Manufacturing in the UK

Yokel

LE
Finally - Government help for exports!

Made in the UK, Sold to the World: New strategy to boost exports to £1 trillion

The strategy - titled ‘Made in the UK, Sold to the World’ - will see government work hand-in-hand with business to help them to succeed in the global marketplace through a first-class export support framework.

It will help replicate higher levels of exporting seen in the South East of England across all parts of the country to deliver on the Prime Minister’s ambition to level up the UK, and transform the country into a high-wage, high-skill, high-productivity economy.

The 12-point strategy includes:

  • Launching the ‘Made in the UK, Sold to the World’ campaign, championing the UK’s priority sectors through an innovative, localised marketing campaign that will promote the best of British goods and services in our towns and cities.
  • The Export Support Service provides a single point of contact for exporters to Europe. Since launching in October the new export hotline and online service has helped hundreds of businesses to get exporting (4).
  • UK Export Academy expansion to offer SMEs in all parts of the UK, including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland the chance to learn how to navigate the technicalities of exporting and how to find new opportunities in overseas markets.
  • A new UK Tradeshow Programme will be bigger and better targeted to give UK companies, especially SMEs, a leg-up to exhibit their first-class products at the world’s biggest tradeshows.
  • UK Export Finance - our world-leading export credit agency - will expand its offer with new products and a wider delivery network that will make it easier for UK exporters to secure business from overseas buyers.
  • Export Champions, ensuring businesses can build and learn from exporting successes through business-to-business networking and peer-to-peer learning
  • Internationalisation Fund, open to SMEs in England, will aim to grow international sales, and has facilitated £4 million of support to SMEs attending Trade Fairs.
Direct link to the paper here.
 
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Yokel

LE
Talking of exports - and not needing EU membership to export:

Griffon Hoverwork wins £25 million Japanese export order

Griffon Hoverwork has secured one biggest ever deals, worth more than £25 million, to supply three 12000TD craft to Japan. The deal with the Oita Prefecture government will see the hovercraft providing a vital passenger service connecting Oita Airport in Kunisaki with Oita City, improving access and reintroducing a ferry route last used about 10 years ago.

Work on the first hovercraft will start at the end of January 2022, with the final craft set to be delivered to the customer before January 2024.

The firm’s experienced design team is working with the Japanese Government and Japanese suppliers to adapt the 12000TD’s design to local requirements. The 23.7m long craft will carry approximately 80 people with a payload of 12 tonnes and a top speed of 45 knots.

The 12000TD is already used by Hovertravel in the UK, to link Ryde on the Isle of Wight with Southsea in Portsmouth. The craft has proved to be a versatile and efficient passenger hovercraft, with the ability to transport high passenger numbers quickly and comfortably across the Solent and has also been adapted to support critical NHS ambulance transfers.

Adrian Went, Managing Director at Griffon Hoverwork, said: “Overseas clients continue to come to Griffon for the quality that we deliver. Our team are all very much looking forward to working with this latest esteemed customer and providing them with the latest British developed technology. Our work will also allow the restart of a dependable hovercraft passenger route serving the people and visitors of Oita.”

“The project will provide opportunities across the range of roles in our business, from graduate engineers, through to supply chain activity, to the complete range of marine workshop skills.”
 

Gabion Groyne

War Hero
Talking of exports - and not needing EU membership to export:

Griffon Hoverwork wins £25 million Japanese export order

Griffon Hoverwork has secured one biggest ever deals, worth more than £25 million, to supply three 12000TD craft to Japan. The deal with the Oita Prefecture government will see the hovercraft providing a vital passenger service connecting Oita Airport in Kunisaki with Oita City, improving access and reintroducing a ferry route last used about 10 years ago.

Work on the first hovercraft will start at the end of January 2022, with the final craft set to be delivered to the customer before January 2024.

The firm’s experienced design team is working with the Japanese Government and Japanese suppliers to adapt the 12000TD’s design to local requirements. The 23.7m long craft will carry approximately 80 people with a payload of 12 tonnes and a top speed of 45 knots.

The 12000TD is already used by Hovertravel in the UK, to link Ryde on the Isle of Wight with Southsea in Portsmouth. The craft has proved to be a versatile and efficient passenger hovercraft, with the ability to transport high passenger numbers quickly and comfortably across the Solent and has also been adapted to support critical NHS ambulance transfers.

Adrian Went, Managing Director at Griffon Hoverwork, said: “Overseas clients continue to come to Griffon for the quality that we deliver. Our team are all very much looking forward to working with this latest esteemed customer and providing them with the latest British developed technology. Our work will also allow the restart of a dependable hovercraft passenger route serving the people and visitors of Oita.”

“The project will provide opportunities across the range of roles in our business, from graduate engineers, through to supply chain activity, to the complete range of marine workshop skills.”
That's excellent news as I had lost touch with the hovercraft industry. I see them being used in a military capacity by the US and Russia and always wondered what had happened to them here. Used them a few times in the 70s to cross the Channel and into France in jig time.
 

Yokel

LE
That's excellent news as I had lost touch with the hovercraft industry. I see them being used in a military capacity by the US and Russia and always wondered what had happened to them here. Used them a few times in the 70s to cross the Channel and into France in jig time.

As far as I know they are no longer used as high speed ferries such as across the Channel, but are used for specialist things such as high speed taxis, rescue, or military - the Royal Marines have a few of them. They are used in places like polar regions and places like river basins - water too shallow for boats and land too soft for normal vehicles.

As the Hovercraft was a British invention it is heartening to see them being exported from Britain.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
That's excellent news as I had lost touch with the hovercraft industry. I see them being used in a military capacity by the US and Russia and always wondered what had happened to them here. Used them a few times in the 70s to cross the Channel and into France in jig time.
As far as I know they are no longer used as high speed ferries such as across the Channel, but are used for specialist things such as high speed taxis, rescue, or military - the Royal Marines have a few of them. They are used in places like polar regions and places like river basins - water too shallow for boats and land too soft for normal vehicles.

As the Hovercraft was a British invention it is heartening to see them being exported from Britain.
539 Assault Squadron/LCACs.
 

Bordon/hants

Old-Salt
What about micrometers and other mechanical measurement equipment?
They are calibrated as a matter of course, any metrology place does them, just like you get almost everything else checked like lifting gear etc. and certs issued.

I am always arguing with folk who say we dont' make stuff (I have been in engineering and latterly Civil aviation for 40 years plus), and say to them just to go to any industrial estate outside any town, and they will be amazed at the diversity and scope of stuff being made, often subbies for nationally known names and firms.

For sure it's getting harder to recruit, I have done interviews where youngsters come into a fabrication workshop and wince like girls at the noise, and wipe their hands after touching anything, but there are still many grounded types who have not gone the deckchairs and flipflops degree route, and are skilled guys at aged 22 .

Instead of owning a ream of useless paperwork and can drawfile and maybe make something a 12 year old could have done in years past as some I have seen over the years. I feel sorry for them with all the debt, and in competition with other lads who have years of trade experience who can start at full speed, It is a no-brainer who any empoyer will take on I am afraid.
 
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As far as I know they are no longer used as high speed ferries such as across the Channel, but are used for specialist things such as high speed taxis, rescue, or military - the Royal Marines have a few of them. They are used in places like polar regions and places like river basins - water too shallow for boats and land too soft for normal vehicles.

As the Hovercraft was a British invention it is heartening to see them being exported from Britain.
The Portsmouth (Southsea) to Ryde IOW passenger service is still running.
 

Bordon/hants

Old-Salt
Touting industrial injury as a mark of honour isn’t a very good selling point.
Re-reading it, I don't know how you got that conclusion from my post,

I have been a Chargehand/foreman/manager in various engineering and fabrication shops since the mid 1980's. When I started in the 1970's I would say 10% of the old guys I saw as an apprentice were minus parts of their anatomy, normally fingers / eyes and the like, and have witnessed myself one guy lose a finger setting up a capstan when wages were paid piecework, and a girl putting a tap through her thumb in the 1970's as well as having treated myself probably dozens of minor cuts and burns as a first aider over a 49 year career.

(Checked on Gov.com recently.....49 years full contributions, f**** knows where that time went!

Safety was not the same then, there were posters everywhere, but machine guards and the like were not as common as you see now, the HSE also did not seem to get involved, and if a worker made a big deal about an accident I would imagine they would be blacklisted locally......that's just how it was in smaller engineering firms.

It is the nature of working with your hands near high speed machinery that you have to be 100% focused and sensible, and no matter how much you are trying, in a long career you will sometimes be distracted or tired or somehow momentarily not paying attention, and hopefully get a not too serious reminder in the way of a "bite".

There is not one single person in the world I would hazard that has worked "on the tools" in engineering that has never drawn blood at some stage in their career, unless they are desk pilots.

I did metalwork at school and was using lathes and mills at aged 13-14 as most of my age who started comprehensive school in the late 1960's were, also in science we farted about with acid and sodium and set fire to magnesium and stuff, all banned now as are many craft skills at schools, so as I have seen in interviewing youngsters as stated, you have people totally unprepared for the reality of manufacturing, which can be dirty / noisey / and dangerous to your health.

I myself had a shock when I started work....I had O levels in Tech drawing and metalwork, and imagined myself making little nice projects, At my first job after my apprenticeship I was asked to bore a blind hole of about 2 inches by 6 inches deep in a lump of steel to a minus zero, plus one thou limit.

I did this, it was checked by inspection and I got the job........First day there I was given a Ward turret lathe to stand next to and a bin of 100 torque limiters to bore out, which I did day in, day out for the next 3 months, all to a time and price which was constantly checked by time and motion, I was really glad to leave and move on, but know guys who have done jobs like that for 20-30 years, mind numbing stuff, but that is manufacturing even now when you get to the bare bones.
 
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Re-reading it, I don't know how you got that conclusion from my post,
Your potential recruits, without hearing damage, are pained by the noise that you have been deafened by, and you see this as a mark against them.

Plus the remark “wince like girls” suggests you discount 50% of potential recruits.
 

Bordon/hants

Old-Salt
Your potential recruits, without hearing damage, are pained by the noise that you have been deafened by, and you see this as a mark against them.

Plus the remark “wince like girls” suggests you discount 50% of potential recruits.
Naw......my hearing is pitch perfect and good for my age, was only tested last year......The "noise" was probably just some welding machines humming on standby and maybe one guy welding behind screens, and a Wadkin 24 inch double sided sander just running, quite quiet, and an extraction system again pretty quite, background stuff under 85db and no worse than street noise, no one was hammering or using air tools etc. as I would have been showing them the general layout and talking normally, not walking them into a shop working flat out where all would have needed defenders etc.


And sorry about the girls thing, maybe I am showing my age, but that's mild lingo trust me to what the opinion of some of my staff was after showing some of these 20 something aged "highly educated" people around, or giving them simple tasks/ trade tests.

No problem with Females what so ever, would have loved it if a single one applied in the 20 years we operated, we did have female designers and aerodynamicists and carbon fibre laminators and they were highly respected and in fact I had to report to one on certain projects, (I was head of fabrication) but in those days (1999-2019) and at that firm I never had a single female applicant for fabrication.

It's a subject widely discussed at the moment....ie. Apprenticeships VS Degrees, all I can say is my personal experience. and the yawning chasm the degree / college guys had in skills or ideas when asked simple questions in comparison to lads of their same age....Maybe that is a reflection of our education system!


My last apprentice came from a dead end job at a plant nursery, and went over the next few years on to get the top award in the region, a medal in London from Prince Anne from the Guilds and now works in a top classic car restoration company making hand made bodies for vintage cars costing £100,000's.....He earns a really good wage and could go anywhere in the world with his skills.

He had no plan or clue he could do all this, but was a practical, switched on type who did not mind hard work and getting stuck in, and is now set up for life in a job he loves.

I make no apoligies at all, it's years of hard work to succeed and learn craft skills and lots of youngsters these days just seem to want instant results or fame, or at least that sadly seems to be what they have been led to believe is the case by the education system.
 
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Naw......my hearing is pitch perfect and good for my age, was only tested last year......The "noise" was probably just some welding machines humming on standby and maybe one guy welding behind screens, and a Wadkin 24 inch double sided sander just running, quite quiet, and an extraction system again pretty quite, background stuff under 85db and no worse than street noise, no one was hammering or using air tools etc. as I would have been showing them the general layout and talking normally, not walking them into a shop working flat out where all would have needed defenders etc.
Fair enough, I guess I’ve met too many types who eschew PPE because it ’never did them any harm.’
*”WHAT?“ while counting up to 9.5 on their fingers.*

Almost as irritating as those petty mad power types who insist on all PPE all the time because they can’t manage risk.
 
the IP mentioned the rows of lathes not in use, my son in law works for a small engineering firm on, as has been described on page one, on the outskirts of the town in a light industrial complex. They are up to their eyes in work, the 1950's era Lathes and pillar drills slowly being replaced by large as a room CNC machines, wire eroding appears to be replacing the traditional Lathe, ability to program a cycle into a computer as important now as the traditional Lathe skills. But an ability to feel for a machine is just as important to keep it in operation, to foresee blockages and feed issues is now as it ever was, down to an engineers natural ability. No less the ability to read blueprints and diagrams to produce something in solid steel.
 

Bordon/hants

Old-Salt
You wll still usually see a "manual" Mill and lathe / other machines in the most up to date jobbing engineering firm. A local place I used for ages for jobs when were too busy, as you say morphed into all CNC centres or CNC mills and lathes over the years I went there, and constantly would update them to stay competitive.

But for very small batch runs or one off's the set up time and programming time of a CNC is often not cost effective. I could say run up 3 or 4 small parts on a Lathe while a CNC operator was still pressing in co-ordinates and doing the tooling package.

Same with lazer or waterjet cutting......a fair lump of a quote will be the data input time, so say 20 off bits will be £3-4 each, and 500 off will be pence each, it's just how it works.

Small little jobs and one offs are quite common it seems, as when I queried at the place I used to go about their old Colchester lathe and Bridgeport mill they still had obviously ready to go in a quiet corner, the owner said they were actually used a fair bit and brought in pretty good money over a year, everything from odd classic car and bike bits to farm equipment repairs.

Quite often to the CNC machines will de-skill as you will have setters and "minders" whose job is just to load the machines and deburr what comes out, the machine can in many cases monitor tool wear and stop if there is a problem, other places like their guys to set and operate, depends on the product / company policy.

And that's before you get into offshoring, as drawings can be converted to DXF / IGES / various files and emailed to a CNC machine anywhere in the world to make bits!
 
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Yokel

LE
MTD MFG - Grayson sets its sights on electric dreams after £8m sales and technology boost

One of the UK’s leading designers and manufacturers of cooling and HVAC products to the transport sector has sealed a string of new contract wins that has seen it take sales past pre-Covid levels.

Birmingham-based Grayson Thermal Systems, which was founded in 1978 by current chairman Graham Hateley, has bounced back from the pandemic after securing more than £8m of orders from customers including ABB, Solaris, Skoda and Wrightbus.

The company’s ‘generations of knowledge’ has been pivotal to this growth, with its new innovative Battery Thermal Management System (BTMS) proving extremely popular with its core bus and coach market, as well as recent expansion into off highway, commercial vehicle and rail sectors.

Group turnover has now risen to £32m and more than 40 new jobs have already been created, with another twelve positions now available across engineering, operations and administration.

“Like many manufacturers, Covid-19 caused a fair bit of disruption to day-to-day activities and a temporary drop in sales, but what it did give us was the opportunity to accelerate new innovations, focus on product R&D and improve our manufacturing capabilities at our three sites in Birmingham,” explained Matt Hateley, European Sales Manager at Grayson Thermal Systems.
 
Things must be picking up for Shorts in Belfast, now owned by Spirit. Got a message last night to say they are taking on multiple temps as Composite Laminators, with a view to a fulltime job.

In two minds whether to go back to composites again.
 
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