Manufacturing in the UK

Gout Man

LE
Book Reviewer
More jobs just up the road from me.

Did you know you can buy a JCB online?

PM @Ravers he’s always on the look out for a new toy he’s the only fecker on here who can afford it.
 

wheel

LE
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!
I recall that you said please do not attack the man. I understand that @Nornironman is trying to say that JCB take on and layoff staff with alarming regularity. While this sort of flexibility is great for them it also has a massive impact on other small/medium size businesses as they can not compete with the wages that JCB offer, even though many of the people that go there know that the work will probably only be for a limited time.
 

Yokel

LE
I recall that you said please do not attack the man. I understand that @Nornironman is trying to say that JCB take on and layoff staff with alarming regularity. While this sort of flexibility is great for them it also has a massive impact on other small/medium size businesses as they can not compete with the wages that JCB offer, even though many of the people that go there know that the work will probably only be for a limited time.

Has COVID-19 and the possibility of a recession had an impact of people making the decision to do temporary work at a higher rate, or permanent work for a lower rate? How many of them work via agencies?

How have things like apprenticeships and practical training/education been impacted?
 
Last edited:
I recall that you said please do not attack the man. I understand that @Nornironman is trying to say that JCB take on and layoff staff with alarming regularity. While this sort of flexibility is great for them it also has a massive impact on other small/medium size businesses as they can not compete with the wages that JCB offer, even though many of the people that go there know that the work will probably only be for a limited time.
Isn’t it just market forces working in an open labour market? JCB have both the buying power and can compete on wages, so they can optimise their workforce to cope with demand surges. I don’t think you can read anything negative into their business plan or their order book; you could argue that it’s good business. Keep a permanent team to deliver base demand and flex for the peaks.

Sure, it makes it difficult for local SMEs who don’t want to compete on wages. But that’s a business risk that they have to manage. It’s rather like the gold dust hand solderers; if you design a business that relies on unicorns and you can’t find any, you don’t have a business.
 
It seems the Shorts Belfast site has already had a small workload increase from the Spirit takeover deal, with more to come in the near future from an unannounced deal.

 

Yokel

LE
It seems the Shorts Belfast site has already had a small workload increase from the Spirit takeover deal, with more to come in the near future from an unannounced deal.


Airbus?

Buying Bombardier in Belfast meant Spirit took over production of the wings for the Airbus A220 and gave the firm a pathway to more Airbus work in the future.

So, unsurprisingly, financial analysts questioning the Spirit team wanted to know about the prospects for the A220.
 
Airbus?

Buying Bombardier in Belfast meant Spirit took over production of the wings for the Airbus A220 and gave the firm a pathway to more Airbus work in the future.

So, unsurprisingly, financial analysts questioning the Spirit team wanted to know about the prospects for the A220.
It could well be. Although the article says they believe business jet production will pick up far quicker than commercial passenger planes.
 

wheel

LE
Isn’t it just market forces working in an open labour market? JCB have both the buying power and can compete on wages, so they can optimise their workforce to cope with demand surges. I don’t think you can read anything negative into their business plan or their order book; you could argue that it’s good business. Keep a permanent team to deliver base demand and flex for the peaks.

Sure, it makes it difficult for local SMEs who don’t want to compete on wages. But that’s a business risk that they have to manage. It’s rather like the gold dust hand solderers; if you design a business that relies on unicorns and you can’t find any, you don’t have a business.
Short answer : Yes.

Edit: There is a bit of irony to it though. There is a local engineering firm that makes very high quality gear (think about it) for JCB and other high quality automotive companies. When there is a surge in demand for CNC operators they all jump ship and cock up the very supply chain that they rely on.
 
Last edited:
Short answer : Yes.

Edit: There is a bit of irony to it though. There is a local engineering firm that makes very high quality gear (think about it) for JCB and other high quality automotive companies. When there is a surge in demand for CNC operators they all jump ship and cock up the very supply chain that they rely on.
Now that isn’t very bright. TBH I would have expected JCB to have deep partnering relationships with its Tier 1 suppliers that reach through to its Tier 2s. Surprised, given JCBs position, that it doesn’t.
 

Yokel

LE
Now that isn’t very bright. TBH I would have expected JCB to have deep partnering relationships with its Tier 1 suppliers that reach through to its Tier 2s. Surprised, given JCBs position, that it doesn’t.

Perhaps the major issue is the limited number of skilled people, who will go where the money is? Does a major supplier have to worry about the workforce levels and skillsets of their suppliers?

Surely that is a Government responsibility? Also things like business associations?
 
Perhaps the major issue is the limited number of skilled people, who will go where the money is? Does a major supplier have to worry about the workforce levels and skillsets of their suppliers?

Surely that is a Government responsibility? Also things like business associations?
Yes an OEM or prime absolutely has to be concerned about the workforce levels and skillsets of its suppliers. It’s quite normal for large OEMs and primes to have a very close partnering relationship with their Tier 1s in Just In Time supply chains. I can think of several examples of primes integrating Tier 1s into their quality management systems. Not sure about OEMs; I’ve never worked for one.

I can see no sane reason why an OEM or prime would denude its supply chain of labour. All that does is create a quality problem in the supply chain that will be manifested in the final product.

Can’t see what any of this has to do with government.
 

Yokel

LE
Yes an OEM or prime absolutely has to be concerned about the workforce levels and skillsets of its suppliers. It’s quite normal for large OEMs and primes to have a very close partnering relationship with their Tier 1s in Just In Time supply chains. I can think of several examples of primes integrating Tier 1s into their quality management systems. Not sure about OEMs; I’ve never worked for one.

I can see no sane reason why an OEM or prime would denude its supply chain of labour. All that does is create a quality problem in the supply chain that will be manifested in the final product.

Can’t see what any of this has to do with government.

In the early eighties my late Uncle, who had spent his life doing precision engineering (apart from his wartime RAF service) was a civil servant and trained people for industry. Then Government stopped it to save money.

Government can offer financial incentives and set policy for life long education and training.
 

wheel

LE
Yes an OEM or prime absolutely has to be concerned about the workforce levels and skillsets of its suppliers. It’s quite normal for large OEMs and primes to have a very close partnering relationship with their Tier 1s in Just In Time supply chains. I can think of several examples of primes integrating Tier 1s into their quality management systems. Not sure about OEMs; I’ve never worked for one.

I can see no sane reason why an OEM or prime would denude its supply chain of labour. All that does is create a quality problem in the supply chain that will be manifested in the final product.

Can’t see what any of this has to do with government.
When it comes to recruitment especially temporary (usually agency staff) I do not think there is much joined up thinking. HR given posts to fill crack on. I have never worked for OEM . I have worked for a number of Tier 1 companies and found innovation to be stifled by bureaucracy and interference within the QMS by OEM.
 
When it comes to recruitment especially temporary (usually agency staff) I do not think there is much joined up thinking. HR given posts to fill crack on. I have never worked for OEM . I have worked for a number of Tier 1 companies and found innovation to be stifled by bureaucracy and interference within the QMS by OEM.
I’ve not worked for an OEM either, but I did spend 10 years in fairly senior roles with a couple of primes. Slightly different as we didn’t compete for labour with our Tier 1s as we didn’t manufacture. That’s what we had Tier 1s for. However, we did build strong partnering relationships with them (and often down into Tier 2s).

I guess it’s about culture; the first prime I worked for is recognised as a global leader in partnering. It would be interesting to see how relationships with Tier 1s work in a big OEM.
 

Yokel

LE
Maybe @bobthebuilder knows something we do not? Until now.

Learning Robot Could Transform Multiple Sectors

A robot that can teach itself how to pick up unknown objects has been developed by automation experts at the Coventry-based Manufacturing Technology Centre.

The state-of-the-art development allows single objects to be picked out of a random tray or bin, without the need for high cost sensors or lengthy programming. The process could bring huge benefits to the manufacturing, agri-food, logistics and waste management sectors among others.

The solution comes hard on the heels of a successful MTC project to develop a robot with decision-making capabilities for assembly operations.

The new robotic process – codenamed Project Viper – uses a deep neural network, low cost depth cameras and robotic arms with vacuum pick-up cups. Tests on a wide range of objects including metal components, cosmetic containers and even fruit, showed that 94 per cent of attempted picks were successful.

MTC senior research engineer Mark Robson said, “This project has shown the MTC’s ability to draw upon state-of-the-art academic research to develop new technologies for UK industry. The result of this work is a flexible system that can quickly be adapted to the individual needs of different industrial handling problems without the need for complex robot programming.
 
Maybe @bobthebuilder knows something we do not? Until now.

Learning Robot Could Transform Multiple Sectors

A robot that can teach itself how to pick up unknown objects has been developed by automation experts at the Coventry-based Manufacturing Technology Centre.

The state-of-the-art development allows single objects to be picked out of a random tray or bin, without the need for high cost sensors or lengthy programming. The process could bring huge benefits to the manufacturing, agri-food, logistics and waste management sectors among others.

The solution comes hard on the heels of a successful MTC project to develop a robot with decision-making capabilities for assembly operations.

The new robotic process – codenamed Project Viper – uses a deep neural network, low cost depth cameras and robotic arms with vacuum pick-up cups. Tests on a wide range of objects including metal components, cosmetic containers and even fruit, showed that 94 per cent of attempted picks were successful.

MTC senior research engineer Mark Robson said, “This project has shown the MTC’s ability to draw upon state-of-the-art academic research to develop new technologies for UK industry. The result of this work is a flexible system that can quickly be adapted to the individual needs of different industrial handling problems without the need for complex robot programming.
I can see the cry for a universal income growing louder in the next decade, if AI automation in manufacturing etc is moving at such a pace.
 
Pubished by: Felix Page, AUTOCAR magazine, on 01 March 2021.

Ford has taken full control of its transmission production facility in Halewood, Merseyside, ending its 50/50 joint venture with German manufacturer Magna PT (previously Getrag).

The announcement has been welcomed by the plant's 700-plus employees, whose job prospects have looked uncertain since Ford closed its engine-building facility in Bridgend, Wales, and suggested further UK workforce cuts could have been possible. The 600 Getrag employees at Halewood will now be employed by Ford.

In 2019, Ford of Europe boss Stuart Rowley said a no-deal Brexit would force the company to "evaluate the environment with regards to tariffs and customs issues", hinting that its presence in Halewood - heavily diminished since Focus production was wholly established in Germany - was under threat.


Now, with a Brexit deal agreed, Ford is strengthening its commitment to its existing UK workforce by taking full control of the Merseyside site, adjoining Jaguar Land Rover's substantial production facility, as well as its transmission plant in Cologne, Germany, which had also been shared with Magna PT. The latter will, in turn, assume control of the shared facility in Bordeaux, France.

In an official statement, Ford said: “The current European Getrag Ford Transmissions (GFT) joint venture between Ford and Magna has ended as of today, 1 March. Ford is now the sole owner of the transmission plants in Halewood, UK, and Cologne, Germany, while Magna has taken on sole ownership of the transmission plant in Bordeaux, France.

“As part of this process, GFT, together with Ford and Magna, has worked with employee representatives and other stakeholders over many months to ensure that all the necessary measures are in place to make the changeover as smooth as possible.”

Ford's Halewood plant was originally home to production of the Anglia saloon, which paved the way for the immensely successful Escort. When that car was discontinued in 1998, Ford announced that production of its successor, the Focus, would take place in Saarlouis, Germany, and the Halewood vehicle production lines were eventually given over to then Ford-owned Jaguar Land Rover, which still produces several key models there.

Now, the transmission facility produces gearboxes for Ford models, and plant manager Andy Roche told the Liverpool Echo that the company's renewed commitment in the site hinted at big plans for Halewood.
He said: "We are convinced now with Ford coming in to buy us that they've got plans for us. They took us for a purpose and will want to invest - they're not going to buy us to shut it down. We see this as a protection of jobs.

"So any new jobs that they create, they will be Ford employees, which is fantastic. It's fantastic to be associated with a world-renowned company."

News of Halewood's secured future comes following Ford's high-profile announcement that its European line-up would be electric-only by 2030. As part of the strategy outline, Rowley said the firm's other UK production facility - the diesel engine plant in Dagenham, London - would continue to be "an important part of our business" as diesel is still in high demand in the commercial vehicle sector.

1614623427627.png



Posted on this "Manufacturing in the UK" thread; and, the "Ford-motor-company-is-the-corporate-decline-inevitable" thread.
 

Yokel

LE
This relates to possible future manufacturing: Rolls Royce's all electric 'Spirit of innovation' powers through another milestone on its way to a World record

Rolls-Royce has successfully completed the taxiing of its ‘Spirit of Innovation’ aircraft, the latest milestone on its journey to becoming the world’s fastest all-electric plane. For the first time, the plane powered along a runway propelled by its powerful 500hp [400kw] electric powertrain and the latest energy storage technology developed to set world speed records and enable a new generation of urban air mobility concepts.

The taxiing of the plane is a critical test of the integration of the aircraft’s propulsion system, ahead of actual flight-testing. The first flight is planned for the Spring and when at full power the combination of electrical powertrain and advanced battery system will power the aircraft to more than 300mph, setting a new world speed record for electric flight.

Minister for Business Paul Scully said “The taxiing of Rolls-Royce’s ‘Spirit of Innovation’ forms part of an exciting new chapter in aviation as we move towards its first flight in the spring. Set to be the world’s fastest electric plane, this pioneering aircraft highlights the value of close collaboration between industry and government.
 
This relates to possible future manufacturing: Rolls Royce's all electric 'Spirit of innovation' powers through another milestone on its way to a World record

Rolls-Royce has successfully completed the taxiing of its ‘Spirit of Innovation’ aircraft, the latest milestone on its journey to becoming the world’s fastest all-electric plane. For the first time, the plane powered along a runway propelled by its powerful 500hp [400kw] electric powertrain and the latest energy storage technology developed to set world speed records and enable a new generation of urban air mobility concepts.

The taxiing of the plane is a critical test of the integration of the aircraft’s propulsion system, ahead of actual flight-testing. The first flight is planned for the Spring and when at full power the combination of electrical powertrain and advanced battery system will power the aircraft to more than 300mph, setting a new world speed record for electric flight.

Minister for Business Paul Scully said “The taxiing of Rolls-Royce’s ‘Spirit of Innovation’ forms part of an exciting new chapter in aviation as we move towards its first flight in the spring. Set to be the world’s fastest electric plane, this pioneering aircraft highlights the value of close collaboration between industry and government.
Might one suggest, that ALSO deserves a post in the "Most Beautiful Aircraft" thread" ?! ;) .
 

Latest Threads

Top