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7 December, 2022

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Belfast digital testbed will boost smart manufacturing

12 October, 2021

A £500,000 digital testbed, aimed at creating a step change in smart manufacturing, is being built at Queen’s University Belfast to help develop new technologies and opportunities for local businesses. The project – a collaboration between Queen’s, BT and Cisco – is part of a co-investment to create a 5G-enabled digital factory.


UK could create 1.2m green manufacturing and construction jobs

11 October, 2021

Around 1.2 million green jobs could be created in the UK’s manufacturing and construction sectors by 2050 – but only if the Government provides the right help, such as introducing a green skills tax credit to encourage manufacturers to upskill more of their staff – according to a new report from the manufacturers’ body, Make UK, and the business management specialist, Sage.


Lease a cobot from £450 per month with no upfront payment

24 September, 2021

Universal Robots (UR) has launched a leasing scheme that will allow SME manufacturers in the UK and Ireland to lease a cobot (collaborative robot) from £450 per month, with nothing to pay until 2022. The aim is to cut the costs of introducing automation for SME manufacturers by avoiding the need for an upfront capital investment.


Yasa spins off axial motor company to target aerospace uses

23 September, 2021

It has emerged that before Yasa, the British developer of axial-flux electric motors, was acquired by Mercedes-Benz earlier this year, it spun off a new company dedicated to developing and manufacturing electric motors and power electronics specifically for aerospace applications.


Industrial growth hits record highs, but NI hike could hit plans

20 September, 2021

UK manufacturers hit record levels of output and orders in the third quarter of 2021 and are set to recover almost all of the 10% decline in output they suffered during 2020, according to the latest Manufacturing Outlook survey published by the manufacturers’ association Make UK and the business advisory firm BDO, who are now predicting that the manufacturing sector will expand by 7.1% during 2021 – slightly down on their earlier forecast of 7.8%. The output volumes are the highest in the survey’s history.


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.


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