Helping to demystify industrial
digitalisation in UK manufacturing

Smart Thinking: Integrating Innovation to realise Industry 4.0

Jocelyn Vecchio, director of engineering and innovation at JPB Système spoke to Smart Machines & Factories about recent changes and challenges for companies like JPB, as well as why a fully connected factory floor is the way forward for any manufacturer seeking to fully realise the Industry 4.0 vision.


Chocolate maker finds the digital sweet spot with Made Smarter

A chocolate maker, supported by Made Smarter, is poised to experience a game-changing productivity increase by automating its manufacturing process. Friars, based in Cumbria, started making its own brand of premium chocolates by hand last year, after nearly 100 years of retailing confectionary products.

How Fit For Nuclear helped to meet the challenges of 2020

As the Covid pandemic spread in spring, Coventry-based Arrowsmith Engineering switched from making aerospace parts to critical components for ventilators. Managing director Jason Aldridge explains how the company’s Fit For Nuclear journey helped the team meet the challenges of 2020.

Pharma 4.0 concepts take hold in pharmaceutical manufacturing

Pharma 4.0 concepts are taking hold in pharmaceutical manufacturing. The industry’s unique characteristics are driving investments in digital transformation by pharmaceutical manufacturers. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Digital Twin car design game drives next generation towards engineering

A new free, fun, online car design simulation game to inspire children’s interest in STEM subjects has been launched by Siemens. The Digital Twin Challenge puts players in the position of chief designer of a new model of car. Smart Machines & Factories reports.




Smart Technology Zone

HVM Catapult to lead project to address future skills gaps

The High Value Manufacturing Catapult (HVM Catapult) has been appointed by the DfE to lead an exciting new project to develop high-quality modular courses focused on upskilling employees to help address future skills gaps in key sectors such as manufacturing and engineering.

MTC’S digital manufacturing accelerator initiative in Liverpool launches Win3 competition

MTC’s Digital Manufacturing Accelerator (DMA) initiative in the Liverpool City Region has launched the Win3 competition to give organisations within the region an opportunity to secure investment to support the delivery of disruptive manufacturing and supply chain commercial solutions. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Manufacturing in the new norm

Social distancing, protecting your employees, restarting operations and machines, catching up on supply chain gaps. Just like society as a whole, manufacturers are experiencing a lot of additional challenges they didn’t expect. So how do you navigate the new manufacturing norm?

Meet the Rolls-Royce engineer helping 10,000 women secure roles in STEM

Executive recruitment across the country’s leading STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) organisations is changing. One woman is acting as a driving force behind this change. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Chancellor presents economic roadmap post-Covid

Having been given the political roadmap out of the pandemic and a view of a return to some sort of normality the Chancellor presented the economic roadmap out of the recovery in the recent Budget. Stephen Phipson, Make UK CEO, reports for Smart Machines & Factories.

Hannover Messe digital set to showcase in April

The corona pandemic has accelerated the digitalisation of industry. At the same time, it has exposed the vulnerability of global supply chains. In the midst of unprecedented upheaval, industry faces a crucial question: Which strategies, measures and partnerships ensure competitiveness? Hannover Messe Digital Edition – the central platform for innovation, networking and orientation in the age of industrial transformation – provides the answers. Smart Machines Factories reports.

Collaboration to leverage software technology for the transformation of engineering education

Analog Devices, Inc. has collaborated with the University of Limerick (UL) and other prominent companies, including economic infrastructure technology leader Stripe, to launch a world-leading computer science programme called Immersive Software Engineering (ISE). Smart Machines & Factories.

Keeping competitive with food automation

With an overall turnover of €1,109bn and more than 4.5mn people employed across the continent, the food and drink industry is undoubtedly one of the most economically important industries in Europe. Add to this the fact that there are 294,000 European companies active in the industry and it becomes plain to see why the ability to remain competitive is vital for food manufacturers. George Walker reports.

The importance of innovation & digital transformation in production engineering

It is vital in every industry to make the most of technology and innovation, and few more so than in engineering. Chris Joy outlines why digital transformation is important for smaller engineering firms.

The IIoT journey starts with remote telemetry

The first rule of supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) is that communications will fail. One challenge is rising volumes of data place increasing loads on both the main server and the communications networks connected to it. Craig Abbot explains why remote telemetry units (RTU) are vital for minimising congestion in intelligent power, utility, broadcast and transport applications.

Talking Industry: Small steps, big benefits

The theme of the third in the series of Talking Industry online panel discussions organised by DFA Media, the publisher of Smart Machines & Factories, was Industrial Networks, IIoT and Communications. The session chairman Andy Pye reports on the event.

New technologies exhibited in a virtual interactive platform

New technologies that can be used to achieve industrial transformation have take a progressive leap forward with the virtual exhibition from OMRON, which enables visitors to walk through a 360 degree virtual tour, guiding them around ‘the factory of the future’ – one in which different innovations have been introduced to increase flexibility, enhance efficiency and boost productivity.

Industrial Strategy to be given a refresh

The UK government is refreshing the national industrial strategy that will put science and technological advancements at the forefront of growth. In addition, the refreshed strategy is touted to focus more on levelling up regional economies, increasing innovation and adoption of technologies more widely. Stephen Phipson, MAKE UK, chief executive explains further for Smart Machines & Factories.

Half of manufacturing business leaders resistant to digital progress

Outdated attitudes towards technology amongst senior business leaders are at risk of jeopardising future business survival, new research has found.

Five key trends in smart warehousing for 2021 and beyond

2020 was a year like no other. So what are the implications for warehousing and fulfilment in 2021? Tim Wright looks to the future of the smart warehouse with five key trends.

How has 2020 reshaped manufacturing?

At the outset of 2020, none would have predicted the course that the year would take due to COVID-19. The global pandemic, and the response to it, upended many manufacturing businesses and fundamentally shifted what plant operations look like. Stephen Hayes looks at how the events of 2020 reshaped the coming years for manufacturing.

Smart predictions: The connected technology that will transform 2021

Although we have bid a grateful farewell to 2020, the disruption and uncertainty we experienced are spilling over into 2021. If there is one thing that we learnt last year, however, it’s that we need to accelerate the pace of transformative change. Connected technology is of critical importance in this process, and is likely to be one of the key economic drivers going forward. Matthew Margetts reports.

A universal digital foundation for new modular safety relay

Industry 4.0 encompasses so much more than simply optimising existing processes. Automation company Pilz has drawn up a universal, digital concept – from ordering through to commissioning with its latest modular safety relay myPNOZ. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

‘Solve for Tomorrow’ competition to bring Gen Z Ideas to Life

Samsung Electronics has launched ‘Solve for Tomorrow’, a youth competition, running for the first time in the UK. The programme brings compassion, education and technology together to help young people nurture and create solutions to their local community’s most pressing problems within four key challenge areas: education, sustainability, diversity & inclusion, and social isolation.

COVID-19 could be turning turning point for advanced technologies implementation

New research commissioned by Digital Catapult and the Made Smarter Technology Accelerator has revealed that COVID-19 could prove to be a turning point when it comes to UK manufacturers implementing advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, the internet of things or 5G, with 77% saying that the pandemic has made their business more open to change and innovation.

Data & Diversity: 5 things manufacturers need to seriously consider in 2019

John Roberts, director of Idhammar Systems, addresses 5 developments manufacturers need to seriously consider this year, and shares his predictions for the manufacturing industry in 2019.

AM: A serious alternative to existing production methods

There’s no question that 2020 proved to be a banner year for 3D printing / additive manufacturing (AM). Amidst the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the technology firmly cemented its position as a serious alternative to existing production methods. Carlos Zwikker* reports.

Cyber-security in the emerging digital world

It seems a long time ago now since various malware attacks on the operational layer changed the security landscape and highlighted vulnerabilities in the de-facto automation architecture. However, as we move along the road towards Smart Manufacturing with a view to improving efficiency, productivity and reliability of supply using the principles of Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), the subject of cyber-security is becoming arguably even more important. Chris Evans, marketing & operations group manager at Mitsubishi Electric

3D printing - the future of aircraft

Benjamin Stafford, materials science expert at materials search engine Matmatch, explores the future relationship of aviation and additive manufacturing.

The Smart way to Industry 4.0 with PROFINET based technologies

INCASE (“Industry 4.0 via Networked Control Applications and Sustainable Engineering”), co-organised by PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI UK)and the European Interreg Project, are free-to-attend seminars that will address the key practical issues arising from the use of digital communications technologies in automated manufacturing and process industry applications, with particular attention to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

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