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Let it snow 05/12/2019

Stephen Roots, past chair of The Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) warns that it is imperative that all those responsible for the facilities in which we work, understand their responsibilities and have a plan in place to counter those hard winter days.

As you read this article, the winter season is well and truly upon us. Predicting the weather is a perilous activity even with the accuracy of long term forecasting getting better and better each year.

Any accident or injury sustained on an organisation’s property can have serious repercussions. An ad hoc service approach to winter management is no longer adequate to support business confidence or continuity. It increases the risk of lost revenue, reputation and productivity resulting from accident liability claims or shut-downs caused by snow and ice. At the same time, unpredictable winters are also playing havoc with FMs’ planned preventative maintenance programmes, not to mention landscaping designs and air conditioning use.  

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 defines an employer’s duty of care obligation as: "It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees." Part of this legal requirement involves providing a healthy and safe working environment. However, the duty of care extends beyond staff to anyone visiting, or passing by the facility, including suppliers on company business and members of the public. What is reasonably practicable?  

Organisations must be able to demonstrate that they have done everything reasonably possible to meet their duty of care and that they have met all health and safety legislation, when it comes to making a site safe for staff and customers during harsh winter weather. An adverse weather policy, that clearly communicates how an organisation will manage/take action in extreme weather situations to protect the health and safety of staff, is a key step towards meeting the duty of care in winter. Cold weather and shorter daylight hours create added risk and more potential for accidents to happen. It is important to prepare for what will happen and establish a framework of risk prevention.

The FM’s role in maintaining organisational resilience to extreme weather is vital for the country’s economy and status quo. The harsh winter of 2012/13, when salt shortages led to airports and public transport grinding to a halt, caught many by surprise. Businesses struggled to remain operational, while meeting their duty of care, making an unexpectedly large hole in some budgets. Many businesses were heavily affected, with employees not being able to travel to work and parents having to stay at home to attend to their children as schools were closed. Facilities in many cases were unsafe as the lack of salt meant car parks and pathways couldn’t be gritted, undoubtedly having a negative effect on British business.

Addressing cost pressures

One of the most fundamental reasons that the UK seems to be lagging behind other countries in managing extreme weather is that preparedness costs money. Looking at the short-term cost implications of having a winter maintenance plan in place detracts from the risk of the even greater financial burden and loss of reputation, should a business be found to neglect their duty of care and the health and safety of their employees by failing to tackle winter risks.

Creating a completely risk free workplace is almost impossible. However, having a well thought out policy and prioritised procedure for dealing with icy conditions, supported by comprehensive documents to show what had actually been done is critical. The essential thing is for businesses to be prepared. A comprehensive winter risk policy, robust management system and good risk assessment processes are key safety measures.

A clear plan will help insurers to refute any injury claims and a good quality winter maintenance/gritting and snow clearance procedure providing evidence to prove all measures have been taken to avoid incidents. In the event of a claim, evidence of a proactive winter maintenance plan will help to ensure that the business is covered by its liability insurance. This could even have a positive impact on insurance premiums and should always be shared with insurers.

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Successful deployment of 5G requires collaborative approach 05/12/2019

5G will dramatically gain importance in providing wireless connectivity to industrial environments, especially in the context of Industry 4.0 and the automation of production processes and monitoring of machine conditions, according to global tech market advisory firm ABI Research. By

2026, there will be 5.3 million 5G connections on the factory floor which will generate a revenue of more than US$184 million (with a CAGR of 623% between 2021 and 2026).  

“As a technology, 5G will be a perfect fit to provide wireless connectivity on the factory floor, since it enables, for example, establishing a massive wireless sensor network or implementing Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) applications for predictive maintenance and product monitoring. Therefore, 5G offers immense operational benefits and productivity enhancements to the implementing manufacturer,” says Leo Gergs, Research Analyst at ABI Research. “Furthermore, the technology opens up new production opportunities by enabling artificial intelligence applications to be integrated into manufacturing processes.”

Early 5G trial deployment projects at companies such as Schneider Electric in France and Germany’s Osram, and Mercedes hint that bringing 5G connectivity to the factory floor will decrease maintenance costs by 30% and increase overall equipment efficiency by 7%. While there are many use cases and areas of application for 5G in industrial manufacturing, targeting the enterprise vertical will fundamentally change the value chain associated with 5G. A much closer collaboration between network operators, infrastructure vendors, and manufacturers will be required.

Targeting enterprise verticals, however, is vitally important for Communication Service Providers (CSPs) and the successful deployment of 5G.  A recent Return on Investment (ROI) study conducted by ABI Research has shown that 5G will take approximately 14 to 15 years to break even if it remains solely in the consumer market, versus 10 years if enterprise business models were in place.

 “It is, therefore, highly important for network operators and infrastructure vendors to develop new business strategies taking into manufacturers’ requirements. Centrally, this should include moving away from selling connectivity as such and develop attractive pricing models for additional network capabilities,” concludes Gergs.


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Nokia expands industrial-grade private networking solutions 05/12/2019

Nokia says it has deployed private wireless networks for more than 120 customers across multiple industries and geographies, helping its enterprise customers take advantage of Industry 4.0 innovation.

Unleashing the potential of Industry 4.0 technologies such as cloud, IoT, AI and machine learning, Nokia’s private LTE/4.9G and 5G wireless networking solutions have established a global marketplace footprint across energy, transportation, public sector, manufacturing and logistics.

Kathrin Buvac, President of Nokia Enterprise said: “Enterprise customers who invest in Industry 4.0 today will gain a clear competitive advantage over those who choose to wait. With spectrum and new technologies that have become available, customers can deploy industrial-grade wireless connectivity to capture the transformational benefits of digitalization and industrial automation.”

Building on this marketplace success, Nokia this week also announced an expansion of its portfolio of industrial-grade private networking solutions. In addition, expanding the reach of its solutions portfolio across multiple geographies and industries, Nokia continues to cultivate an ecosystem of world-class partners integrating LTE/4.9G into their Industry 4.0 solutions to enable their customers’ digital transformation.

Buvac added: “ABI Research has quantified the private wireless networking market opportunity at US$ 16.3 billion by 2025. Accordingly, we have increased our investments in R&D and human capital to create the most complete private wireless solutions portfolio in the market. Our deep industry expertise is reflected in the breadth of our customers, including more than 120 asset-heavy leaders in the sectors of mining, manufacturing, ports, utilities and airports.”

“Nokia is arguably the first telecom infrastructure vendor that has invested significant R&D and effort in addressing enterprise verticals, and this announcement illustrates that Nokia is listening to end users,” said Dimitris Mavrakis, Research Director at ABI Research. “Nokia’s new products, services and ecosystem partnerships remove technology and ecosystem complexity for enterprises currently looking at implementing private cellular networks. The time is right for Industry 4.0, since many industrial applications and digitalization efforts can benefit today from LTE/4G; in addition, it is a vital step to promote the adoption of cellular technology at enterprise verticals and lay the foundation for future advanced 5G use cases.”

"Right now, there is tremendous appetite and momentum for private wireless networking as we see a ‘coming together’ of key enablers that differentiate our proposition,” said Karl Bream, Head of Strategy for Nokia’s Enterprise business. “LTE/4.9G has proven its ability to provide reliable, secure, high-capacity connectivity. Spectrum availability is opening up with the availability of shared and unlicensed networking options, such as CBRS and MulteFire. Most importantly, Nokia is bringing to market an unparalleled combination of technology, services and partnerships to help customers deploy turnkey solutions that enable the next steps in their digital transformation.”

Nokia’s extensive work with over 120 customers reaches across the globe and addresses the immediate needs of multiple industrial segments including:

Nokia’s private 4.9G/LTE and 5G wireless networking portfolio offers ultra-reliable and secure broadband wireless connectivity that delivers near spotless coverage across industrial sites. The industrial-grade solutions also seamlessly expand the enterprise's business footprint to support new applications as they embrace the move to Industry 4.0.

The company has also significantly expanded its private wireless ecosystem to include service providers and partners across cloud, systems integration, strategic consulting and industry specialists. All have a key role to play in the widescale adoption of private wireless across industries. Nokia’s extensive list of ecosystem partners includes:

Yousef Khalidi, Corporate Vice President, Azure Networking, Microsoft, said: “Microsoft Azure recently introduced plans to develop an ecosystem for our Multi-access Edge Compute platform featuring the Nokia Digital Automation Cloud. Our intelligent cloud and intelligent edge portfolio of services and tools such as Azure Kubernetes Service, Azure Dev Ops, and Azure IoT Edge combined with Nokia’s private wireless leadership gives enterprises a wide variety of robust industrial automation solutions to offer reliable, secure connectivity with superior mobility.”

Greg Cudahy, EY Global TMT Leader, said: “Combining EY Smart Factory IP for process and discrete manufacturing with Nokia’s high-quality, low-latency private 5G/LTE network will create a market-leading solution which brings line-level and cross-factory performance to entirely new heights. Further adding advanced analytics and intelligent automation to this vastly increased data capture will allow our clients to achieve a level of Overall Equipment Efficiency previously unattainable.”

Kari Järnström, Managing Director, DXC Technology Finland, said: “DXC is excited to cooperate with Nokia to guide organizations on their digital transformations. We see great potential in the synergy between Nokia’s end-to-end solutions for pervasive private LTE connectivity — including emerging 5G networking technology — and DXC’s knowledge and experience integrating digital innovation into mainstream IT in key industry verticals.”

David Kagan, CEO of Globalstar, said: “The 4th Industrial Revolution has intensified the need for high capacity, low latency and secure connectivity that is easy to deploy in multiple sites, and often across national borders. One of the key enablers to make this happen is spectrum for local deployments, combined with a solid automation platform. By combining Nokia’s industrial-grade private wireless Digital Automation Cloud platform together with Globalstar’s 3GPP Band 53 spectrum, our companies allow enterprises to deploy intelligent network applications in a dedicated spectrum band.”

George Nazi, senior managing director and global Communications & Media industry lead, Accenture, said: “Working with Nokia, we will focus on using private network technologies in a secure and efficient way to help companies across all industries and regions on their digital transformation journeys. This collaboration builds upon our existing Nokia Accenture Business Group agreement, that helps operators and enterprise users make the leap to digitally-focused networks.”   

In July 2019, Nokia's 5G "factory of the future" in Oulu, Finland was selected by the World Economic Forum as an Advanced 4th Industrial Revolution Lighthouse, demonstrating Nokia's ability to digitally transform and modernize its customers' manufacturing facilities for Industry 4.0.

New enhancement to create the industry’s most comprehensive private wireless portfolio: 
Nokia has further expanded its offer across the entire private wireless solution, from end-points to the applications and everything in between. It will provide expanded reach and capabilities, increased flexibility and ease of use — each of which are critical requirements for driving the adoption of wireless networking for Industry 4.0.

  • Expanded reach with the launch of the industry’s 1st MulteFire industrial devices giving benefits of private wireless without spectrum availability concerns
  • CBRS (GAA) readiness with involvement in many Initial Commercial Deployments (ICD) and certification with Spectrum Access System (SAS) solutions partners 
  • Support for vertical LTE spectrum band including B43 (Germany), B28/38 (France), B31/72 (450MHz) and B53 for Globalstar
  • Extended spectrum support for Nokia’s LTE-enabled IP/MPLS field area networking router, with the new Nokia 7705 SAR-Hmc
  • 2nd generation enterprise optimized 5G-ready wireless core with expanded capabilities, increased capacity, and concurrent 4.9G/5G operation
  • End-to-end private wireless connectivity solution for Microsoft’s Azure IoT platform, allowing rapid deployment of reliable wireless connectivity of IoT use-cases
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Food industry investing least in cybersecurity 21/11/2019

Cyber-attacks/breaches are on the rise. This year alone (2019), 55% of UK firms have already faced a cyber-attack and losses from breaches have accounted to a shocking £176,000 on average, according to statistics from insurance provider Hiscox.

Just this month (November 2019), one of the most prolific targets was the Labour Party – where hackers deployed two large-scale cyber-attacks across the political parties’ digital platforms. 

Specops Software analysed the latest findings from Gov.uk to see how much 1,091 UK firms from a range of sectors have invested in cyber security during 2018-19 (April 2018 – March 2019). 

Additionally, 2018-19 cyber security investment figures where compared to 2017-18 (April 2017 – March 2018), to see if year-on-year cyber security investment had increased or decreased for each of the reviewed sectors. 

Specops Software found that finance and insurance firms have invested the most on cyber security, at a significant £22,050. This represents an increase of 23% from the previous year (2017-18), where finance and insurance companies were spending £17,900 on average. 

Thereafter, firms in health/social care/social work invested the second highest amount on cyber security at £16,800. From the considered sectors, it marked the biggest rise (506%) in cyber security spending when compared to the year before (2017-18) – where the average outlay was only £2,770.

Contrastingly, businesses in the food and hospitality industry invested the least financially, at an average of just £1,080. Despite the low sum, it was still an increase of 20% from 2017-18 – when firms within the sectors were spending £900.  

 Investing slightly more than the food/hospitality sector, entertainment/service/membership firms splashed out an average of £1,940 on cyber security in 2018-19. A surge of 152% in contrast to 2017-18 – where cyber security investment was a mere £770. 

Specops Software’s top three tips for effectively maintaining high cyber security standards

Review IT Estate

Carry out a regular assessment of IT systems to identify any vulnerabilities that maybe targeted and exposed by opportunistic cyber-criminals. 

Education and Governance 

Create a formal document which establishes the firm’s best practices and policies on cyber security. Within this, give employees clear guidance on what they can and cannot do on the company’s IT devices/systems/networks. 

Safeguard and Protect 

Keep anti-virus software up-to-date, apply the latest security patches and periodically change passwords across IT estate.

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Manufacturing activity shows slight recovery but is still weak 05/12/2019

Manufacturing output volumes in the quarter to November continued to fall, according to the latest monthly CBI Industrial Trends Survey.

The survey of 307 manufacturers found that total order books improved on October (when they were at their weakest in nine years) but remained significantly below their long-run average. Export order books also strengthened on the previous month (when they were at their weakest since the financial crisis of 2008) but also continued to be below the long-run average.

Output volumes fell at a similar pace to October, with output expanding in only 5 out of 17 sub-sectors. The headline fall in output volumes was driven largely by the motor vehicles, metal products, and metal manufacture sub-sectors. Meanwhile, the main positive contributors to output were the mechanical engineering and plastic products sub-sectors, alongside a boost from aerospace output. Looking ahead, firms anticipate output volumes to be flat in the next three months.

Manufacturers reported that stocks rose further above “adequate” levels. Meanwhile, firms expect output prices to be flat in the next quarter.

Across the economy more broadly, growth has been volatile during 2019, driven by businesses shifting activity in response to moving Brexit deadlines. We expect the economy to grow modestly in the event of a smooth transition to a new Brexit deal, with the longer-term economic impact dependent upon the details within the final deal. For more on the outlook, see our July economic forecast.

Anna Leach, CBI Deputy Chief Economist, said: “While the thick fog of uncertainty from a No Deal Brexit has lifted somewhat, the manufacturing sector remains under pressure from weak global trade and a subdued domestic economy. 

“Order books remain below average, and output volumes continue to fall. When taking into account the deteriorating outlook for manufacturing globally, it’s clear that the outlook for the sector remains precarious.

 “The General Election is an opportunity for all parties to explain how they will shore up our economy. Ratifying a Brexit deal and moving on to build a vibrant future relationship with our biggest trading partner, based on frictionless trade, will be vital – both for UK manufacturers, and business as a whole.”

Key findings:

  • 13% of manufacturers reported total order books to be above normal, and 40% said they were below normal, giving a rounded balance of -26% (up from -37% in October). This remains well below the long-run average (-13%) 
  • 13% of firms said their export order books were above normal, and 35% said they were below normal, giving a balance of -22% – below the long-run average of -17% but stronger than October (-41%)
  • 26% of businesses said that the volume of output over the past three months was up, and 34% said it was down, giving a balance of -9%. This decline was in line with that seen in October (-10%), and below the long-run average (+4%)
  • Manufacturers expect output to be broadly flat in the coming quarter, with 24% predicting growth, and 25% a decline, giving a balance of -1%
  • Average selling prices for the coming three months (-1%) are expected to remain steady. 
  • 21% of firms said their present stocks of finished goods were more than adequate, whilst 3% said they were less than adequate, giving a rounded balance of +17% – slightly above the long-run average (+13%).  

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Global wind speeds increase 19/11/2019

Average wind speeds around the world have increased significantly over the past decade signalling good news for the renewable energy industry, scientists say.

Latest findings show that a worrying trend of decreasing wind speeds since the 1970s, a phenomenon known as global terrestrial stilling, has now been reversed with a significant increase observed since 2010.

Slower wind speeds, which had been suggested to continue over the coming decades, had been of significant concern to the booming renewable energy industry who saw this as a threat to potential power generation.

By the end of 2018, the total capacity of wind turbines installed worldwide had reached 597 gigawatts, meeting nearly 6 per cent of the world's electricity demand.

The new findings have been published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

In the study the international team, including a Cardiff University scientist, analysed data taken between 1978 and 2017 from over 9,000 weather stations across Europe, North America and Asia.

The analysis showed that global mean annual wind speed decreased significantly at a rate of 2.3 per cent per decade during the first three decades, beginning from 1978.

They calculated that if this trend were to continue to the end of the century, global wind speed would reduce by 21 per cent, thus halving the amount of power available in the wind.

Yet the findings showed that since 2010, wind speeds have significantly increased at a rate three times greater than the decreasing rate before 2010.

If this trend were to persist for at least another decade, wind power would rise to 3.3 million kWh in 2024, an overall increase of 37 per cent.

“This rapid increase in global wind speeds is certainly good news for the power industry,” said co-author of the study Dr Adrian Chappell from Cardiff University’s School of Earth and Ocean Sciences.

“The reversal in global terrestrial stilling bodes well for the expansion of large-scale and efficient wind power generation systems in these mid-latitude countries in the near future.”

In the study, the team also examined the potential reasons why wind speeds had declined and then increased. Previous studies have proposed that the slowing down was linked to increased ‘roughness’ on the surface of the Earth, caused by urbanization and vegetation changes, which acts almost like a filter and slows wind speeds down.

However, the team has demonstrated that the phenomenon is linked to changes in large-scale ocean and atmospheric circulation patterns. The strongest drivers of wind speed were the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and the Tropical North Atlantic Index (TNA).

As it takes around a decade for changes in these wind patterns to occur, the researchers believe that increasing wind speeds should continue for at least another decade.

However, the patterns in the future will probably cause a return to declining wind speeds and so anticipating these changes should be a priority for the wind power industry, the team warn.

“The development of renewable energy sources is central to keeping warming below 2oC. One megawatt of wind power reduces 1,300 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and saves 2,000 litres of water compared with other energy sources,” continued Dr Chappell.

The study was led by a scientist from Princeton University in the US now based in the Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen, China.

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Siemens acquires MultiMechanics to help customers create digital twins 19/11/2019

Siemens has signed an agreement to acquire MultiMechanics, Inc., developer of MultiMech finite element software that helps companies virtually predict failure in advanced materials at an unprecedented level of speed and accuracy.

The company plans to integrate MultiMechanics into Siemens Digital Industries Software, which will add the ability for customers to create a digital twin of materials by closely integrating materials engineering with part design, performance engineering, and manufacturing through the unique TRUE Multiscale™ technology for a broad range of material-driven applications. MultiMechanics’ technology helps companies to efficiently predict material properties and behavior, including failure starting at the microstructural level, at an unprecedented level of speed and accuracy. This unique technology will be incorporated into Simcenter™ software within Siemens’ Xcelerator portfolio, implementing materials engineering into the digital workflow and establishing a pervasive link between material developers, manufacturing process developers and part designers.

“The addition of this technology enables our customers to build a digital twin of materials, which will help to shrink the innovation cycle of new products and materials, possibly saving millions of dollars and several years in development and certification in aerospace, automotive and other sectors,” explains Jan Leuridan, Senior Vice President, Simulation & Test Solutions, Siemens Digital Industries Software. “Customers will have the ability to fully exploit the potential of advanced materials to optimize weight and performance in an efficient way that is not possible with classical, test-based, approaches.”

“We are excited to join Siemens and the Simcenter family,” says Flavio Souza, President and CTO, MultiMechanics, Inc. “The combination of the TRUE Multiscale technology of MultiMechanics with Simcenter 3D software will provide a strong basis for further innovation, enabling an expansion of scope of structural simulation to include multi-physics support for applications such as minimization of part distortion, prevention of voids during material flow, and prediction of visco-elastic acoustic properties.”

Digitalisation, or the fourth industrial revolution, is happening today, causing disruption in the process and discrete industries, and blurring boundaries between domains, merging the virtual and real world, hardware and software, and design and manufacturing. In this dynamic environment, the ability to meet rapidly changing consumer preferences and requirements with insights and data is essential and can only be achieved through digital twins that represent and validate what is possible through a complete end-to-end workflow. Siemens‘ acquisition of MultiMechanics further expands the ability to create the most comprehensive digital twin by integrating structural computer-aided engineering (CAE) with detailed materials modeling through TRUE Multiscale technology, for a broad range of materials, including polymers, metals, composites, and ceramics. Manufacturing technologies such as injection-moulding and additive manufacturing will see immediate applications, as the digital twin of materials can account for manufacturing variability and imperfections, identify the root cause of material failure at microstructure level, optimize material microstructure for best performance, and enable the creation and virtual testing of new material systems.

“We are confident that as part of Siemens, MultiMechanics’ technology can accelerate innovation in, and adoption of, complex materials, including the further penetration of composites in the automotive and aerospace industries,” said Nicolas Cudré Maroux, Chief Technology Officer of Solvay, a major customer and shareholder of MultiMechanics.

“The accuracy and speed afforded by MultiMechanics, and its efficient integration with commonly used commercial finite element software packages is changing the way we develop new materials and interact with our customers,” added Mike Blair, EVP Research and Innovation Composite Materials at Solvay.

The acquisition is due to close in November 2019. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

For further information on Simcenter, please see www.siemens.com/simcenter.

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Siemens acquires Atlas 3D 14/11/2019

Siemens has signed an agreement to acquire Atlas 3D, Inc., a Plymouth, Indiana-based developer of software that works with direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) printers to automatically provide design engineers with the optimal print orientation and requisite support structures for additive parts in near real-time.

Atlas 3D will join Siemens Digital Industries Software, where its solutions will expand additive manufacturing capabilities in the Xcelerator portfolio of software.

Sunata software uses thermal distortion analysis to provide a simple, automated way to optimize part build orientation and generate support structures. This approach allows the designer—rather than the analyst—to perform these simulations, thereby reducing the downstream analysis that needs to be conducted via Simcenter™ software to achieve a part that meets design requirements. Siemens plans to make the Atlas 3D solution available through its online Additive Manufacturing Network.

“We welcome Atlas 3D to the Siemens community as the newest member of our additive manufacturing team. Our solutions industrialize additive manufacturing for large enterprises, 3D printing service bureaus, design firms and CAD designers,” said Zvi Feuer, Senior Vice President, Manufacturing Engineering Software of Siemens Digital Industries Software. “The cloud-based Sunata software makes it easy for designers to determine the optimal way to 3D print parts for high quality and repeatability. The combination of Sunata with the robust CAE additive manufacturing tools in Simcenter enables a ‘right first time’ approach for industrial 3D printing.”

“Siemens is a leader in additive manufacturing, with the most integrated and functionally robust solutions in the industry, so we are excited to join the team,” said Chad Barden, Chief Executive Officer of Atlas 3D. “The power of Sunata is that it equips designers to more easily design parts that are printable, which helps companies more quickly realize the benefits of additive manufacturing. As part of Siemens, we look forward to introducing Sunata to customers who already have Siemens’ AM solutions and can achieve new efficiencies in their front-end design-for-additive process, as well as companies who have yet to start their additive manufacturing journey.”

The high rate of 3D print failures is a key challenge companies face in leveraging additive manufacturing for high-volume production. Parts often need to go through several design and analysis iterations before the optimal build orientation and support structures are determined. Typically, designers don’t have the capabilities to consider such factors as part orientation, distortion, and heat extraction uniformity in their design. This puts the onus on engineering specialists to resolve such issues.  

Atlas 3D’s Sunata software solves this problem by giving front-end designers a quick, easy and automated way to get much closer to a “right first time” build. Sunata is a GPU-accelerated high-performance computing additive manufacturing software solution that can deliver results up to one hundred times faster than other build simulation solutions on the market. GPU-accelerated computing is the employment of a graphics processing unit (GPU) along with a computer processing unit (CPU) to facilitate processing-intensive operations such as deep learning, analytics and engineering applications.

The acquisition is due to close in November 2019. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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Industry publishes business manifesto for post Brexit economy 13/11/2019

It's time for the main political parties to move on from blame-driven politics and demonstrate to the electorate they have real vision and ambition for the UK economy in the next parliament and, the policies to back it up in a post Brexit world, according to Britain's manufacturers.

The call, made by Make UK, the manufacturers’ organisation in ‘Backing Manufacturers, The Makers Manifesto’, comes ahead of an election in which Brexit will be the number one concern for manufacturers. 

As such, Make UK believes the overriding immediate priority for the next Government must be to come to an agreement with the EU which is the basis for a future trading relationship which delivers the four key tests of:

·       Frictionless trade

·       Regulatory alignment

·       Access to labour, and

·       A lengthy transition period that allow business time to adapt to change

According to Make UK it is highly unrealistic to assume a trade deal could be negotiated and ratified by December 2020.

Commenting, Make UK Chief Executive, Stephen Phipson, said: “The first and foremost priority for the next Government must be an agreement with the EU that also passes through Parliament as soon as possible, which removes ‘no deal’ and ensures four key outcomes to safeguard the future prospects for manufacturers. This is absolutely essential to avoid leaving without an agreement which would be catastrophic for industry.

“Beyond that, what the public and business want to see is not the narrow-minded, blame-driven politics we have witnessed in the last few years but a grown-up vision of where we are going as a country and, an economy.

“They want see pledges that will support the creation of the skilled jobs we need, equip their children with the education and skills for the future and anchor value creating businesses in the UK. In short they want to hear what the big picture is for very critical issues in a world that is facing rapid technological and social change.

“The last few years have been largely wasted. Beyond the immediacy of a sensible agreement with the EU, we need to move on quickly and ensure Government works with industry to deliver a better balanced economy and sustained growth. Manufacturing will be central to delivering this and addressing the major societal and technological challenges we face.

“Some important groundwork has been laid through the industrial strategy. It is now vital the next government, however it is made up, commits to immediate policies which will ensure the UK remains an attractive place to do business, encourage growth, boost private sector investment and job creation.”

As well as tackling the priority of a future trading relationship with the EU, Make UK has published a top fifteen priority list for the first year of an incoming government. The list sets out the core foundations for boosting investment, supporting growing businesses, improving skills and ensuring the UK remains an attractive place to do business

According to Make UK, the longer term aim should be to improve productivity and secure real wage growth. In particular, the next government should set an ambition for measurable improvements in productivity relative to our international competitors, a step change in investment behaviour in the private sector and a marked improvement in the UK’s trade performance.

Make UK priorities for a new Government growth agenda:

1.      Fix the failing Apprenticeship Levy to boost the supply of domestic skills

2.      Increase support for exports to drive economic growth

3.      Ensure sustainable funding for STEM subjects

4.      Cut the cost of energy for Energy Intensive Industries

5.      Simplify the visa processing system to boost SMEs

6.      Create credible vocational routes for young people

7.      Stop cybercrime costing business

8.      Re-think immigration to policy to ensure manufacturers have access to skills

9.      Implement the Made Smarter Review

10.    Reboot the Better Regulation Target

11.    Reform Business Rates to encourage investment

12.    Invest in infrastructure

13.    Reform regulations to reflect modern working practices

14.    Deliver economic devolution

15.  Foster future innovation

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IP&E reports from Maintec 2019 11/11/2019

Maintec 2019 was another successful show. Watch IP&E editor, Georgina Bisby's report from the event.

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