Manufacturing in the UK

"In the interim period, Red Bull has found an ideal replacement to Honda power units: Honda power units. The company has bought up Honda’s Milton Keynes-based operation to become an engine constructor in its own right, albeit with the assistance of Honda engineers for next season . . ."

 

Yokel

LE
MTD MFG - UK’s largest offshore wind tower factory set to create 400 jobs

Global Energy Group, the Scottish headquartered energy services company, has announced today that it has agreed terms with leading offshore wind tower manufacturing specialist, Haizea Wind Group, to build a £110m-plus state-of-the-art offshore wind tubular rolling facility at Port of Nigg, located in the Scottish Highlands.

Nigg Offshore Wind (NOW) will be a giant, 450-meter-long, 38,000 m2 factory, capable of rolling steel plate to supply towers which will weigh in excess of 1,000 tonnes each and other products, to the booming UK offshore fixed and floating wind industry in the UK and abroad.

The facility has been designed to supply towers and other large tubular components suitable for both the fixed and floating offshore wind markets. Whilst the initial contracts for tower supply will focus on UK domestic supply, it is anticipated that the factory will be in high demand for export of towers and other products as well due to the rapid rate of planned offshore wind deployment across Europe up until 2050.

The factory design will integrate cutting edge robotics and welding inspection technology originally developed for the offshore oil and gas industry. Regional staff historically employed in the oil and gas industry will have the opportunity to be re-trained and upskilled at the Nigg Skills Academy to allow them to operate the machinery required to roll these giant structures.
 
"In the interim period, Red Bull has found an ideal replacement to Honda power units: Honda power units. The company has bought up Honda’s Milton Keynes-based operation to become an engine constructor in its own right, albeit with the assistance of Honda engineers for next season . . ."

And they are scouring the F1 Engineering industry for experienced Engineers to get on board.
 

Yokel

LE
Rolls-Royce SMR signs MOU with Sheffield Forgemasters

Rolls-Royce SMR has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Sheffield Forgemasters to jointly explore commercial mechanisms for a long-term collaboration on the supply of forgings to the Rolls-Royce UK Small Modular Reactor (SMR) fleet.

The project directly supports the UK’s civil nuclear renaissance and the development of SMRs in the UK, with Sheffield Forgemasters able to supply the complex, nuclear-grade demonstrator forgings as part of the regulatory process.

These important components will benefit from the decades of experience Sheffield Forgemasters has built up and its world class delivery experience.

Tom Samson, Rolls-Royce SMR’s CEO, commented: “Sheffield Forgemasters are world leaders in complex, safety-critical forgings and castings and we are incredibly fortunate to have their experience to support and enable our SMR programme. This agreement is the start of an enduring partnership and reflects our commitment to the UK supply chain as we look to re-build and re-energise the vital UK nuclear supply chain.”

The agreement was signed at Nuclear 21, the Nuclear Industry Association’s key industry event, which brings together stakeholders across the nuclear industry. It follows the creation of Rolls-Royce SMR Ltd which has been established to bring forward and deliver the next generation of low cost, low carbon nuclear power technology.

David Bond, CEO of Sheffield Forgemasters commented: “SMR’s have the potential to become the standard for civil nuclear power generation and as an emerging market, fits extremely well with our long track record of supplying nuclear power components into the UK submarine programme.

“With a new investment fund of £400m to replace our defence critical assets, including the provision of a new 13,000 tonne forging line and 19 state-of-the-art machining centres, we will create much higher levels of manufacturing capability and efficiency, to the benefit of defence nuclear work, but with obvious cross-benefits for civil nuclear activity, including SMR’s.
 

Yokel

LE
This story is about manufacturing, but on a smaller scale. It all counts.

Needham Group aims for laser technology expansion with PP C&A manufacturing deal

A new strategic deal – born in the heart of the West Midlands – is set to create one of the UK’s leading authorities on laser marking.

Needham Group, which employs 70 people at its Whitchurch base, has selected PP Control & Automation (PP C&A) as its new manufacturing partner responsible for the assembly of its N-Lase range of products.

The initial agreement will see up to 10 laser systems being built every month at a dedicated production cell at PP C&A’s world class facility in Cheslyn Hay, with the prospect of monthly volumes rising to 20 units as sales increase towards the £10m mark.

This will eventually include the N-Lase Desktop, Desktop Pro, Benchtop, Handheld, Workstation and Integrated Solutions models.

Aled Ellis, Managing Director of Needham Group, picked up the story: “Our ‘USP’ is not in building the machines, but in developing the innovative uses and applications for laser technology – that’s where we come into our own and where we anticipate the real growth to come from.

“Once PP Control & Automation proved it could build the prototype machine successfully, it made complete sense to look at a more strategic arrangement, first starting with the Desktop and Desktop Pro models and then, over time, moving on to the rest of our range.
 

Yokel

LE
Also from MTD MFG: Magtec officially opens new South Yorkshire factory

The Mayor of South Yorkshire Dan Jarvis has officially opened Magtec’s new facility for the design, manufacture and installation of drive systems for electric and hybrid vehicles. The Labour MP for Barnsley Central and former British Army officer met with directors, engineers, apprentices and ex-services personnel employed by the high-growth company and toured the high-tech production facilities.

Magtec is creating at least 50 new high-skilled engineering and support function jobs to help meet growing demand for its world-leading drive systems. The privately-owned company is targeting sales of £30m next year, more than double the turnover of 2021. It currently employs 145 people at its 65,000 sq ft facility in Rotherham and is recruiting across all engineering and operations disciplines.

Magtec is increasing production for existing and new customers in the commercial vehicle, rail, defence and special project sectors. Orders include drive systems for electric refuse collection vehicles, autonomous and connected electric trucks and the rail industry’s first conversion of diesel multiple units. Magtec is also supporting the British Army TD6 programme to assess the benefits that hybrid military vehicles can bring to the battlefield of the future.
 
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Yokel

LE
MTD MFG: Komatsu creates more than 120 new jobs to meet soaring demand

Komatsu UK (KUK) has created more than 120 jobs and apprenticeships at its Birtley plant in Country Durham after winning a raft of new orders.

The world’s second largest construction and mining equipment manufacturer, celebrating its centenary this year, is expanding its North East workforce and ramping up production to meet increasing domestic and international demand.

Komatsu has a further 20 roles advertised in the factory, including painters, fabricators and assemblers. Further experienced roles are being advertised in the Design team and other support functions.


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Komatsu UK has produced excavators since opening the plant in 1987. Originally creating 250 high quality manufacturing and engineering roles, Komatsu was at the forefront of the creation of a whole new industry in the North East that centred around automotive and construction equipment manufacturing.
 
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Yokel

LE
Rolls Royce are keeping up with technological developments.

Rolls-Royce Hits Hybrid-Electric Power Goal For Airliners

Rolls-Royce says the hybrid-electric propulsion system it is developing for possible use on future regional airliners has achieved a key milestone of generating more than a megawatt (1 MW) of power in ground tests. Earlier this year, the UK-based aircraft engines manufacturer started testing the Power Generation System 1 (PGS1) with the goal of generating 2.5 MW, with further tests set to continue at the company’s renovated Testbed 108 facility in Bristol, UK.

The generator, which Rolls-Royce says is about the size of a beer keg, incorporates one of the group’s AE2100 turbofan engines, as well as special controls and a thermal management system. According to the company, the 1MW power generated in tests so far is sufficient to continuously power around 1,000 homes.

“When future hybrid-electric aircraft opportunities emerge in the megawatt-and-above class, we want to be as prepared as we can be to offer a ready-made solution,” said Adam Newman, Rolls-Royce’s chief project engineer for aviation futures.

For the latest tests, the company has combined a generator with the 3,000-volt power electronics system that it has been testing at its facility in Trondheim, Norway. The work in the UK has received financial support from that country’s Aerospace Technology Institute’s MegaFlight program, while the European Union's CleanSky 2 fund has supported the Trondheim project.

The PG21 generator technology could be used in hybrid-electric propulsion systems or as part of a “more-electric” system for larger aircraft. Rolls-Royce said PGS1 forms an important part of its sustainability strategy, which includes developing innovative electrical power and propulsion systems, as well as further improving gas turbine performance and promoting the use of sustainable aviation fuels.
 

Yokel

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News local to @British_And_Proud - Ballymena’s Wrightbus to double production next year

Wrightbus is set to almost double production next year to meet the soaring demand for its zero emissions vehicles.

The Ballymena-based firm will manufacture 600 buses in 2022, more than two thirds of which will be hydrogen powered and electric, including the world’s first hydrogen double decker bus and the Electroliner – the fastest-charging EV double decker on the market.

That is a significant swing from this year when 70% of the buses the company produced were diesel powered.

The company announced the ambitious plan during a visit to its Ballymena factory by First Minister Paul Givan.

Buta Atwal, Chief Executive of Wrightbus, said: “We were delighted to be able to share with the First Minister our vision and plans for Wrightbus to support the decarbonisation of public transport across the UK and Ireland on our journey towards net zero emissions.
 

Yokel

LE
Not so many years ago I thought that British vehicle manufacturing was a thing of the past, apart from plants for Nissan, Peugeot, etc.

Lancashire’s Leyland Trucks celebrates half million production milestone

The lightweight LF range was entirely designed, developed and engineered at Leyland Trucks, while the factory is also home to a unique in-house bodybuilding programme. With Leyland Trucks delivering the highest quality products in the truck industry, the Lancashire-based manufacturer has contributed significantly towards DAF’s position as UK truck market leader above 6-tonnes GVW for 26 years.
 
News local to @British_And_Proud - Ballymena’s Wrightbus to double production next year

Wrightbus is set to almost double production next year to meet the soaring demand for its zero emissions vehicles.

The Ballymena-based firm will manufacture 600 buses in 2022, more than two thirds of which will be hydrogen powered and electric, including the world’s first hydrogen double decker bus and the Electroliner – the fastest-charging EV double decker on the market.

That is a significant swing from this year when 70% of the buses the company produced were diesel powered.

The company announced the ambitious plan during a visit to its Ballymena factory by First Minister Paul Givan.

Buta Atwal, Chief Executive of Wrightbus, said: “We were delighted to be able to share with the First Minister our vision and plans for Wrightbus to support the decarbonisation of public transport across the UK and Ireland on our journey towards net zero emissions.
Constantly advertising for full time positions for every production role they have through a local recruitment agency.

They've also put their wages up to try to fill the roles.

 

Yokel

LE
Another surprise for me - there is yet another British vehicle manufacturer alive and well!

Mellor launches new all-electric Sigma range ‘zero-emissions, zero compromise’

In a major repositioning of the Mellor business, the Rochdale-based bus manufacturer believes its new product range offers a redefinition of zero-emissions public transport vehicles, launched as global attitudes toward a more sustainable future drives demand for cleaner solutions to public transport.
 

Yokel

LE
How large is the glass industry?

MTD MFG - New £54m glass research and innovation centre to be built in St. Helens

The facility will be occupied and managed by not-for-profit research organisation Glass Futures and used to deliver industry and government backed R&D projects focused on decarbonising glass production. It will also provide a platform for the industry to access an experimental scale furnace to test and run trials for implementation at commercial scale on a state-of-the-art line, both collaboratively and individually.

The project delivery was conceived and managed by landowner and developer NSD, on behalf of a partnership including Glass Futures and the global glass industry, St Helens MBC, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and UKRI (UK Research & Innovation). This dynamic and fast-moving partnership has rapidly turned the Glass Futures concept into a deliverable and contracted scheme in less than two years. NSD will continue to manage the delivery of the project through to practical completion. The building has been presold by NSD to Global Investor Abrdn to secure forward funding and conclude a viable delivery strategy. Property Agent B8 acted for Network Space.

Bowmer & Kirkland starting on site within just two years of the Glass Futures scheme being first conceived is testament to our own commitment to the project and that of an exceptional partnership formed between ourselves, Glass Futures, St Helens MBC, the Combined Authority and UKRI. Everyone has worked incredibly hard to get to this point and we are grateful to all for all their efforts. It will be truly fantastic to see a redundant former glass works site being transformed into a global R&D hub, once again securing St Helen’s position at the forefront of glass innovation and the transition to zero carbon glass production.
 
Got a text today about applying for my old job. Spirit Aerosystems, formerly Bombardier Aero/Shorts Bros Belfast are starting 100 new composite laminators over 10 weeks from the 10th January next year.
 

Yokel

LE
Lots of news from MTD MFG today.

BioPure receives the keys to its new custom-built facility

Biopharmaceutical fluid path component provider, BioPure, part of Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group (WMFTG), receives the keys for its custom-built facility at Dunsbury Park, with production due to begin in March 2022. Beginning construction in 2019, the new facility is five times the size of the company’s previous two buildings combined and will provide much needed additional capacity to support the company’s ongoing growth and provide the best service to its customers.

BioPure has pioneered the design, development, and delivery of innovative engineering solutions for customers in the global biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries since 1998. The Company became part of WMFTG in 2014 and has experienced rapid growth, and this is set to continue over the next five years.

Comprising 120,000 sq. ft, this new facility will help to support BioPure’s ambitious vision, growth and commitment to supporting customers worldwide. The company’s key aims include simplifying production operations, lowering cGMP manufacturing costs and reducing process validation. The new facility, based just 4 miles from the current site in Portsmouth, is now home to BioPure’s current team of 232 employees and aims to bring on a diverse range of new talent in manufacturing, engineering, production, design, assembly, logistics and administration. The expansion will create 130 new jobs across a range of disciplines and the company is looking for talented individuals to join the team.


Reshoring deal born in the West Midlands brings new body drying technology to market

A manufacturing match made in the West Midlands has provided a much-needed reshoring solution for innovative new body drying technology.

Tooling2000, which is located in a state-of-the-art facility in Winson Green, came to the rescue when iDry Limited’s roll-out of its iDry product was set to stall due to the existing Chinese supplier giving a nine-month lead time for three crucial parts.

The metal stamping and precision component specialist used its expertise in forming and prototyping, combined with a wide array of CNC and laser cutting machining, to produce an emergency tool that could produce the same parts – used in the fan housing – in just seven days.

In even more positive news, the components are better quality and more aesthetically pleasing thanks to the use of stainless steel and the new process, with initial orders placed worth more than £50,000.

This UK reshoring success story could well become a £million-pound opportunity for both companies, with Much Wenlock-based iDry expected to sell 200 units every week as its unique air-drying technology is embraced by local authorities, care homes and luxury hotels.

“The iDry, which was first developed in 1991 by Michael Godwin and brought back to life earlier this year, fits onto a wall and uses a patented design to push air through vents to dry your body in as little as two minutes,” explained Gary Seale, Managing Director of iDry Limited, the UK’s only manufacturer of body dryers.

“It is a breakthrough that is proving extremely popular with the care sector where it can help the elderly or disabled enjoy independent living for longer.
This has seen a major spike in interest, but just has the orders were rolling in an existing Chinese supplier tried to hold us to ransom with lead times and minimum order quantities.

£2.1m investment raise as InVMA becomes Konektio

A UK Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solution provider is celebrating a record 12 months in style after it completed a successful £2.1 million ($2.8 million) investment raise.

Konektio, the new name for InVMA, is taking advantage of the sector’s desire for digital transformation by rolling out its AssetMinder SaaS platform to help clients improve processes, runtime, safety and environmental performance by dynamically connecting people, process, places and things and providing intelligent insights and recommendations every day.

The funding round for Konektio was led by fund managers Mercia and Foresight, investing from both the Midlands Engine Investment Fund and Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and included existing investor Tern plc.

The additional capital will allow the firm to embed its technology in the operations of even more customers across industries including food processing, manufacturing, logistics, and water/waste treatment industries – monitoring and analysing tens of thousands of assets every day.

It will also facilitate the recruitment of additional staff both at its HQ in Chesterfield and in its recently opened first overseas office in the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, United States.


One-of-a-kind SLA machine added to fleet

We’ve expanded our SLA additive manufacturing capacity to help UK manufacturers and engineers build bigger, better and stronger parts.

Thanks to securing its first round, six-figure investment earlier in the year, AME-3D, have expanded its fleet of machines by adding two new stereolithography (SLA) machines in addition to the new selective laser sintering (SLS) machine earlier in the year.

The RS Pro 800 is the only large frame SLA machine in Yorkshire, capable of building components with 800 x 800 x 550mm dimensions and a layer thickness from 0.07-0.25mm. This one-of-a-kind machine is ideal for a variety of industries and applications, such as large automotive rapid prototypes, film and TV props, and wind tunnel testing models.

The Pilot 450 is one of six machines currently operational in the UK and can create parts within 450 x 450 x 400mm dimensions and with layer thickness of 0.05-0.25mm. It is well-suited to build medical grade components, high-definition scale models, “form, fit & function” prototypes, and accurate casting masters.

Both new machines are more than capable of low and medium volume production and are set to lead the way of mass customisation for the UK’s additive manufacturing market, something which is impossible for traditional (subtractive) manufacturing methods to achieve.

Find out more about how these machines contribute to AME-3D’s offering on our website:

https://ame-3d.co.uk/news/new-industrial-sla-3d-printing-machines

85 new jobs forms part of £10 million investment for Welshpool based manufacturer

A £10 million investment is to be made at a Mid Wales-based manufacturer of electric motor control technology as it expands following significant growth in global sales.

Invertek Drives, based at Welshpool, Powys, said the investment will create an expansion to its global variable frequency drive (VFD) manufacturing and distribution centre, along with the development of a new Application Centre.

It will create 85 new jobs over the next 12 months on top of the 280 people already employed at the global HQ and follows a major recruitment drive over the past year in both its production and research and development departments.

The news is a further commitment by the company to the Mid Wales region following its expansion in 2019 with a new 5,500sq metre global manufacturing and distribution facility adjoining its existing site at the Offa’s Dyke Business Park.

Shaun Dean, CEO of Invertek Drives, and who is also Senior Vice President of Sumitomo Heavy Industries and CEO of Power Transmission and Controls Group (EMEIA Business HQ), said: “We’ve seen significant growth in sales and turnover over the past 18 months despite the global pandemic.

“Invertek’s approach to maintaining strategic stock of components has ensured we’ve been able to continue manufacturing our Optidrive range of VFDs despite the global supply chain problems currently facing many manufacturers,” he said.

“Invertek continues to commit to investing heavily in the innovation, development and manufacturing of VFD technology.
The expanded manufacturing facility will allow us to increase production from 350,000 units a year to 600,000.
 
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