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Manufacturers share learning at Made Smarter Conference

More than 300 delegates attended the Made Smarter: Journey to Digital Manufacturing conference in March, where businesses heard from Hub experts about how to achieve manufacturing excellence.

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The conference on 10 March saw an impressive line-up of industry leaders give their thoughts on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and how SME manufacturers can leverage digital technologies to achieve their goals.

The Made Smarter North West Adoption programme has so far engaged with over 1,200 businesses in the North West and is aiming to help hundreds more following a recent £8 million funding boost from the government.

Opening the conference, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng underlined the importance of manufacturing through the pandemic and the UK’s drive towards recovery, growth and net zero:

“Made Smarter has a critically important part to play in all of these targets. Industry leaders have made clear that digital technology is vital to recovery and to the growth of UK manufacturing and they are all backing Made Smarter to achieve this.”

Dozens of SME manufacturers shared their stories of working with the programme, covering topics such as skills, sustainable manufacturing and how digital technology has boosted their resilience.

There was also a special session delivered by the Hub’s Manufacturing Service on the importance of coupling digitalisation with ‘manufacturing excellence’.

The Hub’s online Made for Manufacturing programme, which helps companies to embed manufacturing excellence in their organisation, is now taking applications for its May-July 2021 intake.

Nick Brandwood, Manufacturing Advisor at the Hub, explained:

“Digitisation is an exciting opportunity for manufacturers, but it’s important to remember it’s not a short cut to manufacturing excellence. As Bill Gates puts it, automation will magnify the efficiency of an efficient operation, but it will also magnify the inefficiency of an inefficient operation.  

“To put the right groundwork in place before embarking on their digitisation journey, our Made for Manufacturing programme helps businesses to understand the key foundations of manufacturing excellence, such as Standard Work and becoming a learning organisation.”

Interested organisations must apply by 16th April to secure a place for the May-July 2021 programme.

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