The renaissance of UK manufacturing

Published:  26 January, 2012

GAMBICA and Intellect will be holding a joint event in February 2012 in London to promote the concept of automation and its benefits in the manufacturing chain. Called Automated Britain – The Renaissance of UK Manufacturing the event will also explore whether there are any perceived obstacles that discourage industry from making more investments of this type.

Automated Britain is aimed at industry leaders in the UK manufacturing chain, including senior strategists and decision makers, investors, business consultants and Government officials.

GAMBICA believes that the key benefits of automation technology are enhanced competiveness for UK industry, improved energy efficiency and pollution control.

The purpose of the Automated Britain conference is to alert the manufacturing industry, Government and the media to the opportunities that automation offers. It will spread best practice by having senior executives from the automation and manufacturing industries jointly present case studies on successful uses of automation.

The companies presenting at the event will be drawn from GAMBICA’s membership, which comprises the majority of the major players in the automation sector. Each vendor will present in partnership with an end user and will focus on the business benefits delivered by the equipment.

“In the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Review at the end of 2010, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills recognised the importance of automation as a key technology in enabling globally competitive manufacturing operations to invest and grow in the UK,” explained Steve Brambley, deputy director of GAMBICA. 

“Smart automated systems and processes are not only essential in attracting foreign direct investments, but represent a key component to grow and rebalance the British economy. A combination of world-class R&D, both corporate and academic, and early adoption of automated technologies by UK-based modern manufacturers can accelerate economic recovery and unleash the potential to give Britain’s long-term prosperity.”

Automation has a similarly important role to play in improving energy efficiency and can make a significant contribution to the carbon reduction agenda.  Most of the highest profile energy efficient technologies of the last few years, such as lean burn car engines and domestic boilers, have been largely the result of the incorporation of modern automation and sensing and control technology into the equipment.

Scaled up into major manufacturing industries, these techniques can cut energy consumption, reduce costs and improve efficiency. 

This is particularly relevant given that Europe’s major polluting industries are about to face a raft of new EC directives, based on the polluter-pays principle. 

Furthermore, automation technology continues to be a strength of the United Kingdom and a manufacturing industry in its own right. It contributes over £5bn per year to the UK economy and directly employing around 100,000 people.

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