The latest group of manufacturers to benefit from the North West Made Smarter programme could single-handedly deliver a £13 million boost to the economy by adopting the latest digital technologies.
The companies, which follow in the footsteps of nine success stories earlier this summer, range from an egg producer in Cumbria to a plastic card manufacturer in Macclesfield.
All 11 firms will benefit from expert support to integrate advanced digital technologies into their operations, such as data analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing and robotics.
One of the companies, Bell Mount Farming in Penrith, is set to benefit from Big Data and analytics technology to boost egg production by ensuring optimal conditions for free range hens.
Owner David Brass said:
“At present, there is no real time data collection system in place across the UK laying flock to monitor egg laying hens. The matched-funding from Made Smarter will enable our ambitions to invest in a free range egg management system to monitor the health of hens using sensors to optimise welfare and egg production.
“This would will provide a first step in the collection of a unique data set that will be shared by industry stakeholders, improve performance, welfare and aid research into the industry’s most pressing problems.”
Bell Mount Farming will be just one of 3,000 North West SMEs to benefit from Made Smarter over the programme’s lifetime.
Other companies in the latest tranche of participants include food and drink firms Blends Holdings in Knowsley, Lancashire Farm Dairies in Rochdale, Len Wright Salads in Tarleton, Eggbase in Sedburgh and Bells of Lazonby Bakery in Penrith (pictured above). Joining them are Handrail Creations in Bolton, Plastic Card Services in Macclesfield, Cadscan in Chester, Fabricon Design in Ashton-Under-Lyne and custom van company Lowlife Products in Bollington.
Donna Edwards, Director of the Made Smarter North West pilot, commented:
“I am thrilled to welcome another tranche of SMEs to the Made Smarter pilot. Working with business we have found that they are enthusiastic about the benefits of adopting new digital technology. Often, they need funding support, but also the specialist advice and insight to help them select the right approach for their business. This is exactly how Made Smarter can and is helping businesses across the region.”
To find out more, visit www.madesmarter.uk