK5G Advisory Board (UK5G AB) has decided to create a number of working groups (WG), covering the following subject areas:

Local Enterprise Partnerships & SMEs

Connected Places

International

Testbed & Trials review

Manufacturing

Creative Industries

The general purpose of each UK5G Working Group is to understand specific needs and challenges in the UK 5G ecosystem and to develop practical ways of overcoming these, normally within a relatively short timescale (12-18 months).

Getting to the heart of technology

Getting to the heart of technology

Play is an important part of toddlers’ development and some of the most commonly used toys, like building blocks and puzzles, are based on the principle of assembly and disassembly to help children acquire dexterity and understand cause and effect. The same idea can be applied to the study of technology.