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Manufacturing in the UK

Businesses have comfort zones just like people. Growth means being willing to explore the territory outside.

Innovate or liquidate!
This article was posted on the 737 Max thread. Opinion: Will Boeing Become The Next McDonnell Douglas? | Aviation Week Network It’s kind of an allegory for what happens to companies that chase short term shareholder value, sweat derivative products and cease to innovate.

My conjecture would be that innovation is no longer just about product development or R&D. There are innovative ways of raising finance, marketing and routes to market are now much more varied and agile, we’re seeing rapid changes in product support and logistics etc etc etc. We’re seeing rapid changes in approach to ownership.

Its a time of immense opportunity.
 

Yokel

LE
Its a time of immense opportunity.

For the half educated, half witted, brown nosing, self appointed clique to take every opportunity to mess things up. Why innovate why you can can just watch slow decline, and not rock the boat? Just think of the example give by @lastwalt - did someone thing point to point wiring was better than a cheaper PCB?
 
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For the half educated, half witted, brown nosing, self appointed clique to take every opportunity to mess things up. Why innovate why you can can just watch slow decline, and not rock the boat? Just think of the example give by @lastwalt - did someone thing point to poinT wiring was better than a cheaper PCB?
In my particular example, the Production Manager appeared to be concerned about two things.
1. The cost of training their employees to do something different
2, The potential for shrinking their empire. It would probably have required less than half the number of people to do the same job.

A business case could easily have been made for developing the backplane, and I suggested to my own manager that I take that on. The manner in which this suggestion was declined was only one of things that contributed to my very short period of employment with this company, and fairly minor compared with some of the other nonsense that went on.
 

Yokel

LE
In my particular example, the Production Manager appeared to be concerned about two things.
1. The cost of training their employees to do something different
2, The potential for shrinking their empire. It would probably have required less than half the number of people to do the same job.

A business case could easily have been made for developing the backplane, and I suggested to my own manager that I take that on. The manner in which this suggestion was declined was only one of things that contributed to my very short period of employment with this company, and fairly minor compared with some of the other nonsense that went on.

I was right about the half witted, half educated, brown nosing types and their clique of insiders! Did you say that the company went out of business? I just cannot imagine why?

The old capital expenditure issue...
 

Yokel

LE
Two bits of good news today:

JCB wins £26 million order from Ardent

Ardent Hire Solutions, one of the UK’s biggest plant hire companies, is expanding its fleet further by placing an order for 525 new JCB telehandlers in a deal worth £26 million.

The order includes a full range of fixed frame models from the compact six metre/2,500kg 525-60 up to the 20 metre/4,000kg 540-200 models. The new machines all come with JCB LiveLink telematics with real time data to Ardent’s management software.

The deal has been done through the manufacturer’s dealer Watling JCB, and the first units are already coming off the production line, along with some classic JCB loader backhoes. This latest order follows on from a two year 1,100 unit deal signed in March 2019.


Armstrong continues UK expansion with relocation the larger West Midlands factory

Armstrong Fluid Technology has announced plans to relocate its West Midlands factory, warehouse and offices to larger premises in nearby Droitwich. The move will enable the company to continue expansion of its UK production capabilities, to meet growing worldwide demand for its off-site manufactured plant rooms and energy centres.

Armstrong Fluid Technology is a leading manufacturer of packaged HVAC and fire solutions for the data centre, gas transmission, commercial, district energy and other markets. The company has been manufacturing at its Heywood Wharf site in Halesowen since 2004. Alongside Armstrong’s factory and HQ in Greater Manchester, and sales office in London, the West Midlands site is a key facility, specialising in the construction of plantrooms and energy centres, packaged plant systems, and fire pump packages.

A steady increase in business over the last 5 years have meant that operations have outgrown the available space at the Heyward Wharf site. In the coming months, the company will relocate its Midland’s based manufacturing operations, warehouse, and office staff to a larger, purpose-designed site at Pointon Way, Droitwich. With over 69,000 sq ft of space, easy access to the M5, an extensive warehouse, and specially-designed loading bays, the larger, newer facility will have significant benefits for Armstrong customers.
 

endure

GCM
Two bits of good news today:

JCB wins £26 million order from Ardent

Ardent Hire Solutions, one of the UK’s biggest plant hire companies, is expanding its fleet further by placing an order for 525 new JCB telehandlers in a deal worth £26 million.

The order includes a full range of fixed frame models from the compact six metre/2,500kg 525-60 up to the 20 metre/4,000kg 540-200 models. The new machines all come with JCB LiveLink telematics with real time data to Ardent’s management software.

The deal has been done through the manufacturer’s dealer Watling JCB, and the first units are already coming off the production line, along with some classic JCB loader backhoes. This latest order follows on from a two year 1,100 unit deal signed in March 2019.


Armstrong continues UK expansion with relocation the larger West Midlands factory

Armstrong Fluid Technology has announced plans to relocate its West Midlands factory, warehouse and offices to larger premises in nearby Droitwich. The move will enable the company to continue expansion of its UK production capabilities, to meet growing worldwide demand for its off-site manufactured plant rooms and energy centres.

Armstrong Fluid Technology is a leading manufacturer of packaged HVAC and fire solutions for the data centre, gas transmission, commercial, district energy and other markets. The company has been manufacturing at its Heywood Wharf site in Halesowen since 2004. Alongside Armstrong’s factory and HQ in Greater Manchester, and sales office in London, the West Midlands site is a key facility, specialising in the construction of plantrooms and energy centres, packaged plant systems, and fire pump packages.

A steady increase in business over the last 5 years have meant that operations have outgrown the available space at the Heyward Wharf site. In the coming months, the company will relocate its Midland’s based manufacturing operations, warehouse, and office staff to a larger, purpose-designed site at Pointon Way, Droitwich. With over 69,000 sq ft of space, easy access to the M5, an extensive warehouse, and specially-designed loading bays, the larger, newer facility will have significant benefits for Armstrong customers.


More jobs just up the road from me.

Did you know you can buy a JCB online?

 

Nornironman

Old-Salt
I'd take news from the publicity hungry JCB with a pinch of salt. They have fared badly over the COVID period losing 500 temps, and then now made a hoo ha of taking 400 back on. Their order book is up and down like a pair of whore's drawers. If you remember pictures of BoJo visiting the plant pre election, their enthusiasm for Brexit whilst relying on EU orders, and their bizarre entrance into building a golf club, it isn't a business model that looks anything other than erratic.
 
I'd take news from the publicity hungry JCB with a pinch of salt. They have fared badly over the COVID period losing 500 temps, and then now made a hoo ha of taking 400 back on. Their order book is up and down like a pair of whore's drawers. If you remember pictures of BoJo visiting the plant pre election, their enthusiasm for Brexit whilst relying on EU orders, and their bizarre entrance into building a golf club, it isn't a business model that looks anything other than erratic.
Out of vague interest, what do you know about JCBs order book given that they are a private limited company with no need to report to the markets.

Also, given that JCB supply ¾ of all construction plant sold in India, in what way do they rely on the EU

The whole point of employing temps is that you can flex your workforce when demand requires.

Given that he’s built the third largest construction plant manufacturer in the world, selling in 150 countries and manufacturing in 22, I’m sure Antony Bamford would appreciate your help with his business plan!
 

Nornironman

Old-Salt
I share part of the same supply chain, as the director of a small company employing 120 people. JCB's order book is reflected in their subbies.

They squeeze and pull the local labour supply as they pay pretty well. Local metal bashers will lose labour that is banging on their door three months later. I use temps on a short term basis with a view to taking them on if they are any good.
 
I share part of the same supply chain, as the director of a small company employing 120 people. JCB's order book is reflected in their subbies.

They squeeze and pull the local labour supply as they pay pretty well. Local metal bashers will lose labour that is banging on their door three months later. I use temps on a short term basis with a view to taking them on if they are any good.
Their order book is heavily damped by the fact that they manufacture globally. It’s one of very few UK manufacturing business that is genuinely global and successful.

In the context of earlier discussion on this thread, it’s very noteworthy that JCB is privately owned and is therefore immune to the short termism of focusing on shareholder value.
 

Yokel

LE
Now who was it who mentioned additive manufacturing?

Orbex Commissions Largest Industrial 3D Printer in Europe for Rapid Rocket-Building

3D Printing System Will Deliver 35 Rocket Engines and Turbopumps Annually

Orbex has commissioned AMCM to build the largest industrial 3D printer in Europe, allowing the innovative UK-based space launch company to rapidly print complex rocket engines in-house. The custom-made, large volume 3D printer will allow Orbex to print more than 35 large-scale rocket engine and main stage turbopump systems annually, as the company scales up its production capabilities for launches.

The multi-million pound deal was signed with AMCM, following a series of successful trials printing various large-scale rocket components over a number of months. AMCM will deliver a complete printing suite with post-processing machinery and ‘Machine Vision’ systems, providing automatic imaging-based inspection of printed components. To accommodate the new machinery, Orbex is expanding its factory floor space by an additional 1,000 m².
 

Yokel

LE
Another thing - when I was at school I wondered if household and commercial waste could be turned into some sort of oil type fuel. Well, it seems it can:

£600m sustainable aviation fuel plant set to create hundreds of jobs


Essar Oil (UK) Limited (Essar) is joining forces with Fulcrum BioEnergy and Essar’s subsidiary company Stanlow Terminals to create a new facility which will convert non-recyclable household waste into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for use by airlines operating at UK airports.

This innovative bio-refinery will convert several hundred thousand tonnes of pre-processed waste, which would have otherwise been destined for incineration or landfill, into approximately 100 million litres of low carbon SAF annually.

The project, which will see an investment of approximately £600m, will use Fulcrum’s proven waste-to-fuel process, which is already being deployed at its pioneering facility outside of Reno, Nevada in the United States, where operations are due to begin later this year.
 

Yokel

LE
The Jefferson feed also had this:


If you follow the links to the ABI Electronics webpage, and click the about page:

ABI Electronics Ltd is a leading supplier of test and measurement equipment as well as a renowned contract electronics manufacturer. ABI products are designed and manufactured at its premises in the UK and exported all over the world thanks to an active distribution network throughout Europe, Africa, the Americas, Asia and Australia.

ABI also supplies local customers in the UK and Ireland. With manufacturing capabilities suitable for prototypes and small to medium PCB batches, ABI gained a strong reputation for the complete range of services they offer to cover all aspects of contract electronics manufacturing.

ABI was founded in 1983 and incorporated in 1984 as a limited company. The initial concept for the business came from a simple incident when ABI’s founder accidentally stepped on an electronics IC which had fallen to the floor. After picking it up, a question came to his head: “I wonder if it still works ?”. The company produced the ICT-24, the world's first low-cost digital IC tester, and expanded rapidly as sales of this popular product grew.

A move from a small factory unit in 1985 was followed just two years later into much larger premises. The company grew steadily from there, opening a second factory in 1989 and in 1998 expanding yet again to its present headquarters in Barnsley, England.

The trend of increasing complexity fault diagnosis products, at ever increasing prices, was broken by ABI in 1991 with the SYSTEM 8 range which was designed and produced at a much lower cost while providing an unprecedented level of fault diagnosis capabilities.

The SYSTEM 8 range remains a highly popular product amongst blue chip companies and dedicated repair centres alike. ABI continues to develop this product, taking constant account of customer comments and suggestions.

ABI is known for keeping abreast of technology changes in order to offer solutions that are in response to its customers’ needs. One example was the release of the JTAGMaster which responded to the introduction of BGA devices, and therefore the need for programming and testing them.

Other aspects of electronics are not neglected. The increasing problem of counterfeit components is a threat to any electronics supplier and manufacturer. ABI released in 2008 the acclaimed SENTRY Counterfeit IC Detector and was awarded the following year a Global Technology award at Productronica 2009.

ABI has more than 30 years experience of developing the highest quality testing and fault-finding equipment, backed by a global reputation for quality and service. It is also certified in accordance with ISO 9001-2015. The system is based on an ongoing commitment to quality, professional fulfilment of duties and constant expansion and development.
 

Ayatollah

Old-Salt
I’m specifically talking about short run production. Automation of high volume stuff is largely old hat. Smart machines bring robotisation to small scale stuff.

Tooling is a great example. In the past, small scale metalwork runs were formed by hand, because tooling up was so expensive. Now, tools can quickly be made by additive machining.

You should get yourself a visit to a rapid prototyping shop.
I disagree, you are referring to specific manufacturing, small manufacturers can't afford to purchase/lease expensive automated machinery.
 
I disagree, you are referring to specific manufacturing, small manufacturers can't afford to purchase/lease expensive automated machinery.
If you go back through my posts of Industry 4 trends, you’ll find that one of my key points is that the relative cost of machines is falling. New production techniques, particularly additive machining, change the game.

The only sample of tooling is a really good one; 3-D machining brings down the cost substantially.
 
Published by: James Attwood, digital editor News, AUTOCAR magazine, on 25 February 2021.

Vauxhall: Ellesmere Port talks 'productive but not conclusive'.


Stellantis is in talks with the UK government over agreement to secure future of Astra factory.

Vauxhall boss Michael Lohscheller has said that talks with the UK government to secure the future of the firm's Ellesmere Port plant have been "productive but not conclusive" - and has hinted that government support will be key to a final decision.

The future of the Cheshire factory, which currently employs around 1000 people, has been in question for some time. The current Astra is built there, but Vauxhall parent company Stellantis has yet to decide if the next-generation version of the hatchback and estate will be.

Stellantis boss Carlos Tavares recently said the UK ban on most new ICE cars from 2030 “could destroy the business model” of the facility, adding that its future could depend “on the UK government’s willingness to protect some level of its automotive industry”.

Stellantis representatives have met with business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng several times in recent months, with further talks taking place this week.

Speaking about the negotiations, Lohscheller told Bloomberg News: “At this stage, these discussions are productive but not conclusive,” adding that Stellantis expected authorities "to behave in the interest of the UK economy".

Reports suggest Stellantis is seeking financial incentives to produce electric vehicles (EVs) at Ellesmere Port and commitments on the post-Brexit trade of car parts including batteries
.

The BBC has previously said that three options for Ellesmere Port are being considered by Stellanis:

+ continuing production of ICE cars - possibly with a new model - until the plant becomes obselete;

+ decide to wind down production and close the plant; or

+ commit to making EVs at the site.

Committing to EV production at Ellesmere Port would likely depend on a commitment by the UK to build battery production capacity to ensure a supply for the site and other plants. That is particularly important, due to the ‘rules of origin’ requirements introduced in the post-Brexit UK-EU trade deal.

1614275693927.png


 

Yokel

LE
My brother has mostly driven various model Vauxhall Astra for something like twenty two years, part from when he had a Vectra. Surely the Government will not want to lose the Vauxhall name, or the manufacturing capacity, or all those jobs - including the supply chain?
 

Yokel

LE
I am flagging this one up as it highlights the linkages between employers and local education establishments.

British Steel recruiting 24 apprentices

Training will be delivered in partnership with North Lindsey College. The first part of the programme will be spent at our Apprentice Training Centre in Scunthorpe, where the new recruits will be prepared for going out into plant areas. The remainder of the apprenticeship is spent plant-based, working in Steelmaking, Ironmaking, Energy and Infrastructure or in one of our mills, alongside further study in the apprentice centre.

Jill Cooper, Executive Director Employer Engagement & Projects at North Lindsey College, said: “These are incredible opportunities to join a major local business and receive first class training.


Our ongoing long term relationship with British Steel, including management of the apprenticeship training centre, ensures we can support British Steel and other employers to employ, develop and retain local people in fantastic worthwhile careers.
 

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