Making things better

Lancashire’s manufacturing SMEs are being urged to embrace digital technologies to sharpen their competitive edge as they look ahead to 2021.

The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre North West (AMRC North West) is giving the region’s small and medium sized businesses the opportunity to make a New Year’s resolution they’ll want to keep - to make things better in 2021 by adopting digital technologies that will drive innovation and aid competitiveness.

The technical R&D team at AMRC North West is offering fully-funded, individually tailored and company specific digital workshops to develop a documented strategy to help businesses on their digital journey to Industry 4.0.

AMRC North West’s commercial director Melissa Conlon said: “There are many great benefits of having a clear digital strategy. It will help businesses document, plan and explore funding options. It also helps involve your team and creates buy-in.

She adds: “The strategy will allow businesses to identify opportunities and it provides them with a digital route map.

“The assistance provided is fully funded by the ERDF and it helps manufacturers to de-risk their adoption of Industry 4.0 and new technologies.”

Digital route map
to identify innovation
and opportunity

Research carried out for Made Smarter UK in 2020 has revealed that 84 per cent of SME manufacturers have increased productivity as a result of adopting new digital technology.

Heatsense Cables which operates in a range of sectors including nuclear, medical and catering, is one of more than 100 of the region’s manufacturing SMEs that have benefitted from the AMRC North West team’s expertise.

Managing director Jeremy Kemsley-Pein says: “Following the workshop, AMRC North West proposed a new workflow which highlighted the fact that our internal systems could be revolutionised by implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system and interfacing it with existing software and hardware packages.”

The digital workshops are just one way in which AMRC North West is supporting the manufacturing sector in Lancashire. Its mission is to place the county amongst the most innovative regions in the UK, with applied research facilities comparable with the best in the world.

Melissa says: “Our mission is to ensure that Lancashire and the North becomes the engine room of the fourth industrial revolution, harnessing the latest digital technologies, from robotics and automation to artificial intelligence and augmented reality, to support the transition to a low carbon economy, accelerate the move to transport electrification, drive up productivity, improve the competitiveness of indigenous industries and make the region a magnet for global manufacturing brands to invest.”

Don’t miss out on starting your New Year with a Fully Funded Digital Workshop. The workshops are subject to availability and *Fully Funded Assists are for SME Manufacturers in Lancashire.

To book your funded digital workshop please contact Peter McOnie on 07821 818117

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