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Manufacturers to share inspirational stories of digital technology adoption at Made Smarter virtual summit

Ian Mackinnon and Peter Saunders from Mackinnon & Saunders

SME manufacturers using digital tools and technology to transform their businesses will share their inspiring stories at a free-to-access online summit.

The virtual conference, Made Smarter: The journey to digital manufacturing, on Wednesday, March 10, will show manufacturers how to leverage and fast-track digital technology and tools for a year of recovery, growth and resilience.

World leading puppet-makers MacKinnon and Saunders, behind TV characters including Bob the Builder and Postman Pat, and currently collaborating with Hollywood director Guillermo Del Toro on the forthcoming Pinocchio animation, will talk about how 3D printing is driving efficiencies, increasing productivity and giving it a technological lead over its international rivals. Clothing manufacturer Creative Apparel will discuss its journey to build a state of the art, smart factory while becoming a leader for change in the sector by putting sustainability at the heart of its production processes. Meanwhile, Nutree Life, which makes plant-based and vegan nutrition products, will share its success story where adopting automation and control technologies enabled it to cope with unprecedented demand during the pandemic.

Other, SME manufacturers sharing real-life stories of their experience of Made Smarter’s North West Adoption programme include:  Fabricon Design, Arden Dies, Bindatex, Crystal Doors, Starlight Bedrooms, Beverston Engineering, and DA Techs, alongside Envirosystems, Bloom-in-Box, Brainboxes, Parity Medical, Twin Fix, Plastic Card Services, Storth, Contactless Check Solutions, and The Cumbria Clock Company.

Andrea Hough, MD of ATEC Engineering Solutions

Curated by manufacturers for manufacturers, the conference also features an impressive line-up of industry heavyweights such as Juergen Maier, Chair of the Digital Catapult and co-Chair of the Made Smarter Commission; and Stephen Phipson, the Chief Executive of Make UK, the manufacturers' organisation; Andrea Hough, Managing Director of ATEC Engineering Solutions; and Glyn Jones, Service Delivery Director at BAE Systems and Chair of the Made Smarter Pilot Steering Group, who will showcase the 'why?', 'what?' and 'how?' of digital manufacturing.

The packed one-day programme, running from 9.00am-5.00pm, will be hosted virtually using an interactive online platform and include insightful panel discussions and roundtable debates, interactive workshops; demonstrations of the latest digital manufacturing technologies; and one-to-one advice sessions, giving businesses the vital intelligence needed to start their digital journey or take the next step.

To ensure the Made Smarter message reaches as many people the conference is free to access for anyone from the spectrum of UK manufacturing and engineering, including aerospace, automotive, chemical and pharmaceutical, construction, defence, electronics, energy, food and drink, nuclear, plastics, security, steel, space and textiles.

Juergen Maier said: “I am delighted to be participating in the Made Smarter: The journey to digital manufacturing conference to share my passion for the benefits of digital technology and celebrate the positive impact that Made Smarter’s adoption pilot is having on individuals, businesses, the environment, and the UK economy. For manufacturers by manufacturers, this summit is a must-attend event for anyone working in the sector to learn how to make their product or process smarter. In these tumultuous times Covid-19 has, without doubt, demonstrated that digital tools can enable and accelerate innovation, and create resilience. Grasping the digital opportunities has never been more important for businesses to recover and return stronger.”

To register your interest, visit https://www.madesmarter.uk/conference

A rich blend of sessions will cover themes including: the Made Smarter vision, achievements and future; building resilience through digital tools, and how technology can help manufacturers enhance and improve sustainability, exports, new product development, and the supply chain.

Manufacturers will be able to access practical, actionable advice through workshops including: how to get started on a digital journey, led by Made Smarter’s technology advisers; and how to lead the digital transformation in your manufacturing business, led by Lancaster University Management School; 

Technology Demonstrators Alley will showcase the latest solutions available to manufacturers which enable them to integrate systems, capture and analyse data, create simulations of their plants and processes, as well as how 3D-printing, automation, and robotics can solve business challenges.

There will also be the opportunity to speak one on one with a variety of business advisers to explore the advice, support and funding available to manufacturers.

Made Smarter: The journey to digital manufacturing will be hosted by the Made Smarter North West Adoption pilot, which has been driving technology adoption in the region for two years.

The pilot has worked with 1,200 makers in every corner of Cheshire and Warrington, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Liverpool, providing advice, expertise and financial support to help them grow their business, increase competitiveness and reduce inefficiencies through digital tools.

550 businesses have received intensive support including expert, impartial technology advice, digital transformation workshops to help manufacturers take their first steps to transform their business, a leadership programme, and funded digital technology internships.

Donna Edwards, North West Pilot Programme Director at Made Smarter, said: “This conference is a unique opportunity to showcase to UK manufacturers the tremendous achievements of the pilot, the value technology can bring to the sector, and give real-life examples of makers who have started their digital journey, reporting growth, productivity and efficiency gains, and job creation.

“Whatever you make from wherever you are in the UK the journey to digital manufacturing event offers you the chance to learn from the experiences from industry leaders, gain the know-how you need from experts, and hear from peers who have been through the journey.”

For more information visit https://www.madesmarter.uk

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