Seven ways to level up regional productivity in UK manufacturing

The Manufacturer | February 27, 2020

Long-term policies that support regional productivity levels, extra funding for SMEs, and the bolstering of existing industrial initiatives, are among a raft of recommendations by a cross-party think tank for ensuring the future of Britain’s manufacturing industry. A seven-point plan highlighting key areas for strengthening manufacturing capabilities in regional parts of the UK has been published by the independent Manufacturing Commission, supported by Policy Connect. The Level Up Industry report, endorsed by House of Lords Peer, Lord Karan Bilimoria, who is also Chairman of the Commission, calls on government and industry to adopt new and fixed targets for supporting and reinforcing manufacturing capabilities across the country, much in the style of the government’s commitment to become net zero by 2050. It also encourages authorities to focus the debate around regional manufacturing on the realities of the role of the communities and regional economies in which it exists, and less on broadly abstract discussions concerning the industry’s purely economic value to society.


This video was shot in the Suzuki Plaza's 3D theatre. Very good demonstration of Suzuki Manufacturing Processes using very good audio video Visuals.

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Universal Robots Powers New Mixed-Case Palletizing and Piece-Picking Solutions at MODEX 2022

Universal Robots | March 25, 2022

The market leader in collaborative robotics will show attendees at North America’s largest supply chain expo how cobots can automate new hard-to-staff palletizing and piece-picking tasks in new applications from partners including Mujin and RightHand Robotics. 1 trillion dollars. That’s the astounding figure U.S. e-commerce will reach in 2022, up 16% from 2021, according to Insider Intelligence forecasts, prompting warehousing labor wages to increase four times faster than before the pandemic. “But despite wage increases, logistics operations are still having a very hard time hiring and retaining frontline workers,” says Joe Campbell, senior manager of applications development with Universal Robots (UR). “To fill that void, we’re now experiencing significant industry demand for robotic piece-picking and palletizing processes that support a wide range of products,” explains Campbell, who speaks on the topic in his ‘Piece Talk’ presentation “The Labor Challenge in Manufacturing Just Won’t Go Away” on April 28 at 11:00am ET at partner RightHand Robotics’ booth #B8622 at MODEX 2022, taking place in Atlanta, GA, April 28-31. The Right Pick At RightHand Robotics’ booth, Universal Robots’ UR5e cobot will power the RightPick™ 3 robot system, that offers system integrators and warehouse operators an item-handling solution for use with AutoStore, ASRS systems, and other standard material handling automation. Both the hardware platform and the RightPick AI software stack have been re-architected for easier configuration of sources and destinations and workflows, greater performance exceeding 1,200 units per hour in controlled tests, process reliability better than 99.5%, safety and compliance. “We continue to work closely with the team at Universal Robots.These past two years have stressed the supply chain everywhere, but UR has been a reliable and responsive supplier to us at RightHand, which has been critical to us as we scale our business.” Vince Martinelli, Head of Product and Marketing at RightHand Robotics Real-Time Decision Making in Mixed-Case Handling At UR’s own MODEX booth #B2805, visitors will experience how palletizing, one of the most ergonomically unfriendly and labor demanding tasks, is handled by UR cobots in several innovative applications; one of them developed by UR partner Mujin, showcasing a UR10e cobot in mixed-case depalletizing: “Collaborative robots have completely changed the way industry utilizes robotics,” says Josh Cloer, director of sales at Mujin. “UR brings flexibility, ease-of-use and ready-to-deploy tools making it simple for manufacturers to automate nearly any repetitive task. Together with UR, Mujin brings these same benefits to the warehouse,” he says, explaining how Mujin's advanced 3D vision and real-time motion planning technologies can automate the deployment of difficult applications like mixed-case handling, sorting, and order filling. For palletizing applications requiring a heavier-payload cobot, the UR booth will also feature the UR16e model with a 16 kg/35.3 lbs payload, palletizing and de-palletizing in a conveyor setting, featuring UR’s own built-in palletizing programming wizard in seamless integration with the FXCB gripper from Schmalz. The gripper is part of UR’s rapidly expanding UR+ ecosystem of third-party component and application kits certified to be plug-and-play with UR cobots, now encompassing 387 different products. “There has never been a more crucial time for the supply chain industry to embrace automation,” says Joe Campbell. “We look forward to these conversations at MODEX, illustrating with hands-on examples and ROI justifications how cobots will help address the pain points.” UR cobots will also be exhibited in the following MODEX booths: Mech-Mind - Booth #C5571 Bin-picking gets a power-up with Mech-Mind's Machine Learning software/hardware package featuring a UR10e cobot picking irregular objects with a 3D-printed venturi vacuum gripper. SVT Robotics - Booth #B8260 See the latest RightPickTM system from RightHand Robotics, based on the UR10e cobot hardware platform, in a live end-to-end picking demonstration with SVT Robotics. SVT’s SOFTBOT® Platform enables easy integration between pick-to-light, pick-to-voice, AMRs and the RightPickTM system to facilitate predictable order fulfillment. About Universal Robots Universal Robots aims to empower change in the way work is done using its leading-edge robotics platform. Since introducing the world’s first commercially viable collaborative robot (cobot) in 2008, UR has developed a product portfolio including the UR3e, UR5e, UR10e, and UR16e, reflecting a range of reaches and payloads. Each model is supported by a wide selection of end-effectors, software, accessories and application kits in the UR+ ecosystem. This allows the cobots to be used across a wide range of industries and means that they can be redeployed across diverse tasks. The company, which is part of Teradyne Inc., is headquartered in Odense, Denmark, and has offices in the USA, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic, Romania, Turkey, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Mexico. Universal Robots has installed over 50,000 cobots worldwide.

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Lion Equity Partners Completes Acquisition of Elkhart Tri-Went Industrial

Lion Equity | February 07, 2022

Lion Equity Partners, a Denver-based private equity firm specializing in corporate carve-outs, announced that its affiliate, Lion Equity Holdings II, LLC, acquired Elkhart Tri-Went Industrial (“ETI”) from Aalberts N.V., a Netherlands-based manufacturer of mission critical technologies.ETI is a manufacturer of complex extruded aluminum components and fabricated copper tube products serving OEM customers in the automotive, air conditioning & refrigeration, water systems and industrial markets. ETI leverages proprietary techniques and processes to create high quality products cost-effectively. The company is headquartered in Geneva, IN with additional manufacturing facilities in Knoxville, TN and Ajax, ON, Canada. “Through its exceptional customer service, high quality products and talented employee base, ETI has distinguished itself as a trusted partner to bring complex, industrial solutions to the OEM market, ETI’s design expertise and FormCastTM proprietary manufacturing capabilities are key differentiators and provide a strong foundation for future growth, both organically and through strategic add-on acquisitions.” -Ari Silverman, Co-Founder and Partner of Lion Equity Partners. Joe Headdy, President of ETI, said What an amazing time for Elkhart Tri-Went Industrial, our partners, employees, and communities. This investment by Lion Equity is validation that our workforce, technical capabilities and product offerings are truly valued in the OEM market. We look forward to better serving our customers, employees, and stakeholders through targeted investments in capital equipment, growing the workforce, and positioning ETI to thrive in the markets we serve. ETI is excited about this opportunity as we celebrate the rich history of our company and the bright future ahead of us. About Lion Equity Partners: Headquartered in Denver, CO, Lion Equity Partners is an operations-focused private equity firm specializing in corporate divestitures and special situations. Our investment strategy is centered on creating value in our portfolio companies through a combination of operational improvements, organic growth, and strategic add-on acquisitions. The firm leverages its strategic, financial, and operational expertise to build businesses that will create long-term value for all stakeholders.

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SaniSure Announces the Acquisition of GL Engineering to Globally Expand its Drug Product Fill and Finish Solutions

SaniSure | January 11, 2022

SaniSure, a global developer and manufacturer of single-use technology for the biopharmaceutical industry, announced it has acquired GL Engineering (GLE) of East Hanover, New Jersey. With this acquisition, SaniSure will expand its global integrated offering of drug product fill and finish bioprocessing assemblies and solution including: Adding new capabilities and manufacturing capacities for drug product filling needles and assemblies. GLE will become the center of excellence for the development of drug product filling solutions. Extension of the SaniSure sterile manufacturing platform with a strong focus on final filling. The acquisition complements each company's technical capabilities, product offering and commercial reach. SaniSure has a direct sales force in the US and Europe together with strategic regional distributors and manufacturer representatives. GLE is a leader in filling needle design and manufacturing. "We are very excited about the addition of GLE to our innovative product portfolio, GLE's high-quality, global standards filling needle line represents an important expansion to SaniSure's customer-focused solutions. Drug product filling solutions are a critical step in many of our customers' processes. Having the ability to vertically integrate GLE's solutions is quite unique," -SaniSure's CEO Thomas J. Hook. Global demand for single-use technology is increasing rapidly with increasing R&D activities, a high level of biotech investments and strong global markets fueling a double-digit market growth rate. "SaniSure's assembly capabilities and commercial reach will significantly enhance the commercialization of our unique single-use needle design," said GL Engineering Founder Gerhard Liepold. Liepold, who will now join SaniSure as the Global Product Manager for Drug Product Filling Solutions, said "we are very proud to join the SaniSure team and bring more than two decades of pharmaceutical industry experience with strong engineering and commitment to design innovation in the single-use market." About SaniSure SaniSure is a global leader in the design and manufacturing of single-use systems and components for drug and vaccine manufacturing and other biotech and pharmaceutical applications. With the consolidation of several acquisitions under one roof, the combined resources, competencies and ability to create value for customers is unmatched in the industry. SaniSure's core manufacturing capabilities include injection molding, injection stretch blow molding, cleanroom assembly, tubing extrusion, fabrication, filling-needle manufacturing, and many additional proprietary technologies.SaniSure offers a wide range of single-use technology products including sterile single-use assemblies PharmaTainer™ bottles and carboys, Mixed4Sure™ mixing solutions, Cap2V8® bottle closures, Pharma-Clear® Silicone Tubing, Cellgyn® TPE tubing, aSURE® fittings, Pharma- Line™ I tubing, and many more. SaniSure has a growing global footprint of five manufacturing sites worldwide to provide customers with an unrivaled level of vertical integration and supply-chain security. About GL Engineering GL Engineering provides the highest quality, innovative design, prototyping, manufacturing and installation of sterile process engineering concepts and solutions, including custom-made, single-use filling needles and thermocouple testing clamps for the pharmaceutical industry.With more than two decades of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, our engineers are committed to designing the best possible products and services to optimize your filling process. GL Engineering provides customers with a customized approach to the cleanest and most efficient filling options on any brand of filling equipment.

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Stratasys Advances Its Growth Strategy to Lead Industrial Polymer Additive Manufacturing

Stratasys | May 13, 2022

Stratasys Ltd. a leader in polymer 3D printing solutions, announced today that its subsidiary MakerBot has entered into a definitive business combination agreement with NPM Capital-backed Ultimaker to form a new entity. The new combined company is intended to offer a comprehensive solution set of hardware, software and materials, creating a leading force in Desktop 3D printing. Under the terms of the agreement, NPM Capital plans to contribute Ultimaker’s assets, invest $15.4 million, and own 54.4% of the combined company, while Stratasys will contribute MakerBot’s assets, invest $47 million, and own 45.6% of the combined company (all subject to adjustments in the definitive documentation). The combined $62.4 million of committed financial backing is intended to fuel ecosystem innovation and expand customer reach and applications. The new company will be led by Nadav Goshen, current MakerBot CEO, and Jürgen von Hollen, current Ultimaker CEO, who will act as Co-CEOs, with Nadav managing product, operations and R&D and Jürgen managing the commercial functions. The entity is expected to maintain its headquarters in both The Netherlands and New York City. “By combining the strengths of MakerBot and Ultimaker, the new entity will have a broad technology offering, be sufficient in scale, well capitalized and have a focused leadership team to better compete in the highly attractive Desktop 3D printing sector,” said Dr. Yoav Zeif, CEO of Stratasys. “Today’s announcement is consistent with our strategy to focus on industrial and production scale polymer-based additive manufacturing solutions. This transaction is designed to benefit our shareholders by enabling them to own two leading companies with best-in-class technology and focused management teams that will be able to successfully deliver solutions to customers in two highly attractive but different areas of the 3D printing market.” Upon closing, the transaction is not expected to have a material impact on Stratasys’ revenue and is expected to be immediately accretive. As Stratasys will own less than 50% of the new entity, Stratasys will not consolidate it. The transaction is subject to consultation with appropriate employee representative bodies and the receipt of regulatory approvals, and satisfaction of other customary closing conditions, as a result of which a definitive time frame for closing is not yet available, with closing currently expected over the course of the second or third quarters of 2022. Stifel Financial is acting as exclusive financial advisor and Meitar Law Offices and Cooley LLP as legal advisors to Stratasys. Lincoln International is acting as exclusive financial advisor and Allen & Overy as legal advisor to NPM Capital. About MakerBot MakerBot is a global leader in the desktop 3D printing industry. MakerBot empowers the engineers of today and tomorrow with its powerful additive manufacturing ecosystem. The company strives to redefine the standards for 3D printing for safety and emissions, reliability, accessibility, precision, and ease-of-use. Through this dedication, MakerBot has a large install base, manages Thingiverse—the largest 3D printing community in the world—and has members on the UL 2904 standards committee to ensure it is on the cutting edge of emissions regulations. About Ultimaker Established in 2011, Ultimaker is on a mission to accelerate the world’s transformation to flexible, empowering and sustainable solutions. 330 employees deliver a platform that enables customers to take full advantage of the unique Ultimaker Ecosystem that offers the largest diversity of 3D printing products and services in the industry. Ultimaker provides a seamless integration of hardware, software and materials that simply works. About NPM Capital NPM Capital is a leading investment company focusing on long term investments in the Benelux market. Founded in 1948, NPM Capital has a history of providing growth capital to entrepreneurial companies that goes back almost 70 years. NPM Capital is part of the family-owned multinational SHV. SHV has a total turnover of over €20 billion with more than 57,000 employees. About Stratasys Stratasys is leading the global shift to additive manufacturing with innovative 3D printing solutions for industries such as aerospace, automotive, consumer products and healthcare. Through smart and connected 3D printers, polymer materials, a software ecosystem, and parts on demand, Stratasys solutions deliver competitive advantages at every stage in the product value chain. The world’s leading organizations turn to Stratasys to transform product design, bring agility to manufacturing and supply chains, and improve patient care.

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