Manufacturing in the UK


Book Reviewer
Car industry?

Interesting stat gleaned the other day while writing an article on Industry 4.0 and related logistics. An electric vehicle has just 10 percent of the components of an ICE-powered vehicle. Vehicle ownership is going to evolve anyway, as leasing gains momentum and vehicle manufacturers push hard to have their products back because of their materials content.

There are all sorts of dynamics going on or about to.
Car industry?

Interesting stat gleaned the other day while writing an article on Industry 4.0 and related logistics. An electric vehicle has just 10 percent of the components of an ICE-powered vehicle. Vehicle ownership is going to evolve anyway, as leasing gains momentum and vehicle manufacturers push hard to have their products back because of their materials content.

There are all sorts of dynamics going on or about to.
10% of what?

I'm going to presume 10% of engine components not 10% of the entire vehicle?


What can Government do to help? How useful will this be?

UK launching four region trade hubs to boost exports

The government is creating four regional trade and investment hubs to boost economic growth across the UK.

Secretary of State for International Trade Liz Truss said on Tuesday that the hubs would be located in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast and Darlington.

The aim is to boost exports by providing localised advice from export and investment specialists to firms.
But an expert says the proposed economic recovery plan is "the wrong way round".

The government says the new hubs will provide support and advice to help regional businesses to access major trade markets and boost exports, as part its efforts to boost pandemic recovery.

"I'm determined to use UK trade policy to benefit every part of the UK. These trade and investment hubs will help this country to an export and jobs-led recovery," said Ms Truss.

"They will mean we can channel investment into all corners of the country, and that exporters - whether they're selling Scotch beef, Welsh Lamb or cars made in the North of England - have access to the expertise they need to sell into the fastest growing markets."


Rolls Royce starts building world's largest aero engine in Derby

Rolls-Royce has officially started building the world’s largest aero-engine, UltraFan®, which will help redefine sustainable air travel for decades to come.

Work on the first module is underway at our dedicated DemoWorks facility in Derby, UK, and the demonstrator engine, which has a fan diameter of 140 inches, will be completed by the end of the year.

The engine is the basis for a potential new family of UltraFan engines able to power both narrowbody and widebody aircraft and deliver a 25% fuel efficiency improvement compared with the first generation of Trent engine.

That performance improvement is crucial to achieving aviation sustainability. Gas turbines will continue to be the bedrock of long-haul aviation for many years, and UltraFan’s efficiency will help improve the economics of an industry transition to more sustainable fuels, which are likely to be more expensive in the short-term than traditional jet fuel. The first test run of the engine will be conducted on 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel.

Significant investment has been made to develop the UltraFan demonstrator and associated technologies by Rolls-Royce and a variety of funding agencies, including the Aerospace Technology Institute and Innovate UK.

UK Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, said: “The UltraFan project is a perfect example of how we are working with industry to deliver green, sustainable flight for decades to come. Backed with significant government support, this project represents the scale of ambition for Britain’s crucial aerospace sector.


Industry insight: the demise of the Industrial Strategy

Chris Greenough is the Chief Commercial Officer of Shrewsbury-based SDE Technology, one of the leading manufacturers of pressings and assemblies in the UK. Chris has championed the British manufacturing sector for more than two decades, particularly SMEs. He has submitted this article in response to the Government’s recent announcement.

There has always been business support from Government, and this support is always welcomed by business. The manufacturing sector in this country needs to be engaged, supported, and promoted, to make sure we have a sector that can help drive the economy.

Without a very strong manufacturing sector we simply cannot have a robust and healthy economy. I have worked in the sector for over twenty-six years and seen the highs and lows of economic effects on manufacturing. The headwinds over the last five years have been unprecedented, from the Brexit vote in 2016, and the ongoing voting and posturing that followed until we left in January 2021, to the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020 that changed the way we live and work.

For me, one positive in all this was the introduction of the Industrial Strategy in 2017, giving everyone and every business the chance to feed into a long-term plan for the country. I took advantage of this chance to help scope policy and made sure I spent time and effort feeding into local Council, Local Enterprise Partnerships and straight into Central Government. I, as many businesses did at the time, thought that this was a great opportunity to help steer key decision on the future of our country, our voices were being heard – great news.

There were round table events, questionnaires and calls for input, it looked as if this was a real game changer in terms of ongoing business support.

So, this week has been a real disappointment to me, and I am sure many other business leaders. The Industrial Strategy has been scrapped, shelved and is no more. The Government are reportedly dropping the strategy in favour of a more ad hoc approach to supporting economic growth.

Firstly, to drop the Industrial Strategy, without a clear replacement plan is not the way we expect our policy makers to act. There must have been discussion on what to do next, and even if there is an outline of a plan this would surely be better than no plan at all?

Secondly, I know we are in unprecedented times, and I can see that to be reactive and fast moving is something we all will have to do, but this is very much different than ad hoc. We need more than support when it is necessary or needed, we need support that is planned, maintained and long term. The whole point of a strategy is exactly that.

The Industrial Strategy should feed and support the visions of the future, from the call to have all-electric car sales by 2030, the need to look for new greener manufacturing process and techniques and have a clear plan for carbon reduction.

Business must have a feed in to policy, business needs to have a voice, and SMEs must be allowed to make their needs known so that they can invest and create wealth for our country. Many capital investments have long-term payback and so we must have a long-term plan.

I look forward to seeing what plans come out from Westminster in the coming weeks and will continue to monitor and discuss the ways out manufacturing sector is supported.



This article about the Dreadnought class, the future SSBNs that will carry our nuclear deterrent. highlights some of our industrial capabilities.
  • £2.5 billion worth of contracts have already been placed with suppliers across the UK, including:
North West – £400m spent to date, including on power systems and sensors, supporting 13,500 jobs;
Yorkshire and Humber – £350m spent to date, including on gear boxes and steel, supporting 2,500 jobs;
South East – £235m spent to date, including on electrical systems, antenna systems and control panels, supporting 2,500 jobs;
Scotland – £215m spent to date, including on periscopes, supporting 2,000 jobs.

  • Of the 30,000 jobs which are sustained by the Dreadnought programme, nearly 8,000 are directly employed by BAE Systems, with 11,800 jobs in the programme’s supply chain and a further 10,200 (induced) jobs supported across the country.
    Dreadnought will have a sustained and lasting impact on UK employment, supporting thousands of jobs reaching all UK regions to at least 2035.
  • Alongside Submarines colleagues, engineers at the Company’s Electronic Systems business in Rochester are taking decades of flight controls expertise underwater, adapting systems which are usually used in fly-by-wire aircraft and applying them to Dreadnought. The Active Vehicle Control Management system will oversee all major aspects of the submarines’ manoeuvring capability, controlling the heading, pitch, depth and buoyancy of the Dreadnought class among other critical elements.


Did someone say that BREXIT would make it impossible for our manufacturers to export to Europe?

Alexander Dennis to build Berlin Busses in Britain

Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL), one of the world’s leading independent global bus manufacturers, today announced that Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) has exercised options for 198 Enviro500 double deck buses, to be delivered to the German capital by the end of 2022. ADL will build these buses in its factories in the United Kingdom.

ADL delivered the first two Enviro500 double deckers to BVG in October 2020 as part of a multi-year framework contract signed in 2018. Following the successful completion of a testing programme with this initial pair of vehicles, BVG’s supervisory board approved the conversion of options for another 198 buses into firm orders, taking the fleet to 200. Options for a further 230 Enviro500 double deckers remain in the contract.

Berlin’s new generation of iconic yellow double deck buses is the first to have been designed in Britain by ADL, the world’s leading supplier of double deck buses. Production of all 198 units will take place in the manufacturer’s facilities in the United Kingdom, with the Scarborough site in Yorkshire to lead final assembly.


From MTD/Jefferson: Great British Manufacturing Podcast launched

Co-developed and co-hosted by MTD and Jefferson, two of the most trusted media organisations in the sector, the new weekly podcast features industry news, analysis, special guests and features.

Jefferson and MTD have worked together for many years and formed a strategic partnership last year to offer the British manufacturing sector an unrivalled menu of online and offline marketing services. More than a third of a million people and companies follow their social media accounts.

“Most of the team at MTD are from industry and we know first-hand the challenges firms are facing at this time”, says Joe Reynolds, Director of MTD. “Over the past decade, we have worked with hundreds of engineering and manufacturing companies and felt compelled to do whatever we could to assist them at this most critical time for British industry.”

MTD and Jefferson recently launched the FactoryNOW initiative to help manufacturers collaborate, boost sales and reshore.

“FactoryNOW has been developed with manufacturers, for manufacturers” explains Stuart Whitehead, founder of the leading social media platform Jefferson. “In addition to this platform, together with MTD, we broadcast regular TV shows such as SMEFocus and FactoryTALK. We have been asked by the manufacturing community to produce a weekly podcast for quite a while and we are delighted to launch this new show.


Moog breaks ground on new £40 million Gloucestershire factory - MTD MFG

Construction of the carbon neutral facility is scheduled to be complete in April 2022 with the centre of excellence, which will incorporate engineering and administration offices, expected to be operational in 2023.

The new facility will help foster further growth in Moog’s Engine and Flight control products for military and commercial aerospace programs. Moog sees the expansion as an integral part of its commitment to long-term development and manufacturing in the UK.

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