Leading manufacturers ensure successful MACH 2022 preview
19 February 2021
THE MANUFACTURING Technologies Association (MTA), which owns and organises the MACH exhibition, continues to work hard to ensure that even in these unprecedented times, the needs of the advanced manufacturing and engineering community are highlighted and discussions on the important issues facing the industry can still take place, albeit virtually.
In this vein, to kick off preparations for MACH 2022, the MTA organised a series of online seminars featuring top speakers from some of the manufacturing sector’s leading companies and organisations. Drawn from across the industry, the speakers provided high-level, exclusive content solely for MACH 2022 preview week.
Having a strong digital platform in support of MACH it made sense to utilise this to best effect. The virtual MACH 2022 preview was organised to offer valuable insight into some of the important work being carried out by manufacturers, many of which have been the unsung heroes of this pandemic, helping carry out invaluable work through initiatives like the Ventilator Challenge.
The virtual MACH event was organised to offer visitors and exhibitors the opportunity to watch and interact with some of the manufacturing technology industry’s best speakers, and to ensure that despite lockdown we can continue doing business, continue to be inspired and develop innovative solutions to some of the biggest challenges we now face.
One of the MTA’s aims was to provide the UK’s manufacturing community with the latest insight into productivity improvements. We are constantly communicating with the top tiers of the UK manufacturing community and this proved beneficial as we continue to build towards MACH 2022.
The great content we were able to secure was testament to the ability of the speakers to engage and inspire their audience, albeit remotely. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who spoke at the event, as well as all those who registered to take part in the preview week. Your support was greatly appreciated.
Kicking off the seminar series was David Holmes OBE, Director of Operations and Technology for Air at BAE Systems. He offered valuable insight into the manufacturing technology his company is using in the development of its Tempest UAV programme.
One of the major factors that will determine the future of many UK manufacturers will be the ability to accurately plan ahead. Therefore, an understanding of the current state of the economy and what direction it is likely to take is vital. Therefore, the guidance offered by Rhys Herbert, a Senior Economist in the Research Department of Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking was most useful. He was able to provide some important context, derived from his role analysing and forecasting trends in the UK and other major economies.
Made Smarter is undoubtedly one of the most influential reports for the manufacturing technologies industries in recent years. The MTA was therefore delighted to welcome its architect, Professor Juergen Maier, former Chief Executive of Siemens UK, to speak about developments since the report’s publication.
Elsewhere, Rab Scott and James Lindsay, both of the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), provided an important update on Project ELLI (Electrification and Lightweighting in Industry 4.0). They explained how the centre is leading mid-TRL research across multiple sectors and capabilities, with the aim of increasing productivity for the project’s partners and UK manufacturing in general.
Another key aspect of Industry 4 is automation, but many firms are unsure if the process is for them. Mike Wilson, who leads the Manufacturing Technology Centre’s drive to increase the adoption of automation throughout UK manufacturing, was able to offer advice on some of the simple steps SMEs can take to successful automation.
The massive potential offered to UK manufacturing by the HS2 high speed rail project was outlined by Howard Mitchell, Head of Innovation for HS2. Already, more than £20 billion has been contracted into the supply chain and each contract awarded results in jobs and investment for the UK.
Helping to shed light on the massive potential offered by decarbonisation was Steven Jeffers, Head of EPS Projects at Siemens UK. Having spent close to 20 years helping businesses and organisations reduce their energy costs and carbon emissions, he was the perfect person to offer insight. His broad range of expertise in low carbon solutions, ranging from project development, financing, project execution and more latterly net zero pathways was invaluable.
Once again, I would like to thank all our speakers for their contributions. It demonstrated why the manufacturing technologies remain so important to the UK’s future growth. If anyone missed the seminar programme first time around or would like to view the seminars again, then they are available to watch at https://mach22.mapyourshow.com/8_0/explore/session-fulllist.cfm#/
James Selka DL