Public vote of confidence for UK manufacturing
The UK public stands firmly behind the manufacturing sector to support the UK and protect the NHS through coronavirus and into the future.
Almost three in four (74 percent) of the UK public believe that the manufacturing sector stepped up to meet the challenge of supporting the UK as coronavirus took a grip on the nation in March 2020. The same number of respondents believe that a strategic long-term plan for helping UK manufacturing to be more productive and competitive will help insulate us from future pandemics and go some way to protect UK GDP, of which manufacturing contributes over 17 percent. Furthermore, 75 percent of the UK public believe more strongly in the importance of the UK manufacturing as a result of coronavirus.
The research, conducted among 2,000 adults by Populus* for industrial communications firm Cadence Innovation Marketing, also found that nearly eight in ten people (76 percent) are concerned about cheap imported goods in the wake of coronavirus.
The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted global supply chains and resulted in many UK factories switching production to medical devices and products in a bid to help the NHS cope. Manufacturing has taken a central role in the unfolding drama and rarely in recent times has it been the subject of so much media and public attention.
Tom Spencer, MD at Cadence says: “Our snapshot poll sought to delve deeper into what’s behind the media commentary by asking a representative sample of over 2000 UK adults for their opinion on a range of topics raised by coronavirus. The results offer an insight into changing public opinion about the importance and relevance of UK manufacturing”.
More than two in three of those questioned believe that the UK manufacturing sector has risen to the challenge of coronavirus, with just 6 percent disagreeing with them. “This huge public vote of confidence in our often beleaguered and under-supported sector is just one of several remarkable statistics thrown up by our research” adds Tom Spencer.
The study, which was carried out in early May 2020, clearly shows that the UK public has swung behind UK industry at a time when many manufacturers have stepped up to support the nation and its much-loved health service.
Steve Brambley, CEO, GAMBICA says: “The result shows that there is a genuine opportunity for the UK to open a new page in its history as it embarks on the era of digital transformation that will define it for generations to come. It remains to be seen if the pandemic itself, resultant global economic turmoil, and Brexit will distract or divert resources away from an environment that will support the regeneration of UK industry, but this poll makes one thing abundantly clear: the people of the UK stand firmly behind our industry and believe strongly in its future.”
The Annual Attitudes to UK Industry study is a series of snapshot polls and in-depth research culminating in an annual report to be presented to the media. Cadence Innovation Marketing works with leading organisations across industry and has sponsored the study’s launch to help keep communications surrounding the sector’s importance and contribution to the economy front of mind. More information is available at www.attitudestoukindustry.co.uk
Cadence Innovation Marketing
Tel: 020 7043 8847
3T and EOS 3D print 100,000+ face shields for frontline UK healthcare staff
3T-am, a leading production additive manufacturing (AM) company, is utilising EOS’ global partner ecosystem to 3D print face shield headbands for frontline health workers in the UK.
3T is now producing 20,000 headbands per week and this will exceed 100,000 within the next few weeks. The face shields are being used by frontline workers, across the NHS and UK healthcare system, fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
During times of such uncertainty, manufacturers are under increasing pressure to deliver essential products and services. It has arguably never been more important for a flexible and efficient supply chain. 3D printing allows for tens of thousands of high-quality parts to be produced in a matter of weeks, for when people need them most.
3T is working directly with NHS trusts across the UK, as well as various medical distribution companies to supply face shields to UK health workers. 3T has also provided the CAD for free, available to download from its website.
Daniel France, chief commercial officer at 3T says: “We’ve already seen countless examples of how 3D printing is helping people stay protected and fight the virus globally. It was of paramount importance for us, as a business, to play a role in this and that’s why we are manufacturing these for as low a cost as we can to support.
“Working closely with our partners, we’ve been able to produce tens of thousands of parts using EOS’ powder-based 3D printing technology, which ensures frontline health workers are protected. The demand is far greater than one company can provide, but we will continue to do as much as we can to add to the supply.”
This coincides with 3D printing technology supplier EOS launching an online platform to support the fight against COVID-19, bringing together the wider-3D printing community. The aim of the 3DAgainstCorona hub and its corresponding LinkedIn group is to share knowledge, data and downloadable files that could be used to combat the virus. The site will be updated on a regular basis.
Markus Glasser, senior vice president EMEA at EOS says: “Improving lives through 3D printing has always been our aspiration. The current pandemic now calls for a joint approach, more than ever before. Today, we are asking all supporters to join us in tackling the challenges that lay ahead. Let’s continue to think differently and push the boundaries of what is possible. We are extremely proud to work alongside so many brilliant minds inside and outside of EOS who are developing and delivering critical solutions for those in need.”
Renishaw ramps up production of ventilator components
Global engineering company, Renishaw has started mass-producing critical components for medical ventilators, as part of a nationwide effort to support the NHS in the fight against Covid-19. The company has dedicated a significant part of its manufacturing sites in Gloucestershire and South Wales to produce precision-machined components for two different ventilators manufactured by the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium, with production at the sites now running seven days a week. This follows a huge effort from the project, manufacturing engineering and production teams over the last two weeks.
Like many companies across the UK, Renishaw reacted to the UK government’s call to radically increase ventilator production to treat coronavirus patients suffering with respiratory complications. Tens of thousands of these complex machines are needed in just a few weeks.
Marc Saunders, director of group strategic development, who is leading Renishaw’s response, explains: “When the government called, we scrambled to respond and immediately realised the daunting scale of the challenge. Ventilators are sophisticated medical devices and we felt that our capabilities would be best applied to helping scale up the production of designs with existing technologies. We soon realised that many other industrial companies were thinking the same way and that we would need our combined capacity and capabilities to achieve this enormous endeavour.”
Within a few days, Renishaw joined with leading companies in the aerospace, automotive, medical devices and motorsport sectors to form the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium, under the leadership of Dick Elsy, CEO of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult. This diverse team is working non-stop to boost production of two proven ventilators, selected by the NHS and manufactured in the UK by Penlon and Smiths Medical.
Dick Elsy explains: “Penlon and Smiths ordinarily have combined capacity of between 50 and 60 ventilators per week. However, thanks to the scale and resources of the wider consortium, we are targeting production of at least 1,500 units a week of the Penlon and Smiths models combined within a matter of weeks. Ventilators are intricate and highly complex pieces of medical equipment and it is vital that we balance the twin imperatives of speed of delivery with the absolute adherence to regulatory standards that is needed to ensure patient safety.”
Within this context, Renishaw’s manufacturing activities form part of a complex network of suppliers that the consortium is coordinating, many of whom, like Renishaw, are making ventilator components for the first time. Mass-production of ventilators, each of which comprises hundreds of diverse components, requires millions of parts to come together for assembly, a huge logistical operation.
“To prepare for the important work that we are undertaking, both for the ventilator project and our global customers in critical supply chains, we temporarily closed our UK manufacturing facilities last week to introduce additional measures to protect the welfare of our employees”, explains Gareth Hankins, director of group manufacturing services at Renishaw.
“We have reorganised our factories to increase spacing, as well as zoning areas to restrict movement around the sites. Hygiene regimes have also been enhanced to minimise the potential risk of the spread of infection. Our staff have responded magnificently to this challenging situation and it is wonderful to see the factories back up and running and for us to be playing our part in the national Ventilator Challenge.”
Marc Saunders reflects: “It has been an extraordinary few weeks, with so many companies from different fields aligning on a single goal and pulling together so effectively and so quickly. The VentilatorChallengeUK consortium is working together with incredible determination and energy to scale up production of much-needed ventilators and combat a virus that is affecting people around the world.
“The consortium’s key message is that ‘Every ventilator produced is a life saved’ and Renishaw is proud to be playing its part in this vital endeavour.”
UK-based Renishaw is a world leading engineering technologies company, supplying products used for applications as diverse as jet engine and wind turbine manufacture, through to dentistry and brain surgery. It has over 4,500 employees located in the 36 countries where it has wholly owned subsidiary operations.
For the year ended June 2019 Renishaw recorded sales of £574 million of which 94 percent was due to exports. The company’s largest markets are the USA, China, Japan and Germany.
Throughout its history, Renishaw has made a significant commitment to research and development, with historically between 13 and 18 percent of annual sales invested in R&D and engineering. The majority of this R&D and manufacturing of the company’s products is carried out in the UK.
The company’s success has been recognised with numerous international awards, including eighteen Queen’s Awards recognising achievements in technology, export and innovation.