Adopting new digital technologies with Made Smarter
I was recently the guest of Made Smarter, a newly-launched Government-backed programme for manufacturers, piloting in the North West.
We can all identify problems within our manufacturing businesses. We bring in new capabilities and capacities to grow, but all we create is a bottleneck in quoting and planning as our old way of doing things struggles to keep up.
We know there are better ways of doing things, but the real issue with small to medium (SME) manufacturers engaging with new technology is the wall of noise. Go out and research how a manufacturing company can use technology to improve its processes and you will find plenty of examples from Amazon, Siemens and Boeing – but how does it translate to your local engineering firm?
The world of manufacturing has changed, but when you start talking about new technologies such as digitalisation, ‘IR4’ or automation, many smaller manufacturers can easily switch off. In 2017, the Government called upon some of the biggest names in business to review how manufacturing companies can be transformed though adopting digital technologies. The result was the Made Smarter review which showed that UK manufacturers were falling behind other countries in adopting new digital work practices and losing the associated boost in productivity.
This is where Made Smarter comes in, offering support to SME manufacturers to understand new industrial technologies and how they can revolutionise and grow your business. That support is through a combination of expertise to show you what is possible, and up to 50% match-funded grants to help you adopt and implement new technologies. That might be collecting and making better use of your data, looking at 3D printing and augmented reality, making your business slicker by moving to an MRP system, or bringing in aspects of automation to your business to give you a competitive edge.
Currently, the programme is piloting in the North West but there are plans to expand. There are also a number of other programmes in other areas of the country who can help you investigate digital adoption. If you want to find out more, use the form to send me a message or visit the Made Smarter website.