Last week our Sales and Marketing Coordinator, Hannah Evenden-Morley, visited the Advanced Engineering Show 2017 at Birmingham’s NEC, and below shares some of the insights from industry experts at the Connected Manufacturing pavilion.
Here are our top takeaways from the event:
The UK is 8th largest manufacturer in the World. However, we are not developing at the same rate as our competitors around the globe. It is abundantly clear that companies in the UK are not utilising or increasing technology in manufacturing as quickly as they should be to remain competitive. Hänel’s automated storage systems are one of the most applicable modern-day solutions when it comes to implementing Industry 4.0 – see blog here. These machines can be used for anything you need to store and manage, from production tools to engineering components. In order to start improving your manufacturing processes, this could be the first step.
Only 14% of UK businesses have a digital strategy. Connectivity enables collaboration and if this is not recognised, manufacturing will be left behind. The Industry 4.0 initiative encourages a strong focus on modern processes, systems and automation that can connect teams and departments. At Industore, our project managers are trained to identify the opportunities and challenges of your environment. We don’t just offer a quick-fix when it comes to your stock; we provide a long-term solution with software integration for stock management, access and control.
Additive manufacturing presents challenges. Monitoring the logistics and supply chain network is turning into a challenge in today’s manufacturing and this is where the Internet of Things (IoT) plays a vital role. IoT can assist additive manufacturing processes by optimising the supply chain through better, more comprehensive reporting. This is where we can really help your factory achieve high levels of production, with Hänel technology delivering components to the open access area just-in-time with intelligent control.
Data is constantly evolving. Data is changing, growing in speed and presents a high risk if not secured. Companies are becoming increasingly concerned that if they do not have adequate support for the technology and data through their supply chain, they won’t invest in smart factories. Our team of experienced software technicians will make sure the support you need is there, when you need it most. Our service plans don’t just offer maintenance and breakdown cover, they also provide software support, to make sure you are covered when access to stock data is business critical.
By 2025, automation and robotics is projected to rise by 15%. Currently, in non-automotive sectors, on average only 33 robotic technologies were found in every 10,000 companies in the UK, compared to Germany’s ratio of 170:10000. Although our machines are extremely popular in the automotive sector, Hänel technology has already been applied to a wide range of industries in the UK and Ireland – see here. We’ve recently found that solutions for stock control in the textile sector has been in high demand and we expect to see this particular sector increase its automation and robotics presence.
Companies should humanise technology. Employees need to see technology as an aid, not a threat. From software integration to app and tablet functionality, the warehouse as we know it is changing for the better – see Alstom Transport UK case study here. Our storage systems take away the time-consuming tasks that reduce productivity in your employees; sorting storage space and locating stock can take hours out of a day. However, when these are taken care of, not only will your employees be able to focus on the important tasks, their job satisfaction will also increase.
Engineering skills gap. There appears to be a lack of trained engineers in the UK, which sets our country back in terms of manufacturing. By 2030, the UK Government want to be world leaders in smart manufacturing, however we haven’t got enough engineers educated to the standard required to reach technology targets. At Industore, we don’t just invest in our clients, we invest in our people too and have recently developed a fully-funded apprenticeship scheme for our engineering and installation team.
Work smarter, not harder. The risk of not adopting technological advances for the future far outweighs the cost and time of investing now. It’s not about ‘if’, it’s about ‘when’ and ‘how’ factories are going to make the transition to the new digital age in manufacturing. Once you’ve decided when the right time is for you, we offer a comprehensive report into your warehouse environment, and not only is this at no cost to you, we’ll also invite you to our demo centre so you can take the first step towards smart manufacturing.