One in Four Local Manufacturers to Embrace Artificial Intelligence in the Next Year

by Anna

Around one in four local manufacturers are set to embark on a journey into the realm of artificial intelligence (AI) within the next 12 months. Their objective is to enhance business operations and bolster productivity, according to the latest insights revealed at a recent gathering of METALL (Manufacturing Engineering Technology Alliance). This forum serves as a collaborative platform for manufacturing, engineering, and technology enterprises, hosted by prominent accountancy firm Carpenter Box in Sussex and the South East.

Tony Summers, Partner, and Head of Manufacturing and Engineering at Carpenter Box, shared his insights on the evolving landscape. He remarked, “It’s encouraging to witness the Sussex manufacturing sector actively addressing the challenges it currently faces. The recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic has exceeded expectations, and there is a growing interest in the potential positive impact of AI adoption on productivity.”


Additionally, there is a prevailing commitment across the manufacturing sector to achieve net-zero environmental impact. Many businesses are actively pursuing measures to reduce their environmental footprint. These initiatives include the electrification of their vehicle fleets, insulation improvements for their buildings, adjustments to heating and cooling systems, and investments in renewable energy sources.


At the same METALL event, Marcus Wright, Senior Economist at the NatWest Group, presented an overview of the UK economy and emerging trends in the manufacturing sector. He noted, “The significant increase in the cost of financing has resulted in a notable reduction in businesses’ desire to stockpile goods. Among the manufacturing firms planning to embrace AI, the primary motivation is the enhancement of business operations. Nevertheless, the most commonly cited obstacles are the lack of expertise and upfront costs.”


Wright also predicted a positive outlook for manufacturers, with inflation expected to decline to 3% by the end of 2024 and interest rates approaching their peak. These factors are anticipated to create favorable trading conditions for the manufacturing sector.


METALL enjoys sponsorship from sector specialists Carpenter Box, DMH Stallard, and NatWest, further fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing within the manufacturing, engineering, and technology communities.

This shift towards AI adoption and environmental sustainability underscores the industry’s commitment to embracing innovation while simultaneously addressing its role in achieving a sustainable future.

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