Could 3D printing keep the UK at the forefront of innovation during economic uncertainty?

DAN WATSON| September 27, 2019
COULD 3D PRINTING KEEP THE UK AT THE FOREFRONT OF INNOVATION DURING ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY?
The UK is renowned as a global innovator. As the world's first industrialised nation;  innovation, creativity, and – to an extent – risk, have all played a part in some of the UK's greatest achievements. But have we reached a tipping point where UK creativity is in danger of being stifled as a result of increasing trends towards risk aversion in the innovation ecosystem?

Spotlight

Skorpion Engineering

Skorpion Engineering designs and manufactures prototypes using both the most classic rapid prototyping technologies such as silicone molds, stereolithography, FDM, sintering and RIM technologies, and more innovative technologies. In fact, the company's goal is to be present on the market with the most advanced technologies.

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Did You Read about the Manufacturing Challenges for 2022?

Article | December 8, 2021

The new manufacturing industry outlook for 2022 is what businesses desire. Due to COVID-19, the sector has seen several ups and downs in recent years. But the industry overcame the most difficult situation by adopting innovations as their working hands. But all this upgrading and digitalization in manufacturing isn't for everyone. Some manufacturers may struggle with this change, while others may not. So, taking into account all industry segments, we have compiled a list of potential manufacturing challenges for 2022. “Many companies simply are not willing to change or think they are done once they make a change. But the truth is that technology, consumer demands; the way we work, human needs and much more are constantly changing.” – Michael Walton, Director, Industry Executive (Manufacturing) at Microsoft The summary of manufacturing industry challenges and industry outlook for 2022 are presented in the stats below. According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), four million manufacturing jobs will likely be needed over the next decade, and 2.1 million will likely go unfulfilled unless we motivate more people to pursue modern manufacturing occupations. According to PTC, 70% of companies have or are working on a digital transformation plan. According to Adobe, 60% of marketers feel technology has increased competitiveness. The statistics show that while digitalization facilitates the process, it also poses several challenges that must be addressed in the coming years. Let's explore what obstacles manufacturers may face in 2022. The Manufacturing Industry Challenges in 2022 The manufacturing business has had a difficult few years as a result of the current economic downturn, and 2022 may not be even that smooth. Thought, technology, and current trends make the operations of upscale manufacturers easier, but not everyone is on the same page. Let's look at some of the manufacturing challenges that businesses will face in the next year. Skilled Labor Shortage The manufacturing industry is facing a workforce shortfall as a skilled generation prepares to retire. Industry experts say that by 2025, there will be between 2 and 3.5 million unfilled manufacturing jobs. As a result of the advancement of new technologies, manufacturing organisations are finding themselves with fewer personnel. They do, however, require individuals with a diverse range of abilities, such as mathematicians and analytic thinkers, to accomplish the tasks with precision. Specific manufacturing tasks have been automated to save time and money. Industry has adopted machine sensors to capture large amounts of data. With this kind of innovation, the industry's job structure is changing and the desire to hire an untrained or trainable workforce is slowly fading in the industry. However, using augmented reality and virtual reality, manufacturers can easily train personnel for the job and save money. Lack of Ability to Mine Data Manufacturing is progressively using IoT. The majority of businesses have already installed or are planning to install Internet of Things machines. These smart machines let businesses collect data to improve production and conduct predictive maintenance. But getting data is a simple task. The difficult aspect is analyzing and aggregating data. Despite possessing the machines, most companies lack the systems to analyze and retrieve the data recorded by the systems. In this way, the industries are missing a vital opportunity. The industry must improve data mining capabilities to make better decisions in real-time. Using IoT for analytics and predictive maintenance is critical. Monitoring technologies can help the sector examine data quickly. It can also help predict an asset's maintenance period. As a result, the industry will move from replacement to predict and fix. Self-service Web Portals That Is Extremely Detailed and Precise Manufacturing businesses usually strive for on-time order delivery and optimum revenue. However, consumer self-service, which has been in the industry for a long time, has never proven to be a simple walk for clients. Clients are frequently required to pick up the phone and contact manufacturers in order to track their orders and receive delivery estimates. This is hardly the service one would expect from a manufacturer, even more so in today's digital era. The term customers in manufacturing include partners, end-users, and subcontractors. These three clients have distinct requirements and concerns about collaborating with the manufacturer. Companies can better serve their customers if their partner and end-customer portals are linked to a central hub which we can mention as self-service web portals. All of the information and updates they need about their orders will be available to them through this new system. They can track, accept and amend their tasks. They'll also use the self–service portal to contact the manufacturer. In this way, manufacturers can better serve their customers. A system like this will ensure that all parties have access to timely information in a digital format. Meeting the Deadline for the Project Product launch timelines are extremely demanding, tight, and stringent. Every project in the assembly line is about cost, time, and quality. Ultimately, these projects are rigorous and well-controlled. Manufacturers who fail to meet deadlines risk losing millions in potential revenues and sales. Due to rigidity and stringent control, companies are less able to change project scopes or make adjustments as projects develop. The majority of initiatives begin with a design commitment. As new facts or change criteria emerge, adjustment flexibility decreases. This can be aggravating for a team that expects high-quality results. Deadlines are always a constraint. Effective Business Digital Marketing Strategy An industry's key digital transformation challenges are driving leads, sales, and MRR through digital channels. Many manufacturing organizations struggle to efficiently use marketing channels like paid media, enterprise SEO, local SEO, content strategy, and social media. In our opinion, one of the most significant issues these organizations have is their digital experience, website design, and overall brand presentation. They can't ignore them if they want to keep enjoying the manufacturing revival. Visibility of the Supply Chain Manufacturers must respond to the growing demand from customers for greater transparency. In order to meet customer demand across the customer experience and product lifecycle, they must first understand that precise and real-time visibility throughout the supply chain is essential. All details must be taken into consideration by the manufacturers. They must be aware of any delays in the arrival of products on the market. Keeping abreast of such developments would give them a leg up in terms of adjusting or rectifying the situation. Final Words Manufacturing industry challenges have long been a part of the industry. However, industry leaders and professionals have always confronted and overcome any challenges that have come their way. The year 2022 will also be a year of achievements, setting new records, and growth for the manufacturing industry, since it will be a year in which it will develop solutions to all of the aforementioned challenges. FAQ What is the future of manufacturing? Manufacturers should start using AI, block chains, and robotics today. The combination of these new technologies will reshape manufacturing. A new workforce capable of augmenting these technologies is developing and will become the future of manufacturing. How will automation affect manufacturing in 2022? When applied properly, automation can greatly assist manufacturing. These benefits include shorter production times, faster and more efficient work than human labor, and lower production costs. How is the manufacturing industry’s market likely to upsurge in the future? According to BCC Research, the global manufacturing and process control market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.3 percent from $86.7 billion in 2020 to $117.7 billion in 2025. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is the future of manufacturing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Manufacturers should start using AI, block chains, and robotics today. The combination of these new technologies will reshape manufacturing. A new workforce capable of augmenting these technologies is developing and will become the future of manufacturing." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How will automation affect manufacturing in 2022?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "When applied properly, automation can greatly assist manufacturing. These benefits include shorter production times, faster and more efficient work than human labor, and lower production costs." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How is the manufacturing industry’s market likely to upsurge in the future?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "According to BCC Research, the global manufacturing and process control market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.3 percent from $86.7 billion in 2020 to $117.7 billion in 2025." } }] }

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Manufacturing Production Planning and Control: What, Why, and How?

Article | January 3, 2022

Production planning and control are critical components of any manufacturing organization. It helps organizations with the regular and timely delivery of their goods. Furthermore, it allows manufacturing businesses to increase their plant’s efficiency and reduce production costs. Numerous software and tools for production scheduling and planning are available on the market, including Visual Planning, MaxScheduler, and MRPeasy, which assist manufacturing organizations in planning, scheduling, and controlling their production. According to KBV Research, the manufacturing operations management software market is anticipated to reach $14.6 billion by 2025 globally, expanding at a market growth of 10.2 percent CAGR during the forecast period. So, what exactly is production planning and control? Production planning is an administrative process within a manufacturing business. It ensures that sufficient raw materials, personnel, and other necessary items are procured and prepared to produce finished products according to the specified schedule. Scheduling, dispatch, inspection, quality control, inventory management, supply chain management, and equipment management require production planning. Production control makes sure that the production team meets the required production targets, maximizes resource utilization, manages quality, and saves money. “Manufacturing is more than just putting parts together. It’s coming up with ideas, testing principles and perfecting the engineering, as well as final assembly.” – James Dyson In oversize factories, production planning and control are frequently managed by a production planning department, which comprises production controllers and a production control manager. More significant operations are commonly monitored and controlled from a central location, such as a control room, operations room, or operations control center. Why Should You Consider Production Planning? An efficient production process that meets the needs of both customers and the organization can only be achieved through careful planning in the early stages of production. In addition, it streamlines both customer-dependent and customer-independent processes, such as on-time delivery and production cycle time. A well-designed production plan minimizes lead time, the period between placing an order and its completion and delivery. The definition of lead time varies slightly according to the company and the type of production planning required. For example, in supply chain management, lead time refers to the time required for parts to be shipped from a supplier. Steps in Production Planning and Control Routing The first stage of production planning determines the path that raw materials will take from their source to the finished product. You will use this section to determine the equipment, resources, materials, and sequencing used. Scheduling It is necessary to determine when operations will occur during the second stage of production planning. In this case, the objectives may be to increase throughput, reduce lead time, or increase profits, among other things. Numerous strategies can be employed to create the most efficient schedule. Dispatching The third and final production control stage begins when the manufacturing process is initiated. When the scheduling plan is implemented, materials and work orders are released, and work is flowing down the production line, the production line is considered to be running smoothly. Follow-Up The fourth stage of manufacturing control ascertains whether the process has any bottlenecks or inefficiencies. You can use this stage to compare the predicted run hours and quantities with the actual values reported to see if any improvements can be made to the processes. Production Planning Example Though production planning is classified into several categories, including flow, mass production, process, job, and batch, we will look at a batch production planning example here. Manufacturing products in batches is known as "batch production planning." This method allows for close monitoring at each stage of the process, and quick correction since an error discovered in one batch can be corrected in the next batch. However, batch manufacturing can lead to bottlenecks or delays if some equipment can handle more than others, so it's critical to consider capacity at every stage. Example Consider the following example of batch production planning: Jackson's Baked Goods is in the process of developing a production plan for their new cinnamon bread. To begin with, the head baker determines the batch production time required by the recipe. He then adjusts the bakery's weekly ingredient orders to include the necessary supplies and schedules the weekly cinnamon bread bake during staff downtime. Finally, he creates a list of standards for the bakery staff to check at each production stage, allowing them to quickly identify any substandard materials or other batch errors without wasting processing time on subpar cinnamon bread. Final Words Running a smooth and problem-free manufacturing operation relies heavily on a precise production planner. Many large manufacturing companies already have a strong focus on streamlining their processes and making the most of every manufacturing operation, but small manufacturing companies still have work to do in this area. As a result, plan, schedule, and control a production that will enable you to run your business in order to meet its objectives. FAQ What is the difference between planning and scheduling in production? Production planning and scheduling are remarkably similar. But, it is critical to note that planning determines what operations need to be done and scheduling determines when and who will do the operations. What is a production plan? A product or service's production planning is the process of creating a guide for the design and manufacture of a given product or service. Production planning aims to help organizations make their manufacturing processes as productive as possible.

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Manufacturing in 2022 - Five Emerging Trends in the Industry

Article | October 8, 2021

The trends in the manufacturing industry for 2022 are expanding and altering the industry's conventional face. The future of manufacturing is going to merge with digitalization and technological applications. As a result, all operation methods, products, and manufacturing outcomes will be modernized with new technology applications. To brighten the future of manufacturing, manufacturing companies must examine new trends in the industry before developing their manufacturing plans for 2022. Technological advancements are the next game-changer in the manufacturing business. Adeaca's Vice President of Market Innovation and Project Business Evangelist had recently quoted in an interview with Media7 as, “As technology takes over and enhances many of the processes we used to handle with manual labor, we are freed up to use our minds creatively, which leads to bigger and better leaps in innovation and productivity.” – Matt Mong, VP Market Innovation and Project Business Evangelist at Adeaca The new trends in manufacturing are leveling up every part and element of the industry. In this article, we'll look at a new trend for each industry aspect that's assisting manufacturers in speeding up the production process, increasing ROI, and propelling their manufacturing business to new heights. Additionally, it will assist you in addressing current industry challenges such as forecasting product demand, addressing skilled manpower shortages, and increasing manufacturing plant efficiency. Five Manufacturing Industry Trends to Watch in 2022 Emerging trends in manufacturing provide a chance to review your production strategy for products and processes. Check out below the upcoming trends in manufacturing that are getting attention in the industry. Customer Engagement and Purchase Experience Creating an exceptional digital customer experience is a new trend in manufacturing. According to industry experts, mapping the customer journey and their interactions with your products is the first step towards establishing a positive connection with your potential consumers. A few of the most popular strategies to improve the consumer purchasing experience and engagement are as follows: Build a knowledge base for your products on your business website Create a comprehensive FAQs page that addresses all of the buyer's possible queries Create a chatbot to provide immediate help to the buyer with further inquiries Create a brand story and a comprehensive description of your manufacturing business If possible, provide product statistics and success stories, and content about consumer satisfaction with your product Create a product functionality video or explanatory picture material to familiarize the potential customer with your product These are some of the trends that engage your prospective buyers and increase their purchasing experience through a range of product-related information and educate them about you and your products. Smart Technology-enabled Products Smart is the new norm in every industry. The old operations and goods that were once a part of everyone's life have now been replaced by technology. Manufacturing is no exception to this alteration. Due to the increasing demand for smart products among customers, every company is now looking forward to inventing and manufacturing smart products. Explore and understand how you may incorporate cutting-edge technology (Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Edge Computing, and Digital Twins, and more) into your products to help them stay updated with manufacturing trends. Virtual and Augmented Reality in Manufacturing (Industry 4.0) Transforming traditional manufacturing systems and processes into smart, tech-savvy ones is a new trend in manufacturing. The future of manufacturing is expected to witness this digitization in 2022 and beyond. Therefore, you must convert your conventional manufacturing plants into smart ones, i.e., as per the concept of Industry 4.0 – the fourth industrial revolution. Discover how prominent companies are implementing Industry 4.0 The following are some popular transformations that many popular manufacturing factories are adopting to become part of the industry revolution. To achieve a zero-carbon footprint, manufacturers may use analytics systems to determine the amount of trash they create and develop ways to eliminate it. (Implemented by Whirlpool) Utilize an analytics platform to decipher usage data for energy, water, and other utilities. (Implemented by Whirlpool) Utilize technology such as Siemens' Mindsphere, which enables online analysis of several aspects of a production plant and helps manufacturers create digital models using real-time data. (Implemented by Siemens) Utilize a combination of IoT and cloud-based technologies to avoid downtime and gather analytics data. (Implemented by Hirotec – a Japan based manufacturing company) Machine learning technology can be used to foretell and avoid system failures in your manufacturing plant. (Implemented by Hirotec – a Japan based manufacturing company) Utilize robotics and to accelerate manufacturing across many verticals. (Implemented by Ford) Utilize 3D printing to improve the precision of product design and to avert product defects during the early production stage. (Implemented by Aerospace: Airbus) These are some examples that other well-known manufacturing companies in the market, such as Hewlett-Packard, Ford, Whirlpool, and Siemens are currently using. So, consult an expert and determine how to leverage emerging technology to turn your production plant into a smart manufacturing unit. Internet of Things (IoT) to Boost Revenue Manufacturing companies have begun to leverage the Internet of Things to establish connectivity between machines and operational procedures throughout manufacturing. This linkage between machine and operation significantly decreases the human supervision required for each step and completely automates them. Manufacturers intend to incorporate these IoT trends in manufacturing into both their products and operational processes. IoT further enables manufacturers to operate and monitor their work remotely. As a result, they can concentrate on developing new strategies and preparing for future ventures. Shifting Focus from B2B to B2C Model Several manufacturers skip intermediaries and connect directly with their consumers to sell efficiently to their target consumer group. This purposeful approach has multiple benefits, which are outlined below. Manufacturers may skip the lengthy retail sales cycle and achieve a shorter time to market The absence of a third party between the manufacturer and the customer reduces the risk of brand misinterpretation or dilution Direct interaction with customers enables manufacturers to obtain more accurate consumer data, product feedback, and requirements for new product development Manufacturers can control the price of their products due to the absence of a third party between them and the target consumer group These benefits of the B2C model attract manufacturers and encourage them to develop added production techniques with these benefits in mind. Final Words Technology, innovation, and digitization are the future of manufacturing. The IoT trends in manufacturing are essential for industrial production and will allow the manufacturing industry to obtain a new competitive edge. Hence, manufacturers must keep in mind this industry revolution (industry 4.0 and 5.0) while developing strategies for their manufacturing operations in 2022. FAQs What are the benefits of adopting the Internet of Things in manufacturing? IoT devices can monitor industrial operations, manufacturing cycles, and other warehouse data management processes automatically. This benefit decreases the amount of time spent monitoring individual operations and increases production speed. What role will smart manufacturing play in the future? According to a grand view research analysis, the smart manufacturing market was worth USD 236.12 billion in 2020 and is expected to extend at a 12.4 percent compound annual growth rate to reach USD 589.98 billion by 2028. What are the critical components of the smart factory of the future? Robotics, the Internet of Things, big data, and cloud-based administration will be critical components of the future smart factory.

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Business Models for Sustainable Manufacturing

Article | December 23, 2021

Sustainable business strategiesare bringing significant financial and environmental benefits to manufacturers. Sustainable manufacturingcreates goods while minimizing environmental consequences and preserving energy and natural resources. In addition, sustainable production improves the safety of workers, the community, and the products they produce. Allied Market Research projects that the worldwide renewable energy market will reach $1,977.6 billion by 2030, increasing at an 8.4% CAGR. As a result, we can conclude that many businesses are transitioning from traditional manufacturing to sustainable manufacturing. It’s a good time to be a part of the renewable energy industry. New technologies are coming to market every day, and we work in an industry that is trying to solve an enormous challenge. – Susan Stone, Chief Executive Officer at Ubiquitous Energy, Inc., in conversationwith Media 7 Though many organizations are pioneering the sustainable manufacturing approach, we have selected five of the most well-known companies making serious attempts to be sustainable manufacturing companiesby all means. In addition to the list of sustainable manufacturing businesses, this article will discuss the advantages of sustainabilityand how organizations may become carbon neutral. So let's get started. Top 5 Companies with a Sustainable Business Model The following are five manufacturing businessesthat are investing in sustainable manufacturingmethodsacross their production processes to become more responsive to our mother earth. Philips Electronics The company is reducing its environmental effect by engaging with suppliers, taking climate action, and driving the shift to a circular economy. Climate change is a key concern for Philips. So they are rethinking their business strategies and decoupling economic development from environmental and social impacts. They met their aim of becoming 100% carbon-neutral in their operations and procuring 100% of their power from renewable sources by 2020. They intend to obtain over 75% of their total energy usage from renewable sources by 2025 and to reduce CO2 emissions across their whole value chain to meet the 1.5°C global warming state. Schott Sustainability is profoundly embedded in SCHOTT's DNA. It derives from their distinctive business concept, which dates back to 1896. Their sustainability plan includes responsible governance, workers, society, environment, and climate. “Regarding climate change, it is high time to act. Everyone must take responsibility – politicians, companies and society. We are ready to play our part. We want to become climate neutral by 2030.” - Dr. Jens Schulte, Member of the Board of Management with responsibility for the “Zero Carbon” strategy program Long-term thought and responsible behavior are guiding principles of SCHOTT, which is why they care about the environment and climate. They are entering a new era of sustainable management with their “Zero Carbon” strategic program. Long term, they seek to eliminate fossil fuels as soon as technologyallows it. They are focused on the most energy-intensive stage of glass melting to create new solutions. IKEA IKEA's low-cost furniture utilizes a lot of wood. But because the company employs sustainable forestry practices, your new minimalist nightstand didn't cost the globe a rainforest. The business is also investing heavily in solar and wind energy. This year, the corporation intends to increase its already significant expenditures in renewable energy, to reach 100% clean energy by 2020. It also leads in offering cleaner, greener products. Nike In addition to encouraging people to walk, this footwear manufacturer uses recycled aluminum frames in its headquarters in the Netherlands, and underground energy storage to reduce its carbon footprint. Moreover, it has implemented stringent emission regulations at all of its manufacturingfacilities and has cut its overall carbon footprint by around 80 % since the late 1990s. The company also sells the most environmentally-friendly soccer sneakers on the market. Johnson & Johnson According to the company, Johnson & Johnson has just begun transitioning a significant portion of its energy reliance to solar power in an effort to become the world's most socially responsible organization. Currently, it is the second-largest user of solar energy in the United States, with more than half of its power coming from environmentally friendly sources. Rewards of Adopting Sustainable Manufacturing Practices Many businesses are seeking sustainabilityfor many reasons, including: Reducesoperating expenses and waste Respondsto new consumers and get a competitive edge Buildspublic trust and protect brand and reputation Createslong-term business viability Recognizesand address regulatory constraints What Can We Do to Make Sustainable Manufacturing a Reality? Every business must support green energy projects. Here are some fundamental actions that every business should take to transform itself into a sustainable manufacturing organization. Maximize the Efficacy of Fossil Fuels In today's society, energy conservation is a win-win situation. Approximately half of the world's known oil reserves have been exhausted, which means we are near to the point of diminishing returns in terms of supply. As far as we know, there hasn't been a shortage of supplies. Shutting down unwanted equipment might help you save money immediately. Replace a single-speed motor with a variable speed or servo drive. Use a hydraulic pump with variable speed. Wind, solar, and hydropower can also be used to conserve energy. Reduce or Eliminate Waste Don't overindulge; merely take in what you need to get the task done. At this point, we may all agree that it's easy, but in the past, our primary focus was on reducing productioncosts or time to market. Whether we were wasting resources was unknown or irrelevant to anyone. Metal, paper, and packaging are all examples of industries where this is true. The potential for waste reduction may justify the purchase of highly accurate production equipment. Recycle As a byproduct of manufacturing, metals may be easily recycled and used for new products. In addition, recycling metal saves money and energy since it uses less energy in the manufacturing process, allowing for a 60 % or more reduction in the energy needed to make new products. Final Words Sustainable manufacturing practicesare making manufacturing industries more socially responsible and carbon neutral. This new manufacturing method is necessary for today's period because we must consider future generations while improving today's. Natural resources must be conserved before depleting, and we have nothing left to offer future generations. Responsible organizations have already used this sustainable approachin their manufacturing processes, and we anticipate that every company should consider this method to be more sustainableand environmentally responsible. FAQ What is the difference between green and sustainable manufacturing? The main difference between green and sustainable is that green addresses a single aspect i.e., environmental health, but sustainability addresses the entire system, including economic, social, and environmental aspects. Which business is more environmentally friendly? According to Corporate Knights, Alphabet, Tesla, and AstraZeneca were among the world's most sustainable companies in the Global 100 Index for 2021. What are the four sustainability factors? The word sustainability refers to programs, activities, and actions to preserve a resource. But it relates to four unique key areas. Human, social, economic, and environmental are the four pillars or factors of sustainability.

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Spotlight

Skorpion Engineering

Skorpion Engineering designs and manufactures prototypes using both the most classic rapid prototyping technologies such as silicone molds, stereolithography, FDM, sintering and RIM technologies, and more innovative technologies. In fact, the company's goal is to be present on the market with the most advanced technologies.

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