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Liverpool firm to double output with smart tech

Abbey Group, an engineering company in the steel manufacturing sector, has become one of the first companies to benefit from the Made Smarter North West programme.

As reported by The Manufacturer, Abbey Group, a successful subcontractor in the steel industry, wanted to make and sell more of its own products, including the innovative SECURABLIND® - steel security shutters which snap shut to protect against explosions. 

The company was struggling to maximise the return on investment in its modern machinery, but help was at hand in the form of Made Smarter North West, a government-backed pilot programme which is helping smaller manufacturers become more efficient through advanced digital technologies.  

The programme went live in January, and Abbey Group is one of the first in the North West to benefit. The company has installed new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software to better join up its different machinery, and now plans to add sensors to its machines to provide instant information that will help guide efficiency.


Chris Jones, Managing Director at Abbey Group, told The Manufacturer: 

We had a real tough last 12 months, and we realised that to move forward we had to embrace the new technologies that are available to us, and thats exactly what weve done with the Made Smarter programme. 

The main aim is to make us more efficient as a business and make us more competitive in the marketplace, which in turn is going to allow us, I believe, to more than double our output over the next 12-24 months. 

Made Smarter will support 3,000 SME manufacturers in the North West with fully-funded support and advice from experts, as well as up to 50 per cent match-funding for the implementation of cutting-edge digital technologies.

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