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Manufacturing News, Late April, 2022

MANUFACTURING

The next generation of materials to meet the needs of UK manufacturing are set to be developed by a new state-of-the-art research centre that has officially opened 20 April 2022.

  • The University of Sheffield has officially opened a new state-of-the-art research centre to develop the next generation of materials to meet the needs of UK manufacturers
  • New Royce Discovery Centre, part of the Henry Royce Institute, will give UK manufacturers the expertise and facilities needed to discover new materials and more resource-efficient processes
  • Facility will address a gap in UK innovation by reducing both the cost and timescale of translating the discovery of advanced materials into new products and technologies
  • Royce Discovery Centre will be a leading national centre for advanced metals processing in the UK and is already helping to develop new materials for medical implants, electric vehicles, green hydrogen energy storage, and nuclear fusion reactors

The Royce Discovery Centre, part of the Henry Royce Institute at the University of Sheffield, will give UK manufacturers across all sectors access to the expertise and facilities needed to discover new materials and develop more resource-efficient processes to meet their business needs.

https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/news/next-gen-materials-boost-uk-manufacturing-set-be-produced-new-research-centre

The manufacturing industry is embracing digital transformation plans that were accelerated as a result of the pandemic, according to a major recent study from Vodafone Business.

This has led to almost a third (31%) of manufacturers globally being considered ‘Fit for the Future’ (FFTF) and better prepared to deal with future challenges – such as increased competition, changing employee expectations, and rising customer demand.

An overwhelming majority (94%) of FFTF businesses across all sectors believed they were well-prepared for the risks facing them, compared to only 58% of respondents overall. On top of this, 82% of FFTF businesses believe their business continuity plan worked well during the pandemic.

Additional analysis of the research conducted by the London School of Economics found a link between companies being FFTF and business performance. Organisations that scored a 10-point increase in their FFTF score were more likely to outperform their competitors by 36%.

Ultimately manufacturers that are FFTF are more confident and well-prepared for emerging challenges and are better placed to respond quickly to evolving employee and customer demands.

https://www.themanufacturer.com/articles/vodafone-business-report-a-third-of-manufacturers-considered-fit-for-the-future-and-prepared-to-deal-with-upcoming-challenges/

A large proportion of UK manufacturers remain disconnected with the Government’s levelling up agenda and aren’t convinced about the benefits it can reap for them, a new report has revealed.

Report highlights:

  • 37% of manufacturers are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with Government’s current levelling up agenda, down from 52% two years ago
  • A quarter of manufacturers said regional mayors should be given responsibility for distributing levelling up funds to target areas of local concern effectively and 22% said local councillors should also have input
  • A significant proportion of manufacturers (30%) do not believe levelling up is happening and have yet to see any tangible benefit to their business
  • This feeling of disenchantment towards levelling up is particularly pronounced in those regions the Government is trying to level up – the Northeast, Yorkshire & the Humber, East Anglia and the Northwest
  • A quarter of manufacturers want to see Government prioritise better support for skills training to create better job opportunities
  • A fifth said upgrading local transport infrastructure including rail and road is key to levelling up in the regions while 17% said greater incentives for their business to become net zero is needed

British manufacturing is a versatile sector, accounting for £191bn of Britain’s output, paying an average of 13% more in start-up wages than the national norm. The majority of the 2.7 million people already employed in the sector are in those areas Government wants to level up.

https://www.themanufacturer.com/articles/large-proportion-of-manufacturers-not-yet-convinced-about-levelling-up-report/

The latest Contract Manufacturing Index has revealed a fall in the subcontract manufacturing market of 19% in the first three months of 2022 compared to the final quarter of 2021.

The quarter started badly, with January showing a sharp decline from an already poor December. It started to pick up strongly in February and by March it was 20% up on the average for the previous quarter – with suppliers winning work despite soaring energy prices, continuing material supply worries, and the war in Ukraine.

The CMI is produced by sourcing specialist Qimtek and reflects the total purchasing budget for outsourced manufacturing of companies looking to place business in any given month. This represents a sample of over 4,000 companies who could be placing business that together have a purchasing budget of more than £3.4bn and a supplier base of over 7,000 companies with a verified turnover in excess of £25bn.

https://www.qimtek.co.uk/news/engineering-capacity/slow-start-positive-signs

A £15 million advanced manufacturing research facility in Infinity Park Derby (IPD) is set to benefit from a new £60 million junction following a motion for approval.

Derby city councillors have been asked to approve the next phase in the development of an A50 junction and link road proposal, which has received the single largest transport grant from the Levelling Up Fund.

https://www.business-live.co.uk/enterprise/new-60-million-a50-junction-23693507

Optimism among British manufacturers has fallen at the sharpest pace since the first coronavirus pandemic lockdown in April 2020 as firms struggle to contend with spiralling costs, new figures reveal.

According to the CBI’s latest quarterly Industrial Trends Survey, optimism re the business situation fell to -34% from -9% in January, while optimism re export prospects for the year ahead dropped to -28% (down from -20% in January).

https://www.themanufacturer.com/articles/british-manufacturing-optimism-wanes-amid-sharp-price-rises/