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MACH 2024 to Drive Technological Adoption in UK Manufacturing

by Anna

The Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) is launching a new Knowledge Centre initiative at MACH 2024, aiming to showcase the latest technologies to exhibitors and help manufacturers understand their potential, adoption timelines, and implementation strategies for optimal results.

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UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, has announced a £4.5 billion fund to support advanced manufacturing, injecting momentum into this initiative. The funds will directly benefit key themes at the exhibition, especially energy efficiency, with £960 million designated for clean energy manufacturing through the Green Industry Growth Accelerator.

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The MTA, representing the engineering manufacturing sector, has long been committed to promoting the adoption of new technologies. This commitment will be expanded upon at MACH 2024, opening on April 15 at the Birmingham NEC, where the focus will be on explaining how the implementation of the latest technologies in manufacturing processes is the fastest way to boost UK output.

The highlight will be a series of new Knowledge Centres, each dedicated to educating manufacturers on when and how to adopt new technologies. These centres, managed by leading high-value manufacturing catapults such as the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), will have dedicated stands in various exhibition areas, each focusing on specific types of technology:

  • Automation and Robotics
  • Data and Artificial Intelligence
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Tooling

Recognizing the significance of these centres, each one is managed by a specialist catapult engaged in cutting-edge research and development. The Catapult network, acknowledged for its advanced research and development across various fields, collaborates with thousands of innovative enterprises in manufacturing, space, health, digital, energy, transport, telecommunications, and urban environments.

The MTC, located in Coventry’s Ansty Park, is one of the UK’s most significant public sector investments in manufacturing, boasting impressive facilities that demonstrate innovative manufacturing processes and technologies in an agile environment. The AMRC spans multiple locations in Yorkshire, collaborating with companies of various scales to enhance productivity and save time, money, and energy. The Factory 2050 facility in Sheffield combines advanced robotics and automation technologies.

James Selka DL, CEO of MTA, stated, “MTA is part of the united front of the UK manufacturing organization, partnering with the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) and MACH 2024’s chief sponsor, Lloyds Bank, to increase the adoption of automation and robotics technologies.”

Selka emphasized that embracing the goals these centres are working to achieve is crucial for the UK to restore its position as a sovereign manufacturer and re-establish itself as a major player on the global stage.

He added, “Letting the High-Value Manufacturing Catapult centres run our Knowledge Centres demonstrates the importance these organizations place on our initiative, and MACH 2024 provides an opportunity to showcase and understand the practical application of the latest technologies. We couldn’t ask for anything better.”

A recent report has underscored the demand for this approach, emphasizing the UK’s lack of technological investment and the underutilization of robotic technology in industry. Data from the International Federation of Robotics indicates that the UK lags behind the top 20 developed countries globally in the use of industrial robots, trailing not only economic powerhouses but also countries like Spain and Finland.

“UK must re-establish itself as a sovereign manufacturer. Adopting new technologies more widely is crucial to achieving this goal, helping to improve manufacturing efficiency and optimize productivity. We will make every effort to help UK manufacturers focus on new technologies, explaining when to adopt them and how to implement them for optimal results,” Mr. Selka concluded.

While MACH 2024 has sold over 85% of its exhibition space, premium locations within the hall are still available for companies looking to exhibit. Nevertheless, MTA suggests that companies considering participation should not delay their decisions to ensure they secure their preferred locations.

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