In April 2024, the High Value Manufacturing Catapult commissioned ManufacturingTV to record a series of interviews with some of the Catapult’s key players who were attending MACH 2024 at the NEC.

The Digital Thread

Professor Ben Morgan, Research Director at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), Brian Holliday, Managing Director, and Alan Norbury, Chief Technologist at Siemens Digital Industries tell Nick Peters the future is all about collaboration and open standards. Takeaways: – Explore the concept of the digital thread and its critical function throughout a product’s entire lifecycle. – Examine how the digital thread enhances operational efficiency and facilitates collaboration within tightly regulated sectors. – Discuss the necessity of a cooperative approach to digitalization in manufacturing and its impact on industry productivity. – Address the various challenges associated with implementing digital technologies across different phases of manufacturing. – Consider the ways in which the digital thread can expedite market entry for new products and support efforts towards net zero objectives. 

What the digital thread will mean for manufacturers

Steve Foxley, CEO of the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) offers Nick Peters deep insights into the critical developments and strategic direction in manufacturing that were being discussed at the MACH 2024 event. Takeaways: – Discover the strategic shifts at AMRC, focusing on the integration of sustainability and the advancement of digital strategies, centred around the revolutionary new digital thread. – Explore the concept of a digital thread as it applies in manufacturing, addressing the fragmentation in digital solutions and showcasing a practical use case with a UAV (see the Dave King interview below.) – Discuss the vital role of collaboration in today’s competitive manufacturing landscape, highlighting how once competitors are now working together to foster innovation. – Delve into the necessity of adopting open-source technologies to facilitate shared innovation, optimizing resources across various sectors.

The Digital Thread in action via
a stunning new UAV

Dave King, head of Digital Design at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) tells Nick Peters how a brilliant new UAV project is helping shape the future of UK manufacturing. Takeaways: – Understand the role of the revolutionary new digital thread in advancing UK manufacturing. – Explore the UAV project at AMRC and its significance as more than just a demonstrator. – Delve into the complexities of integrating a full digital thread from concept to manufacturing. – Learn about the collaborative efforts within AMRC to bring the UAV project to fruition. – Discuss the challenges and massive potential impacts of implementing a fully integrated digital thread in manufacturing.

How the new UK Supply Chain Directory will connect and revitalise UK manufacturing.

Dr. Daniele Marini, Innovation Manager at the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, tells Nick Peters how the new UK Supply Chain Directory will connect manufacturers and boost the uptake of UK manufacturing capabilities by UK OEMs. – Introduction to the UK Supply Chain Directory developed by High Value Manufacturing Catapult to enhance visibility and networking among manufacturers. – Exploring the necessity of the directory to highlight the capabilities of UK manufacturers and connect them with OEMs. – Detailed insights into the granularity of data available for over 280,000 manufacturing companies listed in the directory. – Steps for manufacturers to claim and adjust their profiles to accurately reflect their capabilities and offerings. – Discussion on the evolving nature of the directory to meet the needs of the manufacturing sector and improve user experience. – Emphasis on the untapped potential within the UK’s manufacturing capabilities and the benefits of reshoring and localizing production.

Counting Carbon. Scope for a common UK carbon accounting standard?

Marie Wells, head of sustainability at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) and technical lead for the High Value Manufacturing Catapult’s Carbon Accounting team tells Nick Peters why it’s vital for the UK to develop a common way of reporting manufacturing’s carbon emissions. Takeaways: – Understand the basics of carbon accounting and its significance in sustainability. – Explanation of Scope One, Two, and Three emissions and their impacts on businesses. – Regulatory requirements for businesses in the UK and the EU concerning carbon emissions. – The challenge of standardizing scope three carbon accounting to drive industry-wide changes. – The potential benefits of carbon accounting in reducing costs and enhancing business efficiency through sustainable practices.

Automate! Or die?

Karol Janik, Automation and Robotics Technology Manager at the Manufacturing and Technology Centre (MTC) tells Nick Peters about the need to accelerate adoption of technology to enhance productivity and competitiveness in the manufacturing industry. Takeaways: – Why the current adoption rate of automation technologies in UK manufacturing is flagging. – What are the common myths surrounding the complexity and cost of implementing robotics. – Highlight the role of automation in overcoming the severe skilled workforce shortage. – Examine the cultural and systemic obstacles hindering automation adoption in UK firms. – Explore available guidance and support for manufacturers ready to embark on automation.