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4 December, 2023

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Rolls-Royce’s world record bid electric plane takes off

16 September, 2021

Rolls-Royce has flown its all-electric Spirit of Innovation aircraft for the first time. The craft – with which the company hopes to set a new world speed record for electrically powered planes – took off from the UK Ministry of Defence’s Boscombe Down site on 15 September and flew for about 15 minutes.

Siemens and UK university plan ‘smartest campus’

14 September, 2021

Siemens has joined forces with the UK’s University of Birmingham to make its Edgbaston and Dubai campuses the world’s smartest, using a combination of digital sensor and analytics technologies, AI (artificial intelligence), decentralised energy generation and storage, renewable energy and other technologies. They say they are creating a “living laboratory” where research, teaching and learning will benefit from access to data and connectivity.

BAe’s factory of the future could halve aircraft project costs

09 September, 2021

BAe Systems is creating a “factory of the future” in the UK where it is bringing together advanced manufacturing technologies with the aim of cutting the cost and timescales of aircraft development – possibly by half. The technologies are initially being applied to the development and production of Tempest, the UK’s next-generation combat aircraft.

UK government delays UKCA marking by a year

09 September, 2021

The UK Government has announced that businesses will have an extra year before they have to start using the UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) marking on their products rather than the familiar CE mark. Originally, UK businesses were told that they would have to start using the UKCA mark at the end of 2021 but this has now been delayed until 1 January 2023.

Covid has been ‘game-changing’ for UK manufacturers

01 September, 2021

A survey of 250 large and SME manufacturers in the UK has revealed that almost all (90.8%) believe that the Covid-19 pandemic has been “game-changing” for their businesses, and that 81.2% are considering investing in robots because of recent events.

£53m of funding aims to drive digital manufacturing in UK

29 July, 2021

The UK Government has announced £53m of new funding to drive the development of digital manufacturing technologies, including the establishment of five new research centres, a digital supply chain innovation hub, and 37 projects intended to digitalise and transform manufacturing supply chains.

UK backs robots and smart machines in £22bn r&d plan

27 July, 2021

The UK Government has picked robotics and smart machines as one of seven strategic technologies that it plans to back as part of a new innovation strategy that will see it invest £22bn each year in publicly funded research and development. The Government believes that these technologies – which also include AI, digital and advanced computing, and advanced materials and manufacturing – are areas where the UK has globally competitive r&d and industrial strengths, that will transform the economy.

Mercedes buys UK motor-maker Yasa to power new AMG EVs

23 July, 2021

Mercedes-Benz has bought the UK electric motor developer and manufacturer Yasa and will use its axial-flux electric motor technology to power a new generation of high-performance all-electric AMG cars due to be launched in 2025. Yasa will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz, developing ultra-high-performance e-motors, while retaining its own brand, team, facilities, and continuing to supply existing customers. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Covid isolation stops production at 13% of UK manufacturers

22 July, 2021

More than three quarters (77%) of UK manufacturers are reporting that employees self-isolating after being “pinged” by the NHS Covid-19 track-and-trace app is affecting their business, especially in the past two weeks. Almost a quarter (22%) of 436 companies surveyed by the manufacturers’ organisation Make UK on 21 July reported that up to 10% of their staff were having to isolate, with 13% of companies saying that they have already had to stop some production.

Decline in UK exports to EU began before Brexit happened

19 July, 2021

The UK manufacturing sector’s dependence on the EU was starting to ebb away even before the UK left the Union and the trade deal was signed at the end of last year, according to new analysis by the manufacturers’ organisation Make UK and the business advisory firm BDO. In their annual Regional Outlook report, they also confirm an earlier conclusion that the Covid-19 pandemic wiped £18bn off the value of the UK’s manufacturing sector between 2019 and 2020.

UK axial flux motor developer goes public, raising £37.5m

09 July, 2021

The UK electric motor developer and manufacturer Saietta Group, which specialises in axial-flux technology (AFT) motors, has listed on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market, raising expected gross proceeds of £37.5m with a market capitalisation of around £102.1m at the issue price.

Manufacturers ask Government to help cure post-Brexit blues

02 July, 2021

Almost all (96%) of UK manufacturers that do business with Europe say they have faced challenges since the new post-Brexit trading arrangements with the EU were introduced at the start of 2021. A survey conducted by the manufacturers’ organisation Make UK reveals that almost half (47%) of the companies had initial difficulties with the new customs processes, although this has eased as their understanding of the rules has improved

Turntide buys third Tyneside firm to add to transport division

01 July, 2021

The Californian electric motor developer and manufacturer Turntide Technologies has bought a third business in the North East of England – Cramlington-based Avid Technology, which designs and manufactures powertrain components and systems for heavy-duty and high-performance electric and hybrid vehicles. The deal comes just one month after Turntide bought Hyperdrive Innovation and the engineering technical centre of BorgWarner Gateshead to form the basis for a new UK division focusing on intelligent motor systems for the commercial transport industry.

RSE buys Blackburn Starling to take water industry lead

29 June, 2021

The Scottish engineering group RSE is buying the Nottingham-based manufacturer and systems integrator Blackburn Starling & Co for an undisclosed sum. RSE sees the deal as a pivotal move in establishing itself as the UK’s leading Meica (mechanical, electrical, instrumentation, controls and automation) contractor to the water treatment and recycling market.

Make UK doubles 2021 growth forecast to 7.8%

14 June, 2021

The UK’s manufacturing sector is set to recover much of the “brutal” 10% decline that it suffered during 2020, and to outpace the growth of the UK economy as a whole this year, according to a survey and study published by Make UK and the business advisory firm BDO. They have doubled their 2021 growth forecast for the manufacturing sector from 3.9% to 7.8% (and are expecting the UK economy as a whole to expand by 7.5% this year).

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