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25 October, 2020

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Routeco reshapes, and signs up Yamaha and Honeywell

26 August, 2020

The automation and controls distributor Routeco has restructured its branch network to create four customer service centres in Manchester, Leeds, Bristol and Milton Keynes. It says it has been planning the changes for 18 months and they are not a response to the Covid-19 pandemic. It adds that it has retained some of its staff in a “remote working capacity” and has thus “minimised several redundancies”.


Rochdale advanced machinery institute wins £50k funding

13 August, 2020

Plans to create an Advanced Machinery and Productivity Institute (AMPI) in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, have been brought a step closer after securing £50,000 early-stage funding from the UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Strength in Places Fund (SIPF). The aim of the institute is to drive innovation among advanced machinery manufacturers, and it is predicted to generate around 660 direct and 530 indirect jobs.


UK’s SME manufacturers report record falls in output

04 August, 2020

In the three months to July, output volumes from SME manufacturers in the UK fell at the fastest rate on record, according to the Confederation of British Industry’s latest quarterly SME Trends Survey. The survey of 331 SME manufacturers found that new orders – both domestic and export – also declined at the quickest pace since the CBI started the surveys in October 1988.


UK manufacturing output hit a 32-month high in July

03 August, 2020

Output from the UK manufacturing sector hit a 32-month high during July, supported by the sharpest rise in new order volumes since the end of 2018, according to the latest IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI). Business sentiment also recovered to its highest level in 28 months.


Foresight Williams doubles investment in UK cobot start-up

28 July, 2020

The Foresight Williams Technology EIS fund is investing a further £1.45m in the UK collaborative robotics start-up Inovo Robotics to accelerate its growth and help it expand internationally. The fund initially invested £1.5m in Inovo in 2018 to help get its first product to market.


Move to greener manufacturing, ‘could create up to 1m jobs’

27 July, 2020

If the UK transitions to “green” manufacturing, it could add £8–20bn to GDP and create up to 1 million jobs, according to a new report from the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) that examines decarbonisation as a growth strategy for UK manufacturing.


Government gives the go-ahead for UK trade shows to restart

21 July, 2020

The UK government has given the green light for trade exhibitions to start again from October this year. One of the first events to be held will be the cluster of nine manufacturing exhibitions, including the Drives & Controls Show and Smart Industry Expo, taking at place at the Birmingham NEC next January.


UK manufacturers say six-month furlough extension is vital

20 July, 2020

Britain’s manufacturers are calling on the Government to extend the Job Retention Scheme for strategic industry sectors by six months to avoid losing highly skilled job losses in manufacturing on a scale not seen since the 1980s. It argues that these sectors are of critical importance to the long-term health of the UK economy and their protection is an investment in the country’s industrial future.


Bonfiglioli merges two UK businesses at new Warrington site

17 July, 2020

Bonfiglioli Group has merged its UK operations previously located in Warrington and Redditch to create a new 26,000ft2 (2,416m2) facility in Calver Quay, Warrington. The company says that the move will give it more space, improved logistics, upgraded IT systems with enhanced security, and improved customer service.


Competitions offer up to £1.5m of funding for supply-chain ideas

06 July, 2020

The UK government has launched two funding competitions to help British businesses develop world-leading digital technologies to improve manufacturing supply chain productivity and resilience, thus boosting the recovery from Covid-19. Business-led consortia will be able to apply for up to £1.5m of funding for projects designed to transform supply chains, and to help make the UK’s manufacturing sector more efficient, flexible and resilient.


Ford installs first private 5G network at a UK automotive site

02 July, 2020

The car-maker Ford is installing what is thought to be first private 5G network at an automotive site in the UK. The installation, partly funded by the UK Government, will replace older WiFi networks at Ford’s new E:PriME (Electrified Powertrain in Manufacturing Engineering) facility in Dunton, Essex. The 5G technology will be used to improve the connectivity of welding processes used to manufacture batteries and motors for electric vehicles.


PPMA packaging exhibition is postponed to 2021

02 July, 2020

One of the few industrial trade shows still scheduled to be held in 2020, the PPMA packaging and processing event, has been postponed for a year until September 2021. The exhibition, which had been due to take place at the Birmingham NEC from 29 September to 1 October this year, will now take place from 28-30 September, 2021, at the same venue.


SME manufacturers urge Boris Johnson to avoid no-deal Brexit

01 July, 2020

More than 100 UK SME manufacturers and organisations representing them have written to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, warning him that a no-deal or bad-deal Brexit would be “hugely damaging” to the UK economy, especially at a time when businesses are recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic. They are calling on him to secure the best possible trading arrangements to fight the pandemic and secure an economic recovery.


UK manufacturing stabilises in June and output edges higher

01 July, 2020

The UK manufacturing sector showed signs of stabilising in June, following the recent steep downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the latest IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index. The seasonally adjusted PMI rose to 50.1 in June, up from 40.7 in May, indicating a stabilisation (not a marked improvement) in operating conditions, while output edged back into growth as factories restarted, lockdown restrictions were loosened and staff returned to work.


Strategy aims to put manufacturing at heart of UK economy

30 June, 2020

The first detailed analysis of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on UK manufacturing estimates that it could cost up to £35.7bn in GVA (Gross Added Value) this year, and predicts it will take until 2022 for manufacturing to recover to pre-Covid levels. The report, produced by Make UK and Santander UK, also analyses the opportunities for building a new economy with a renewed manufacturing sector at its heart.


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